Witnessing the rise of Modi’s Hindu state

Published: December 16, 2014
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It is important for us to face the reality of who our prime minister is and what he stands for. PHOTO: AFP

You cannot live in an illusion forever. Reality does strike, sooner or later. And that is what is happening with Narendra Modi’s government in Delhi. The illusion that Modi would usher in a new era of modern and progressive governance is fast disappearing and giving way to a new realism. He led the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a historic win this year with the promise of bringing a new era of economic and political reforms.

Six months into power, India is still waiting to see the promised economic reforms. It is, however, witnessing an unravelling of regressive politics which the country has been trying hard to suppress for decades.

Hindu fundamentalist elements are having a field day under the direct patronage of the present ruler in Delhi. Modi, before becoming the prime minister and even after, has assured the nation that he would not discriminate in the name of religion and the minority communities would be given adequate protection and care from the government.

But the right-wing regime is unravelling its agenda with each passing day. The fear we nurtured about the BJP and its premier, Modi, is coming true. A strong section in India always suspected that Modi would harp on about economic reforms but at the same time would give a free reign to his workers to unleash the fundamentalist Hindutva agenda. And this is happening. The PM presents a modern façade, talking big both inside and outside the country, but at the same time, patronises parochial Hindu forces hell bent on denting the country’s secular character.

The recent case of converting Muslims in Agra lays bare the deep seated agenda of the radical Hindu groups. Some of the BJP law makers and supporters have openly declared that they will convert hundreds of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism on Christmas Day. The question is not how far they will succeed in their mission but the very fact that such open onslaught on India’s secularism and pluralism by the ruling party members go unchecked and uncensored is alarming.

Couple of weeks ago, during an election rally in Delhi, a minister from Modi’s governmet, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, addressed the Muslim minority as “haramzadon” (bastards) or illegitimate children of the country. Despite such open blatant attack on a religious minority, the PM refused to sack her from the cabinet, but apologised in the parliament. A few days later, however, the same minister was sent to hold a rally in Delhi’s Trilokpuri area which had, only a few weeks ago, witnessed a religious clash between Hindu and Muslims. A local BJP legislator is popularly blamed for inciting trouble in the area which has not seen communal violence for decades. The very fact that Jyoti was allowed to address rallies in communally sensitive territory clearly demonstrates that BJP has no qualms in exploiting religious divisions to win elections.

Sanjeev Balyan, who was accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots last year, that claimed the lives of 60 Muslims and displaced hundreds of the families from the minority community, has been appointed as the minister of the state with independent charge. Political analysts say that the religious violence in western Uttar Pradesh last year played a crucial role in polarising voters in the state that sent whopping 80 out of 85 parliamentarians to lower house in 2014 elections on the BJP ticket. Similarly, Giriraj Singh came into the spotlight because of his anti-Muslim rant during the election campaign earlier this year and it is no surprise that he then found a place in Modi’s cabinet.

These instances clearly establish what Modi actually stands for and the kind of the country he wants India to become.

One major project of the right-wing Hindu forces is the communalisation of history text books and tampering with school education and giving it a Hindu slant. Hindu myth is gradually being introduced as history and India is primarily being introduced as a Hindu state. There is a deliberate attempt to discount India’s Islamic tradition and history. Today, all the important educational bodies of the government are headed by people who have received training from and are loyal to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the ideological patron of the BJP and all the fundamentalist Hindu groups in the country. The RSS wants to establish India as a Hindu majoritarian state .Its chief has openly declared that Modi is the first Hindu ruler of India after 800 years.

They see Modi’s arrival to power as an opportunity to dilute India’s secular and plural nature, in hopes to radicalise society in the name of religion. The way radical Islamists want Islam to be restored, proponents of Hindu nationalism desire to turn the country into a Hindu majoritarian state. They are no longer coy about it. They are very brazen.

Is Modi unaware of what is happening around him?

To say yes would be a lie.

It would mean a blind illusion about the prime minister’s ‘goodness’. Modi is master of divisive politics. He rose to political fame after the 2002 Gujarat riots where more than 1,000 Muslims were brutally killed while he was heading the state. He never apologised for the incident, he never tried to reach out to the Muslim community despite being the chief minister of the state for over a decade.

With such a man being the prime minister of India, can his followers and supporters practice politics of inclusion?

He talks of making India a progressive country, a leader at the international arena. But the kind of politics and value system he inspires and condones, does not seem to be promising for the largest democracy of the world. We cannot prosper with such a regressive ideology.

At this time, it is important for us to face the reality of who our prime minister is and what he stands for. At this point, it is important for us to understand that for the first time in almost seven decades, the idea of India is under serious threat. Modi’s vision of the country is radically at odds with India’s own syncretic past. It is time we open our eyes, hearts and minds, and ask ourselves, is this truly what we want India to become?

sanjay.kumar

Sanjay Kumar

The author is a New Delhi based journalist covering South Asian and international politics.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • wb

    Some of your commentary is true. Though I don’t agree with conversion, because even today, Hindus are the net victims of conversion.

