It’s been 28 years after frenzied Hindu mobs in Ayodhya ripped down the Mughal-era Babri Masjid. That sad incident was a bellwether, signifying the horrors to come as Hindutva’s devil was unleashed to break into Indian secularism’s crucial elements. Indeed, those who took part in that orgy of hate and violence are now manipulating India’s levers of state, which bodes ill for minorities, especially Muslims, living in that country.
Although Hindutva was once a fringe organisation, with M.K. connected to the Sangh Parivar. The assassination of Gandhi today governs state policy, with India’s prime minister and other senior officials openly flaunting their affiliation with the Sangh.
In view of India’s dangerous path, the Foreign Office has rightly stressed the need for New Delhi to protect minorities, especially Muslims, who are vulnerable thanks to the Sangh’s shock troops, who make a mockery of the constitution, and worse yet, to formulate laws enshrining hatred and bigotry.
The FO recalled in a statement that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was a “blatant violation of religious and international standards,” while adding that Muslims were “systematically demonised, dispossessed, marginalised” in today’s India.
Indeed the journey from the desecration of the mosque to the fast propagation of Hindutva is a scary one. The Sangh Parivar has gone from a conglomerate of rabid radical parties to being the intellectual mother ship of India’s governing clique for nearly three decades. Nehruvian secularism is gone, replaced by a robust Hindutva that aims to drive the minorities of India to the periphery, ideally purging all ‘extraneous’ forces from the rashtra.
Muslim lynchings on suspicion of beef consumption, legislation intended to disenfranchise Indian Muslim people by having to prove’ their origins, as well as the recent law passed by Uttar Pradesh prohibiting interfaith marriages focused on so-called love jihad, are all part of the new India’s grim truth.
However, though the Sangh’s short-sighted and intellectually questionable ideologues can paint the Muslim as the everlasting stranger, the fabric of India is very much part of Islam and Muslims.
Only fascistic impulses can be traced to some effort to remove their participation and physical appearance. Is the international community able to apply the same legal principles and censure to India for the persecution of its Muslims, which has sworn to never forgive the fascist purges of 20th-century Europe?