Ayesha Umar |
In India, after Narendra Modi became India’s 14th Prime Minister in 2014, the normalization of virulent religious majoritarianism has been on the rise. Unlike Italy’s Matteo Salvini and US’s Donald Trump, Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been very clear in their barbaric policies against religious minorities, especially Muslims. Sharing similarities with Nazi Germany for the “new India”, which is Hindu in character, a collective division of “us” and “them” has been propagated.
Hitler Reincarnated in India an Overstatement?
Right now, an annihilation of Muslims has swept through India just like Jews’ for Aryanisation of Nazi Germany in the 1920s. Mein Kampf, the autobiographical manifesto by the Nazi leader Adolph Hitler, is widely available in multiple languages in India. Whereas, there is a very active online Indian neo-Nazi community which is busy in glorifying Hitler as a reincarnation of the Indian lord Vishnu, a savior of Aryan values. Through National Register of Citizens, in Indian state of Assam, around four million Muslims have been declared unauthorized immigrants overnight. In other states, vigilantes involved in lynching or raping Muslims, blasting Samjhauta Express, have been given government protection and honors.
This is the RSS ideology that threatens not just Kashmiris or Pakistan or even just Indian Muslims, Christians & Dalits but India itself as envisaged by its Founding Fathers. https://t.co/Xn1ctcBrWJ
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 14, 2019
Now, Modi is eyeing Jammu & Kashmir to cleanse India from immigrants i.e. Muslims. it is the right time to trace the origins of this racist ideology.
Modi and its government’s priority should be providing Indians a better lifestyle irrespective of their race, religion, or culture then redrawing Kashmir’s future.
In the 1920s, a disillusioned Keshav Baliram Hedgewar founded Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a cultish paramilitary organization. Also, in the 1920s Hindu Mahasabha was established with its Hindutva philosophy– a collective “Hindu” identity for India where Hindus will prosper. Though these were two separate organizations, they shared the same Hindu Nationalistic goal, to cleanse India from its enemies i.e. Muslims and Christians. The chief of Hindu Mahasabha, M.S. Golwalker, idealized Hitler and argued that Muslims were India’s Jews.
Thus, a fanatical admiration for Hitler has been Indianized. In independent India, Syama Prasad Mukherjee, a rogue member of the Hindu Mahasabha, joined hands with the RSS and formed the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. This newly formed political party saw its popularity and membership increase during Indira Ghandi’s enforced Emergency. Consequently, in 1980, Bharatiya Janata Party was founded, which targeted economically vulnerable Hindutva devotees, promising economic prosperity and a “new India.”
Today, Modi, a recruit of the BJP who admires Hitler’s designed genocide, wiping out two-thirds of the Jewish people in Europe, is in power in India. After failed economic policies like demonetisation, Modi has rolled out his plans for the final Solution for muslims in Kashmir.
Modi’s Plan to ‘Cleanse’ Kashmir
Kashmir, a Muslim majority state, also the most militarized region in the world, has been a disputed territory since 1947. The Instrument of Accession was signed by Maharaja Hari Singh binding Jammu & Kashmir to India. The state can have its own legislative assembly to make laws under Article 370, whereas central government in New Dehli takes care of foreign affairs, defense and communication. However, in 1957, the Constituent Assembly of Kashmir has dissolved itself making Article 370 a permanent part of Indian Constitution.
The absence of any legislative assembly and enforcement of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, legislation which provides immunity to the Indian security forces for killing, raping, torturing, and blinding unarmed Kashmiris with nonlethal lead pellets—has raised many questions regarding Indian occupation.
On Monday, 5th August 2019, in an ill-planned move, Modi has attempted to repeal Articles 370 and 35a to dissolve Kashmir’s special status using the presidential order. Kashmir has been divided into two Union Territories—Ladakh (without a legislature); Jammu & Kashmir (with a legislature)—while almost eight million Kashmiris, including elected representatives, were imprisoned.
Modi has promised to introduce a business friendly neoliberal government in Kashmir. This promise raises lots of questions like; How this neoliberalisation of Kashmir is going to take place; How Hindu pundits are going to be resettled; What security plans the Modi government have for handling the local insurgents? These are very tricky questions to answer.
With shifting weather patterns, water scarcity and crop failure effects of climate crisis are becoming evident. Providing millions of Indians with basic freedoms of life including employment is rapidly becoming an elusive dream. Therefore, Modi and its government’s priority should be providing Indians a better lifestyle irrespective of their race, religion, or culture then redrawing Kashmir’s future. Hopefully, Modi has read the devastation and ruins Hitler brought to his people after chasing his majoritarian dream.
Ayesha Umar is a graduate student of Development Studies at York University with research focus on Innovation and Regional Economic Development. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.