    Regarding people like the Sadhvi, it’s shameful that Modi is even letting her continue.

    I’m not concerned about their Hindutva. India is mature enough to deal with some irrelevant archaic ideologies and we well. Overall, there’s never any damage to India’s secularism, because it’s 3000 years old.

    However, what concerns me is, people with such mindset, how can they contribute anything positive to the country’s progress?

    And conversion on Christmas day and good governance day on Christmas day are absolutely disgusting efforts. Because these are symbolic attacks on the Christian brothers of India.

    Government must make efforts to reach out to minorities.

    I have a lot of issues with Muslims (and their beliefs), however, alienating them further is not the solution to any of them.

    And regarding the Gujarat riots, you have deliberately left out the fact that it was started by Muslims, and around 20-30% of the riot victims were Hindus. So, it wasn’t a one sided genocide. It was a riot.

    Such deliberate, malevolent omissions or important facts lays out a writer’s credibility on the butcher’s table.Recommend

  • ab1990

    time has come for a hindu state. The recent terror attacks in pakistan and australia proved why hindus need to convert india into a hindu nation.

    Secularism is bringing more harm than peace in this country.Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Thumbs up for this bold and blunt blog.Recommend

  • IndiaFirst

    Sample of some reforms that have occured in 6 months:

    1. Various cabinet committees that were Manmohan Singh’s legacy have been dismantled

    2.A deadline of two weeks has been set for policy discussions between ministries.

    3. The food mountain that was perversely allowed to grow in times of high inflation has been reduced through large liquidation of stock

    4. Limits on foreign direct investment (FDI) in railways, defence and real estate have been increased.

    5. The way has been cleared for real estate investment trusts by allowing them pass-through status.

    6. Domestic prices of natural gas have been increased. 7. Controls on diesel prices have been lifted

    Effects of these and other actions:

    – The stockmarket has risen to record levels.

    – Inflation is still high, at 7.8%, but no longer in double digits.

    – The current-account deficit has narrowed

    – The rupee is steady.

    But let me not confuse you with facts. Please ignore the meaningful progress in 6 months, as opposed to institutional lack of progress in 60 years of Congress rule.Recommend

  • vinsin

    1) Economic reforms are already happening. were you expecting miracle in six months?
    2) When did BJP promised political reforms?
    3) Yep Modi promised uniform civil code.
    4) BJP is based on Hindutva that everyone knows.
    5) Which minority is not getting protection?
    6) India is not a secular country so how come it’s secular character is getting dent?
    7) secularism and pluralism are completely opposite. India can be said pluralism for only Muslims not for other religions as only Muslims are allowed to have religious laws.
    8) India is a non-muslim state according to partition act and lahore declaration.
    9) Muslims are not minority but majority in India.
    10) India will become what Indian wants, they have already voted for BJP.
    11) India history books never taught Islamic Jihad on India.
    12) Modi came to power because he said he will declare India a secular state.
    13) India can be delared as a Hindu protectionist state in line of Israel as there is no other country for Hindus.
    14) Why do you only want Modi to apologise not other Ministers? wikipedia says official figure was 790 muslims for gujurat riots.
    15) Muslims in India stays under Liaquat Nehru pact, are non-muslims taken care in Pakistan?
    16) What is the idea of India, to become Islamic state slowly and you feel that is under treat?
    17) I would prefer India to be a secular state but no party claims that it’s core is secularism, but at the same time partition happened and that is the reality.
    18) Do you think Muslims will be happy if India declare as a secular state?Recommend

  • anil

    @Mr.Sanjay Kumar:

    Though Mr.Modi doesn’t possess a secular credentials, but I don’t blame BJP for this. Because BJP is pressing for anti-conversion bill which should be the primary thing for our country . When Christian missionaries convert people, then why don’t you people come forward ? But you remain silent stating voluntary conversion . Similarly these are also voluntary ones, otherwise police cases would have lodged and we don’t have Islamic invaders like Aurenzeb now to do that also .Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    If Modi wants India to progress he will “take care” of these extremists. There are not that many in his cabinet to be honest and the few that there are should be rooted out ASAP.
    Secondly, the forced conversion and abusive tirades. well anyone can see that these are not just harming muslims; rather all minorities will be hurt by this. So Modi will have to create an environment where his vote bank does not grow to hate him and at the same time his country is not labelled an extremist nation.
    Although he knows best what should be done, if I were in his place I would muzzle the extremists and recruit someone from a minority into his cabinet.
    As far as the general population of India is concerned, well as any population they are followers, they are pretty harmless on their own. Give them n open minded leader and they will not hurt even a hair of any minority.Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    That will lead to utter chaos and destruction. Please dont spread such thoughts.Recommend

