Is “Hindutva” a threat to national security?

In Haridwar, Uttarakhand, where the ballot is held, there was a Hindutva jamboree called “Dharma Sansad” or “Religious Parliament”. The theme of the event –“Islamic Bharat mein Sanatan ka Bhavishya: Samasya goes Samadhan” (“The Future of Sanatan Dharma in Islamic India: Problem and Solutions”) suggested that India is rapidly becoming Islamic. This sent a strong message that Hinduism is in existential danger and must be defended by eliminating Islam.

How to do ?

The speakers competed with each other to give their formula. Prabodhanand Giri, president of the Hindu Raksha Sena, based in Uttarakhand, wanted the police, politicians, army and all Hindus to take up arms and lead this cleanliness campaign (safai abhiyan).

Sadhvi Annapurna aka Pooja Shakun Pandey, secretary general of the Hindu Mahasabha called: “Nothing is possible without weapons. If you want to eliminate their population, kill them. Be ready to kill and be ready to go to jail. Even if 100 of us are ready to kill 20 lakhs (Muslims), then we will be victorious and go to jail … Like [Nathuram] My God, I am ready to be slandered, but I will take up arms to defend my Hindutva from every demon that poses a threat to my religion.

Some speakers have called it Dharmadesh (religious edict) which must be accepted by governments otherwise a more horrible war than that of 1857 will be waged to make them obey!

Yati Narsinghanand, chief priest of the Dasna Devi temple in Ghaziabad and the mastermind behind “Dharma Sansad” supported these diatribes and made this blunt announcement: “. . . . I will give him Rs 1 crore… and if he continues for a year, I will increase at least Rs 100 crore to give.

The priest was referring to Velupillai Prabhakaran, the founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), an armed organization, banned in India, which sought an independent state for Sri Lankan Tamils.

This is a clear case of the arming of the Hindu religion in the guise of “Hindutva” and its waging war with India. It outraged the nation.

Senior veterans reacted quickly. Admiral (Retired) Arun Prakash, former head of the navy, wrote: “Why isn’t this stopped? With our jawans facing enemies on 2 fronts, do we want a community bloodbath, internal unrest and international shame? Is it difficult to understand that anything that undermines national cohesion and unity endangers India’s national security? “

General (retired) VP Malik, former army chief replied, “Okay. Such rhetoric disturbs public harmony and affects national security. Action required by civil administration.

This has been approved by former admirals, lieutenant-generals, major generals, brigadiers and colonels.

But the civil administration represented by Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar has not even lifted a finger. For him, what happened was normal because it did not lead to any murder or violence. In addition, the tridents and swords wielded at the event were “traditional things”.

The DGP ignored the fact that what happened in Haridwar were all knowable offenses and not subject to bond under Sections 153A, 295A, 298 and 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code. He also drew the National Security Law and the UAPA. But it seems that against the Brahmastra of Hindutva, the Indian state is powerless!

By the way, what is this demon called ‘Hindutva’ who in the guise of saving Hinduism has become a threat to national security.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the icon of the RSS, had differentiated the two as early as 1923: “Hinduism is only a fraction and a small part of the larger ideology of Hindutva which goes beyond religion. . Hindutva, he said, included rashtra (nation), jati (common race) and Sanskriti (common culture).

It’s a Nazi concept, pure and simple. It is in this context that some time ago the head of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, made a fine distinction between Hindu and Hindutvadi by saying that while the former is tolerant, inclusive, peaceful and pursuing the satya [truth], these are the ones who armed Hinduism to instill hatred, intolerance and violence in the pursuit of satta [power].

In this mad quest for power by a political party, Hindus are deliberately radicalizing. In a country where 80% of the population is Hindu and only 14% Muslim and 2.3% Christian, the BJP has achieved the astonishing feat of creating a deep sense of Hindu victimization, stoking the otherness of Muslims and Christians alike through disinformation, hate speech, opening up old religious wounds, manipulating slavish media, silencing progressive voices and empowering Hindu supremacist self-defense groups. “Hindu khatre mein hain” (Hindus are in Danger) is a right-wing refrain that resonates deeply today, especially among the upper castes.

