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Because Islamic Fundamentalists And The Indian Right Wing Groups Are Branches Of The Same Tree

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By Harsh Vasani:

While reading about the theocratic political movements in the Middle East, I was in a reverie. It didn’t take me long to notice the striking similarity between the mindset and the worldview of the Islamic fundamentalists and the more domestic Indian right wing, the core of which lies with the Sangh Parivar. While it may be pointed out that the intensity, vigour and the means to achieve their goals between these dogmatic groups differs greatly, at the crux of it lies a mentality that has a lot in common.



A contemporary instance that explicitly establishes the patriarchy and male chauvinism of the Indian right wing is when a group of men attacked hapless women in a Mangalore pub. Sister organisations like the Bajrang Dal too have time and again asserted themselves over women- dictating them not to celebrate the valentines’ day.

Quoting a sevika from Rashtra Sevika Samiti (The RSS’s women’s wing), Neha Dixit observed in Outlook “…Young girls must be stopped from putting their pictures on social networking websites like Facebook. They risk their honour and then their pictures are morphed into nude ones and circulated. They invite blackmailing by this.” The author goes on to ask another volunteer as to what advice the Samiti would give to a victim of wife beating and to this the volunteer responds “Don’t parents admonish their children for misbehaviour? Just as a child must adjust to his/her parents, so must a wife act keeping in mind her husband’s moods and must avoid irritating him. Only this can keep the family together”. On the idea of a divorce, the volunteer further states “our task is to keep the family together, not break it. We tell the women to adjust. Sometimes, we try counsel the husband too.” It is a quite perplexing to see that women too are advocating an attitude which is discriminatory in today’s context.

Compare this with the strict laws regulating the lives of women in countries ruled by the antiquated laws of Sharia. It was not until very recently that Saudi Arabia finally gave its women citizens the right to vote. However, they still can’t drive a car. The situation is much worse in countries like Afghanistan where women cannot leave their homes without being escorted by a male relative and need to be covered from head to toe in a blue cloak called Chador.


The Sangh also shares their abhorrence of western ideas and lifestyle with their counterparts from fundamentalist Islamic organisations. Be it Mohan Bhagwat’s ‘India vs. Bharat’ discourse or the frequent rabble rousing against the western influences in Islamic societies by the Ulema and Mullahs. They see in them a cultural superiority which is threatened by the spread of western ideas and lifestyle. Noteworthy is the juxtaposition of Sangh’s pontification about Swadeshi to the fatwa issued by the Darul Uloom Deoband against Muslims using western products.

Hate for minorities:

It’s a corollary to the fact the fascist right wing organisations in India detest the religious minorities and have time and again indulged in arson and communal riots. Equally acknowledged is the fact that such policies hold water in nations where Islamic fundamentalist organisations either hold power or are influential.

The demolition of Babri Masjid is very much akin to the destruction of statues of Buddha of Bamiyan by the Taliban. Be it Christians and Hindus in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, or Muslims and Christians in India, they all have faced the fascism of these religious extremists

Spreading Religious Nationalism:

While the Islamic fundamentalists transcending geographical lines want to establish a caliphate with an Islamic religious and political leader, their contemporaries talk of a Hindu Rashtra and Hindutva. Intolerance of diversity and treating the ‘others’ as second class citizens is well-known.

Reminiscing the past:

Both of these groups also have one more trait in common: their admiration of the past. They have a flawed sense of a past utopia which had a pious and religious society, which was invariably destroyed by ‘outsiders’.

Feeling of being victimised:

While Islam is a thriving religion, it goes without saying there are places in the world where they are persecuted, be it Palestine or Kashmir. This is used by the fundamentalists as a means to wage a holy war (Jihad).

Meanwhile the Hindu fundamentalists have a fake sense of victimisation within their own country. They often use the persecution of minorities (read: Hindus) in their neighbouring countries, the purported atrocities by the Mughal invaders for centuries and the alleged proselytization undertaken by Christian missionaries as an excuse to degrade them and spread propaganda. The rise of Jihadi terrorism on Indian soil is also one reason to spread panic among the country’s Hindus and paint them as victims of external forces.

It is hence clear that the mindset of fundamentalists shares the same wave lengths which transcend linguistic and geographical barriers.

