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In Times Of Rising Communal Fascism In India, We Need To Be Very Alert!

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By Anshika Srivastava:

Yes, India is diverse. Diverse in all aspects; be it culture, religion, language or geography, but it is not united. There has never been a cohesive cultural identity.

hindutva

The truth is that till the advent of the British rule, India never saw itself as a nation. Each sect, principality, religion, caste etc. were different from each other, but under the tyranny of the British and subsequent struggle for independence, they were woven into one thread of a single unified nation. But lets not forget the carnage of the partition, constantly reminding us of how petty differences and power politics of leaders tore apart a country into two and the communal turmoil that was unleashed in the subcontinent.

66 years to independence and India has come a long way, we have somewhat managed to reconcile and cast aside our differences, if not completely forget them and have developed a feeling of oneness, a unified identity of an Indian.

The secularism of our nation is often threatened by strong communal forces and the religious zeal of parties like BJP, RSS and VHP, who believe that India is essentially a nation of ‘Hindus’. They believe that the state should protect the Hindu traditions, beliefs, customs and foster Hindu nationalism, in contrast to Congress’s pluralism. These ideas play a dominant role in the way people vote, for example, BJP voters are mostly people who advocate Hindu nationalism.

But simply believing in an ideology has done no harm to anyone, the problem arises when an intolerable and violent attitude develops towards other religious factions like Muslims, Christians and other minority communities resulting in conflicts, further escalating into riots.

It has been almost a decade since the Godhra riots in Gujrat and only a few months since the communal terror that struck Muzzafarnagar, it can surely happen in the future too. And the stakes are higher as the ‘Sangh parivar’ is continually garnering communal hatred in the minds of the people and opening the festering wounds of partition creating distrust between communities. Wrong notions, falsified facts, misinterpretation of the past, stereotypes and prejudices have created a havoc, a mayhem often presided by politicians for their vote banks.

‘Hindu fascism’ has totally gripped the nation, their aggressive ways of propaganda, believing in their supremacy and intolerance towards other religions can incite mob mentality among people. The ramifications of seething hatred among people for their fellow citizens often takes the shape of gruesome and violent communal riots. But if you look closer, at the reality, they are not a manifestation of brewing tension erupting in spontaneous acts of violence. They are premeditated acts perpetrated to instill fear and exterminate the minorities, expunging the ‘unwanted‘. As a result, people belonging to the minority communities live in constant fear of being attacked, killed, looted and raped with no way to justice. Innocent people who have no part in the conflict unfortunately bear the brunt of the savage attacks. Their equivalent Muslim communal forces are not far behind and doing their best sowing seeds of hostility and cultivating enmity. Constant clashes and rivalry between communal forces is tearing apart the unity of this country. People who oppose communalism are condemned and threatened.

Rising communalism has infiltrated our state apparatus and has a propensity to percolate to everyday lives of ordinary citizens. It will have a profound impact on our lives, the society and future generations. Hatred today will foster more fights tomorrow. People turning to militancy where every small quarrel or dispute would magnify itself into large battles. Where are we heading? A road to self destruction. A future of maimed and grief stricken people with no solace.

Fighting it will be tough but not impossible. Keeping religion a private matter, away from public sphere, can solve the problem to a great degree. We need to give the multitude of people a forum to voice their opinions and crucially change people’s mindset; at schools, homes and social media platforms that they discard such crude ideas of nationality and strive for a unified nation.

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  1. Sahil Chatta

    Nobody is living in the fear of being attacked! Stop your paranoia and stop writing just for the sake of writing something.
    Regards

    1. akash prasad

      if you think no body is living in fear then go and ask the five lakh kashmiri pandits do they want to return home?go and ask the residents of mallapuram especially hindus do they feel safe?you will get your answer

    2. Sahil Chatta

      Dude, I am a Kashmiri Pandit too and I am fairly comfortable in the part of the country where I am. There are reasons for not going back other than fear and that is a separate issue. What I want to convey is that this article is nothing but plain Hindu bashing in the name of secularism that has now become a new fad in the media. My comment was in that context.
      By ‘nobody’ I meant none of the “minorities” is the country live with fear as the article has suggested.

  2. talha khan

    brilliant…. ofcoarse there is a feeling of insecurity and these political parties have created an extinct hate for muslims.

