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Change of mind in Hindutva champions?

Don't get trapped in the cycle of fear that Islam is in danger in the country, RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat has advised Muslims. He further opined that one must not create segregation amongst the public based on how they worship. "DNA of all Indians is same, irrespective of religion. Lynchings are against Hindutva. Development is not possible without unity in the country, and the basis of unity should be nationalism and the glory of ancestors," Bhagawat said, addressing Muslim minorities at the "Hindustani first, Hindustan first" program organised by Sangh Parivar-sponsored platform Muslim Rashtriya Manch in Ghaziabad on July 4.

"The only solution to Hindu-Muslim conflict is dialogue, not discord. If a Hindu says that no Muslim should live here, then the person is not Hindu," he said. One could remember it wasn't long ago that the same Mohan Bhagawat had argued that all Indians are Hindus, and if Muslims cannot accept that, they can call themselves 'Indians'. (Bhagawat specifically uses the word Bharatiya) Mohan Bhagawat is a disciple of the RSS founder Golwalkar who had theorised that Christians, Muslims and Communists cannot be faithful to India because they believe in foreign ideologies. By Indians, they mean those who fully accept the Arsha Bharat, or Vedic culture, and proclaim its infallibility, uniqueness, nobility and glory. The core of that culture, however, is Brahmanism. There is no 'Indian culture' in the Sangh dictionary that excludes the varnashrama dharma, which forms the basis of the varna/caste systems stratifying society into Bhrahmians, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Even in the twenty-first century, the RSS is not prepared to even partially correct the savarna culture that divides people into castes on the basis of birth. The Sangh's ideology cannot even see all Hindus as equal members of society. How can those who follow such casteist beliefs accept Muslims as equal citizens, having branded already them as people believing in a 'foreign' culture and belief system?

Until assuming power, the Sangh Parivar had constantly argued that there are no minorities in India and that the National Commission for Minorities be dismantled. They had also questioned the need for the Justice Rajinder Sachar committee which the UPA government had set up to study the socio-educational state of Muslims in independent India. Without the ruling political entity changing its fundamental approaches, why is the ideological mentor of the Hindutva Government in power, which had stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its statehood solely because the state had majority Muslims, and similarly is now trying to 'Bharatise' Lakshadweep, now suddenly donning the role of a saviour for the Muslims? What would be the intention behind him suddenly talking about a 'Hindu- Muslim dialogue'?

The efforts at Hinduisation which kick-started in the first term of the Modi government have intensified and strengthened, neglecting the dangers of the pandemic, in the second term. Its effects, however, are destroying the reputation of the country, within and outside. In the assembly elections held in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Hindutva forces were met with severe backlash. The fear of what might happen in the UP assembly elections to be held next year has also been worrying the saffron brigade. India's reputation at the international level is dimming. It was first hit when the country failed to take on the pandemic at its peak. The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has aggravated the fear that the reigns of that country will now fall into the hands of the Taliban. Reports say that the government has reached a point where it is considering unofficial talks with the Taliban, overturning India's stances in bilateral issues. At present, thoughts are invested in how to relieve the bruise cast upon Modi with Trump's loss in the US presidential elections. Modi government's moves to suppress independent journalism is also, likewise, destroying the Indian front. In between all this, the Hindutva lobby might have found it important to feign a change of approach to the minorities. However, such a change merely in words without action in line with a fundamental policy change, is likely to have no effect.

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TAGS:Mohan Bhagwat speech at Muslim Rashtriya Manch mob lynching Islam not in danger in India 
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