  • Dindigul

    Mr. Sanjay Kumar, This hate mongering article that too in
    Pakistani paper only gives fuel to those fundamentalist in Pakistan to justify
    their hate towards Hindus. You conveniently forget all the atrocities committed
    against Hindus in Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. Even in India under UPA government,
    Majority Hindus were discriminated and for them secularism is
    only Muslim appeasement. You are of Nehruvian mindset that always
    indulged in Hindu bashing and minority appeasement.Recommend

  • ab1990

    I dont live in denial like seculars do. I fear for my life everyday in this country because of people like those who attacked mumbai.Recommend

  • vinsin

    He is not bother about Christians only Muslims, on the top he is calling Muslims as minority then what are Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, majority?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Again as an observer……I must be honest that I’m not totally surprised with these developments…….but at this stage it seems a bit premature to ring alarm bells.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    This blog is scare mongering.

    India is not a banana republic. Its Constitution cannot be changed without a 2/3rd majority. No law can be promulgated which violates the principles of the Constitution.

    Well look at Pakistan. Their Constitution says Pakistan is an Islamic states. Because of the Islamic nature of the Constitution laws like Blasphemy Law and 4 witness for Rape laws can exist.

    But, such absurdities cannot even be imagined in India.

    Just like an act of a single Terror attack by a Muslim should not be blamed on the entire Muslim population, why shouldn’t that logic apply to BJP?

    Yes, there should be accountability, but they are elected representatives, they will face the people in the next elections.

    There is nothing Modi and his Govt can do which cannot be reversed by the next Government in a few days. This is just scare mongering.Recommend

  • csrf765

    Economic reforms and the “dismal science” of economics is no substitute for the “motivating passions” (Historian of Fascism Robert Paxton’s term: http://academico.direito-rio.fgv.br/ccmw/images/0/00/Paxton.pdf ) of Modi and his followers.Recommend

  • observer

    I am a secularist and don’t support state based on religion. But, I fail to understand why India could not be a state that enshrines its 5000 year old Indic culture? How come it is fine for Muslims to have Islamic states but it is horrible for Indians to have a state based on Hindutva? How come this author don’t condemn Muslim countries for making their states constitutional religious states?Recommend

  • Prashant

    “Some of the BJP law makers and supporters have openly declared that they will convert hundreds of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism on Christmas Day. ”

    As far as I know, people were not coerced to change their faith, is it not the same country where each community has the right to practice and propagate their faith?

    I did not see the same concern from the author for the Sikhs of India whose persecutors are still in the Congress party.

    “At this point, it is important for us to understand that for the first time in almost seven decades, the idea of India is under serious threat.”

    The idea of India does not belong to a few individuals from the congress party and its cronies, let the people of India decide what is the idea of India.

    If the political parties which claim to be secular had not indulged themselves in appeasement to create vote banks, would there have a BJP today?

    I agree with the author that some of the offshoots of RSS needs to be kept under check. The author is correct in some of the points he made but sounded very biased considering the fact he has never seen anything good about BJP.

    This piece of writing would have been complete if he had mocked the Pundits of Kashmir for the moral support they receive from BJP for being refugees in their own land. Not supporting the Pundits for the fear of being accused as Hindu appeasers while begging for votes from an Imam is a true version of secularism for some.

    The author should stick to Modi bashing on communal lines because even if Modi transforms India economically, he would still be one of the prime critics of Modi, so why pretend and take the garb of lack of development to attack Modi?Recommend

  • tg1

    I did not even care to read the whole writing as the first sentence defined it. 6 months and you are expecting an economic reform? are you kidding me? unlike you, our PM would rather think, evaluate and then execute what he aims at and that’s why the results wont be like your baseless article.Recommend

  • Gautam

    Funny that this Indian ‘secular’ journo is attacking India about being a ‘Hindu state’ from a Pakistani newspaper.

    Sanjay Kumar should first think about the current state of Pakistan. Here would he even be allowed to survive, let alone write a critical article about this country and its government like this?Recommend

  • Fareed Khan Afridi.

    Now the extremists, the hindutva trolls will come after you with
    pitchforks on this comment.Recommend

  • Fareed Khan Afridi.

