From secularism to fascism

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Ali Gilani
THERE was a time when India was
hailed as the largest secular democratic
country with her strong institutions and unhindered judicial system around the world. A country which seemingly embraced each and every one albeit different race and religion. It wasn’t that India at that time (not very long ago) was an exact version of ‘utopia’ for the minorities especially Muslims who have a long history, of being subjugated to violence.
The right wing religious leaders never shied away from the anti-Muslim rhetoric and had always been on the front line to assault and harass Muslim minority. RSS modern day Nazism since its inception is working diligently to efface Muslims and form a country where only Hindus prevail. But the realization of the ultimate goal had been hindered by some of the liberal sentiments across the country and the political opposition of Congress which didn’t share the same enthusiasm of RSS in expunging of Muslims.
But then in the midst of the tug of war “Modi happened” who unravelled the very fabric of constitution and democracy and with one master stroke transformed India into a fascist state. Even long before COVID-19 breakout which incarcerated the freedom of humans across the globe, Kashmiris had already been in a complete lockdown in their homes helpless and vulnerable. And even when there was an international unanimous agreement of putting the armed conflict into lockdown, RSS-led BJP Government is still accelerating its colonial ambition to turn Muslim majority Kashmir into minority one. The cue clearly taken from Israeli model of government. The youth, lawyers and political leaders have been put in jails as a punishment daring to raise their voices against the atrocities committed by the government.
The India-occupied Kashmir which has always been a bone of contention between two neighbouring nuclear powers was more of a political and strategic nature than the religious one. But the recent action by the Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi has something else to say. The apartheid regime in Kashmir is now moving towards genocide by making Kashmir a minority in their own region.
Modi government even extended the brutalism to Indian Muslims. In December last year, the government passed the highly contentious Citizen Amendment Act (CAA). Though Indian Premier was adamant that this bill would help the persecuted Hindus from neighbouring countries to come and settle in India but BJP turned the amendment into the sinister anti-Muslim ritual when almost two million Muslim residents of Assam had been excluded from the list.
Modi hysteria to make India a Hindu supremacist state has not only plunged the country into uncertainty and chaos but also make it a threat for peace and stability in the region. Continuous ceasefire violations at the LoC is another attempt to distract the attention of the international community away from the aggravating humanitarian situation in Kashmir and in India, which keeps worsening day by day.
2020 India is shifting from a secular to a hardcore fascist state where minorities seem to have no future. In her more than seven decades of history India has not been in such political turmoil where the courts and institutions are in complete jeopardy against the malice and abhor Hindu supremacists have for Muslims. Moreover they are pressured to fall in the line with Modi’s inhuman polices. The political opposition is in tatters and lacks the wisdom and ability to force government to reconsider its anti-Muslim policies. That is what happens when a nation surrenders against the whims of a fanatic.
—The writer is an Engineer, based in Islamabad.