The Hindu-Muslim divide has been widening in the last few years. With issues like temples and mosques, beef, negative impacts of festivals, and historical figures, all being used to muddy the religious waters, the Hindu-Muslim issue (and the Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and even caste-based issues around Dalits) is in the spotlight like never before. So why is there so much hate?
One simple reason… Politics.
After having travelled to other countries and lived outside India, I’ve seen how not just Hindus and Muslims, but even Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis bond closely due to our shared similarities. However, inside our countries, the hatred and fear is fostered slowly through careful, insidious communal politics.
The Hindu-Muslim conflict is a manufactured one, for the personal agendas of a few power-seeking individuals and parties. The British started it and independent India’s political parties gleefully continued riding this hateful roller-coaster. It has now become a barely controllable monster that triggers everything from workplace bias to lynchings. But like the capitalist countries deny climate change, we deny communal manipulation. Both denials will lead to disaster.
So let’s try putting that denial aside and consider some simple facts.
While most of the links refer to recent events, it’s important to remember that all the big Indian political parties are guilty of this. The BJP, Congress, CPI(M) and even the big regional parties. So this is not a tirade against the current regime.
What’s worrying today is that the combined hate-mongering politics across the decades seems to have finally sunk into the very bones of our country, making us hate instinctively, without questioning or even thinking. This is what we teach our kids and our students. It’s terrifying and there is no simple solution to it. All we can do is take a deep breath and start thinking for ourselves.