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  1. Ridhi Murari

    Too much negativity brimming in the minds of fundamendalists, I think a restructuring of attitudes is a necessity politically. Eradication is a distant dream, for now reduction can be aimed at atleast.

  2. Veer Subhash

    Give me 2 minutes I can establish similarities between any 2 things in this world no matter how much far and isolated they are.

    Your SH*IT and your FACE has so many things in common. Both consist of complex bio molecules. Both are moderately hard. Both will one day decay and dissolve into earth. Both’s texture is effected by your diet. So does that mean your shi*t can substitute your face or does that mean they are the same things ?

    How many countries have become Hindu Dominated today ? Have you found any sangh activists hijacking aeroplanes and bringing down buildings. Has any Hindu leader become a dictator to substitute the PM or President of any country ?

    I am sure you have not made any serious study of ‘Hindutva’ that you could so easily relate it to Fascism and also you have nt seen Mohan Bhagwat’s India vs Bharat speech. Forget me, ask your Dad or mother, every one would agree that loss of values is one of the major reasons of crimes against women and that was what Mohan Bhagwat wanted to say.

    Finally, I dont know which RSS activist whom you have quoted.
    Interestingly I am reminded of ND Tiwari, a very respectable Non-Sanghi. Also few weeks ago I met a guy in train. He was very much in favour of Wife Swapping and even incest. Both these two individuals never supported RSS or Hindutva. So, going by your logic of selective opinions, should I conclude that all those who dont support RSS/BJP , love family incest or love making babies out of college girls ?
    I wont make such a far reaching statement. And so do i expect writers like you not to make one sided judgements from their limited knowledge.

    1. Raj

      @Veer Subhash : Give me just ten seconds and I’ll tell you the similarities between your dick and and your shit. Both are soft, stink badly and fall flat on the ground. And yes in your case you can substitute your dick and your shit for each other since you enjoying sucking on both.

      Now coming to hindu dominated countries, how many christian dominated countries fly airplanes into buildings? But even the christians have their own bloody and violent history, just like the hindus.

      And rapes are happening because of fascist values that your favorite poster boys encourage. Ask what your gang thinks about rapes in india vs rapes in bharat.
      And ND Tiwari, if his views turn you on, so be it. Why enforce it on others.

      Anyway your rebuttal has been crappy and devoid of any real points. The author does exaggerate at places but you have done nothing to address those. You’ve taken a dump here, relieved yourself and moved on to some new fantasy.

    2. Veer Subhash

      I had the option to downgrade further, but I had carefully maintained that the words don’t spin out of control. I am sorry but you have very much degraded. I don’t expect anything better of you. Thats your comfortzone after all.

      None of your sentences address to my comments. Furthermore they contradict amongst each other. But you wont see that contradiction or the essence of my logics, unless you, for even 10 seconds, instead of picturing dick or shit or sucking, you start thinking rationally. Sorry.. as I said that would be like dragging you out of your comfort zone..

      My allegation to the author was –

      He is holding a child and a terrorist akin, just because they both hold a gun. The author forgets that the child’s gun is just a toy or a miniature of what a dreaded terrorist has. So while drawing thin similarities, dont ignore the broad differences.

      You mentioned ‘ Christian dominated countries and how they don’t bombard buildings. SO that concludes its ok if a country become a one religion dominated. So its also quite possible that a Hindu dominated country wont be a terrorist factory . In a rush you said something in favour of my comments.

      Lastly, if you think that rapes happen because of Hindutva or Modi , than I think, its beyond the scope of any logical discussion with you.
      Delhi has neither Modi nor Hindutuva. Neither Westbengal or Maharashtra or UP or Haryana. I quoted them coz All these are the states which were quite in news for rapes in recent times.

      For a day, my friend, shed the hatred which you carry and look at the world with clean eyes. You will definitely see things better for yourself and others.

    3. Raj

      You started it! You were the one who compared the author’s face to shit. Is that any way to debate?
      By the way I don’t side with this article much but I don’t necessarily side with your points either.

