The recent protests for Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the subsequent police brutality incited on college students in the name of “defence” has taken the country by storm. Out of all the policies of the ruling government, none has seen an uproar like this in the whole country. While there’s a rising public display of dissent for CAA and Modi’s tactics, the fact cannot be denied that still there is major support for Modi’s vision. Many people are still in support because they do believe in making India a Hindu Rashtra.
If the supporters are asked about their anxiety towards Indian-Muslims, you would always catch them quoting an incident that happened to them or their family members a long time back where they were humiliated, controlled or in someway denied their basic right by an orthodox Muslim. This incident, no matter how many decades old, is still the cause of infuriation in our parents and grandparents.
No wonder while we, the people who are contemplating every single thing happening today conclude that the implementation of the said act is not healthy, the CAA supporters have already decided that control is needed when there’s stubbornness. How else will they ensure that law and order prevails?!
We would not be surprised by this because we see people with this mindset everywhere. Seldom are there those who actually want to weigh facts, critically think and conclude. There is rage against Muslims—an internalised Islamophobia, and the BJP is banking on this rage for the fruition of their vision of making a Pakistan equivalent for Hindus.
We have been so deluded by hate and anger that everywhere we go, we can spot people with the same mindset as that of the Shah-Modi duo: the belief that ruthlessness is important to achieve massive and effective results; to sacrifice “a few to achieve greater good”—where the ‘few’ always refers to Muslims. To ensure minorities their safety, but not taking any action towards ensuring that safety.
These are the traits that our current government is adopting, and the populace is okay with that. Maybe they do want a Hindu nation. But what next? An extermination of all Muslims from our country? Well, history is proof that anyone achieving this massive ‘feat’ won’t stop at that. They will continue. It’s not about achieving an all-Hindu nation or freeing Bharat from Muslims, rather, it is the choosing of a way of life.
Modi is showing his true colours; the only way of living he knows is of chaos. The 2002 Gujarat riots are one such example. The only way to create change, according to him is by changing the percentage in the diversity of the nation. The cost of change from the burning of our own states is deemed to be acceptable by the BJP when it comes to achieving a ‘greater good’.
The mentality of almost everyone is that ours was a Hindu nation. No one in the core has accepted that India was and is a secular nation. Someone who would have that acceptance wouldn’t show complete dismay towards maintaining secularism in the nation. There is still the notion that the resources and money are ours, and Muslims are eating up our share of resources and instead of being grateful, they are attacking us on a regular basis. The rise of Modi is seen as a ‘payback time’ for Muslims by the ‘Hindus’ of our nation. The CAA is just seen as one of the steps from the book of tactics to seek the ultimate revenge: revenge for taking advantage of the silence of Hindus.
Let’s try to look at the other side regardless of how hard it may seem.
We as Hindus, the ones intolerant towards Muslims, might have faced some incident in the past involving strife with Muslims. Rather than recognizing the fault in the person’s attitude, we end up blaming an entire religious sect. The same happens with the Muslims. In an isolated incident where they are belittled, they blame the entire sect rather than recognizing the person’s fault. All this leads to anger between both the religious sects.
The commoners weren’t part of anything in the past the rioting or the protesting. They didn’t riot, protest or lathi charge. They just possessed the mentality that “Hindus have been wronged for so long, and this should be corrected now”. And now, we have voted for a government that is making the ‘Hindu’ vision a reality.
And whom are they targeting? The Indian-Muslims and the residential Muslims? The ones like the commoners belonging to the working-class; they weren’t a part of anything. Rather than focusing on terrorism, it seems they are targeting the entire religious sect, which just proves BJP’s agenda of identifying Islam, as a religion of terror, and fear- and hate-mongering.
The need of the hour is to understand that people are not recognized by religion or choice of cultural sect, but rather by choosing a way of life. The middle-class families, who are working daily, just want peace whether they are Hindus or Muslims. If tomorrow, a terrorist attack is caused by a Hindu in some nation, would it be fair that we, who are just working hard enough for our families, are suddenly seen as someone who played a part in that terrorist attack? Will it be fair then to be deemed as a religion not worthy enough to be given refuge?