    The truth is you hate Muslims. You hate Islam. You hate Pakistanis.
    In that order. There is history of your venomous, vitriolic comments in
    ET. It is a wonder, how a person, like you, is allowed such
    depraved comments in this paper. Numerous of your comments have been
    deleted on complaints to ET…. Including those emailed to PEMRA
    and CII.
    Of course this will not be printed because the ET moderators are well
    known to condone hindus here. And censure Muslims here.Recommend

  • Tellerr

    well written ad well arguedRecommend

  • marik

    “13) India can be delared as a Hindu protectionist state in line of Israel as there is no other country for Hindus.”
    There is this country thats called NEPAL. Its often over looked by the whole world . It has an even greater Hindu majority than India. Quit being alarmist.Recommend

  • Golnath Agarwal

    Don’t wait too long. Like 9 or 10 years. [ Like Nawaz
    is in his third term, and they don’t know he is a fake]
    Let us all know when you make up your mind.
    Don’t wait until Modi is in his second term.Recommend

  • wb

    You have made a lot of personal attack. Fine. This is what Maulvis do in mosques. Instead of arguing on a point, they say you don’t know Arabic, you’re not a scholar, you don’t understand this, you don’t understand that.

    However, let me correct the order of my hatred.

    I hate Pakistanis, no doubt (I also admire a minority of you, not you). I have a lot of issues with Islam, I consider that it needs reform like every other religion has gone through. I have many issues with Muslims, I consider them illogical, but I don’t hate Muslims in general, but I consider them to have been misled by their ulema.

    I hope I have corrected you once and for all and you will not make personal attacks from now on.

    Also, please stop threatening ET. People like you are the reason why those who killed 140 yesterday get moral support. You make a threat here, send emails everywhere and someone bombs Raza Rumi.

    Now, do you have a point to make?Recommend

  • wb

    We still don’t complain to Pemra or Cii and cry like babies.Recommend

  • wb

    True.Recommend

  • Fareed Khan Afridi.

    “i hate Pakistanis” …shows your true sick nature.

    “I have a lot of issues with Islam” Exactly! THE point!You know nothing about Islam. Except what you you pick up on websites. And your own twisted perception of extremist hindutva philosophy. Plus whatever the sadhus and yogis are preaching in some dark corners. Where the sun does not shine.

    Nobody is making a threat to ET. That allegation can be expected from someone like you.

    Remember, it is Bharat that supports, trains, supplies and equips the extremists in this country.
    Recommend

  • siesmann

    Well you haven’t read his comments criticizing Ahmadi beliefs,and for the Muslims.Recommend

  • siesmann

    And what are shudikaran campaigns.?Or converting people to Hinduism is OK.Recommend

  • wb

    I don’t understand why am I sick for hating Pakistanis? Show me one thing that Pakistan has given to the world.

    I know a lot about Islam, more than most Muslims do. Because I have read Quran and Hadees myself, instead of relying on Mullahs.

    And I don’t have a Hindutva philosophy. What Sadhus and Yogis? I’m an atheist Hindu.

    You made threat to ET when you said you’ll write emails to extremist organizations like CII.

    “Remember, it is Bharat that supports, trains, supplies and equips the extremists in this country.”

    Not your government, not your army has produced a milligram of evidence.Recommend

  • siesmann

    India is not a secular country?Read your constitution.
    Secularism is the only guarantee for pluralism.
    Muslims are majority????!!!!
    It is always minorities that need protection.Majority is protected in its numbers.
    I am sure Indian Muslims will be happy with secularism,unless you have some esoteric defintion for secularism.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Mumbai attacks have nothing to do with secularism.Why would you fear secualrism?Recommend

  • siesmann

    India dies if it doesn’t remain a secular country.Recommend

  • siesmann

    You say these absurdities can’t be imagined in India ,,but in the next line you seek of approval of terrorism by BJP.Such laws should not be passed that need to be reversed,and are against the constitution.Do you think blasphemy law can be reversed even as everybody sees it is being increasingly misused,and is an inhuman and draconian law?Recommend

  • siesmann

    Don’t compare a theocratic state with a democratic one?What good Pakistan got out of not having a secular state.It is eating itself to extinction.Congress and Nehru gave you an Independent India ,and where a BJP government could be formed.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Modi is a pragmatist,and probably won’t be influenced by the ideology of RSS/Bajrang Dal like entities.Recommend

  • siesmann

    so what?if it be that bitter ,then it must be truth.And they possibly won’t.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Criticism and having a different opinion is the hallmark of India.Pakistan can’t even come close.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Then why is BJP intent on passing laws against conversion?where did the author say that he doesn’t support the persecuted Pundits of Kashmir?What is true version of secularism for you?Did not Modi do the same to get votes from “Hindus”?Recommend

  • Sane

    You really uncovered the real face of Hinduism. Muslim of India must start looking ………Recommend

  • Gratgy

    “It is always minorities that need protection.Majority is protected in its numbers.”
    I beg to differ. The Minorities might be majorities in certain regions, hence here the majority needs protection. However we have seen wherever the minority are in majority in India, Hindus are persecuted and protection must be given. eg. Kashmir (Muslim majority) certain areas of Uttar Pradesh and the Northeast (Christian majority)Recommend

  • Gratgy

    If one is wrong then so is the other. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. It would be hypocritical to say conversion from Hinduism should be allowed but not the reverse. Lets ban conversion altogetherRecommend

  • Gratgy

    The concept of Hinduism is that we worship ONE God in thousands of ways. Each one has the freedom to worship in the way they want to. Hence it is inherently secular. We do not say my God is stronger than your God. We believe there is only one God. We even adopted Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu. You will find hundred of temples of Sai Baba with millions of devotees, most of whom would be Hindus and who would also be worshiping other Hindu Gods at home. They do not cease to be Hindus nor do they become apostates. If you worship Allah, then you are just worshiping our God with a different name and in a way that you prefer.

