By Ahsan Qazi*
bn Khaldun writes in his The Muqaddimah— An Introduction to the History, explaining various sciences that distinguish humans from animals, “Man’s ability to think is a special natural gift that God created exactly as He created all His other creations. It is an action and motion in the soul by means of a power in the middle cavity of the brain. At times (thinking) means the beginning of orderly and well arranged human actions. At other times, it means the beginning of the knowledge of something that had not been available (before).” This is exactly what we witnessed in the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Imran Khan’s speech, the purest form of rational thinking of a leader who spoke for the rights of oppressed Kashmiris and the survival of his nation. Khan’s thinking called for logical and humane actions from the global community for Kashmiris and beyond.
Khan’s ability to unequivocally present the most pressing concerns such as climate change, financial corruption of the elite, Islamophobia, and violations of human rights of the Kashmiris is a lesson for the current leaders and the future statesmen who sincerely desire to improve the conditions of human race through their active participation in domestic and global politics.
PM Imran Khan displayed the highest form of thinking that a statesman needs in a time of global social and political turmoil. Khan made the most heartfelt speech ever made in the United Nations. It called for the “beginning of orderly and well arranged human actions,” from the global leaders. He also made “knowledge of something that had not been available (before),” available and in the context of modern global political and social affairs, all actions begin with thought-provoking education. PM Khan’s speech was an educational lesson, fair and honest representation of the current condition of Kashmiris and the worrisome condition of South Asia and beyond. What caused this?
PM Khan emphasized that the world should be quite worried at the rise of the far-right nationalist movement and its worst form that has now emerged in India under the banner of Hindutva movement that calls for Hindu racial superiority and ethnic cleansing of minorities, Muslims and Christians included.
PM Narendra Damodardas Modi, a prominent member of the RSS/BJP party (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, an Indian right-wing/ Hindu nationalist party). RSS is the parent organization of today’s ruling party of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party, now leading India was complicit in butchering Muslims in Gujrat. PM Modi’s extremist far-right ideology seeks to establish India as a Hindu fundamentalist society where lynching Muslims is the norm and violating the rights of the Christians and Dalits is becoming increasingly normal.
Khan’s speech in the United Nations led me to do my own research and see what others have written on RSS/BJP. Take the words of Shrenik Rao who published an opinion in Haaretz titled “Hitler’s Hindus: The Rise and Rise of India’s Nazi-loving Nationalists.” The title is quite alarming. Rao noted, “Ironically, Hitler – the genocidal maniac who murdered more than six million Jews, who propagated a Nazi ideology that promoted hatred, Aryan racial puritanism and white supremacy – continues to find many followers in India, a nation of predominantly brown-skinned people.” Rao is an Indian-filmmaker, and academic, and a broadcaster, and these words are his words.
Furthermore, Rao reported, “This strange adulation for Hitler has already gone beyond social media and entered our educational system. Schools across India have, wittingly or not, propagated Hitler’s “achievements.” This is the reality of PM Modi’s RSS/BJP party that continues to marginalize and lynch Muslim minority with the changing and removal of any street names or monuments that are an achievement of Muslim Moghuls. RSS/BJP has hijacked the educational system in India.
Why should the world be worried? An entire nation is being brainwashed and raised upon what Hitler raised his soldiers upon—a fascist ideology that has no place for anyone who is not a Hindu. Hitler, also in the name of political legitimacy expanded his own territorial reach just as the world witnessed at the hands of PM Modi who scrapped off Article 370 in the name of his governmental manifesto.
As I read more into Rao article, I can’t help but cite Rao’s own findings. He writes, The tenth-grade social studies textbook, published by the state of Tamil Nadu in 2011 (with multiple revised editions until 2017) includes chapters glorifying Hitler, praising his “inspiring leadership,” “achievements” and how the Nazis “glorified the German state” so, “to maintain a German race with Nordic elements, [Hitler] ordered the Jews to be persecuted.” This is the reality that PM Khan exposed in the United Nations. Rao raises an important question that PM Khan raised in the United Nations. Rao points out, “It is certainly alarming that young people think it’s “cool” to admire a murderous maniac. Is it the result of the naivety of youth, or of a sustained campaign of political patronage by Hindu nationalists?” Not only Indian youth are being conditioned to RSS/BJP ideology, but the well-educated Indians also share high adoration of Hitler. Rao mentions, “In casual conversations, a surprising number of well-read, globe-trotting Indians shared a respectful, almost fanatical, admiration for Hitler. “This country needs a dictator like Hitler,” is a common trope I have heard from well-educated Indians with degrees from some of the best universities in the world.”
