Came across a month or so old, one of usual jaundiced critique of Hindutva by a professor of Indian descent who sits in Denmark namely Tabish Khair. Why take notice of it? Because not only it certainly misses certain important points but threatens about ‘costs’ obliquely right from the platform of National Herald India and still wants to be counted to be liberal among liberals. These kinds of critiques are so routine like copy paste and are hardly taken note of so go unaddressed and copy pasted again to continue with false information plus negative stereotyping of patriotic Hindus and Hindutva.
Khair’s last but one para uses wording, “….Hence, my expectation from the so-called ‘moderates’…in the Hindutva fold…”. This is a very ironic way of communicating. Incidentally Khair is a professor of English language and supposed to know linguistics better than the rest of us who are poor in linguistics. Even before appealing moderates among ‘Hindutva fold’ he prefixes ‘so-called’ and in the next para decides conversation and discussion are not possible, and in previous paras before talks of “….It is the descendants of my Sanskrit tutor and my father’s RSS friends that I am talking about. Why are they still silent?…And that includes the ‘judicious silence’ of the heads of the national ‘family’ now…”. Which national family he is referring to? Is he referring to the Head of Indian Congress family or RSS family?
Being a ‘so called’ overseas based intellectual gives one, free license to succumb to fear mongering, repeat victim card without being a victim and help spread misinformation about patriotic Hindus and Hindutva? As another ordinary person we are just unaware what kind of effort this particular linguist or his so called intellectual fraternity takes to inform the world that ‘Hindutva’s means ‘just hinduness’ (with both meanings of word ‘just’) and no one gets any moral right to negatively stereotype the term.
Khair in his own article while stating “…I have for years demanded that Muslims, religious, semi-religious and irreligious, need to oppose the fundamentalist tendencies in Islam – not in order to prove their ‘innocence’ to others, but in order to prevent the destructiveness of bigotry and intolerance from spreading within their own communities…. I must say that many Muslims, like me, have stepped up over the years – some far more boldly than me and at greater risk to themselves – and spoken against such tendencies in Muslim communities. I particularly admire those who are religious, and have nevertheless spoken up – for they, by definition, do it in a more precarious context.” He himself acknowledges the existence of questionable fundamentalist tendencies among Muslims which do pose risks to free expression. In the same para he himself states, “ ….I have demanded it even in the years when I would be vigorously attacked for such statements in liberal or leftist circles. …”
Now only following questions Khair and his ilk need to answer
- Why should any society or government accept any illegal ‘mass’ migration ? (Emphasis to words ‘illingal’ and ‘mass’)
- Khair Talks of Europe and West, so does European union or USA approves of illigal human trafficking and illigal mass migration?
- If any mass migration has to be accepted due to economic reasons then why not provide economic help to people in their own cultural background rather than importing and exporting them and thrusting them in an alien cultural background and then complain.
- Does ‘Khair’ or any other liberal do have any magic sticks or ideas which can automatically transform a citizen of non plural background into a plural background just by crossing over a secular state’s border ?; If not then which logic on earth supports secular nations should accept mass migration from non secular/non plural culture and change it’s demography and take any chance to compromise the future of pluralism?
- Again Bangladesh’s economy is reasonably growing, India Bangladesh relations going well and India can very well support Bangladeshis in Bangladesh itself rather than accepting mass importing of them in India. Bangladesh won’t have a problem then why left liberals have issues ? Or do they have vested interests in changing India’s demography ?
- One concern and misunderstanding seems to be around BJP governments contemplated citizenship register. If many other countries can have citizenship registers why can India not have one of its own? Here important point being missed is Indian Muslims are least likely to be affected in the process because majority of Indian Muslim population is urban or semi urban has been regularly voting since 1947 so for them proving their antecedents since 1947 is any way not going to be difficult. Intention of process seems to control any possibilities of illegal migration of non pluralistic values from Pakistan or Bangladesh and what is wrong in that ?
Problems are actually different, In case of any new citizenship register Government needs to think for such Hindus whose forefathers might not have been registered in any electoral roll. Second issue is after all Pakistan and Bangladesh were part of India and may be after they become properly plural secular and accept Indian ancestry and culture again India need to have a mechanism to take back Pakistan and Bangladesh as Indian states but as of now we don’t know how many decades or centuries that would take.
As such there is more to counter in Khair’s article but as of now let us end with his indirect reference to RSS head, but matter of fact is, probably among all RSS heads up til now Mohan Bhagwat seems to be most inclusive minded and has acted upon the same. It is different matter vested interests do not allow critiques to see positive steps taken by Mohan Bhagwat towards more inclusiveness. If RSS critics see Bhagwats contribution they will realise the same, and Hindus can only pray and hope for the same.