President Dr Arif Alvi while addressing a seminar “‘Understanding Hindutva Mindset & Indian Hegemonic Aspirations” organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad’s (ISSI) India Study Centre on Wednesday said, “India is falling in the pitfalls of extremism and polarization.” The seminar held in tow sessions titled, “Mapping Hindutva Mindset” and “Hindutva: Rise of Saffron Terrorism in South Asia.”
Dr Arif Alvi was the Chief Guest on the occasion while Senator Shibli Faraz, Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting joined as a Guest of Honor. The two sessions were chaired by Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani and Air Marshal (Retd) Javaid Ahmed HI (M), VC Air University respectively.
Other speakers at the occasion included: Dr. Khurram Iqbal, National Defence University, Islamabad; Ambassador Asif Durrani, Islamabad Policy Research Institute; Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi, Research Society of International Law; and Mr. Khalid Rehman, Director General, Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad.
In his keynote address, the president maintained that India does not care about its own minorities nor its neighbors. The ideology of Hindutva has totally captured the Indian society as it is becoming increasingly exploitative. National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act are all meant to isolate the Muslims which are around 15 per cent of the Indian population. India is also arming itself to teeth as it is procuring latest weapon systems.
All this when linked with Hindutva ideology presents Pakistan with a very dangerous situation. The President was of the view that the chances of the reversal of current rise of Hindu nationalism are bleak at the moment. He expressed his optimism saying that Pakistan is at the threshold of becoming a power, but for that to happen, ensuring economic strength is important. While addressing the seminar, Senator Shibli Faraz stated Modi’s Hindutva ideology is transitioning India to the biggest fascist regime of the world for it is based on discrimination, hatred, and superiority. Highlighting the indifferent attitude of the world towards India, the Minister further said that such actions have emboldened India to carry out its Hindutva designs through the Citizenship Act, atrocities in Kashmir, its attitude towards minorities, and its terrorist activities to destabilize Pakistan.
While chairing the first session, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani stressed upon the emergence of Hindutva mindset and its implications for not only India’s polity but also for the immediate neighborhood. Contextualizing the rise of RSS-BJP, Dr Khurram Iqbal maintained that the apologists of Hindutva say that this ideology is nationalistic in its view. Ambassador Asif Durrani expressed his views about the rise of “Hindu Nationalism: From Secularism to Extremism.” He noted that the RSS thrust has always been that India has been ruled over by outsiders and thus it is time for Hindus to take over.
The ambassador further said that in today’s India, BJP is writing a new and biased history, criminalizing Muslims and all non-Hindus communities. Chairing the second session, Air Marshal Javaid Ahmed (R)) noted that a modern day version of intolerance is leading India at the moment where it has reached a point of no return.