    Personally I am an Agnostic, I don’t know if God exists, I don’t deny it either. I believe being a good human is the best way God (if He does exist) would want us to be.Recommend

  • ab1990

    nice joke. Non secular Islamic saudis are enjoying their life happily.Recommend

  • siesmann

    SA is a theocracy.India is a democracy,and has its tradition of humanity for millenia.Recommend

  • siesmann

    who said that.?Rather the comments above say that BJP is trying to enact a law against conversion,but continue shudddikaran on the other hand.It could be a ban across the board for all,or everyone should be able to convert on one’s individual choice.Recommend

  • siesmann

    who said that.?Rather the comments above say that BJP is trying to enact a law against conversion,but continue shudddikaran on the other hand.It could be a ban across the board for all,or everyone should be able to convert on one’s individual choice.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Never heard of Hindus being persecuted except J&K.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Never heard of Hindus being persecuted except J&K.Recommend

  • A Chowdhury

    ” The recent case of converting Muslims in Agra lays bare the deep seated agenda of the radical Hindu groups. Some of the BJP law makers and supporters have openly declared that they will convert hundreds of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism on Christmas Day. The question is not how far they will succeed in their mission but the very fact that such open onslaught on India’s secularism and pluralism by the ruling party members go unchecked and uncensored is alarming.” – Have you studied the Constitution of India ? Tell me how is it exactly hurting secularism from legal and constitutional perspective ? If you can’t then stop penning down crap. Freedom of expression and stupidity has no limits !!Recommend

  • A Chowdhury

    ” The recent case of converting Muslims in Agra lays bare the deep seated agenda of the radical Hindu groups. Some of the BJP law makers and supporters have openly declared that they will convert hundreds of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism on Christmas Day. The question is not how far they will succeed in their mission but the very fact that such open onslaught on India’s secularism and pluralism by the ruling party members go unchecked and uncensored is alarming.” – Have you studied the Constitution of India ? Tell me how is it exactly hurting secularism from legal and constitutional perspective ? If you can’t then stop penning down crap. Freedom of expression and stupidity has no limits !!Recommend

  • wb

    Haven’t you heard of Godhra carnage?

    Please look it up and see how the whole Gujarat riots started and I expect a reply from you.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Then you should search for “Persecution of hindus” in WikiRecommend

  • Gratgy

    An anti conversion law will put a ban to all conversion including shuddhikaran. Suddhikaran cannot be constitutionally exemptedRecommend

  • Critical

    Why is it that all muslim majority(except few) countries turn into a theocracy and have discriminatory laws against the minorities…

    But all non-muslim nations should welcome Muslims in open arms,bend over their backs and tolerate all their activities to prove that we are secular nation… If you think Indian rightwing are angry with Muslims,check out Europe..Recommend

  • abhi

    If you are not distrubed by conversion of Hindus to Christianity or Islam then why are you so much scared of conversion of Muslims in to Hinduism?Recommend

  • Murali Mohan

    Mr. Sanjay Kumar yours Article is totally biased. You should be appreciated for yours Courage to Print such a Big Lie. Yours Article is a exaggerated myth. You cleverly not mentioned how many Hindus died in Godra. live burning of 54 Hindus in Coach S 5 of Sabarmati Express Train. Journalism should protect the interest of Truth not to push the Lie. Lieing is not Journalism. Stop these Cock and Bull Stories. India has read all these trash material since from Independence. Try to uplift the Truth. Otherwise it is Shamefull and Ridiculous.Recommend

  • siesmann

    so a riot is persecution?Recommend

  • siesmann

    Well I know of over 4 thousand year history of persecution of Hindus-of Shudra “hindus”
    by “Swarn ” jatis.Recommend

  • Secular

    You say- ‘ban conversion’..so loss of religious freedom for individuals ?
    If I,hypothetically, take a liking some other philosophy / religion tomorrow,Buddhism or Bahai faith or Parsi faith etc.etc.etc. anything -I can’t change my current religion,but am stuck with it forever…from birth to death ?
    ( That doesn’t sound progressive or secular…sounds like a regressive country..I don’t look forward to that sort of Govt. restriction )Recommend

