Hindu nationalism: India’s state of paranoia

Indian Muslim population protest against rise of Hindu Nationalism

India’s political leadership has always remained cognizant of the significance of the majority Hindu vote. This often shapes the electoral process in India and political forces evolve their respective manifestos accordingly. The Indian National Congress and other political parties of the country are no exception to this. Concurrently, these political parties have never lost sight of a secular and pluralistic outlook of Indian society by accommodating other ethnicities in their political manifestos.

The Rise of Hindu Nationalism: From BJP Dominance to RSS Influence

Image Credits: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images

Hindu nationalism became the order of the day

With an RSS-driven agenda, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attained dominance over the Indian political landscape in 1998. The party was already branded as an exponent of Hindutva mindset, the term first coined by V D Savarkar in 1923. With the emergence of the BJP in New Delhi, Hindu nationalism became the order of the day, and the entire RSS machinery was utilized to ensure domination over all other ethnic entities through a divisive political agenda duly backed by intimidation across the country. Coercive acts in Kashmir, Gujarat, Manipur, Punjab and many other parts of India show a mindset desperate to attain its vicious agenda without any regard for the democratic and secular coexistence of Indian society.

With Narendra Modi taking the reins of government in New Delhi, these acts of intimidation turned into sheer violence against minorities. Keeping in view the challenges to sustaining this model of Hindu domination, the BJP government remained vigilant on how to devise a permanent methodology to perpetuate their divisive agenda.

In the political, social, economic and even diplomatic spheres, the Modi government embarked upon the creation and propagation of its divisive plan by introducing a compatible education curriculum to influence the minds of Hindu youth, who form a substantial majority of the Indian nation. Changes in textbooks show India as a great Hindu civilization with no contribution of any other religious or ethnic identity, infusing false pride among youth to believe in a Hindu-dominated India.

Also read: Hindutva: A Threat to Being

Narendra Modi’s Government and the Propagation of Divisive Agendas

Image Credits: The Indian Expres

These divisive motives and fictitious narratives run contrary to India’s claims of being the ‘world’s largest [and progressive] democracy’. The committed intellectual dishonesty to ridicule and overpower minorities is, by no means, a hallmark of a society with which India associates itself. History is the foremost causality in these attempts of polluting the minds of Indian students with concocted versions.

Nixing events and people tangent to Hindutva ideology is a myopic way of enforcing a dogma with no relevance and credibility. The exclusion of Muslim rule with its massive contributions to education, art, culture and various other spheres is tantamount to depriving Indian youth with narrations devoid of reality. Omitting British rule and putting forth the idea of a monolithic movement for independence is by no means a justice to history.

The radical Hindu mindset behind these alterations has even erased accounts of various Dalit movements as it goes against the very concept of ‘superior’ Hindu castes. The Modi government’s attempts to replace history with mythology are in accordance with the notion of Hindu nationalism having no scope for any other ideology in the same space. Moreover, India’s established image of belonging to many religions, cultures, casts and creeds were part of all textbooks prior to this intervention by the BJP government.

However, the new curriculum also showcases India as an ‘ancient glorious civilization’ whose credit goes to those termed as the real inhabitants of that time. This assertion is again contrary to genetic and linguistic evidence where Ancient India stands as a pluralistic society composed of many ethnicities, casts and creeds.

Glorification of Hindu Civilization

Discrediting scientific innovations by attributing them with Vedic Civilization (1500 BC to 500 BC) is another attempt to disregard facts duly verified by multiple historians of the world including Indian historians. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even many Vedic concepts have been blurred between Hindu beliefs and established history. Professing obscurantist beliefs as facts will lead to a generation that has no regard for India’s avowed virtues of a tolerant and democratic society.

The BJP, obsessed with its electoral victory, has been initiating all sorts of ploys including warmongering attempts by false flag operations, using sports as a political tool and many other gimmicks for its vested political objectives.

Among all, making India’s youth subscribe its divisive political agenda is dangerous and stands to jeopardize the very fabric of Indian society. Moreover, India consists of sizeable minorities, with Muslims taking the lead. An indifferent and hostile approach will be a catalyst for degradation of Indian society as a whole.

These RSS-driven divisive overtures by the BJP, aimed at infusing hatred in the minds of India’s Hindu youth, will have serious political and social ramifications on Indian society. India’s image as a democratic and secular polity is under dire threat with a potential of internal implosion and with implications for regional stability and world peace.

According to Indian Journalist Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, who has authored many books on Hindu nationalism as well as a biography of Modi, “If you instill such thoughts in children’s minds, they will grow up with a tremendous amount of anger against Muslims and Christians. Such information attempts to create a constant state of paranoia in Hindu minds about the entire world being a conspirator against Hindu supremacy.”

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Omay Aimen is a researcher, with an interest in national security, international politics, hybrid warfare & geopolitics. She can be reached at manahil.jaffer786@gmail.com

Omay Aimen

Omay Aimen is a researcher, with an interest in national security, international politics, hybrid warfare & geopolitics. She can be reached at manahil.jaffer786@gmail.com