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BJP-RSS’ ‘koota yuddha’ on Muslims and misinformed Islamophobia

There is too much negative publicity about Islamic jihad (struggle). But, there is little limelight on koota yuddha in India’s history. Koota yuddha signifies all-out, no-holds-barred or un-ethical warfare, writes Amjad Jaaved.

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France happened to be a pioneer of modern human rights. How come its slogan `life liberty and pursuit of happiness’ allows it to drag out mosque-goers from inside the mosques? Or insult them in myriad ways? France continues to publish cartoons that hurt the Muslim community’s sentiments, and manifest extreme Islamophobia. Some leaders have even called for banning Muslim immigration to France. Long before Islamic jihad, terrorism was a familiar phenomenon in history. The anti-Muslim media exploited 9/11 incident to tarnish the image of Islam (salam means peace). Islamic jihad fascinates people more than terrorist outfits such as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), RSS and so on.

Islamic jihad (holy war)

In the historical context, the term meant different things to different individuals and communities. The oldest ‘terrorists’ were holy warriors who killed civilians. Recent examples of religious terrorists are Aum Shinrikyo (Japanese), Rabbi Meir Kahane and Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir (Jews).  The Jewish-controlled media describes Hezbollah and Hamas as ‘religious terrorists.’ In the first century A.D Palestine, the Jews publicly slit the Romans’ throats. In the seventh century India, the thugs strangulated gullible passersby to please the Hindu Devi Kali. And the 19th century, adherents of Narodnaya Volya (people’s will) mercilessly killed their pro-Tsar rivals. The term `terrorism’ became notorious during the French reign of terror in 1793-94.

Following assassination of Gandhi by a former activist of the Sangh, the RSS was banned. To wriggle out of the ban and to appease Sardar Patel, the RSS, in 1948, dropped the term `rashtra’ from its manifesto

It is now common to dub one’s adversary a ‘terrorist’. Doing so, forecloses the possibility of political negotiation and gives the powerful definer the right to eliminate the ‘terrorist’.

Read more: RSS ideology in Modi’s India is a threat to Muslims and other minorities, PM Khan

The non-Muslim writers not only mistranslate the word jihad for qitaal (bloodshed), but also distort the true meaning of Quranic texts by quoting them out of context with ahadith (sayings about Holy Prophet Mohammad’s life) or peculiar situations to which they relate. The Qur’an gives a clear instruction that there is no compulsion in religion (2:256). It states that people will remain different (11:118), they will always have different religions and ways, and this is an unalterable fact (5:48). God tells the Prophet that most people will not believe ‘even if you are eager that they should’ (12:103). Quran enjoins wars are to be avoided (Quran 8:61, 47:35; Bukhari 56:112, 156:94:8 Sahih of Muslim).

Even the enlightened Hindu and the military writers believe that India’s prosperity during various periods of history, for example during the Maurya and the Gupta periods, rose or fell pari passu with rise or fall of military leadership. 

Islamic jihad (Al-Quran 25: 52) does not mean ‘Holy War’. That term does not exist in Arabic and its translation into Arabic sounds quite alien. Jihad is always described in the Qur’an as fi sabil l’illah. It can mean argumentation, financial help or actual fighting. The term, which is specifically used for fighting, is qitaal (a compulsion when you are attacked and flushed out of your homes).

Quranic verses were twisted out of context to show that they are incendiary and fan hatred against other communities. Since 9/11, the world has been fixated on Islam and trying to prove that terrorism was ushered in by Islamic tenets. And, it is a menace to society.

Twisting Quranic texts

Verse 191 Chapter 2 of the Holy Quran is often quoted to argue that Islam is a violent religion. In, God says: “And kill them where ever you encounter them and expel them from where they expelled you. Oppression is indeed worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Masjid Al-Haram (Ka’aba) unless they fight you therein. If they fight you, then kill them; such is the penalty of the disbelievers.” Verse 193 of Chapter 2, God says: “And fight them until there is no more oppression and the religion is for God, but if they cease, then no aggression is permitted except against the transgressors.”

This Verse 191 Chapter 2 of the Holy Quran was revealed when Muslims on the Hajj pilgrimage were attacked and killed by the non–Muslim Quraysh tribe who had signed a treaty with the Prophet to not attack the pilgrims.

Read more: RSS: Hindu Nazis of India

Gita:  Verse 193 is no different from what Krishan taught Arjun. How is this any different from Lord Krishna telling Arjun in the Bhagavad Gita to fight as his dharmic duty?

