India is not only the world’s second largest populated country but it also has the largest religious minority. By its constitution India is a secular country, secular means separation of religion and state. But it is perceived that today’s India is not a secular country. The planned discrimination against its minorities especially Muslims is a clear indication of an un-secular India, where people of different faiths and religions are treated with different laws.
India is now moving rapidly towards a Hindua Rashtra dominated by “Hindutva forces”. The minorities are considered as second class citizens. The Hindutva led regime is humiliating, threatening, and suppressing Muslims, Christians and Dalits. They are struggling for their survival in the world’s largest democracy.
The Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s (former PM) led BJP government (1998-2004) was not in majority to lay the foundation of a Hindu Rashtra. After Vajpayee Modi was considered a defender of Hindus, he took charge as a party leader. Under his face, BJP won landslide victory in 2014 elections. In his first term (2014-2019) India has witnessed the rising attacks on minorities and he tried to crush any voice that challenged his regime. In 2019 Modi led BJP got another landslide victory and became more powerful Prime Minister of India. Muslims were asked to prove their citizenship and provide birth certificates under the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Due to its failure in 2019, government introduced Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to sideline the Muslims and benefit Hindus. CAA allows Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Christian refugees from three countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to apply for citizenship, except Muslims. Modi’s government introduced a series of extraordinary initiatives to make Hindus more dominant. The abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir stuck the Majority population of Muslims. The move was amid to settle non-Kashmiris in the valley and change its demographic status.
There have been almost three hundred hate crime incidents motivated by religion in the past decade. People affiliated with BJP maintained websites that pushed pro-Modi propaganda and attacked his enemies. Farmers’ protests, fake encounters, Nagaland civilian killings, online auction of Muslim women, hate speeches against Muslims, using Pegasus spyware against opponents, closure of Kashmir press club, ban on the hijab, social injustice, and intolerance are clear antagonistic and suppressive steps to silence Muslims, critics, and opponents.
BJP is running a state within the state created by RSS under the command of the Hindutva ideology. Hindutva’ had now become part of everyday politics. BJP has effectively projected the idea of a ‘new India dominated by Hindutva ideology. There are demands by Hindu leaders to declare India a “Hindu Rashtra. On May 2022 TMC Vice President Yashwant Sinha said that declaring India a “Hindu Rashtra”, and banning all religions, could be a solution for all of country’s problems. He added “Simple solution to all our problems today: declare India as a Hindu Rashtra by amending the constitution and ban all other religions,” “Delete non-Hindu history, take revenge for past wrongs against Hindus by Buddhists, Jains, Muslims and Christians,”
Indian veteran journalist Chandra Srivastava said it is not only journalism that is in danger in the country but also democracy and secularism.
Religious division in India has increased, Muslims are being attacked openly and forced to chant Jai Sheri Ram (Hindu religious slogan). Sometime, they are beaten and attacked in the name of cow slaughter, love Jihad, economic Jihad and religious conversion.
Blasphemous remarks against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by Hindu leaders are increasing day by day. The Indian government is not taking any actions against the people who are hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims. It is clear that this all is happening under the shadow of government.
The rising fear of Hinduta ideology or Hindua Rashtra is worsening in so-called secular India, where Hinduism is considered the Holy religion and Islam is consider lower religion.
It is clear that Hindutva is dominating in India and Anti-Muslim sentiments, Islamophobia, hatred, and religious intolerance have reached on dangerous situation, where Muslim minority community could be persecuted and displaced. Its an alarming situation where domination of Hindu Rashtra or Hindutva ideology is threatening others democratic and constitutional right to live, right to education and right to religious practice. If it does not stop than India’s survival will be at risk.
Mansoor Ahmed is Islamabad based Researcher and Freelancer