The Similarities Between British Rule and the Hindu Communalists in India
Photograph Basit Zargar of protests in Kashmir
One of the justifications that the British put forward to explain their subjugation of India was that Hindus and Muslims were in perpetual fight with each other, and therefore, their (British) presence was required to ensure peace in India. Needless to add, the British propagated this myth of Hindu-Muslim antagonism for furthering their interests in India. How is it relevant today in 2018?
The demand of the Hindu communalists to hand over the case of rape and murder of eight-year old girl to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has once again brought into public discourse the issue of mistrust between Hindus and Muslims.
The little girl belonged to the Bakarwal community of Jammu and Kashmir and was brutally gang raped and killed in a temple by six men belonging to the Hindu community in Kathua district of J&K. Two BJP MLAs, who have now resigned from the state government after intense public pressure and after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a statement as his usual bluster, demanded that the case should be handed over to the CBI because they had no trust in the state police. As it naturally represents the Muslim population because of the demography of the state.
The BJP MLAs communalised this horrific crime and raised questions over the credibility of J&K police. To allay the fears of these communalists, the state government has appointed two Sikh prosecutors in this case so that they can play the role of neutrals between Hindus and Muslims – the same role that the British assigned to themselves during their occupation of India. The BJP, under the leadership of PM Modi, has added a new chapter in the judicial history of India.
In one sense, it is no surprise because the ruling BJP has mastered the strategy of polarisation for their political gains. In this case, it is not the foreigners but the so called ‘nationalists’ who are inflicting damage on their own society for electoral benefits. From where does the BJP and its ideological mentor, the RSS, take their inspiration? The answer lies in the book authored by M S Golwalkar, the second chief of the RSS, We or Our Nationhood Defined in which he writes t:
‘…To keep up the purity of the nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of Semitic races – the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.’ (italics mine)
The current RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has, on multiple occasions, asserted that everyone living in India is a Hindu. If we combine the statements of two RSS chiefs, then it essentially means that India belongs only to Hindus and no other religious community has a right to exist in this country.
In the same way the British created the myth of Hindu-Muslim discord, the Hindu communalists have created ‘the myth of the holy cow’ for reaping electoral benefits. The idea of getting rid of people of faiths other than Hinduism was behind the above mentioned barbaric crime and it becomes clear from the chargesheet filed by the police in the case:
‘…HC Tilak and SPO Deepak Khajuria were also against the settlement of Bakarwals in Rasana, Kootah and Dhamyal area who had already discussed this issue with Sanji Ram to Chalk out a strategy for dislodging the Bakarwals from the area…during investigation it transpired that a particular community had a general impression that the Bakarwals indulge in cow slaughter and drug trafficking and that their children were turning into drug addicts…’ (italics mine)
In addition to the RSS, the BJP members also look up to PM Modi for their conduct. Could PM Modi not have said that he fully trusts the J&K police? It would have been extremely difficult for Modi to tell his party member to refrain from communal politics when he himself employs the vocabulary of shamshan and kabristan.
Is the Kathua rape case the only instance where the BJP MLAs have shown utter disregard for the justice system in India? Unfortunately, the answer is in negative.
In the state of Uttar Pradesh, the state police failed to file an FIR for months on the complaint of a minor woman who alleged rape by the BJP MLA. This is when the law makes it mandatory for police to file a case if they receive a rape complaint. The woman even met the Chief Minister of UP Adityanath but it yielded no results. Adityanath, who faces cases relating to promoting enmity between religions, etc., was handpicked by Modi to govern the largest state of India. The same UP government has decided to withdraw a rape case against the former BJP MP Chinmayananda. This is when Modi does not get tired of saying Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.