      Now coming to your points :

      – Hindu terrorism is in its infancy because we are secular country and we oppose terrorist groups. We helped and funded the LTTE and burnt our hands. So we are strongly opposed to allowing hindu terrorist groups to thrive in India. So yes you are right, it is a child who is holding a toy gun but he is being brainwashed like the jihadis to hold a real gun when he grows up

      – History has shown that all theocracies are usually brutal be ithe the Vatican centuries ago or Saudi Arabia/Taliban

      – I never said that other extreme ideologies don’t also cause rapes. They also do. But can you show that hindutva fanatics don’t engage in rape , looting and murder? If they are just like the islamic or communist fundamentalists in this regard, how can you say they are different ?

  3. sg02

    I am sad to see this kind of intolerance (with reference to the comments made) on a youth forum! Unless we rise above petty differences how will focus come to important base issues? Why cant we think of India’s progress unanimously? Why is getting aggressive so ‘in’? arent we playing into the hands of the corrupt politician’s divide-and-rule policy?
    We can be a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian etc at our homes, within our families and communities! its a matter of faith and belief. but once we are out in the streets, we are Indians! people of all religious communities face same price hikes. poor people of different communities face same poverty related issues. why are we not channelizing our energy in uniting and bringing about a much-needed positive change in the country? why are we exploiting the freedom of expression given to us by the world’s largest democracy??

    1. Raj

      I was merely responding to the commenter before me in kind.

  4. Aditi Thakker

    Don’t you think it is time to dissociate extremism with any religion. Somebody who is brainwashed or is brainwashing other in the name of religion, really needs to understand what they are fighting for/over. Wasn’t religion created to control people in the first place?

    Love that you compared the demolition of the Babri Masjid to that of the Buddha of Bamiyan in Afghanistan.

  5. HP

    Very biased artice… pseudo secularist at it again? What similarity are we talking about? Islamist have butchered millions of people and are continuing while there is no such act by Hindus. Even an illiterate would agree if Hindus were extremist as you present, there would not have been any other religion present in India as it currently has. Note that the percentage of non-Hindus is actually increasing (through conversions etc), Compare this with islamist nations such as Pak, B’desh where Hindus are killed every day and only a few left.

    1. ghana

      First of all, being a secular is to be proud of. Labeling some one as pseudo secular on the basis of an article is an aberration and in a democracy one is entitle to make an opinion even the person is a secular or a pseudo secular. You may think it as a biased article as the way you see things will be vastly different from the author, but the truth is that it is a fact, take the example of Babri Masjid, Kandhamal , Godhra, Sikh riot in delhi etc. One should not be too rigid to see critically and the author has ably tried the best to find some similarities in principle and its nature. Yes, the grave danger exist to our society when a group of people adhered to a particular belief and swore to enforce upon others be it culturally, intellectually, politically, etc. The similarities or dissimilarities is not on how many people have been killed by a group of particular religion but the real issue is that it has happened and it is a dangerous trend existing in our society. Especially in democracy, the majority has the responsibility to take care of the minorities and the powerless be it in sex, caste, religion, etc. When the exploitation and discrimination happens it becomes a grave threat to democracy where a particular group tends to enforced their belief upon others. This is the concern, not that HIndu fundamentalists have killed less people than Islamic fundamentalist but the same applies when AVBP students attacked a student if FTII in Pune for not agreeing to their views. It is not a trivial issue. Yes, one may agree that that those countries which you have mentioned above, the minorities are bearing the brunt, and may be in wider scale but the same thing is not too far if we do not critically sees the polarisation of religious hatred in the name of religion and culture for the gain of few. The same is indeed a grave danger to this democracy and it is a frightening aspect for those people like me who believes in tolerance, cooperation and democracy.

  6. Deep Da Bad Dawg

    The basic problem in this case is that society at large has become more concerned with organized religion as opposed to spirituality. That is why we have godmen who exploit women, and people who rush out into the streets brandishing weapons and clamouring for blood/ upholding honour/ protecting their religion at the slightest provocation. Of course, there are complex socio-economic and political causal factors behind cases of religious violence and fundamentalism, of course, but if religion can be made something appertaining more to individual spirituality rather than a shared identity based on common rituals, observances, customs, rites etc., I feel that not only can religious violence be averted but the moral fibre of society can be strengthened as well.

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