  • Escaped Gorilla

    I agree with you,Ms.Arcot. The news is showing a disturbing trend since the new Govt.came to power..with the vhp controlling the govt.to express a desire to see Vegetarian canteens in IITs (calling non-veg a western influence,dumping modern German for ancient Sanskrit (doesn’t add to job skills-regressive move), asking for the Gita to be the national book of a secular country,forcibly converting muslims in agra,beating up christian tribals who refused to convert to hinduism,Rss leader giving a speech to the nation on DD on Vijaydashami,UP governer claiming that those who slaughter beef,can’t call themselves Indian (in a country where practice of religion is guarenteed),where a BJP leader said that ,all who don’t support Modi can leave India & go to Pakistan & another Bjp MP saying that Nathuram Godse is a patriot & ‘bravery of Godse’ day will be observed in Maharashtra or another Bjp MP calling the Indians who don’t follow Ram,as ‘bastards’.
    So much from the Bjp in just a few months…what all will they do in 5 years ?Recommend

  • Escaped Gorilla

    ‘..never any damage to India’s secularism ‘
    The news is showing a disturbing trend since the new Govt.came to power..with the vhp controlling the govt.to express a desire to see Vegetarian canteens in IITs (calling non-veg a western influence,-dumping modern German for ancient Sanskrit (doesn’t add to job skills-regressive move), asking for the Gita to be the national book of a secular country,forcibly converting muslims in agra,beating up christian tribals who refused to convert to hinduism,Rss leader giving a speech to the nation on DD on Vijaydashami,UP governer claiming that those who slaughter beef,can’t call themselves Indian (in a country where practice of religion is guarenteed),where a BJP leader said that ,all who don’t support Modi can leave India & go to Pakistan & another Bjp MP saying that Nathuram Godse is a patriot & ‘bravery of Godse’ day will be observed in Maharashtra or another Bjp MP calling the Indian nationals, who don’t follow Ram,as ‘bastards’.
    ..all news snippets from the last few months…What will thry do in FIVE years ?!
    Very bewildering…voting for Bjp for the economy was my mistake-I didn’t predict this un-constitutional,dangerous saffron polarization.
    Recommend

  • Gp65

    actually wholesale inflation is down to 0% and retail inlation is less than 6% – the lowest it has been after they started measuring it in 2011Recommend

  • Gp65

    Sir, when. Tens of thousands of Hindus were converted to Christianity in Orissa and tens of thousands of Hindis were converted to Islam in Kerala under Mrs. Gandhi, it was described as freedom to choose. Now suddenly, with less than 400 Muslims reverting o Hinduism, India’s secular credenials are under threat? How so?

    As long as conversion is voluntary and not under threat, it is not a dent to secularism. If people feel that someone reverting from Islam to Hinduism is a problem, they should be equally vocal against the conversions that were happening in the opposite direction. That is exactly what the overnment is trying to do by bringing a bill against conversion.Recommend

  • Gp65

    I agree with you that secularism is desirable. Currenly the Indian penal code is secular i.e. does not differentiate based on faith. The personal laws on the other hand are separate for people of separate faith. For India o be truly secular, UCC would have to be implemented.

    Also, I have not heard that it is the goal of NDA to make India non-secular. Which law do they plan to implement where they would differentiate based on rel igion? It is Congress PM Manmohan Singh who said first charge of national resources is with Muslims ( a religion based allocation of resources). It is Congress foreign minister Salman Khurshid who was pushing for religion based reservations. Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    You have a very lose definition of what consitutes Terror. BJP or any Political Party in India have not done anything what a party like MQM has not in Karachi.

    If BJP or any of its actions are Terror, so is MQM a Terror organization. Most Political Parties in Pakistan are Terror Organizations. PML-N allied with SSP, didn’t it. So, Pak is ruled by a Terror organization.

    if a Law is against the Constitution it cannot be passed. The Courts can strike it down. The Court interprets what the Constitution says and has the ability to strike down any Law which goes against the tenets.

    In Pakistan’s case, Blasphemy Law fits well with the Constitution of Pakistan, which is Islamic in character. There is a concept of Blasphemy in Islam and there is severe punishment for it in many Muslim majority countries, just like in Pakistan.

    If the Law doesn’t violate the Constitution, it cannot be struck down by the courts. If the courts can’t strike it down, the Legislators have to do it.

    As we all know, no civilian leader will attempt to modify the Blasphemy Law because the majority support it(even though Pakistanis say the opposite, because if its so unpopular civilians should have no problem striking it down).

