Minority angst

Witoubou Newmai

What if various policies under Narendra Modi are injected with the fervour of ‘Hindu Rashtra’? This question or issue, if left unsettled, is bound to engender continued anxiety among various section of the society.


According to M P Raju, an advocate practising in the Supreme Court, “The threat to the minorities is not from Hindus as a majority community but from an ideology and its proponents advocating a Hindu Rashtra falsely pretending to represent the majority religion.”


“In the context of a majoritarian nationalism, whether culture or religious, what is most relevant is ideology,” the advocate further asserted in an article, Tools of an ideology in the latest edition of one of India’s most reputed fortnightly magazines, Frontline (June 22).


In this regard, while driving home his point, Raju said that Nitin Gadkari, former BJP president, was on point when the latter had reportedly said, “Even if I polish the country with gold, they (rival political parties) won’t be happy…they have a problem with us, our ideology.”


Now, the question is to analyse and expose the over-brimming enthusiasm of the Hindutva brigade in the past few years.


A cover story on the same edition of the magazine further noted that “The Sangh Parivar’s politics of hatred and acts of violence have grown manifold under the Narendra Modi dispensation, instilling a sense of fear and insecurity among Muslims and Christians.”


There is a strong apprehension that undercover policies are very much into play, as one has got certain inklings safely deduced from numerous media reports.


“The complicity of the administration in the BJP-ruled States in terms of facilitating the Hindutva marauders has also risen…,” the magazine reported. It further highlighted that “Violence against Muslims and Christians has risen since the BJP came to power in 2014, and the pattern and modus operandi of the attacks reveal a systematic programme to marginalise and subjugate them.”


According to veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, “The spread of the BJP is a point of concern because it ignores the aspirations of Muslims”. He also said that Narendra Modi’s “slogan of development has gone down well because it gives the hope of reducing, if not ousting, poverty”, adding with despair that Modi’s “regular contacts with the RSS efface even the wishful thinking that Modi would build the society without any prejudice or bias.”


To this end, M P Raju, in his article, averred that four kinds of ideologies may be available – constitutional, pro-constitutional, non-constitutional and unconstitutional, and the unconstitutional ones are to be shunned and rejected unconditionally through “constitutionally permissible means.”


The prevailing situation, thus, needs serious introspection and widespread public discourse and attention. Such a measure should be part of the search to settle the question proposed in the beginning. Much will depend on how the rational minds rise up to the challenge in order to mitigate the anxiety.