RSS head sparks new debate on ‘Hindu-Muslim Alliance’ | By Sultan M Hali

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RSS head sparks new debate on ‘Hindu-Muslim Alliance’


MOHAN Bhagwat, the Sarsanghchalak (Chief) of the Indian extremist Hindu nationalist or
ganization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has sparked a debate with his statement on ‘Hindu-Muslim Alliance’.

Bhagwat said that claims like Hindu-Muslim unity are misleading because all Indians have the same DNA, irrespective of their religion or method of worship and they are descendants of the same ancestors.

Bhagwat also criticized mob lynching, stating that killing a cow is a crime, but those who take steps like lynching to stop this crime, become opponents of Hindutva.

Some experts opine that this statement by the RSS Chief is an attempt to restore BJP’s dwindling reputation in the country.

Analysts say that Mohan Bhagwat’s comments may be promising but they cannot remove the minorities’ reservations.

Addressing a book ceremony in New Delhi last week, Mohan Bhagwat emphasized the establishment of religious harmony in the country and said that in a democratic country like India, neither Hindu supremacy can be established nor of the Muslims. The ceremony was organized by the RSS branch of ‘Muslim Rashtriya Munich’.

Mohan Bhagwat said that the problems between Hindus and Muslims can be solved by communication instead of fighting.

According to the RSS Chief, the development of the country is impossible without Hindu-Muslim unity.

Bhagwat opined that if a Hindu says that Muslims cannot live in this country, he is not a Hindu. The head of the RSS appealed to Muslims to shed their apprehension that Islam is in danger.

Mohan Bhagwat stated that his speech should not be seen in a political context since he was apolitical and did not seek to swell the vote bank of the BJP. However many analysts believe that the speech was aimed at supporting the popularity of the Modi government.

According to analysts, the protest movement of the farmers and the government’s failure to resolve it along with poor handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, have shaken the Modi administration and even the BJP supporters are criticizing the government.

Kumar Mishra, who is associated with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), told media that the RSS has been involved in politics since its establishment. The BJP is its political branch and the RSS is the de facto ruler of India.

He said that since the BJP came into power in 2014, it has targeted Muslims, causing them body harm as well as mentally torturing them.

If Mohan Bhagwat is serious in his statement regarding Hindu-Muslim unity, he should ask the BJP government to provide justice to the Muslims.

It is universally known that the Modi Administration has taken numerous controversial decisions, which have shaken the very roots of India.

The 05 August 2019 rescinding of Articles 370 and 35-A of the Indian Constitution, providing autonomy and amalgamating Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh into the Indian Union, promulgation of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) have been protested not only by Indian Muslims but also saner elements in the Hindu Community.

Lynching of Muslims on the pretext of consuming or selling cow meat has taken a huge toll of Muslim lives.

CAA and NRC have been protested even in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Kashmiris remonstrating against the illegal and unilateral act of changing the status of the disputed territory, have been brutally targeted.

Innocent and unarmed Kashmiris have been set upon by the Indian security forces as well as RSS goons for protesting.

The use of pellet guns has permanently affected the vision of Kashmiri youth, blinding them or killing them.

Interestingly, the federal government of India claims that it has been discouraging the use of violence against Muslims but facts are to the contrary.

There are numerous instances, where the BJP and RSS assailants have actually been wreaking havoc on the Muslims.

Human rights activists and journalists pointing out government participation in the marginalization of Muslims have also been viciously targeted. Ironically, Mohan Bhagwat remains silent on all these issues but gives a sweeping statement of Hindu-Muslim unity.

Maulana Abdul Hamid Noumani, General Secretary of the Federal Assembly of almost two dozen Muslim organizations, has welcomed the statements of Mohan Bhagwat but demands that they should also be implemented.

Reacting to Bhagwat’’s remarks, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said if he is true to his words, he must give directions that all those BJP leaders who have “harassed” innocent Muslims be removed from their posts.

Digvijaya Singh said, “Mohan Bhagwat ji, will you pass on these views to your disciples, preachers, Vishwa Hindu Parishad/Bajrang Dal workers also? Will you pass on these teachings to Modi-Shah ji and BJP chief minister also?”

It is believed that the ministers of the BJP government repeatedly reiterate that all citizens are equal and are not discriminated against anyone based on religion and sects.

The Indian government has reiterated that it is bound to the uplift of welfare of the minorities.

The president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that cowardice, violence and murder “are an integral part of Nathuram Godse (Gandhi’s assassin)’s Hindutva thinking” and the lynching of Muslims is also the result of that.

Strongly reacting to Bhagwat’s remarks on lynching, Owaisi said those criminals who carried out lynching may not know the difference between a cow and a buffalo but the names of Junaid, Akhlaq, Pehlu, Rakbar, and Alimuddin were enough for them to kill. Meanwhile, the politics of hatred in India continues unabated.

—The writer is retired PAF Group Captain and a TV talk show host.

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