    So, No. Blasphemy Law will never go away in Pakistan. Its a legacy of the Islamic world.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    She oppose Modi without fearing for her life. In Pakistan, people like Saleem Shahzad have been killed for attacking the Army.
    See the difference in the freedom of speech in the 2 countries?Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    If Law proposed by BJP is against the Constitution, it will be struck down by the Court.
    Simple.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    There will NEVER be a LAW which will go against the principles laid out in the Constitution.
    if thats the case, how can India ever be a non-secular country?Recommend

  • Gp65

    Well but there are many economic reforms that are in place but the results are lagging indicators. Also in some cases Rajya Sabha approval is needed and opposition is blocking reforms there. Here are the things which have been proposed by government:
    1) increased FDI in defense, railways and insurance
    2) removing licensing requirement for Indian private sector manufacturing in many defense related areas
    3) aggressive focus on Financial inclusion through Jan Dhan Yojana
    4) moving to direct benefit transfer (having implemented Jan Dhan yojana makes it feasile) for gas subsidy. This is an important mve owards subsidy reform
    5) eliminating inspecor raj in labour laws as far as central labour laws are concerned
    6) over 30 interventions to streamline process for environmental approvals
    7) e-auction of coal for user industries.
    8) GST – agreement of states has been obtained after 7 years by addressing legiimate concerns of states
    9) moving all central approvals online
    10) empowering bureacrats and at the same time making them accountable. This is as important as any policy reform since poor execution is one of the biggest complaints that investors and industrialists haveRecommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    He is not attacking Secularism, but pseudo secularism.
    Having a different law for Muslims, giving them Hajj subsidies(while no Hindu, Sikh or Christian will get the same for visiting their holy places) is what constitutes pseudo secularism.
    We all stand for a Uniform Civil Law where the Rights of all is upholded. Why should a Hindu woman get alimony but a Muslim one shouldn’t?
    Is this Secularism? If you think No, then welcome to the club :) You are one of us.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Forced conversion is unacceptable in India but there is no evidence that there has been any forced conversion. Tens of thousands of Hindus converted o Christianity and Islam under Sonia and it was described as freedom to choose and now 385 people reverting from Islam to Hinduism is being made an issue.

    India has always valued its diversity and will continue to do so. Even a strong BJP supporter like me would have it no other way.Recommend

  • Think again

    The Islamic countries you talk about are regressive states- why compare a progressive,democratic secular state like India to places like Saudi Arabia ? Will you compare Canada/ France etc to Saudi & say that the French should have a religious constitution like Saudi ? Will you think they are modern,developed western nations then ? India is on its way to be modern like Western countries in a few decades-people who make it Non-secular will not allow it to reach that modernity potential in the coming decades.Recommend

  • Think again

    Single terror attack of an individual can’t be blamed on the entire religious population- the same logic CAN’T apply to Bjp,because terrorists don’t run a country,unlike the Bjp. Terrorists are fugitives & criminals,unlike the Bjp. The Bjp acts like criminal thugs-occupying legal chairs…not from hide-outs in mountains.Recommend

  • Think again

    Pakistan is an Islamic state. India is a secular,plural democracy. So why compare the two ? A journalist not surviving in India is an international blot on India,when we pose as a progressive country..Are we comparing India on the world stage to Islamic nations,for you to say that the author can survive in India but not in Pakistan. Why is Pakistan a benchmark for you? Why not compare India to a Western democratic country-so that we can see how we are lagging behind,rather than being smug that ‘we are better than non democratic Islamic countries.’Recommend

  • Think again

    Influenced ? He was an Rss worker earlier.
    Recommend

  • Think again

    Do you mean that the 2002 riots were an act of revenge for the burning of karsevaks in the train at Godhra station ?Recommend

  • Think again

    I never heard of an Indian,who described the ideal statehood for India to achieve ,was to be like Saudi Arabia !Recommend

  • TA

    I also am open-minded enough to accept people’s right to practice & propogate their faith (as long as,both the preachers & followers are non-violent ) and conversions are 100% voluntary.
    However,I think the recent Agra conversion of muslims, involved fraud & I watched cnn-ibnb/times now,news of a remote tribal place,involved Hindutva activists beating up minority tribals who refused to participate in conversion to Hinduism- both incidents are examples criminal activities. Unpardonable & Unconstitutional. Shameful.Recommend

  • Think again

    Fear,isn’t related to which religion a person converts willinly & voluntarily to. Fear/human rights violations are related to forced/coerced/fraudulent conversions where poor people are roughed up/threatened/beaten/fooled by political goondas.
    All illegal & Unconstitutional.
    Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    I know that this will sound a bit harsh to you, but tbh if Modi does not get rid of this problem it will tarnish his image. I don’t think it is difficult to get rid of a couple of troublemakers. I did some research and I found only 5 ppl who should either be sidelined or removed. None of them have any important posts in cabinet so they are dispensable. Modi should just get rid of them.Recommend

  • wb

    Some of the points you mentioned disgust me too.

