Recently the rise of BJP, as one of the biggest political party that is experiencing the winning feat in most of the elections, has been witnessed across the country. Simultaneously the politically oriented individuals and opposition political parties, find less reason to blame the government on governance issues but more on the ideological stand of it. It has been endeavoured to instill the fear among people that the rise of the BJP means communal violence and targeting of a particular community hitherto remained safe under Congress and other regional political parties.
There are various issues raised by BJP that have been seen from the prism of communalism. The issue may be of cow protection, yoga, Hindu nationalism, etc. The spokespersons of various political parties see the rise of BJP as a threat to the secular and democratic fabric of the country. But is it really the case? I feel we shall have a brief discussion to understand some of the issues raised by BJP government.
The first issue is the protection of Cow, which is revered by most of the Hindus. The issue of Cow protection has been debated across the country and it is being argued that banning the consumption of cow meat is a threat to the fooding habits of some people. Cow has a special place in Hindu believes and considered as ‘Gaumata’ (i.e. mother cow) by many Hindus. Gaumata is a term given by Hindus, according to which a cow has the status equal to the mother. It is given special status because it is believed that all the gods reside in it and people will get nature’s blessings by caring a cow.
Historically the cow protection movement was started by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj. Even Gandhi ji was in favour of cow protection. It was during British imperial rule also when the protection of cow was demanded that resulted in Hindu-Muslim violence in some of the areas. It was seen as a threat and considered a tool to oppress one particular community i.e. Muslim. But one has forgotten that Hindus do have religious sentiments attached to the cow. Also, it is considered the companion of Lord Krishna.
Apart from religious sentiments, cow provides dairy products like milk and many of its byproduct i.e., cheese, curd, ghee etc. Also, the Panchagavya, a mixture of cow milk, curd, ghee, urine and dung is used for medicinal purposes. The cow dung is used for plastering huts and in Goverdhan Puja. It seems sad that people are having the problem with cow protection though it is something related to the faith of one of the largest population of the country i.e. Hindus. It is important to mention here that our constitution promotes religious tolerance; therefore, the religious sentiments of most of the Hindus should also be considered while making it a reason of debate.
The second issue raised in the BJP regime is triple talaq and for the very first time I am seeing the Muslim women coming out and opposing this practice fiercely. This discriminatory practice, against any women, should not have any place in a democratic and secular country like ours. It is quite soothing to see that All India Shia Personal Law Board is supporting in favour of enacting the laws for banning triple talaq and cow slaughter. Though it is a very important issue for bringing equality between man and woman but I rarely find any discussion on triple talaq by our pseudo-secularists. By the term pseudo-secularists I mean the people who talk about secularism but in actual practice they are opportunists, who remain selective on social problems. Since, many of the pseudo secularists consider it a religious issue they do not want to speak on it openly.
The third issue is that of the term Hindutva. In this context, the Supreme Court judgement in 1995 observed that “Hindutva/Hinduism is a way of life of the people in the sub-continent” and “is a state of mind”. This judgement was delivered in the case of Manohar Joshi versus N B Patil. The same was reiterated in 2016, when Supreme Court denied to revisit its earlier observation. But it seems that certain politically motivated individuals are terrorizing people in the name of religion. Also, it has become a commonplace to dispute on raising the slogans like Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Vande Matram etc. as many pseudo-secularists think it as an agenda of saffronisation of the country.
I feel that if tomorrow RSS and its related outfits start using slogans like Hindustan Zindabad, it will also become an issue since the word ‘Hindustan’ contains ‘Hindu’ in it. It would be seen as a conspiracy of RSS and its affiliated outfits to promote their saffronisation agenda, for which the RSS has gained notoriety. Though there are a good number of regional parties like SP, BSP, RJD etc. and national party like Congress, who have been using religion and caste to get votes yet their secularist credentials are unquestionable. I really find it difficult to understand whether they are actually secular or they are intimidated by the rise of BJP.
It is ironical to see that the Moinuddin Chisti’s Shrine, Ajmer Dargah Chief was removed for using his right to freedom of expression. He wanted to bring the two communities closer by stopping the controversial issues but it has costed him a lot. Surprisingly, none of the pseudo-secularists dared to speak against it as strongly as they speak against RSS and BJP. I hope people would understand this double face of theirs. There is a need to introspect why Hinduism is seen as a threat. The only reason that I find is that consolidation of Hindu, which constitute 80% of the population of this country, votes is seen as a threat by the pseudo-secularist parties. It is important to mention here that since, Independence no major efforts have been done to bring various sections of the society closer to each other.
I remember during my schools days I could not find much difference between a Hindu and a Muslim or students from different castes. Even in my own locality people are not very conservative about it but our educational system is now making sure that we should learn and should apply it in our daily lives. Also, I really feel intimidated when I see that people are dying in bomb blasts yet justice for them is a distant dream and pseudo-secularists are debating on the judicial killings of terrorists, as if the people dying in bomb blasts do not belong to this country. I feel that the convicts of bomb blasts should not be glorified, as they have been recently. It’s like rubbing the salt on the wounds of people whose near and dear ones have lost their lives. I feel instead of BJP, these pseudo-secularists are much dangerous for the secular fabric of the society.
Now, coming back to Hindu Rashtra/Hindu Nationalism, the term is debated many a times and with the recent remarks of Yogi ji, once again the debate has started on it. According to my understanding Hindu Rastra/Hindu Nationalism means a collective social and political thought of a sovereign country running on the principle of Ram Rajya i.e. a country where people live happily and without any fear. Though it has been endeavoured by pseudo-secularists that the term should be given communal overtone but the Supreme Court observation clears that myth, which describes Hindutva as a way of life.
The other important point to be noted is that the coronation of Yogi Adityanath Ji is seen as a threat, by many pseudo secularists. I saw that many people, on social media, were lamenting on Yogi Ji’s coronation and thought that it would be a devastating decision but this man has taken strong decision in right earnest. It is also surprising to see that somebody’s credentials are checked by his attire. It seems if one is wearing saffron colour attire, as worn by UP CM Yogi Adityanath Ji, people are made to believe whatever he does, it has a hidden agenda of saffronistion.
But I feel that the rise of BJP is not the result of communalism but the subjugation faced by people during different pseudo-secularist regimes. I also feel religious tolerance is a unique feature of my country and any ordinary Hindu or Muslim of my country will not get into such issues but the political patronage to any community, promotes enmity between the two i.e. Hindus and Muslims. I think, if Hindu Rastra gives me the security, I prefer to live in this Hindu Rastra and I do support Yogi ji’s words as I feel there is no problem with the term Hindu Rastra. I do believe that pseudo-secularist needs to realise that most of the citizens in India, who have faced one or other type of threat be it in the name of religion, caste, class etc. now understand their tricks.