by Mansoor Ali Khan (Letters To The Editor, Crescent International Vol. 48, No. 8, Safar, 1441)
Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, and their ilk are the most visible faces of fascism in India today but its roots go deep into Hinduism. What has helped fascism to rampage throughout India is the emergence in power of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Modi, who came to the job after wading through a sea of Muslim blood in Gujarat in 2002 when he was chief minister there. Until 2014 when he became prime minister, Modi was barred from entry into the US for his role in the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat.
The fascist movement in India seeks to establish a Hindu Rashtra (state) excluding anyone who is not Hindu from qualifying for Indian citizenship. It is marked by genocidal hatred of Indian minorities, particularly Muslims. The roots of this ideology can be traced to Bankim Chatterjee’s “novel” Anandamath written in the 1880s. While presented as a “novel,” it was essentially a manifesto of Hindu fascism targeting minorities, particularly Muslims, in India. It clearly states that people of other faiths must either become Hindus or leave India. This ideology was then taken up by such other people as Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, K.B. Hedgewar, and Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar. They were all ideologues of Hindu fascism and openly ex-pressed hatred toward Muslims. This anti-Muslim hatred has now found expression not merely in the BJP but in the lynching of defenceless Muslims — men, women, boys, and children — in India. Other minorities — Christians, Sikhs, and Dalits — are also not immune from their poisonous ideology.
Mansoor Ali Khan
Chicago, IL, US