  3. Rational_not_appeasing

    “The secularism of our nation is often threatened by strong communal forces and the religious zeal of parties like BJP, RSS and VHP, who believe that India is essentially a nation of ‘Hindus’. They believe that the state should protect the Hindu traditions, beliefs, customs and foster Hindu nationalism, in contrast to Congress’s pluralism.” Pardon me if I am wrong but you seem to suggest that the BJP is a fascist religiously intolerant party and the congress is the saviour, secular, tolerant party that should be supported. Your views are as naive as those of a 10 year old. Your writing clearly shows a lack of any serious research on the issues, it is just a rant based on some media and social networking posts. Please take a look at the states of India who have shown some good growth, mantained better law and order and whose CM’s are known publicly for their service and accountability. You’ll find states like Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar(recently) etc. Most of these states are ruled by BJP leaders (Manohar Parrikar, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Narendra modi) and some third front leaders like Chandrababu Naidu(previously) , Nitish Sharma, etc. Please go and look into the conditions of minorities in these states and compare with the congress ruled ones. In terms of governance, the performance of congress ruled states has been shockingly bad. The amount of scams they have done can put any debauchery to shame. As for the tolerance part, I hope you know what followed when Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her sikh Bodyguards. They didn’t even try to hide the fact, Rajiv Gandhi actually said that “when a giant tree falls, the earth shakes”, meaning that “you sikhs have murdered the ruler, face the consequences”. But this was forgotten, even by the Sikhs when congress decided to make their leader a Sikh (a coincidence?). Their leaders like Kapil Sibbal, Digvijay have tried to pass outrageously fascist bills that serve to curtail freedom of speech of citizens against them. Honest officers like Khemka are accused of made up charges because he exposed illegal deals of their daamad Vadra. The bill proposed by them that puts a religious majority at fault by default in case of a communal clash is a shocking example or minority appeasement, which can also be seen by their reservation policies. But ignorant people like you still consider such a party secular and call BJP communal. The BJP has come to power at center only a few times, but leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, have been one of the best prime ministers the nation has seen. His stance on religous minorities was spotless. The muslims in India enjoy seperate marriage laws in their society. He tried to create a uniform law for all, and was opposed by congress. Is that not minority appeasement?
    Secondly you have clearly painted all minorities as innocent victims and stated that “if you look into them, all communal clashes are planned by reigious fanatics against minorities because of their intolerance.” Have you looked into them carefully? I am in no way justifying the Godhra riots, the were certainly wrong as all riots are, but what chain of events led to it? I hope you are aware of the Godhra train burning where a train full of innocent pilgrims was burnt resulting in death of all men, women and childern. And the best cause that could be accorded to this act was the Babri Masjid demolition. Also you should read about the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri pandits in Kashmir, demand of seperate laws and states by minorities etc. You’ll see both sides of the coin and realise that Hindu extremism is actually laughably small compared to that of other religions.

  4. akash prasad

    the ideology of the rss is often misunderstood by many.the model of rss is very secular model and it needs to be implemented for our national unity .when rss talks about hindu rashtra it has nothing to do with hindu religion.Hindu here means all the people who occupy this hindustan irrespective of their religion.it is a very good concept of a united india where all the people are united on one common platform of being the residents of hindustan.it is more secular model than congress in which all people are equal and no appeasement to woo muslim or christian voters.Instead of uniting the people congress is telling the minorities that you are less in number and so we want to do something for you.This not is dangerous for unity but also creates a sense of insecurity in the hearts of minorities.But congress opposes this concept and even many minorites as well because actually they are banking on muslim votes and by doing this pseudo secularism dividing the people of country.People who do not even know the full form of rss are having a deep rooted thought in mind that rss means anti muslim but this is not the truth.Not only this there are many forces who are acting against us and are trying to divide our country.For example the christian missionaries (many of them) are actively trying to distort our history and trying to convert people to become followers of their religion like the aryan and dravidian theory being taught by them.Many mosques deliver anti national speeches on fridays to young muslim boys and have thus become HR department of the islamic terrorism but such things are not challenged by the government just for vote bank.this is indirectly a terrorist act.No person has the right to distort our history and cultural values and what is wrong if rss is trying to preach the people their real history and their real identity.The sangh who gave india one of the most respected prime minister and gujarat one of the most honourable CM cannot be an anti national organisation.the muslim voters have now realised that they have achieved nothing in these sixty years by supporting the congress led so called secular model.Every body talks about gujarat riots but no one talks of the godhra case in which around sixty hindus were burnt alive and the incidents that followed erupted out of public sentiments.What about the congress led anti sikh riots of 1984 no one talks about it.whatever happened in gujarat should be condemned but whatever happened in godhra should also be condemned.So having deeply studied the model of sangh the real secularism will never be achieved with the congress model but will create a syria like situation in our country by dividing the majority and minority.The pseudo secularism of congress led us to the kashmir dispute and till today kashmir is cutt off from the rest our country.

  5. veer Subhash

    Conditions of Muslims is far better in states rules by BJP than in states rules by Congress or it’s allies. Hindu Fascism is an unending HOAX created by the corrupt and lustful Congressies so that they continue getting Votes of Muslims generations after generations and continue to rule country..

    It is because of ignorant writers like you that corrupt Congress and its allies like Mulayam, Mayawati, Laloo keeps coming back to power in spite of poor performance and extreme arrogance.

  6. Saurabh Bhardwaj

    What’s the scope of writing an article beyond just a review of existing literature on the topic. Where’s the research? Perhaps, This is the 4th or 5th time I have read something covering ‘Why Hindu Nationalism is bad’.
    Religious Fanaticism, whether Islamic, Hindu or any other, is evil. But, probably you guys have some serious issues with the Sangh Parivar and you’re hell bent to criticize them in every possible way. I have never seen any articles on people like Akbaruddin Owaisi, Haji Nurul.

    There’s a man called Bhai Gurbaksh Singh, whose fast unto death has entered 41st day today. He’s fasting for the release of Sikh political prisoners who are being kept in jails by Indian Government illegally. The media isn’t covering him and you guys won’t write anything on that because telling youth about Hindu Nationalism and ‘what BJP thinks’ is more important.

  7. Keshav Iyengar

    You’ve clearly never read any credible literature on Hindutva, and your idea of modern India is a very confused one. Partition happened for a reason, my friend, and the reason for India being a ‘secular state’ is its overwhelmingly large Hindu population. Must I remind you of what Pakistan is? You use words like fascism so loosely, it’s almost comical. The need of the hour is a stable economy and a united nation, the exact opposite of which is what your so called secular forces stand for. It is the Hndutva forces that speak for a uniform civil code and against article 370, it is the Hindutva forces that stand for a free market economy, so please don’t keep harping about communalism, it is time we shifted our focus away from that. Unsubstantiated rhetoric won’t make the cut. Cheers

  8. Anupreet

    India was never secular. It is just that now with this majoritarian government they have become more brazen. Any time one criticises a government decision he or she is labelled anti national, foreign agent or traitor. Intolerance and communalism are only increasing rapidly now.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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