Home Articles When Indian Muslims are asked to give “Hate” a chance

When Indian Muslims are asked to give “Hate” a chance

When Indian Muslims are asked to give “Hate” a chance

The 2014 elections in India brought the icon of the Hindutva Brigade Narendra Modi to power and the immediate effect was a wave of lynching of Muslims and Dalits in different northern states, in the name of Cow protection. Another Hindutva hardliner Yogi Adithyanath has sworn in as Chief Minister in the state Uttar Pradesh, where BJP managed to win 325 seats out of the total 403. Though the election results came under suspicion of being rigged, the BJP being in power at the Centre has helped them suppress all such allegations and to effectively use media- corporate nexus to silence any critique on that front. The pity is almost all left media outlets making comparisons and painting Modi to be a moderate when compared to Adityanath and missing the point regarding the escalation of Fascism. Following his selection as the Chief Minister, news reports have emerged painting Adithyanath as a disciplined monk, even in regional language newspapers, cleverly creating a picture of a ruler who needs to be given a chance. The earlier inflammatory speeches made by him against Muslims while being an elected member of the Parliament is left unmentioned, or generally asked to be disregarded.

As reported in The Economist “Some analysts say Mr. Modi chose a controversial sectarian as reward for his most ideological followers’ crucial grassroots help in the voting. Others say that with his prospects for re-election in 2019 strengthened by winning a state with 220m people, Mr Modi simply has less fear of revealing a darker Hindu nationalist tint.”

In the short one month period of his reign as chief minister, Adithyanath has repealed the existing reservation system for the marginalized in his state in Medical education, thus creating a precedence which the BJP government might carry across states and in all avenues of Higher education, which would prove the death knell for the aspirations of all marginalized communities, especially Muslims.

Another serious issue on which Adithyanath has set his sights on is the implementation of the contentious Uniform Civil Code (UCC) by projecting the very miniscule practice of arbitrary triple talaq in the northern states of India and following Modi’s and BJP’s larger aim of projecting a picture of curbing Muslim Autonomy even in civil matters. The Hindutva brigade’s winning card was and still remains the creating a trope of taming the Violent/ Virulent Muslim male and protecting the Motherland/ Virtuous Hindu women (from love Jihad) and recently has added the rescuing of Muslim women from Triple Talaq. One of the most repeated rhetoric of the Hindutva brigade has been the population increase of Muslims and the threat of Hindu decimation. The Sangh Parivar’s website claims “…in 2035, Muslim will become absolute majority in India (total population: 197.7 crore). Conversion, threatening, rioting, slaughtering, terrorism, intrusion, polygamy, no birth control are being the major tools for Muslim to reach that figure within the said period”: a claim which has been time and again proved wrong by demographic researchers and analysts.

The BJP has already escalated its rhetoric regarding Cow Protection, Implementation of UCC, Re-assessment of reservation policies aiming at the 2019 elections and it’s a matter of concern for not just Muslims but Dalits and other minorities that there seems to be no strong socio-political opposition that can curb this vitriolic politics of Hindutva Supremacists.

Varsha Basheer
Varsha Basheer obtained her Doctorate in English Literature at the University of Kerala, India. She has been teaching English as Second Language for undergraduates and is a human rights activist working closely with organisations promoting interfaith dialogue and inclusive action. She has been engaged in academic endevours trying to focus on how misconstrued media/literary representations propagates Islamophobia and jeopardizes religious harmony in India. Her research interests include critical Media studies, Comparative Religious Studies, Religious Pluralism and Secular Modernity. She intends to pursue Post- Doctoral research in Women Studies in Religion, focused on Muslim women in India.