Hardline and Hindu: Nationalists on the rise in India.
Hindu nationalists are gaining power in India – and silencing opponents along the way. Should the West be worried?
Sunny Hundal | The Age Victoria | 06 March, 2014:: When publishing group Penguin abruptly accepted defeat in an Indian court and withdrew a controversial book last month, the backlash was so ferocious it took almost everyone by surprise.
A small, hardline Hindu group said it had found the book, The Hindus: An Alternative History, by the academic Wendy Doniger offensive towards their religion, forcing the mighty conglomerate to retreat in the face of a lawsuit. [Correct measures taken by the Siksha banchao Andolan's Dinanath Batra and others. Who gave the powers to attack Hindu sentiments as Doniger did? Hindus are now understanding that enough is enough! ~ Editor Hindu Existence.]
Two authors subsequently asked the publisher to cancel contracts and pulp their books, too, a move described as ”unprecedented” by one Indian newspaper.
In the same week, the US ended its decade-long boycott of the controversial politician Narendra Modi after its envoy met him to discuss bilateral relations. Modi is the prime ministerial candidate of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and favourite to win the national elections in April.
The State Department had cancelled his visa in 2005 on grounds of ”severe violations of religious freedom” and had repeatedly refused to review its policy, until pragmatism forced its hand.
The withdrawal of Doniger’s book and the US rapprochement with Modi are not unrelated. Liberals in India say they feel under attack and more despondent than ever about the right to expression, as religious groups increasingly flex their muscles.
Many fear that Hindu nationalists will be further emboldened if Modi, their most demagogic leader, is elected prime minister.
The fact that it is 25 years to the month since Salman Rushdie received a fatwa for The Satanic Verses has not been lost on some.
WE ARE NOT ENDORSING THE IDEAS REFLECTED IN THIS PRESENT ARTICLE. BUT REPRODUCING THIS ARTICLE CAN HELP OUR READERS TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THE PRESENT HINDU WAVE HAS REACHED EUROPE AMERICA AND AUSTRALIA AS A PANIC TO THE ISLAMIC AND EVANGELICAL GROUPS. SO, THEY WANT TO SLANDER THE HINDU MOVEMENTS IN INDIA AS WELL AS THE HINDU NATIONALIST FACE OF NARENDRA MODI. IT IS A CRUCIAL TIME TIME FOR HINDUS TO SET A HINDU AGENDA FOR 2014 ELECTION AND ESTABLISH A HINDU RAJ IN INDIA. A MORE DEDICATION AND DEVOTION IS REQUIRED FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF HINDU RASHTRA IN INDIA. ~ Upananda Brahmachari, Editor, Hindu Existence.
”We are in the middle of a cultural emergency, and the levels of oppression in the cultural area should worry us as much as the political oppression [in India] of the 1970s,” Rushdie said at a debate in February. A columnist at The Indian Express newspaper said Penguin’s capitulation represented ”the pulping of liberal India”.
Just a week earlier, a mob calling itself the Hindu Sena (Hindu Army) burnt copies of Delhi-based magazine The Caravan over an interview with a Hindu extremist who alleged that a prominent religious leader had sanctioned attacks across India that killed more than 100 people between 2006 and 2008. [All false allegations against Swami Aseemananda as exposed in the media. NIA has nothing to say against Aseemananda. But, the Congress and it allies always go against the Hindu saints to appease the Muslim Clergies and Christian missionaries. ~ Editor, Hindu Existence.]
”Groups of all stripes have been emboldened by the fact that, in India, freedom to take offence routinely trumps freedom of expression or freedom of academic research,” says Sandip Roy, a senior editor at firstpost.com.
”Whether it’s Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin being hounded out of West Bengal, Salman Rushdie not being allowed to make a tele-appearance at Jaipur, or Rohinton Mistry’s Such a Long Journey being taken out of the Mumbai university syllabus, India’s political parties have routinely allowed fringe groups to grab the limelight. [Why this writer Sunny Hundal kept silence all about the attacking Muslim activists in India against Taslima, Rushdie or the Film: Innocence of Islam etc. Why hw sid not write an article: 'Hardline and Islam. Taliban Force in the Rise in India' ? ~ Editor, Hindu Existence.]
”If they feel the party in power is more ideologically sympathetic to it, of course it will feel, as Dinanath Batra [the man behind the lawsuit against Doniger] did, that ‘the good times are coming’.”
Hindus don’t have a reputation for religious extremism, but over the past 25 years, an increasingly aggressive movement has grown and started flexing its muscles. The list of authors who have faced ruinous lawsuits, had books banned or lives threatened in India is growing alarmingly long. (Not all of the bans relate to Hindu groups; Muslims and Christians have demanded censorship, too.).
”Narendra Modi has been an activist for the Hindu far-right paramilitary RSS and its affiliates for the entirety of his political life. He remains committed to the supremacist ideology of Hindutva, which says that India should be an exclusive Hindu nation state in which minorities are treated as second-class citizens or worse.”
The movement mushroomed in 1984 when the VHP launched a campaign to reclaim a mosque it said was built on the birthplace of Lord Ram. In 1992, it incited activists to demolish the mosque, sparking riots between Hindus and Muslims across India and propelling the BJP, which took advantage of the controversy, into national consciousness and into government in 1998.
But Narendra Modi became a controversial figure in 2002, when a train with Hindu pilgrims coming from the site of the mosque was set on fire by Muslims, killing 58. That sparked riots across the state of Gujarat, where he was still Chief Minister, and more than 2000 Muslims were killed and thousands made homeless. [To create another tension between Hindu and Muslims the foreign media forces have jumped into the situation. They are trying to present an anti-Muslim Modi to snatch away the Muslim votes from BJP so that the drowning Congress can catch the straw of the monorties. This is a myth now. Modi will get substantial votes from Muslims also. ~ Editor, Hindu Existence.]
Reports by various groups including Human Rights Watch found extensive evidence of state participation and complicity in the violence. One of Modi’s cabinet ministers, Maya Kodnani, was convicted of orchestrating a massacre and seen handing out swords to Hindus and exhorting them to kill Muslims.
A large part of Modi’s popularity abroad comes from his message that Gujarat can be a beacon for India’s economic development. This Gujarati pride resonates strongly in Britain and the United States, where large proportions of Indians are of Gujarati origin.
In December 2002, an investigation by Channel 4 found that some funds from a British aid organisation were going to Hindu groups blamed for the 2002 riots in India. Channel 4′s Jonathan Miller reported: ”Several inquiries, including one by the British high commission, saw the hand of the RSS and its associated organisations behind the violence.” [We will start a probe, to unearth the malafide intentions brought by some foreign channels, after Narendra Modi comes to power. We just perceive a Modi-phobia in the western media and theirs sponsorship tagged with the Churches is prevalent. America has already bowed to Modi by sending Nancy Powell to meet Modi. The East and West will certainly come under the spell of Hindutva without any hesitation. The paid media like The Age - Victoria cannot be able to do any harm to us. Hindus will be victorious. ~ Editor, Hindu Existence. ]
Courtesy: The Age Victoria.
Vis~a~vis: Religion and Culture: Hindu-Americans aren’t writing off Sanskrit just yet . [Courtesy: SCPR].