By Akhlad Khan @BawaNaaved
Recurring rhetoric, this time in the biggest State of India, Uttar Pradesh, demanding India declare itself as a Hindu nation was heard by attendees of the ongoing Magh Mela-2022, on Saturday.
At the same time, former Indian President Abdul Kalam Azad and others were declared part of the family and a decision to intensify their campaign to convert Muslims from Islam to Hinduism was also taken up at the Sant Sammelan (Hindu Priest Conference) which was organized by the steering committee of the Dharma Sansad.
Chief Guest Monk Sumeru Peethadheeshwar Jagadguru Swami Narendranand Saraswati said the government may not declare India as a Hindu nation, but all Hindus should start writing and speaking of their country as a “Hindu nation”.
“By doing so, the government would be compelled to declare the country a Hindu nation,” he claimed.
He further said Islamic jihad was a major threat to humanity and stressed the need to crush it. He mentioned that the Chinese policy of sanctions similar to those enforced upon the Uighurs in China has to be adopted.
He said that Hindus were ‘the target of everyone’ and for this, the system of equal education and justice needed to be implemented in the country. He also demanded that there be a need to end the government takeover of Matts (Religious Houses) and temples.
“If Matts and temples are being acquired, then mosques and churches should also be acquired,” he said.
Monk Narendranand said Muslims were not minorities and their minority status should be withdrawn.
“The life of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev should be included in the school curriculum. Besides, provision should be made for capital punishment by keeping conversion in the category of treason,” he said.
A dharma sansad (religious parliament) is a platform used by Hindu religious leaders or priests, where decisions are made regarding religious issues of importance.
The first dharma Sansad was organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi in 1984, where a decision was taken to launch the Ramjanmabhoomi movement which was aimed at destroying the Babri Mosque.
At the next dharma Sansad held in Udupi in 1985, eight resolutions were passed, one of which demanded that Shri Ramjanmabhoomi (land where the Babri Mosque was built upon), Shri Krishnajanmasthan (Shahi Eidgah Mosque built by Emperor Aurangzeb in Mathura district which the Hindus claim to be the Birth place of their lord Krishna) and the Kashi Vishwanath complex (Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi district which has been allegedly claimed disputed) should be immediately handed over to the Hindu People.
In 1992, Babri Mosque was demolished by mobs of Hindu workers. In 2019, the Indian Apex court using its special powers given by Article 142 of the Indian constitution delivered a verdict granting the possession of the Mosque’s land to the party who demolished it.
Recently Held Anti Muslim Closed-Door Meetings;
The VHP’s last religious meeting was held in Haridwar in 2019 when their members had asked then Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to free temples from government control. Extremely provocative speeches inciting violence against Muslims were made by participants at the event held at Ved Niketan Dham in Haridwar for three days from December 16 to 19. Video clips of the event, circulated on social media, says that “Hindus should arm themselves like those seen in Myanmar. Every Hindu must pick up weapons and kill Muslims.”
The event was organised by Yati Narasimhanand, a controversial religious leader who has been accused in the past of inciting violence.
The Uttrakhand Police have lodged a formal complaint in the case against Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, former Shia Waqf board chairman, who recently converted to Hinduism, Swami Dharamdas and Sadhvi Annapurna for delivering hate speeches.
Islamophobia in India masquerades as a threat to the country’s national security and this leads to the lives of Muslim citizens being endangered. There is a predictable pattern that has been observed in these cases, organized right-wing Hindutva extremists frequently gather to incite violence against Indian Muslims and court cases against the perpetrators have thus far yielded little to no prosecution.
If India is conceived as a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu nation), Muslims will most likely be classified as foreign to the national body and therefore deserve to be domesticated at best, and possibly deserving of expulsion or massacre at worst.
The series of anti-Muslim rants made by prominent attendees at the events had shaken the entire nation. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been completely silent regarding these events carried out by Hindu religious leaders. In his first term as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi campaigned on a promise of “togetherness” and “development of all”. He went a step further in his current second term with the assurance of “trust of all”. These promises until now remain unfulfilled political slogans. Indian Muslims continue to be hounded, wounded and lynched.
Muslims in India are becoming increasingly stifled, which has led to a great deal of difficulties for the minority group. Not only are they seen as an economic hardship and blamed for crime, violence and fundamentalism, but they also present a challenge to the radical governing system and its associated values. Islamophobia is a disaster waiting to happen in India and the world. When it comes to radical religious change in India, the rest of the world has been largely silent, perhaps because it is seen as a “rising power”, “democracy” and “open market”.