BG 2.33: “अथ चैत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं संग्रामं न करिष्यसि। ततः स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि। (O Arjuna! If you do not fight for this religion and turn away from your religion, then you will lose your fame and glory).” Surely, Hindus will know the context.

In fact, the RSS has of late become the unofficial spokesman of the Indian government. Some candidates in the USA are bankrolled by the RSS.

Bible: Deuteronomy 20:1-4: “When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory’.”

Torah: Do Torah’s verses also speak of genocide and pillage?

Numbers 31:1-10 say: The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Avenge the Israelite people on the Midianites; then you shall be gathered to your kin.” Moses spoke to the people, saying, and “Let men be picked out from among you for a campaign, and let them fall upon Midian to wreak the LORD’s vengeance on Midian. You shall dispatch on the campaign a thousand from every one of the tribes of Israel.” … “The Israelites took the women and children of the Midianites captive, and seized as booty all their beasts, all their herds, and all their wealth. And they destroyed by fire all the towns in which they were settled, and their encampments.”

Read more: Situation deteriorates in India as the ‘Hindutva’ fueled RSS puts on a chest thumping show of force

Hindu holy and unholy wars

The Ramayanas and the Mahabharata wars elucidate various types of yuddha (wars). In ancient India there were three schools of war. Bhishma’s school of warfare belonged to dharma yuddha (ethical or just war). Two other schools, Brihaspati’s and Krishna’s school of warfare belonged to koota yuddha (all-out war) or maya yuddha (war by tricks or stratagems). There is too much of negative publicity about Islamic jihad (struggle). But, there is little limelight on koota yuddha in India’s history. Koota yuddha signifies all-out, no-holds-barred or un-ethical warfare.

Bhishma stressed chivalry and ruled out surprise and deception. But Brihaspati recommended that the king should attack an enemy only if the enemy’s strength is one-third of his own (`Udyog Parva’). He suggested that the king should never trust the enemy or spare him, no matter how old or virtuous he may be.

Terrorism Research Centre, an American think-tank based in East Virginia, enlisted RSS among the world’s leading terrorist organizations.

Similarly, keynote of Krishna’s military philosophy was `end justifies the means.’ He laid great stress on deception. `Truth may often have to be sacrificed in pursuit of victory’ (Karma Parva). He advocated use of force to defeat the enemy if he was superior in strength or capability (Shalya Parva). Opportunity once wasted never returns (`Shanti Parva’).

Read more: Religious freedom a myth in “secular” India: RSS & Jesus Statue

Even the enlightened Hindu and the military writers believe that India’s prosperity during various periods of history, for example during the Maurya and the Gupta periods, rose or fell pari passu with rise or fall of military leadership.

Since partition, the Hindu leaders have put a tab on their innate desire to expose their urge for koota yuddha with Pakistan because of political expediency. India’s confidence-building measures did not contribute to solution of the Kashmir, or Sir Creek issues. They were dilly-dallying tactics to evade a plebiscite in disputed Kashmir.

Pakistani leaders, including previous prime-ministers and prime-ministers-to-be should take off their blinkers and try to understand how India, through koota yuddha, with likeminded countries, is trying to wreck Pakistan’s economy and country.

RSS and Hindutva ideology

To understand koota yuddha in a modern context, one should first understand popular meanings of the word `Hindu’, Hindustan (hindusthan, bharatvarsha), `Hinduism’ and Hindutva. According to the bulk of literature on the subject, `Hinduism’ is not a closely-knit or bounded faith or collection of doctrines. It is a religion (mazhab), not a deen, or a way of life without a founder. According to Encyclopedia Britannica 1994-2001: “Hinduism is both a civilization and a congregation of religions: it has neither a beginning nor a founder, nor a central authority, hierarchy nor organization. Every attempt at a specific definition of Hinduism has proved unsatisfactory in one way or another…”.

Read more: ‘Islam-Mukt Bharat’: Centuries-old dream of RSS inspired Hindu-India

The ‘Hindu’ were persons inhabiting the Indus valley area and beyond. The territory inhabited by them was Hindustan. But the communalistic Hindu calls the territory Hindusthan (the Hindu’s place). The suffix ‘-stan’ being of non-Hindu origin is obnoxious to the communalists. The communalists find Bharatvarsha more palatable. This word originated from an ancient Hindu king Bharatvarsha. The communalists’ outfits like Sangh Parivar use this name preferentially as it emphasizes Vedic roots of the country and its original people.

