I wrote a blog post in 2019 where I had predicted that the BJP will slowly metamorphose into what Congress was in the 1970s, the fountainhead of the so-called secular politics. The happenings over the last few days, vis-à-vis Nupur Sharma, have proven that though I was correct about the end-point, I missed the trajectory. BJP is hurtling towards becoming the Congress at a velocity I couldn’t have ever imagined. The Nupur Sharma affair is Narendra Modi’s Shah Bano moment.
Modi government and Modi BJP’s (it’s no more BJP) shift towards Congress style secularism has been apparent for quite some time now. Whether it was the special financial, educational and social schemes or preferential treatment for that community in general welfare schemes. These “secular programs” have been part of the Modi sarkar’s agenda since the beginning, since 2014. However, since they came back to power in 2019, something seems to have changed. There has been an acute inflection towards ineptitude in governance issues, especially in tackling extremist elements. It started with inaction against violent street protests at Jamia Millia Islamia and surrounding areas against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the blockade for months of a very important road in Delhi by residents of Shaheenbagh. Then came things like sending the NSA to prostrate before the Tablighis to make them cooperate with the COVID prevention measures (to this day, the Delhi Police hasn’t managed to arrest the head of Tablighi Jamaat, Maulana Saad), increasing targeting murders of Hindus in Kashmir, Republic Day violence, and yet another blockade of Delhi by Khalistanis which was virtually a den of crime and illegal activities including rape and murder in the name of blasphemy. In every one of these instances Modi and his government bent over backward to appease the extremists, so much so that it might not be possible anymore to find their backbone even under an x-ray, there’ll only be some jelly. CAA has been thrown in the cold storage and no rules have been formed to date resulting in hundreds of Hindu immigrants from Pakistan having to return to the country that persecuted them because they couldn’t get citizenship in India; national registry of citizenship (NRC), is dead before anything even began; farm laws which Modi boasted would revolutionize the agriculture sector in the country have been withdrawn; Friday entertainment program of stone-pelting and property destruction, which seemed to have become history, is back in full glory; violent attacks on Hindu religious events and processions are now a part of our secular culture, not to mention the regular ISIS-style execution of several Hindu youths. This is a long list.
Another characteristic of Modi sarkar since 2014 in addition to appeasement of the Muslim community, and this is probably part of that appeasement agenda itself, is been a constant undermining of Hindu interests to enhance his own image, even going to the extent of legitimizing disinformation and illegality. I documented many such examples in YouTube video last year. So, I will only briefly write about this to provide a context for the current events.
Early into Modi administration, in 2015, there was a frenzy created by the usual suspects in the media (read Barkha Dutt, etc.) that there was widespread vandalization of churches in Delhi. Here, there are 2 things to keep in mind; this was very close to assembly elections in Delhi and the same modus was employed even during the time of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s tenure as PM. So, to even someone like me, totally unrelated to politics, what was going on was clear. But apparently not to a seasoned politician like Narendra Modi. He virtually acceded to these “churches under attack” accusations and went on to promise protection to Christians, as if they were not safe till then. Now think about it, who was being accused of carrying out these attacks? Muslims? Sikhs? or was it Parsis? The truth eventually emerged after many months of the police inquiry, that these were stray incidents related to theft or kids playing cricket but magnified by those with a motivated agenda. But Modi never corrected his statements. Late Arun Jaitley At least gave a public dressing down to Barkha Dutt for her communal journalism.
Then came the “Muslims under attack” propaganda linked to the activities of gau rakshaks who were standing up against cattle smugglers in states like Rajasthan, Haryana, and UP. Once again, Modi sided with those tarnishing Hindus. While he lectured admonishing the cow protectors, he didn’t have a single word of condemnation for the cattle smugglers or sympathy for the tens of farmers or police personnel who were murdered by those smugglers. While he was very agile in expressing grief when a leftist activist-actor suffered an accident and fractured her leg, not a squeak for Kalpavriksh Giri Maharaj, Sushil Giri Maharaj, or their driver Nilesh Telgade who were lynched by a mob in Maharashtra after police handed them over. Similarly, not a word to condole the murders of Kishan Bharwad or Harsha or Ankit Sharma or Dilbar Negi or Ratan Lal, or any one of the numerous Hindus murdered by Islamists since he became Prime Minister. When Anurag Poddar of Munger was murdered by Bihar police for participating in the Durga pooja procession, the IPS officer who ordered the firing was not only let off scot-free but was also given a promotion by the Bihar government in which Modi’s party is a partner. Not only that, the father of that officer was made a union cabinet minister, after that incident.
