A mirror image in India

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    The attempt to create conformity and deny religious and cultural identities

     

     

    Slogans raised by the BJP ring familiar. Religious parties and extremist groups in Pakistan have indulged in similar crap year after year. The BJP lot and their Pakistani counterparts appear to be identical twins.

    The Pakistani extremists believe that Pakistan was created for the Muslims alone. Those belonging to other religions  can live in the country only as Zimmis or second rate citizens by paying Jizya. The Hindus and Jews are Pakistan’s enemies. Kashmir is a part and parcel of Pakistan. Getting of Kashmir is however the first step towards conquering the entire India which was once ruled by the Muslims.

    The Muslims have a glorious past without parallel, they believe. It has produced the top-most scientists of the world. The modern scientific developments would not have been possible without the contribution made by the Muslim scientists in the field. The extremists however refuse to own Dr Abdus Salam despite his keenness to be known as a Pakistani simply because he was an Ahmadi.

    Under a secular Congress it was possible in India to have a multi-cultural and multi-faith society and an education system that did not cater to fundamentalist thinking. The Congress lost elections because of its neglect of the concerns of the common man and its bad economic performance. Narendra Modi’s election campaign that mainly focused on promises to revive the economy appealed to them. Many failed to take note of the references he made to India’s majority Hindu identity. In case the BJP government succeeds in improving the economy, creating jobs, reviving the crumbling infrastructure and is seen to be running a corruption free administration it might win the next elections too. What it is capable of doing to the Indian society meanwhile is horrendous.

    The acts of commission and omission on the part of the BJP government are already polarising the Indian society as would happen in Pakistan if the religious parties were to come to power.

    There is an attempt by the party to create conformity and deny religious and cultural identities.

    Will Indian secularism, which binds the Indian people together, survive the ravages of the Hindutva with Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj offering support to the move to declare the Bhagwad Gita a national scripture?

    The way those around Prime Minister Narendra Modi look at the minorities is worrisome. Niranjan Jyoti, the junior minister for food processing industries, asked whether the country should be governed by “the children of Ram or the children of bastards” at an election rally. While the Sangh Privar is adamant on building the Ram Mandir, he chief of BJP’s UP chapter has reignited an old Hindutva claim that the Taj Mahal was built on a Hindu temple. MP Sakshi Maharaj has once again stirred a hornet’s nest by saying all Hindu women must produce at least four children in order to protect Hindu religion.

    Will Indian secularism, which binds the Indian people together, survive the ravages of the Hindutva with Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj offering support to the move to declare the Bhagwad Gita a national scripture?

    There are suggestions to revisit Article 370 which provides space in matters of governance to the people of Kashmir who feel vulnerable about their identity and insecure about their future. This is the reversal of Vajpayee’s policy on Kashmir which was based on three principles of Insaniyat [humanism], Jamhooriyat [democracy] and Kashmiriyat [Kashmir’s age old legacy of amity]. Vajpayee involved Pakistan, empowered regional players and engaged the separatists. Modi’s policy is altogether different on all these points

    BJP’s nationalism strengthens fundamentalist tendencies. It is amusing to find Modi glorifying the mythological Hindu past. He strongly believes that in prehistoric times India had mastered genetic science and plastic surgery. The views echo those of Dinanath Batra. Batra’s books are now part of the curriculum in 42,000 schools across Gujarat. They claim stem cell research was known in the days of Kunti and the Kauravas, television was invented at the time of the Mahabharata and the motor car existed in the Vedic period. This is like believing that flying carpets were commonly used a millennium back by the Arabs.

    It was revealed at the 102nd All India Science Congress held early this month that the bug had infected sections of the Indian scientific community also. Frivolous claims were made about to achievements of the pre CE Indian ‘scientists.’ One can understand the type of folly under military dictator Zia-ul-Haq, this is unbelievable in a modern democratic India.

    Union minister of science and technology Dr Harsh Vardhan claimed “Our scientists discovered the Pythagoras theorem but we very sophisticatedly gave its credit to the Greeks. We all know ‘beej ganit’ much before the Arabs, but very selflessly allowed it to be called algebra.”

