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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Modi’s India exposed: Hindu extremism seeps into universities

Merwah Qureshi |

India is going through the dark age of extremism and fanaticism. With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the center the Hindutva groups – Shiv Sena, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishva Hindu Parsihad (VHP-) have gained the mass support in their brutal violent behavior. They openly raise slogans of Hindu superiority and promote the Hindutva ideology. Sangh Parivar openly embraced the doctrine of “Hindutva,” with the aspiration of suppressing minority groups. These right-wing Hindu factions are using the tool of organized violence to victimize the minorities in India. The minorities are deprived off their legal, constitutional and social rights. The recent incident of organized violence at Aligarh Muslim University is a practical manifestation of the rising surge of fanaticism in India.

Aligarh Muslim University: An Irritant in the Eyes of Saffronized Factions

Aligarh Muslim University is a historic institute. It holds an eminent role in the history of the then subcontinent. Owing to its contribution towards the partition it has always been an irritant in the eyes of the saffronized factions of extremist India. It has been victimized every now and then by the right-wing Hindu outfits. Sometimes these fanatic groups demand to change the name of this iconic institute and sometimes they label it as the base camp of anti-India and pro-Pakistan forces.

Read more: Rising tides of intolerance and Hindu extremism

The Story of Hooliganism at Aligarh Muslim University

Aligarh Muslim University’s peaceful educational environment has been compromised by the extremist Hindutva factions. One such recent incident is the Jinnah portrait controversy. It originated when the Vice Chancellor refused to grant permission to Amir Rasheed –an RSS activist-for arranging RSS Shakha (Hindu Vedic/information promoting gathering). In the reaction of Vice Chancellor’s refusal, Satish Gautam-the BJP MP- wrote a letter to Vice Chancellor and inquired about the display of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait on the wall of the student union office. In response to S.Gautam’s criticism, the Aligarh Muslim University’s spokesperson-ShafeyKidwai- provided the explanation that Jinnah was one of the founding members of the university and was given the life time union membership. So, as per tradition his picture is displayed on the wall.

This Hindutva approach of India has been sharpened under the BJP regime. The Hindu fanaticism has not even spared the educational institutes.

The story of actual hooliganism started on 2nd May 2018 when the members of Hindu Yuva Vahini(the RSS affiliated student wing) disrupted an event in Aligarh Muslim University in which Hamid Ansari – former Indian Vice-President- was invited. They enchanted the slogans of ‘We will not let such respect for Jinnah pass in India”, “If you want to remain in India, you must say Vande Mataram’, “Vande Mataram, Jai Shri Ram”. They became violent and started attacking Muslim students. Ironically, even the police was silent at this inhumane treatment of these Hindutva goons. Moreover, when the students of Aligarh Muslim University –planning to lodge an FIR- went on a peaceful protest they became the victim of police lathi charge and tear gas shelling. The Former students’ union president of Aligarh Muslim University, Faizul Hasan says that “Hindutva groups bully them by calling them Pakistani supporters or terrorist.”

Read more: Are Hindu women being radicalized by RSS?

However, students have continued their peaceful protest. Geeta Kumari- the president of student union of Dehli’s Jawaharlal Nehru University- while addressing the demonstrators at the dharna site asked all the saffron factions to stop interfering in the internal issues of educational institutes. She further asked them to stop bullying Muslims by calling them terrorists.

Not only Muslims but all other communities including Sikhs, Christians and Dalits are also the victim of the wrath of these saffron factions.

In addition to this, Hindu Jagran Manch-another Hindutva group- added insult to injury by demanding the name change of Aligarh Muslim University to Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh University. The state president of this group further accused Aligarh Muslim University and Jawaharlal Nehru University to be the nourishing grounds for anti-India forces.

All this mayhem clearly depicts a hopeless picture of status of minorities in an extremist India. This Hindutva approach of India has been sharpened under the BJP regime. The Hindu fanaticism has not even spared the educational institutes. This is a point to ponder and to be concerned about.

The Rising tide of fanaticism in India: A looming threat for all the Indian Minorities

This rising tide of Hindutva and Bhagya movements has critically affected all the aspects of daily life in India. The curriculum has been hinduized. Ban has been imposed on beef. Ashok Singhal-the VHP international President – calls Gujraat incident a successful experiment and threatens to repeat such incidents again. Moreover, these saffron groups staged a protest in Gurugram Haryana on 30 April 2018 in the support of six men who disrupted Namaz by chanting Jai Shri Ram and Radhe Radhe slogans. They demanded the withdrawal of case against these men who were alleged to have disrupted Namaz and further asked for a ban on offering Namaz openly. They went an extra mile and submitted letters to Hindu extremist CM of Harayana –Manohar Lalkhattar- and DC Vinay Pratapin which they accused those Muslims for enchanting anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans.

International powers should pay attention towards the militancy of these right wing Hindu factions in India or else India would become the biggest exporter of Hindu Talibans in the region.

Furthermore, not only Muslims but all other communities including Sikhs, Christians and Dalits are also the victim of the wrath of these saffron factions. In 2014, Rajeshwar Singh -Dharm Jagran Smiti (DJS) leader- aspired to Hindunize India by 2021 by expelling or re-converting Muslims and Christians people. Destruction of the religious sites of Sikhs, Muslims and Christians has become a routine in Modi’s India. Rape of Muslim females and elderly nuns is a rarely prosecuted crime under the BJP reign. Massacre of Muslims over beef controversy, killing of Dalits and Sikhs, blackening of face of Muslim Parliamentarians of IOK and denial of the basic rights of all the minorities has become a norm in extremist India.

Read more: Oppression of minorities in India

Saffronized Posture of India

This saffronized posture of India is haunting all the minority groups residing in India. The once secular India -the biggest democracy- no longer protects the rights of minorities. This narrative has been further strengthened by the fact that extremist India is in a continuous struggle for a pure Hindu state.

Way Forward

The surge of radicalism and extremism in India should be an eye opener for all the international players which are feigning ignorance towards the fanatic attitude of India. The extremism in India poses a serious threat to the peace and prosperity of this region as a whole. Organized Violence at Aligarh Muslim University is one out of many episodes of the ongoing saga of right-wing Hindu fanaticism. It is the moral obligation of all the international players to take notice of India’s rising fanaticism and save the suppressed minorities from being massacred again. Furthermore, international powers should pay attention towards the militancy of these right-wing Hindu factions in India or else India would become the biggest exporter of Hindu Taliban in the region.

Miss Merwah Hamid Qureshi holds an M. Phil Degree in Biochemistry from QAU, Islamabad and is also a visiting lecturer for International Relations at National Officers Academy (NOA), Rawalpindi. She is a freelance content writer for online portals like Amazon. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.