As Muslims face frontal attacks, Christians are assaulted by a storm of disinformation about imaginary “forced” conversions that culminated with the BJP government’s draconian anti-conversion bill passing in the assembly. of Karnataka.

Many other states have similar laws. Christian community leaders say 2021 has seen the worst attacks of a decade on Christians and their places of worship across the country and not just in Karnataka.

There are many academic theses on Hinduism and Hindutva. But I would prefer the earthly definition of Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) hailed as the “second mahatma” for leading the fight against the emergency and ensuring India’s second freedom. For him “The Hindu religion is a strange mixture of good and evil, of the sublime and the low, the most emancipated thought and the most fanatic obscurantism.

And the Hindutvavadis undermine the greatness of India and the glory of Indian history and civilization. Such people according to JP “ are in reality the enemies of Hinduism itself and of Hindus. Not only do they degrade the noble religion and destroy its catholicity and its spirit of tolerance and harmony, but they also weaken and destroy the fabric of the nation, of which Hindus form such a large majority.

There cannot be a harsher condemnation of Hindutva. Yet he succeeds in poisoning Hinduism by distorting and seriously damaging the very ethics of religion. Hinduism has survived and flourished for millennia without a sacred book designated as the Bible or the Quran and without Mecca, the Vatican or Jerusalem to guide it.

In fact, it is this absence of a “central command” and of a non-uniform format that in fact explains the inherently tolerant and federal structure of Hinduism, which has historically united, without any force, different people scattered around the world. across this highly variable subcontinent. .

The sanghis reversed all of this by establishing a “central command” for Hinduism in Nagpur to dictate and lead the supremacist agenda. The recent greatness of Khasi Vishwanath, chaired by Prime Minister Modi himself, is the manifestation of such “centralization” of Hinduism.

This “culture of central command” nurtures and propagates the “evil, base and most fanatic obscurantism” of Hinduism instead of its sublime and serene aspects. The relentless hatred and intolerance towards minorities has become their obsessive agenda. Hindus believe that India’s biggest problem is its Muslims and Christians. Before 2014, they believed their main concerns were poverty, bad governance, economic distress and corruption. The BJP came to power on a promise to fix it all.

But nothing was fixed and things turned from bad to worse. India now has the most pathetic human development indexes, the highest inflation in decades with employment and labor participation rates plunging to record highs. With 230 million more people falling below the national minimum wage poverty line, India is back in a “country of mass poverty”.

It has become the second country in the world in terms of income inequality. The quality of life and life is at its lowest with 189.2 million undernourished people; 51.4% of anemic women; 34.7% of children under five are stunted, 20% of whom are wasted. With the closure of more than 400,000 SMEs and 12,000 farmers who commit suicide each year, India has become a country of deep distress and is heading towards catastrophic stagflation. And in the face of financial bankruptcy due to colossal crony-capitalism, corruption, incompetence and mismanagement, the government hastily sells strategic and lucrative public assets built with the sweat and toil of its people to select and prefer the oligarchs.

BJP’s toxic obsession with Hindutva politics is pushing the country to the brink of destruction in every sense of the word. Because, the governance model of the BJP is inseparable from its idea of ​​Hindutva. You cannot challenge one and not the other.

But, with all of the distress listed above, the BJP has increasingly withdrawn into supremacist politics to divert attention and evade responsibility. To win elections, he must continue to polarize Hindu voters against Muslims and Christians, and launch ever more outrageous campaigns to demonize these two religious denominations. This is the essence of what happened in Haridwar.

All of this highlighted the security of India as a nation. Contrary to popular perceptions and “patriotic” propaganda, national security is not only made up of border soldiers and military boots in Kashmir and the North East. It has more to do with economic prosperity and stability, social cohesion, community harmony and inner peace. All of these are gravely disturbed by fanatics, fundamentalists and fanatics by arming and militarizing the sublime and serene religion of Hinduism and pitting it against fellow citizens of the same religion as well as others. . In fact, “Hindutva” has shamelessly become a serious threat to national security.

MGDevasahayam is a former army and IAS officer

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