The point of recounting all these examples is to highlight that what happened with Nupur Sharma is but a continuation of a pattern. At every juncture where he had to choose whether to stand with the Hindus or not, Modi chose to throw Hindus under the bus. In fact, I would say Nupur Sharma didn’t say anything new or really indefensible. What she said about Mohammed’s wife’s age has been discussed many times by many people, including graphically in Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Islamists, leftists, and so-called secularists have defended worse comments and actions against Hindus and our beliefs in the name of freedom of expression or art or some other. Remember MF Hussain who ran away from India when cases were filed against him for portraying Hindu goddesses in an obscene manner? Remember how the leftists and liberals defended that offense to the Hindu faith as art? In what can only be called an irony, Qatar, which is now lecturing the Indian government about respecting all faiths, gave protection and citizenship to that fugitive Hussain. In fact, Ms. Sharma didn’t even say anything offensive. She only asked how would it be if she started mocking certain aspects of Islamic faith and history in response to the continuous mocking of Hindu beliefs by an Islamist in that discussion. Remember, the TV discussion in which these comments were supposed to be have been made took place many days after the actual triggering event of this entire episode happened, the discovery of a Shiva Lingam in what is called the Gyanvapi Mosque but is really the Kashi Viswanath Mandir. Since the day of this discovery, social media is full of posts from Islamists and Leftists mocking and insulting the Shiva Lingam. It was in response to this barrage of insults to her faith that Nupur asked that question. Her mistake was to have forgotten that she was representing a party that had a prominent green in their flag, which is growing wider by the day, and to have reacted momentarily as a Hindu. That is a mistake that will not be tolerated under yashasvi pradhan mantri shri Narendra Modi ji’s netrutva.
At this point, it is relevant to point out something. I do not really care if BJP wants to dump one of its team members to earn some mahatma brownie points for its Dear Leader. It’s their organizational issue and they will have to deal with the fruits of that step, just like they are now dealing with the effects of having left their Bengal workers to the mercy of a murderous fascist. What pains is India not taking a position to defend persecuted Hindus similar to what the Islamic countries around the world are taking now over these comments? Leave alone defending Hindus elsewhere in the world, the government is not defending the Hindu faith within its jurisdiction. Not a single prominent Islamist who made offensive comments and images about Shiva Lingam has been taken to task. The only one arrested is a Hindu Dalit professor. He too was let out on bail the same day. And, his wasn’t even close to being the most offensive comment that was made. A prominent newspaper, Economic Times, even published one of those offensive memes on its front page and the has been no action. The government is probably even rewarding them with multi-crore ads. Every day, there are multiple videos on social media from around the country, including BJP ruled states like UP and Uttarakhand, where mullahs are brazenly making murderous proclamations of “sar tan se juda” in the full glare of cameras and under police protection. Still, no action, no arrest.
Some BJP supporters, probably because their livelihood depends on it, have been desperately trying to defend the party and government’s surrender to the Islamist bullies by saying this was done in the larger interest of the country and pointing at our dependence on oil from gulf countries or the number of Indians working in those countries. I would like to give these people a little history lesson, about something that happened just a little over 20 years ago. In February 2002, a compartment of a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was set on fire resulting in 58 of them being burnt alive. The incident was so gruesome that it sparked a severe retaliation and bloody riots followed. There were accusations that the then Chief Minister of Gujarat was personally responsible for orchestrating the riots. I am pretty sure the Islamic countries, that are now allegedly so outraged at the words of a person not even associated with the government that they would break off all business and diplomatic relations with India, would have been even more enraged at the state-sponsored genocide (their language, not mine) of Muslims in Gujarat. I am also pretty sure that they would have brought about an enormous amount of pressure on the Indian government headed by a Prime Minister from the same party as the said Chief Minister to remove him from office. History is evidence that the Prime Minister then did not bow down to the threats and blackmails of Middle Eastern bullies. The Chief Minister was allowed to continue in the office, remained there for a long time, and is now the Prime Minister of India. Alas, he does not have the same kind of conviction or character and did not learn anything from the Prime Minister who protected him.