    Not to be left behind Professor Y Sudershan Rao, the head of the Indian Council of Historical Research, maintained that Indians were flying aeroplanes, carrying out stem cell research and may even have been using cosmic weapons 5,000 years ago.

    In a conducive situation extremist thinking translates itself into terrorist activities. Some of the extremists like BJP and its Pakistani counterparts still hope to bring the changes they desire in the system

    In another paper presented at the Congress by Captain Anand Bodas and Ameya Jadhav it was claimed Indians had mastered aviation thousands of years before the Wright brothers. Ancient aviation, as described by Maharshi Bharadwaja, was more advanced than modern day technology. Bodas said Maharishi Bharadwaj spoke 7,000 years ago of “aeroplanes which travel from one country to another, one continent to another and one planet to another. He mentioned 97 reference books for aviation.”

    Another paper read at the Congress maintained “Indians had developed 20 types of sharp instruments and 101 blunt ones for surgeries, which largely resemble the modern surgical instruments. Vaikrutaapaham which retains the original colour and texture of the skin after a surgery is one of the seven post-operative treatment steps for abscess. The process is not so common in the modern surgical practices.”

    Instead of rejecting the claims as rubbish, Vijay Bhatkar, acclaimed Indian scientist, noted that “Indians are so used to the slave mentality that we will only need a foreign nation to acknowledge the vast source of information. Once they do it, we will follow”.

    There were, however, sceptics too at the Congress who acted as a saving grace. “It is about discussing research and papers in the field of applied and pure sciences. Promoting government policies through such events is not the best thing to do,” said a chemistry professor.

    BJP has sped up the pace of arms purchases for the military. India boosted defence spending by 12 percent in 2014-15 over the previous year. What is even more significant is the glorification of the military. BJP has strongly condemned the Congress for not supporting its valiant military which foiled the alleged attempt by a Pakistani boat to threaten the country.

    In a conducive situation extremist thinking translates itself into terrorist activities. Some of the extremists like BJP and its Pakistani counterparts still hope to bring the changes they desire in the system. The terrorists on the other hand are in a hurry to achieve the results at the earliest through holy war. The BJP has not reached this stage yet. One wonders however how long some of the hotheads in the Sangh Pariwar would remain committed to effecting the conversions of Muslims and Christians through pressure alone.

    5 COMMENTS

    1. Partially agree with the writer. We should mind our own business. Extremism and religious fanaticism in Pakistan is answer to RSS and BJP's dadmashi. It is India who created Kashmir tragedy and forced Pakistan to be a security state. It is also on India's credit to nuclearize South Asia and introduced cross border terrorism in our region by training and arming Mukti Bahanis thugs and terrorists. Nehru divided India in 1947 and her daughter divided Pakistan in 1971. Pakistan has always been on receiving end. Now look at Modi like fascist Hitler he is elected too and ready to create a neo holocaust in India for Muslims. Why should we give up Kashmir? Because we are poorer and weaker than India. Kashmir is a part of Pakistan without Kashmir Pakistan is incomplete.

    2. You Pakis can rave & rant on Kashimr for the next thousand years but you will not get an inch of what is is rightfully ours. Leave Kashimr, ..do you even realise that the entire pakistan belongs to India ? So keep on raving & ranting until you reach your destination of self destruction.

    3. I would also like to get mr. Author’s kind attention towards china. I have read your article. but lot of stuff has taken out of the context. First , In india anyone can preach their faith and anyone is free to practice whatever they like. Unlike pakistan, India dont have any kind blasphemy laws that someone would get death panelty to practise something different. There are so many christian missionaries are active in india for converting people into christianity, muslims are also free to do the same, so whats wrong with hindu missionaries. Why are getting so much noticed? Why everyone is talking about it when every other relIgious leaders doing the same. At least pakistan shouldnt have raised it while muslims killing other muslims. Not only that pakistanis are likely to show the fake sympathy for other muslims especially in india and at the same time extending friendly arms to china, where no muslim is safe, fasting during ramadan is banned, muslims activists are rottening in the jails without being charged for years now. I never heard any pakiatani press highlighted that issue anywhere. Atleast all pakistanis need to accept one harsh truth that they had been forced to convert by the aurangzeb. Thats why you speak like us, you wear like us. Please dont treat others the way you were treated. At least be truthful to yourself

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