We’ve all been observing how the world is passing through a new ‘disorder’ of populism and majoritarianism politics. From east to west, many country’s politics seem inclined towards the appeasement of the majority, ‘fake’ propaganda of nationalism, and also hate for minority communities has risen as never before. The rise of right-wing parties all around the world has created chaos and led to the new world ‘disorder’ in the 21st century.
Recently, in the city of Turkey, Istanbul, the Haghia-Sophia museum was converted into a mosque by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. after the judgement of its supreme court, The Turkish President changed the status of Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque. He showed this as the victory of Muslims all over the world.
On August 5, 2020, a similar incident happened, far away from Turkey, in India. We all know that India is a secular republic, which means state shall make the distance from religious affairs. The long-disputed land of Ayodhya, where the Babari Masjid existed once, on 6th December 1992, was demolished by 150,000 Kar Sevaks, the VHP, and the RSS, despite the supreme court’s intervention to prevent the structure from any harm.
Thousands were murdered and butchered across the nation, women were insulted and raped. Both communities had to borne such huge losses just because of someone’s political agenda. The Ram mandir indeed was a political agenda. The chief priest of that time, Baba Lal Das, who articulated that Ram mandir should be settled locally instead of being made a political issue, was shot dead in the middle of the night in his village Ranipur Chattar.
The agenda of Ram Mandir united the majority (Hindus) against their self decided enemy, the Muslim community. The ultimate benefit of this entire mobilisation went into the hands of the (pro-Hindu) party BJP. A country where the 80% population share the same religion and if you can convince them that you are their sole representative then, I feel you don’t need any other votes.
The BJP hijacked the claim of being Hindu and propagated the idea of Hindutva, a very different concept from Hinduism, I feel. Hindutva is an exclusive political agenda invented by Savarkar to promulgate the narrative of a Hindu Rashtra. Even if we go by the word, ‘Hindu’ itself is not an Indian word. The word ‘Hindu’ is said to have been derived from the Indus River (Sindhu) which was mispronounced by the Arabs. Another term which is being used by the some staunch Hindu is ‘Sanatan’ which means old religion. Generally, it was just not used for Hindus but for Buddhist and Jains as well in ancient India.
Hinduism is vastly inclusive in itself, it embraces all the faith around the world. Even out of the six Hindu philosophical schools, 4 can be said to be sceptical about god. So, to be a Hindu you don’t even need to believe in God either, still, you will be a good Hindu.
On August 5, 2020, the inauguration of the Ram Mandir was celebrated as a chest-thumping victory for the Hindus. But, in my views, colouring it as the victory will definitely widen the differences between these two communities, as it has been clearly portrayed by mainstream media that, the Muslims are real enemies of Hindus who subjugated them over 500 years ago and demolishes their temples. Though it might have been done ages back, does the revenge on history make any sense, when history is its own revenge?
Today, Indian Muslims make 14% of the total population of India and many of them have to face economic hardships. Anyone with common understanding can discern that this is all just political agenda to threaten the majority from its negligible and downtrodden minority to gain political power.
All the developments occurring these days have motivated bigotry among the common citizens, to divert the attention of common people from real issues. Indian democracy is going through a very critical time, where our secularism is at risk. It is time for us, the people of India, to protect our religious harmony, at any cost.