A bit of a history reminder for Mr Modi too. Before Modi became the PM of India, he was untouchable for seculars and pro-Islamists (I believe he still is for a majority of them). One of the incidents that would often get highlighted to prove Modi’s “communal” credentials was one from his time as CM of Gujarat when he refused (very respectfully, I must add) to wear the skull cap offered by a Muslim. Just before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he made an appearance on Rajat Sharma’s Aaj Ki Adalat program where he was asked about the reason for doing so. His reason was:
mera kaam hai sab sampraday ka samman karna, sab parampara ka samman karna, par meri jo parampara hai usko sweekaar karna. mein meri paramparaon ko leke jeeta hoon, har ek ki parampara ka samman kar ta hoon aur is liye ye topi pahan ke photo nikal ke logon ke aakhon mein dhool jhonkne ka paap mein nahi kar sakta. ………….lekin koi agar kisi ki topi uchaal ta hai to usko kadi si kadi saza dene ka mein man rakhta hoon. wo topi kisi bhi sampraday ka kyon na ho, wo pagdi kisi bhi parampara ka kyon na ho usko agar koi uchal ta hai us uchal ne wale ko kadi si kadi saza ho ye zimma sashan mein baitha vyakti ka hota hai aur usmein mein pratibadh hoonNarendra Modi on Aap Ki Adalat, April 2014
You can watch that interview on Narendra Modi Youtube channel (starting at 24.08). Since Modi became PM the topi, the pagdi of Hindus in this country and around the world has repeatedly been thrown down in the dirt. I would like to know from my Prime Minister, what have you done to stop this constant demeaning of the Hindu faith and Hindu identity? What have you done to punish those who have spread misinformation, disinformation, half-truths, and no-truths to drag the Hindu name through the dirt, not only in India but all over the world through outlets like New York Times or Washington Post or BBC or Al Jazeera. While Modi’s government was quick to label Nupur Sharma as fringe and his party threw her out, why has his government not acted against people like TA Rahmani who disparaged the Hindu faith in the same TV program in which Nupur Sharma is supposed to have made the comments that seem to have offended the sar tan se juda crowd all over the world. Why are such people still roaming free and why is the law not equally applicable to people of all the faiths in this country. Why is his government more concerned about protecting the “feelings” of the sar tan se juda crowd but does not even provide lip service when there is many time more severe offense against the Hindu belief. WHY MR. PM? Do we Hindus have to start wearing a topi for you to defend us and act against those who offend our faith and murder our brothers and rape our sisters? Where is your promise of sab ka saath?
In the same interview a little later there is a discussion about another cooked-up controversy in the run-up to the 2014 elections. When he was asked about his responsibility for the 2002 Gujarat riots, Modi takes great pain to give the context for the “puppy under the car” example he gave to explain his feelings then. Without that context, seculars like Azam Khan were spinning that comment to mean that Modi was equating Indian Muslims to dogs. Unfortunately, despite having gone through that experience, Modi, his party, and his government turned blind to the context of the Nupur Sharma incident. As I wrote above, she did not make any derogatory comments about Mohammad or his kid-wife. She only supposed (quoting Islamic scriptures, by the way) how Mr. Rahmani would feel as a Muslim if she too mocked aspects of his faith the way he was disparaging her beliefs as a Hindu. The provocation that preceded what she said, not just on that particular program but for many days before that on social and mainstream media, and the context of those comments has been totally thrown aside not just by the international sar tan se juda crowd but by even our supposed to be super intelligent IRS one exam blunders serving in those countries and in our External Affairs Ministry in Delhi.
Finally, a word for my Hindu family. WAKE UP. No one will come in our support if we do not stand up for ourselves. It is important to let the politicians know that they have to earn our support and votes, whoever it might be, even Modi. Remember, anything people get without having to work for it will not be valued. We are not programmed to take offense at every slight provocation and resort to violence; remember there wasn’t even a protest, leave alone violence after it was revealed that our most sacred Shiva Lingam was being desecrated for hundreds of years by washing their feet and spitting on it. However, we have the numbers, votes, and intellectual power on our side. It is important to pressure the politicians and through them the police to act on our behalf. We need to use legal mechanisms to fight our offenders. Let’s not wait for them to react to comment on their Mo before we react to an act of demeaning our Shiva. We need to make the institutions of the Indian state work for us.
Here is hoping that this episode of the Indian state yet again abandoning Hindus will further strengthen our civilizational resolve and unite us.