INDIA marks its Republic Day on 26 January every year with a claim that they honour the date on which the Constitution of India, came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the 1935 Government of India Act which was the governing document of India. History narrates that the Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country’s transition towards becoming an independent Republic.
Thus, 26 January was chosen as the Republic Day because it was on this day in 1929 when Declaration of Indian Independence, was announced by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status ruled by the then British regime.
Interestingly, India celebrates this day proclaiming itself a big vigil of democracy. India every year showcases its military parade on Republic Day, just to show off its military strength to the world. But unfortunately, its military is using its power brutally on innocent Kashmiris in Occupied Kashmir and pushes Pakistan to indulge in arms race thus creating strategic instability in the region.
On the other hand, many Indians are now rising up against the ‘saffronisation’ of India and imposition of harsh policies by Modi government. Considering the situation which has evoked after the December, 2019 India is wrapped with tougher situation as people are protesting about the punitive and bigoted Modi’s policies.
But the leaders in India are least bothered about the emerging situation as in the last few months we have seen people come out of the streets in large number, particularly the young to voice their issues. Now the recent strikes and protests by farmers in Delhi and rest of India is another depiction of Modi’s dark policies for its public while claiming itself to be a republic.
Democracy thrives on listening, deliberating, discussing, arguing and even dissent. While it appears that Modi believes this present wave of protests that have gripped the country shall enable the further deepening of democratic roots. Sigh! One wonders what Indian leaders think when they do not bother about any wave of protest be that is for Kashmiris or minority rights or against citizenship bill and they consider it as revival of democracy.
It is interesting to highlight that India leaves no stone unturned to portray herself as one of biggest democracies of the world and a night watch holder of human rights. India is a vocal advocate of secularism but nowhere else in the world secularism is blatantly betrayed as India do. Hindu fundamentalism is on rising and influencing the India society to the chamber of destruction.
The hate campaign released by the fundamentalist powers is keeping the minority in India absolutely preoccupied with defending their basic human rights and cultural identities. Theoretically, the Indian Constitution protects the rights of minorities, but the Hindu majority led by BJP has shown complete disrespect to it and commit brutalities against Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Dalits with liberty.
According to a report released by ‘Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission’ immoderations against religious minorities in India is a continuous marvel by using violence and disavowal of constitutional rights as the main tricks by Hindu extremists. The report shows India as an intolerant and unbearable country for religious minorities. No wonder animosity against Muslims is not new in India. They have never accepted Muslims as separate sole power and the notable Muslim community in India has remained a prime target of Hindu antagonism.
Sikh community is another target of extremism in India and particularly they are on the hit list as Sikh ideology condemns the caste system and worshipping idols which are fundamental in Hinduism. Sikhism was downgraded to the status of sub-sect of Hinduism and Sikhs are since then demoralized and subjugated by Hindus. Christians too, are another suffering community in India.
Considering the situation in India-occupied Kashmir particularly, after 05 August 2019 when India abrogated the special status given to the State of Kashmir, the valley has turned into an open prison. India in the past, by force, seized a number of princely ruled states by violating the partition pattern and against the desire of the inhabitants of the respective states.
Thus, it annexed Jammu and Kashmir by using military force. Pakistan confronted Indian hostility and showed how Indian claims contradict its stance. Meanwhile, United Nations intervened and in its resolution, UNO demanded a plebiscite to be held in the IoK to determine the desire of the dwellers.
Over a period of time, India has been avoiding UNO resolutions and their implementation below one excuse or other. This is the reason that a sense of uncertainty prevails in the region due to stubborn attitude of India who with who cares attitude doesn’t like to be on dialogue table even. Tension along LoC and Working Boundary is on the rise for a long time. United Nations Military Observers Group representatives have also visited different sectors along the Line of Control several times to record the evidence of damages/losses for reporting the same to their headquarters. But the present situation in IIOJ&K and the internal situation of India, all demonstrate Indian hegemonic designs for the region.
Over the past few years and particularly with Narendra Modi’s sway analysts say that it’s not a rosy picture now. India has rising intolerance, social instability, hate-crimes, violence against women, moral policing, caste and religion-based violence and many other sorts of intolerance are rampant across the country thus making India now lists among fanatical countries.
Muslims suffered from Hindus before partition and now they are suffering in today’s India by Modi’s policies. Hindu fundamentalism is increasingly broadening its influence everywhere and has already established a firm base of radicalism in the educational sector, bureaucracy and media of India. India while celebrating its Republic Day must watch out its assaultive behaviour and look for its peaceful presence in the region, else it will collapse in no time.
—The Islamabad-based writer works as Senior Coordinator at PAYF.