In today’s India, any voices against the Hindu fundamentalist government are quickly termed as traitors to the state or as one would say in Hindi, Desh-drohi. In fact, India’s celebrities are not even free from RSS/BJP fundamentalists who have enforced a ban on Indian artists from collaborating with Pakistani artists within India and abroad. This sort of nationalist stir has forced Indian artists to publicly declare their allegiance to RSS/BJP nationalist manifesto; thus, stripping Indian artists of free and creative freedom that every artist has and shares with domestic and international artists. One must question PM Modi and his advocates, what progressive policies is he implementing in India?
Another article in The Times of India, “Why Hitler is not a dirty word in India,” Manimugdha Sharma emphasizes, “In India, the anti-Semitism of Germany was replaced with the anti-Muslim and anti-Christian prejudices of the RSS.” While one may not be living in India, Khan’s worry for Kashmiris and fear for his nation are both quite accurate. This sort of Hindutva/RSS/BJP ideology is dangerous. The ideology is already making a psycho-social impact on the young minds of India, the minorities in India, and the current 12 million locked-down (Indian-occupied) Kashmiris.
RSS/BJP fundamentalist ideology is spilling over the border. It is affecting Pakistan because PM Modi is now hell-bent on escalating tensions with Pakistan where it should now be tightening bilateral relations with Pakistan. Where PM Modi should be enabling the youth and cross-border collaboration to tackle poverty, lack of employment opportunities, and most importantly building peace, PM Modi is isolating Indian youth through the fascist RSS/BJP ideology. The result of it has been that PM Modi has foolishly unleashed the fighter jets to attack Pakistan and lying to the world of killing “terrorists.” Accurate reporting indicates that there were zero casualties and only a few trees knocked down by the Indian bombing in Pakistan. Pakistan was forced to defend its sovereignty, and this is what PM Khan again emphasized in his United Nations speech. His stance to defend Pakistan at any cost was clear, “Supposing a country 7 times smaller than its neighbor; faced with a question. Either you surrender, or you fight till the end. I ask myself this question. And my belief is ‘La ilaha illAllah’, there is no God but one. We will FIGHT!”
We should call RSS/BJP nationalist party for what it is, a hardcore fascist ideology, seeking to establish Hindu superiority. RSS/BJP whom PM Modi represents welcomes what Hitler welcomed. The result of it was a holocaust, the killing of 6 million Jews who were murdered simply because they were not deemed a superior race. Kashmir is now locked down. Its residents, the 12 million Kashmiris are house-arrested and suffer from human rights violations. Kashmiris are being raped. They are locked in their houses with PM Modi’s promise of integration into mainstream India and economic rise. The world should ask PM Modi to answer one simple question: How do you bring economic progress to a region and enable its citizens by locking them down, which means day-to-day life is at a full stop in Kashmir? Forget asking PM Modi. Ask yourselves. Would you enable and bring economic prosperity to your own house by limiting the freedom of those who can play a strong role in ensuring that your house prospers? Why are not the world leaders, the media journalists, and the intellectuals posing this question to PM Modi?
India may be economically doing well now; however, with the rise of its fascist ideology, it may see a time like that of Germany where money became worthless at one time. If RSS/BJP are not blacklisted or invalidated by the global leaders, its neighbor Pakistan will continue to suffer because PM Khan and those coming after Khan will have to allocate resources to put out fires that RSS/BJP starts. There may even be a nuclear war if PM Modi’s RSS/BJP is not blacklisted.
PM Khan’s speech displayed an honest and sincere mindset that is striving to save the world from a nuclear disaster that may be triggered by RSS/BJP’s PM Modi. The youth in India are currently being brainwashed to believe their own racial superiority though within India caste system already does great damage to the Indian psyche. Today’s leaders and tomorrow’s statemen must mimic what PM Imran Khan stood up for before the global leaders, a mindset that is humane and seeks to resolve issues through order, through sincere thinking, and through dialogue, which PM Modi fails to understand because he is now the face of Hindutva or RSS/BJP manifesto.