Stories about RSS

The Pulwama attack is more than a massacre – it’s an unfortunate reminder

The recent killing of 44 security personnel belonging to the Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) outside Srinagar has opened up a can of worms, and everyone should be bothered at this development. It’s not that this is the first time there has been an attack on Indian security forces in the valley, inflicting serious damage in terms of casualties. However, this attack is quite significant for the many issues it reveals, not necessarily for the lay person. The first and most important problem we need to confront is the attitude of the Indian state and its unofficial auxiliaries who have ...

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee: The last dignified fighter in India’s political arena

The demise of former Prime Minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) patriarch Atal Bihari Vajpayee has brought an end to the era of ‘statesmanship’ in the country. Vajpayee brought an entirely new dimension to the Indian political scene; the only point ahead of his leadership was perhaps his poetry, filled with a literary richness that would easily put Prasoon Joshi to shame. Perhaps most importantly, however, Vajpayee was the last dignified fighter in India’s political arena. The man paved the way for nationalistic politics as the founding member of Jan Sangh in 1951, and later established the BJP in ...

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For Muslims in India, Eid namaz was offered under the shadow of fear

I recently recalled the memory of an argument I had with one of my friends from school six years ago, when I was still in high school. It was around the time Narendra Modi was vigorously campaigning to become the next prime minister of India. He was a hot topic for debate, and every media house was discussing the sharp rise in the popularity of the chief minister of Gujarat, despite the Hindutva identity he carried. The media termed it the ‘Modi wave’. My friend and I were discussing the series of corruption scandals that unfolded during the tenure of ...

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“Failing state”? Even Indians think Swara Bhaskar should stop confusing Pakistan with her career!

Given the current milieu of tense relations between India and Pakistan, an Indian contemplating the comments made by a relatively unknown Bollywood actress regarding Pakistan being a “failing state” may not be the most reasonable exercise. However, her statements bring forth something very typical about an average Indian’s perception of Pakistan. Over in Pakistan, actress Urwa Hocane’s posts calling Swara Bhaskar out for her contradictory statements on Pakistan have already gone viral on social media. Pakistan is the country that you @ReallySwara referred to,in 2015, as the “Best country you have ever visited” and it has only gotten better in the last few ...

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Does removing Jinnah’s portrait prove that India is still bitter about the Partition?

In 1938, the then president of the All India Muslim League (AIML), Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was made a lifetime member of the Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) student union. In accordance with this honour, a portrait of him was placed on the union’s walls. The portrait is an interesting one, for it depicts Jinnah in the early days of his transition. He has his Karakul cap on, depicting the transition from Jinnah the liberal, moderate Indian nationalist, to the Quaid-e-Azam that Pakistan would know as the father of the nation. AMU played a very important role in the history of ...

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Will the Masuka draft law be able to put an end to mob lynching in India?

Since Narendra Modi’s government came into power in 2014, incidents of cow-related violence increased substantially. According to an Observer Research Foundation analysis, in January 2011, 5% of lynching incidents were related to cows or Gau Rakshaks (cow protectors). This number rose to 20% in June. A recent report by ‘India Spend’ reveals that 97% of all attacks by Gau Rakshaks between 2010 and 2017 were recounted after the Modi government came to power. Majority of the cases have been reported from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled states. Furthermore, 61 of 63 cases were registered after the formation of Gau Raksha Dals and the implementation of the beef ban. Increasingly, there has been ...

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After replacing Babri Masjid with Ram temple, can the Hindus of BJP claim to be the owners of India?

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) rose to national consciousness through the Babri Masjid agitation in the 80s and 90s. Through this movement, it laid the foundation for majoritarian politics in India. The victory of the BJP in 2014, where it got a majority in the parliament for the first time in the history of independent India, is the fructification of the campaign that started in the late 80s. The Hindu right-wing party wants to build a temple on the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. They claim it was built by the Mughal ruler Babur in the early 16th century on the place which is supposed to be ...

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India prides itself as a tolerant and multi-ethnic state, but is it really?

Recently, India has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Over the past three years, after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won in a landslide, India has witnessed increased religious intolerance.  Beef has constantly been politicised and electoral rhetoric has constantly used the communal card to pull voters. During the Uttar Pardesh (UP) elections, communal rhetoric was couched in an extremely hateful language, and in the end, BJP chose a fire brand anti-Muslim to lead as the chief minister, despite the fact that it had other alternatives. After his elections, and despite his attempt to tame down hardliners, the law and order situation in ...

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Destroying Jinnah’s house will not undo the Partition, Mangal Lodha

The sordid saga of ultra-nationalism unfolding in the subcontinent took a new twist this week. The Times of India reports that a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, demanded that Jinnah’s house in Mumbai be demolished and replaced by a centre representing Maharashtra’s culture.  Jinnah’s residence is a mansion in the Malabar Hill area of Mumbai where Mohammad Ali Jinnah resided following his return to India from England in 1936. It continued to be his primary residence till 1944, following which he started transitioning to the Flagstaff House in Karachi where he moved permanently after Partition. Before anything else, let’s dispense one clarification: jingoism ...

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An open letter to AJK Chief Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Zia

Respected AJK Chief Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Zia, According to newspaper reports, you have announced that the annual salary increments of those working in your court will be based on “how regularly they offer their prayers”. You also declared that you would lead some of the prayers yourself, ostensibly to observe which of the court’s officers offer prayers and to secretly check whether they are complying with your order or not. Your honour, do you realise that your order violates Islam’s injunction which clearly states that there ‘should be no compulsion in Islam’ (Surah Baqarah, verse 256)? Since those who do not ...

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