Hindutva is controversially defined in Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his book Hindutva and adopted by Hedgewar as the basis of his ideology (An Indian parliamentary committee resurrected him as a hero by allowing his portrait to be hung in Indian parliament). The RSS’s aims are a mix of cultural, religious and political objectives – To serve Hindu dharma (religion), sanskriti (culture) and rashtra (nation). Sarvarkar distinguishes ‘Hinduism’ from ‘Hindutva’. He clarified that the `Hinduism’ was concerned with `relevance of life after death, the concept of God and the Universe’. ‘Hindutva’, on the other hand, was ‘Hindus being a nation, bound by a common culture, a common history, a common language, a common country and a common religion’. Koota yuddha is an article of faith with the Rashtriya Swayemsewak Sangha. All its recruits, 10 years’ old and above, are obliged to take the following pratigya (oath): In the name of God and my ancestors. I hereby become a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh for the all-round progress of Bharatvarsh (ancient name of India) by strengthening the holy Hindu dharma (religion). Hindu sanskiti (culture and Hindu society). I shall do the Sangha work with all my heart to the best of my ability and that I shall be bound by this oath for the whole of my life. Bharat Mata Ki Jai! (Glory to Mother India!).

India is now engaged against Pakistan in what Kautliya calls maya yuddha (war of tricks) or koota yuddha (all-out warfare).

Following assassination of Gandhi by a former activist of the Sangh, the RSS was banned. To wriggle out of the ban and to appease Sardar Patel, the RSS, in 1948, dropped the term `rashtra’ from its manifesto. Be it noted that, before independence, the pledge included the term ‘Hindu rashtra’. The expunction of the word `rashtra’ from the oath-text does not mean that the Sangh had renounced political dimensions of its thought or practice.

Read more: The Great Transformation: How is RSS transforming India into a fascist regime?

Terrorism Research Centre, an American think-tank based in East Virginia, enlisted RSS among the world’s leading terrorist organizations. It is significant to note that the Indian media is heavily tilted towards the RSS. In fact, the RSS has of late become the unofficial spokesman of the Indian government. Some candidates in the USA are bankrolled by the RSS.

RSS vs Indian constitution

The RSS’s genocidal role is a contradiction to the introduction of the constitution of India which states: “WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a [SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCATIC REPUBLIC] …”. Besides, Article 15 of the constitution prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. Terrorism Research Centre, an American think-tank based in East Virginia, enlisted RSS among the world’s leading terrorist organizations. It is significant to note that the Indian media is heavily tilted towards the RSS. In fact, the RSS has of late become the unofficial spokesman of the Indian government.

Read more: Where is secular India headed?

Not only the RSS, but also Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and Indian political parties tacitly believe in koota yuddha. Reason being, the minorities together are not more than one third of the Hindu population. Illustration of koota yuddha is the Gujarat carnage under prime minister Narendra Modi, then chief minister, burning of Christians’ alive, attack on Golden Temple, anti-sikh riots of 1984, killing of beef-eating minorities by cow guards (gao rakhshak), persecution of Kashmiri students in Indian states, and so on. A crystal-clear manifestation of this mentality was when the ruling-BJP-supported the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s 11-phase gaurav or papadshahiyatra (pride parade) in July 2002. Earlier, in June 2002, Bal Thackray had said, ‘Muslims can never be trusted. They are like snakes.’

Wake-up call for Pakistan

Pakistan has learned nothing from East-Pakistan debacle. India is now engaged against Pakistan in what Kautliya calls maya yuddha (war of tricks) or koota yuddha (all-out warfare). It is out to isolate Pakistan, get it dubbed as a terrorist state. Ibn-e-Khaldun says, that it is asabia (nationalism) that enables a country to withstand challenges. Toynbee’s challenge and response theory also reminds us that if challenges are too heavy, a nation becomes apathetic to the environment. Apathy leads to mental degradation, decay and extinction.

Pakistani leaders, including previous prime-ministers and prime-ministers-to-be should take off their blinkers and try to understand how India, through koota yuddha, with likeminded countries, is trying to hurt Muslims and wreck Pakistan’s economy and country.

Read more: ‘Kattar Hindu Ekta’: Persecution of Muslims has defaced ugly face of secular India

Mr. Amjed Jaaved has been writing free-lance for over five decades. He has served federal and provincial governments of Pakistan for 39 years. His contributions stand published in the leading dailies and magazines at home and abroad (Nepal. Bangladesh, et. al.). He is the author of eight e-books including The Myth of Accession. He knows many languages including French and Arabic. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

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