    This is why I said in my comment that 1) I agreed with some of the points of the writer. 2) Modi should throw out such people from the government.Recommend

  • wb

    That’s my point.

    However the point you missed was that it was a persecution of Hindus by Muslims.Recommend

  • wb

    I’m saying it was a reaction.

    Call it revenge or something else, doesn’t matter.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Then we should keep quiet about conversion to Hinduism. You cannot have the cake and eat it too.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    We also know of thousand year persecution of Hindus by Muslims. We also know the persecution of Shias by Sunnis etc.
    I am sure we also know a lot of other things which are hardly relevant to what we are discussing here. We are discussing majority and minority and persecution of the majority by minorities in areas where they are dominantRecommend

  • wb

    Banning conversion is neither practical, nor is it moral or ethical.

    But I hope something is done to prevent forced conversions.

    Uniform Civil Code is an emergency in this country.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    why not?Recommend

  • Gratgy

    What approval of terrorism by BJP are you talking about? where is anyone asking for blasphemy laws or hudood ordinances in India?Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Are you saying every individual in BJP runs the country? As far as statements go, we have had Musharraf give a lot of statements during his days as the President of Pakistan(women getting raped to get visa etc). He was running a government so was he a terrorist?Recommend

  • Gratgy

    So are you saying you support conversion as long as they are converting from Hinduism and not the reverse.Recommend

  • Thinker

    Heh ? Be logical.
    Your comment specified ‘ban conversion’,as a solution. It makes no sense. Why ? Because the issue is not conversion per se,( in a country where freedom of practice & choice of religion is guarenteed by the Constitution ) – be very clear.
    The issue is FORCED conversion Vs. voluntary conversion- only one of those is legal,humane & ethical.
    ( ps-I have no issue with anyone converting to hinduism/xyz religion, provided they chose the religion willingly. I support ALL voluntary conversions,provided the guru/preachers/teacher/imam & followers are peaceful & non-violent )Recommend

  • Thinker

    I agree with you,Sir. Voluntary choice of faith or conversion is Constitutional & I support every Indian exercising this freedom of choice. Forced or coerced or fraudulent conversion is illegal, unconstitutional & plain evil….let alone,meaningless.
    What a man believes can’t be removed from his heart no matter how much he is threatened,beaten or burnt on the outside.Recommend

  • Thinker

    385 or 38 or 3 or 1..forced is forced.
    You can call it reverted or whatever- fact is that they were cheated/threatened by the hindutva activists about the nature of the pooja. Thus its not Voluntary.Recommend

  • Funny

    Also the 31% Rss ministers handpicked by our PM modi of the new ‘non-corrupt’ Bjp goverment had criminal records of rape,murder,attempt to murder,communal violence. Some individual ministers had upto 22 criminal cases against them. What does it say about our autocratic,power isolating, Modi,when he handpicks rapist ministers and murderer ministers to sit on seats of power ? Achche Din, indeed.
    ( Perversely,online registration to enroll in the Bjp,requires common indian citizens ,not to have any criminal records..hahahaha ! )Recommend

  • Fact

    India has Approximately 80% hindus, approx.13-16% muslims.
    So,I agree with your ‘alarmist’ comment.
    It only leaves 3-4% for all others combined- catholic+sikh+jain+protestant+buddhist+bahai+Parsi+Jew+jw+nature worship+atheism+ etc.etc.etc.
    Yet negligible,voluntary conversion is being made a central issue by Hindutvas goons,as if there are 3-4% hindus left in the country.
    I think,the real reason,it’s being done,is to polarize people,keep communal tensions simmering to really divert away from important topics like black money/section 370/economy/anti-minority violence etc.Recommend

  • A Chowdhury

    There is nothing called fraudulent conversions, in that case, Christian missionaries would have been banned for inducing poor farmers with money to convert to Christianity. Such practices do not suffer form constitutional infirmities in spite of being unethical.Recommend

  • A Chowdhury

    There is nothing called fraudulent conversions, in that case, Christian missionaries would have been banned for inducing poor farmers with money to convert to Christianity. Such practices do not suffer form constitutional infirmities in spite of being unethical.Recommend

  • xyz

    The hindutva goondas from Agra said on the news that they have targets of ‘2lakh conversions per year’ etc. Anyone with the sense God gave a goat,can tell that saffron bigots with ‘targets’ are solely into Forced conversions.
    How do they intend to change the minds of 2lakh non-hindu people ? Are they offering free teaching to these people of the vedas/upanishads/gita & subsequently attracting Voluntary conversions via peaceful preaching of hindu principles & scriptures? Are the converts consciously embracing hindu principles ?
    I think not ! This stinks of threatening & forcing poor people to convert,unwillingly.Recommend

  • ab1990

    I never said saudi is an ideal statehood.
    I just gave a reply saying there are people who live without secularism. Countries dont die if secularism is not present.Recommend