“Kashmiri Jihadi Musalmano ko Pakistan bhagao, peedit Kashmiri Hinduo ko bachao,” these are the lines from the poster of a registered NGO by the name Swadesh Hindu Ekta Manch. In the poster, they have magnified the font size of few words like ‘Musalmano’ and ‘Pakistan’. Obviously, they know their enemies. Hate speeches are not new in the Indian society. The Modi-led BJP government, its parent organization RSS and various other Hindutva groups have been propagating such hatred from quite some time.
Yogi Adityanath, CM of Uttar Pradesh once remarked that he won’t stop till he turns the state and India into a Hindu Rashtra. Vinay Katiyar, senior BJP lawmaker commented that Muslims have no business being in India and they should go live in Pakistan or Bangladesh. Other ministers are capable of such toxic speeches as well. This is evident from the report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) claiming that out of 58 ministers booked for hate speech, 27 belong to BJP. Thus, such type of open threats to the Muslim community is not new and have always been used by the state to terrorise the minorities be it Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis, women and poor.
Although we now witness these in a more pervasive manner, like inciting posters on our university campuses. The irony here is that we see the same university having huge flex banners containing notices by the Delhi Police prohibiting any sort of posters, flex banners or writing on walls in the campus, making it a crime. If the state tolerates such a poster against the Muslims, it is evident that it is a state-sponsored act and it is our “secular” state which is working in the guise of these Hindutva groups so that the veil of Democracy and Secularism doesn’t get exposed.
Exploring the global political scenario, we can witness that in many European countries and in the U.S., ultra-right wing fascist groups have come in power. If we look back at the 2008 global crisis known as the Great Recession, the gap between the rich and the poor increased manifolds even affecting the middle class. In many European countries, the income inequality rose to two-thirds from before due to massive unemployment. Thus, in order to resolve such contradictions of the capitalist system, a fascist regime became a must.
Today’s gyan from the cowboys: Muslims shouldn’t eat beef, shouldn’t smuggle cows, and shouldn’t do anything to provoke “aggressive Hindus” if they want to live. These obersturmfuhrers of the Hindutva Reich are proof of the normalisation of hate crimes in this “new India”. Shame! pic.twitter.com/FFHbT59cxV
— Manimugdha Sharma (@quizzicalguy) July 24, 2018
The so-called Democrats were replaced by the conservatives’ parties all across Europe. The penetration of such ultra-right groups increased in developing countries as well, as was witnessed in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Such parties are recognizable by their anti-immigration policies and various forms of discrimination towards the minorities as is evident in India through instances of religious violence against Muslims. We frequently hear cases of mob lynching by Hindutva goons on the pretext of Cow vigilantism, beef consumption, love jihad and the most common ‘anti-national remark’ where the only ‘logical’ argument they have is “Our army is fighting for us at the borders” or “If you have any problem in India, go to Pakistan”. Thus, every sort of dissent is crushed by the state and seen as a seditious act.
Today being Muslim in India is harder than ever before. Recent cases of failed justice for crimes committed against them have terrorised the Muslim community and they can no longer trust the state institutions, including the Judiciary. The Kathua rape case is a recent example of it. In March, attacks on Muslims at the time of Ramnavami in Bihar and West Bengal had been reported. In April, the Gujarat Hight Court overturned the conviction of senior BJP member Maya Kodnani and co-accused Babu Bajrangi who were sentenced in the murder of 97 people in 2002 Gujarat riots. Also, the accused of Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid blast case were let off.
Thus not only physical but a psychological war is being waged against the Indian Muslims as well as other minorities. With the general elections around the corner, the anti-Muslim violence is only going to intensify, positioning them as the nation’s enemy. In such a scenario, it’s only the radical unity among the most oppressed section of our society which can lead and show us to the path of resistance and struggle for radical social transformation. We as students must come together and join hands with democratic peoples’ movements and resist and fight against the rot of Hindutva fascism for radical social transformation.
Aditya Shekhar is a final year student at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi.