Kathmandu: Nepal’s Hindu community has reasons to suspect the very political intent of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in flaring up the anti-Muslim hatred in “neighbouring” India which has an open border with sovereign and independent Nepal. Can Nepal remain safe if and when the Indian Muslims fight back?
It has tentatively become repetitive affairs for the Indian establishment more so after PM Modi ascended to the throne of the Indian regime.
PM Modi has several times has tried to embolden the Hindus to swoop upon the minorities in Nepal but the Hindu population in Nepal has an exemplary “forbearance” level for the population of the other beliefs.
Perhaps it is this reception for all the faiths now being practised in Nepal that it has never witnessed sectarian violence of “higher magnitude and dimension”.
The petrified Muslims in India prefer now not to speak against the State for fear of being vandalized or even lynched. Yet vocal is Nasiruddin Shah who at least makes comments on the plight of the Indian Muslims. Other top Muslim actors like Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan prefer to gulp the bitter pill rather than speaking against the State. At times, it is these film actors who air their fear but can’t speak in the manner Nasiruddin Shah does. Yet, some Muslim actors prefer to leave India for good for ensuring a “bright future” for their growing siblings.
The three Khans are taken as subdued Indian Muslims who look at things only on commercial terms and hence they compromise and avoid any likely hostility with the State led by the establishment.
A predominantly Hindu society that Nepal is must remain thoughtful from the ill designs of PM Modi’s inner intent to “annihilate” the Indian Muslims who constitute a sizeable segment in India. The open border will surely be used when the “approaching” exodus takes a formal shape from India.
The strength of the Indian Muslims is quite big and should they unite against the recurring onslaught on them, they could perhaps change the history and the present-day geography of the regional hegemon from the current landscape. Several countries within India could emerge in South Asia if the Muslims fight back as hinted by Nasiruddin Shah.
Old-timer actor Nasiruddin Shah talking to yet another veteran Indian journalist, Karan Thapar, said last year-end, December 28, 2021, that the Muslim community of India will not endure and that “we will fight back” against what he called the “engineered hatred against Muslims”.
The determined manner in which the old hand film actor, a Muslim himself, told during the interview with Karan Thapar speaks an issue of ”bigger concern” for the entire region.
The use of the word “fight back” speaks of the Muslim resolve that they were all prepared to take up Modi’s Hindu challenge should they be pushed to the wall that is to a point of no return.
This eventuality then, it takes a formal shape fortunately or unfortunately, would certainly bring in untold catastrophe not only inside India but its spillover effect will in all likelihood engulf the entire troubled South Asian region. Nepal will have several neighbours in South Asia itself.
What if the largely Muslim/Islamic countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka (though these two Sri Lanka and the Maldives have small Muslim populations) join in the “fight back” determination of Nasiruddin Shah, and begin “creating” problems to the Hindu population residing in their respective countries?
To recall, Bangladesh and Pakistan at times have not been that kind enough for the Hindu population in their countries. For instance, in October 2021, a fanatic Muslim boy in Dhaka destroyed some structures of Hindu Goddesses which created panic in the Hindu dominated India but the “prompt” action taken by PM Sheikh Hasina averted the likely disaster. Pakistan too reacts as and when Muslims abroad are threatened. However, Pakistani PM Khan’s “flexibility” is pleasing for the Hindus in South Asia.
The question is how long the Muslims scattered in the South Asian region will “withstand” PM Modi’s Hindutva whims?
Yet let’s presume that compassion prevails in Dhaka, Islamabad, Colombo and Male that they take Modi’s “Muslim hatred campaign” in a light manner concluding that the entire Hindus, the Muslims, Christians and the Buddhists live in a manner that doesn’t disturb the “cordiality” that subsides in between these communities in South Asia.
Haridwar has this time around sown the seeds of a looming violent sectarian conflict which if allowed to go unchecked may dislocate the entire South Asian political spectrum.
Such a violent clash, if unchecked on time, may bring in untold sufferings to the Indian regime itself with chances of changing the geography of the Indian regime itself.
The world-class Indian film actor told Thapar, “We sense that the engineer of Muslim hatred is PM Modi himself” who is inciting violence against the Indian Muslims.
To recall, the border has been “deliberately” kept open by Indian aggressors to “squeeze” Nepal as and when Nepal feels “destabilized” by the Indian mercenaries, to quote Pakistani scholar Manzoor Naazer. Indians are smart in “creating problems for the neighbouring countries and hastily come to help the disturbed neighbour in the name of keeping its own house in order, Naazer believes.
This Indian phenomenon has more or less become a routine affair for the Indian cheat to twist the arms of the smaller neighbours Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and poor baby Bhutan.
Back to Nasiruddin Shah’s outpourings! During the interview with Thapar, actor Shah also told, “a concerted effort is being made by the ruling elites under PM Modi to corner the minority Muslim population and the act of discrimination by the State on to the Indian Muslims is so high that such continued endeavours possess the potential of a “civil war”.
Shah told Thapar that calculated efforts are being made by the State to marginalize the Muslim population aimed at “reducing” the Muslim populace into what he called “second class” citizens of India. This is just unwelcome/intolerable for the Indian Muslims, told the veteran Bollywood actor to Thapar in an angered manner.
A Dharam Sansad (Religious Parliament) was organized in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India from December 17 to 19, 2021.
The Hindu Parliament saw the attendance of BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyaya who has previously been arrested for an event, and BJP Mahila Morcha leader Udita Tyagi which almost gave the worshipers a BJP colour.
A WIRE analysis made on December 22, 2021, takes the Hindutva assemblage as the “Hindutva eco-system” to set a new benchmark for brazen hate speech in the country. The ‘Dharma Sansad’ held in Hardwar became a venue of hate dialogues targeting Muslims.
The controversial Yati Narsinghanand, facing several FIRs in UP, called for a “war against Muslims” and urged “Hindus to take up weapons” to ensure that a “Muslim didn’t become the Prime Minister in 2029”, reports the Indian Express (December 26, 2021).
Addressing the Parliament, Swami Prabodhanand Giri, President, Hindu Raksha Sangh said, “We have to make preparations and that “Hindu must pick up weapons and we will have to conduct this cleanliness drive (Safai Abhiyan i.e. ethnic cleansing). There is no solution apart from this”.
On January 1, Prabodhanand nonchalantly said to NDTV (India), “I am not ashamed…I am not afraid of the police. I stand by my statement…If anyone tries to kill me, I will fight back. I am not afraid of the law.”
Hindu religious leaders made similarly worrying speeches at another ‘Dharam Sansad’ in Chhatisgarh Raipur last month, where Kalicharan Maharaj declared that the aim of ‘Islam is to capture the nation through politics’.
Engineer turned firebrand speaker Yati Narsinghanand addressing to the Dharam Sansad had urged the Indian youths to become Prabhakaran and Bhindranwale and has provoked the attending Hindu youths to pick up arms against the Muslims.
Yet another speaker Sagar Sindhu Maharaj, (also now in the Police First information Report-FIR) had asked the Hindus to have more children and spare Muslims only if they converted to Hinduism, according to the Hindu Bureau on January 1.
Joining the hate speech series, Sadhvi Annapurna, GS of the Hindu General Assembly called for the mass murder of the Muslims, the WIRE English edition claims.
“Nothing is possible without weapons. If you want to eliminate their population then kill them. Be ready to kill and be ready to go to jail. Even if 100 of us are ready to kill 20 lakhs of Muslims, then only we will be victorious and go to jail”, added Sadvi Annapurna.
Countering the hate speeches, one Tweeterati “Lee Weissman” says, “Do these Orange idiots imagine that Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhbacharya, Mannikavacakar, Mirabai, any of the great Hindu saints of the past world join in this repulsive holocaust they are planning? Shame on them for both evil and stupidity”.
Mihir Sharma writes, “As a consequence, the entire Indian political class seems increasingly complicit in enabling the speech. The Organizers of the Hardwar hate fest have already planned another for the Uttar Pradesh town of Aligarh, home to a government-run university long known as centre of Indian Muslim scholarship” (Bloomberg, December 30, 2021).
Reacting to the hate speeches in Haridwar, veteran and most vocal Muslim journalists at the WIRE, India, Arfa Khanum Sherwani said in one of her tweets, “I have faced religious discrimination and communal violence in the past. But as an Indian Muslim, I have never felt as unsafe and alienated as I do today. The threat to our lives is real and it’s frightening to feel the fear and anger that comes with it”.
To conclude, the entire Muslims in India have been traumatized.
Sameer Yasir writes for the New York Times, (December 24, 2021), “Hundreds of right-wing Hindu activists and monks rose in unison at a conference this week to take an oath: they would turn India, constitutionally a secular republic, into a Hindu nation, even if doing so required dying and killing”.
He further adds, “the crowded auditorium where the right-wing Hindu monks urged the youths to arm themselves and kill Muslims, included influential religious leaders having close ties with the Prime Minister Modi’s governing party and even some members of the party”.
“If 100 of us are ready to kill two million of them, then we will win and make India a Hindu nation, said Pooja Shakun Pandey, a leader of Hindu Mahasabha, a group that espouses militant Hindu nationalism, referring to the country’s Muslims. “Be ready to kill and go to jail”, continues Sameer Yasir in his note in NYT.
It was the most blatant and alarming call for violence that originated from India. Nepal has now reasons to remain alert as the spillover effect of the “approaching civil war in India”, as predicted by Nasiruddin Shah, will for sure hit Nepal and is likely to encourage the Nepali Muslims to join the hands of their Indian brethren (on religious grounds) against Hindu India led by Modi.
Neel Madhav and Apporvanand state, “the vilification of Muslims is a complete sentence of which Modi speaks a part, the blank space ahead is filled by Adityanath and the task of completing it is left to Yati Narsinghanand and the rest of the religious Gurus” (The Wire, December 28, 2021). The duo media men have summed up as to who is against Muslim hatred in India.
The climax of it all, write the media men duo that around the same time, (December 25,) PM Modi too spoke almost on the same lines as what had been stated by the Gurus at the Religious Parliament.
Modi said, “Guru Teg Bahadur’s sacrifice and his heroic acts against Mughal ruler Aurangzeb have taught us how the country should fight terrorism and religious extremism”.
Rana Ayyub questions, “What is happening in India, where the majority Hindu community fails to repudiate acts of terror unleashed in its name? Where Muslims are lynched on the streets, where Christmas celebrations are attacked, where the government has blocked the charity of human rights icon and Nobel laureate Mother Teresa from receiving international donations”, (The Washington Post, December 29, 2021)
For the Road: In an unusual intervention days after a Dharam Sansad saw a series of hate speeches targeting Muslims and calling for violence and assassination, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry last week (month) summoned, the Indian Express reports (December 28) the most senior diplomat at the High Commission in Islamabad and asked him to convey their “serious concerns”.
Happy New Year 2022. That’s all.