New York. May 24, 2019
( Father Joseph Varghese, Executive Director, IRFT)
As the ruling party of Prime Minister Modi bagged the Parliament election with a sizable majority, the world looking at India what is next. Since all three branches of the Government is under the control and Power of the BJP grip, a constitutional amendment is the possibility and India may declare herself as a “Hindu Nation” rather than keep as a Secular. The debacle of the secular parties attributed to their poor grassroots engagement as compared to the rival RSS organization, lack of big money flowing into their coffers and disintegrating effect by the regional parties. Now the question should be asking what is the fate Secularism in India?
Before answering the question we would see what is Secularism is: “Secularism is the principle of the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions and religious dignitaries”
What this means is Govt functioning should not interfere in religion and it’s institutions.
Coming to the question of Hindu Nationalism. We must understand what Hindu Nationalism is-“Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred to as the expressions of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of historical Indian subcontinent.” Coming to move towards Hindu Nationalism, it is no secret that BJP has adopted this as its official ideology in 1989. There should no doubt that BJP will pursue it’s ideology when it comes to power just like when Left Parties come in power they will implement socialist ideology or Congress liberal and minority appeasement. Every major political party has different ideologies, this is pretty common across the world like Democrats and Republicans in US. Surely, there is no doubt that Hindu Nationalism is the ideology followed by the ruling govt, but the definition of the Hindu Nationalism gets twisted and turned to make it look like anti minority but the actual ideology is a stark contrast.
Coming to recent incidents in country, and rise insecular sentiments is due to selective reporting of incident which suit the vendetta of the ruling party, like the beaf related incidents.
India has so much diversity, even more than the EU combined. India has never been perfect place there has always been riots and killings based on religion . This not something which started in this govt reign but it has always been present in India. If you see statistics you will see that these numbers have come down not gone up during Modi’s Government. This should have been first indicator of rise in insecularity.
Moreover when we see religious riots data, we should not just see the final count as it might be misleading but should throughly go through it by seeking no deaths from each community, if a particular community dominates the figure only then there is a problem.
If one looks back at the history, Babri Masjid demolition and subsequent riots were results of careful and intensive strategizing by the Hindutva leadership. The demolition of the ancient Mosque in 1992 is the one incident in India’s social and political history that marks the climax of the politics of religious identity, and is the source from which caste identity politics originated and became powerful. There were more than 50 riots that happened last year alone and the mistrust continues.
The Muslim and Christian minorities in the isolated provinces such as Bihar, Orissa and Gujarat will bear the major brunt of these onslaught. The United Nations and the Western Governments step up their effort to safeguard the life and property of the minorities in India and held the government responsible to uphold the human rights of all Indians.