India’s Fascism on Steroids

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Khurshid Alam

Sha'ban 18, 1442 2021-04-01

News & Analysis

by Khurshid Alam (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 50, No. 2, Sha'ban, 1442)

Hardly a day passes by without a Muslim either being lynched or his house/business torched by Hindu mobs in India. The police refuse to intervene and, in some cases, even join the mob in the macabre ritual of lynching or setting the hapless victim on fire while still alive.

Dalits, the other oppressed community in India, that are placed at the bottom of the Caste pyramid, have faced similar horrors. While called ‘untouchable’ because they are considered unclean, Dalit girls and women are regularly gangraped and then murdered by so-called upper caste Hindus. In the unlikely event that a Dalit woman survives the rape attack and wishes to register a case with the police, the latter refuse to do so. Or, they deliberately make errors in the First Information Report (FIR) that forms the basis of the complaint thus rendering it invalid in a court of law.

To understand the scale of the problem, let us consider some statistics. Of India’s 1.2 billion population, Muslims account for 185 million while the Dalits are around 200 million. Dalits are believed to be the original inhabitants of India that were subdued by invaders from Central Asia thousands of years ago.

The invaders’ supposed successors call themselves ‘Aryans’. The original inhabitants were dark-skinned while Aryans were of lighter complexion. Skin colour continues to play a major role in how people are perceived. Skin lightening creams are a multi-billion-dollar industry in India and even the Black Lives Matter movement has not made much of a dent in people’s obsession to look ‘fair’ in India.

It is also worth noting that while the Hindu fascists brand the Muslims as aliens, the so-called upper caste Hindus that claim ‘Aryan’ ancestry were also outsiders. The real original inhabitants of India are the Dravidians (now called Dalits) and like the First Nations in North America, they are also marginalized and discriminated against. The only difference is that Dalits have not been decimated as were the First Nations.

Let us, however, return to the allegation that Muslims are ‘aliens’ in India. Muslims ruled India for nearly 1,000 years. True, they came from outside—Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia etc—but they settled in India, much like the ‘Aryans’ the upper caste Hindus claim as their ancestors. Muslims gave much to India unlike the British colonialists that plundered India’s wealth to the tune of $45 trillion (yes, that is trillion with a ‘t’ [Also see here]).

In fact, India’s identity and image are closely tied to the many monuments that Muslims built during their 1,000-year-rule, especially the Mughal Empire (1526–1857) before the British occupied and plundered it. Ask an average person in Europe and North America about what they associate most with India and the chances are, they will say the Taj Mahal. It is one of the wonders of the world like the Pyramids of Egypt, Niagara Falls in Canada or the Eifel Tower in Paris. The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan (d.1658) in memory of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal who died at the relatively young age of 38 in 1631.

Some fanatic Hindus—and there is no shortage of this breed nowadays, thanks to the rise of Narendra Modi to power—insist it was not built by a Muslim emperor. These fanatics follow the virulently racist ideology of Hindutva that is based on Nazism. They have declared they will do to the Muslims of India what the Nazis did to the Jews in Germany. Hindutva idealogues—Bankim Chatterjee (d.1894), V.D. Savarkar (d.1966), K.B. Hedgewar (d.1940) and M.S. Golwalker (d.1973) made no secret of their admiration for Adolf Hitler and Bonito Mussolini and their murderous policies.

The common theme between their writings and speeches was extreme hatred of minorities in India especially Muslims and advocated their extermination to “purify” India. Hedgewar established the fascist paramilitary force, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1925. Today, it boasts more than 6 million members that receive military-style training. They have been in the forefront of Muslim pogroms in India.

Modi emerged from the bowels of the RSS and made the targeting of Muslims his signature mark. Even before he became prime minister in 2014, he had presided over the pogrom of Muslims in February 2002 as chief minister of Gujarat state. Some 2,000 Muslims were hacked to death or burnt alive while Modi prevented the police from intervening. For this crime, he was barred entry into the US in 2005 until just before he became prime minister in 2014.

Last month’s report by the US-based Freedom House downgrading India’s status from a “free” to “partly free” country begins to identify Modi’s India as a state based on hatred. While the report downgraded 73 countries for failing to meet their freedom obligations, it is particularly scathing of India’s conduct.

“The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its state-level allies continued to crack down on critics during the year [2020], and their response to COVID-19 included a ham-fisted lockdown that resulted in the dangerous and unplanned displacement of millions of internal migrant workers. The ruling Hindu nationalist movement also encouraged the scapegoating of Muslims, who were disproportionately blamed for the spread of the virus and faced attacks by vigilante mobs. Rather than serving as a champion of democratic practice and a counterweight to authoritarian influence from countries such as China, Modi and his party are tragically driving India itself toward authoritarianism,” the report said.

The Modi regime’s response was predictable. It, screamed: “Misleading”. Such regime mouthpieces as NDTV reproduced the regime’s rejoinder to Freedom House report on March 5. “Many states in India are ruled by parties other than the one at the national level, through an election process which is free and fair and which is conducted by an independent election body…”

There are several inaccuracies in this explanation. First, attacks on Muslims have occurred all over India but they have been especially severe in states and localities controlled by Modi’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state (population 200 million), ruled by the BJP is in the forefront of attacks on Muslims. The state government actively encourages Hindu mobs to attack Muslims.

The BJP did not give a parliamentary ticket to any Muslim (population 185 million) during the April-May 2019 elections. Instead, Modi’s henchmen warned that if Muslims did not vote for the BJP, they would be denied all rights and even expelled from the country.

In February 2020, when people in Delhi protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)—a law passed in December 2019 that essentially disenfranchises millions of Muslims—the police refused to intervene when Hindu mobs attacked Muslims. At least 53 people were killed, most of them Muslims, and more than 250 injured. Only Muslim businesses were targeted and destroyed. In one case, an 85-year-old grandmother was burnt alive in her third-floor apartment in Delhi!

The anti-Muslim pogrom in Delhi was preplanned. Mobs were brought into northeast part of the city to deal with peaceful protesters that were accused of being “anti-national” and “jihadis”. This occurred soon after the BJP lost in regional elections in Delhi. BJP Minister Kapil Misra openly threatened protesters in northeast Delhi. He even accused the police of not taking action against the peaceful protesters and unleashed Hindu mobs.

Since Modi’s re-election in 2019, he has intensified the anti-Muslim campaign. Innocent Muslims are attacked and publicly lynched while the police refuse to intervene saying “we have no orders”. In some instances, they have even joined the Hindu mobs in attacking Muslims.

In August 2019, Modi abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state declaring it “union” territory (resulting in it being placed under direct rule from Delhi). The state of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed territory under International Law but Modi, like his Zionist friends, is not constrained by legal niceties. The 900,000 Indian occupation troops were augmented by another 100,000 troops and a severe lockdown was imposed including the Internet. Thousands of people were rounded up and thrown in jail. Many are still locked up in various prisons in India, again in violation of International Law.

India has historically projected an image of being the “largest democracy” in the world. How can a country claim to be “free” and “democratic” when discrimination based on the Caste system is still an entrenched feature of social and economic life? Far from improving its atrocious conduct toward Dalits, India under Modi has intensified attacks on Muslims as well.

India has become a fascist state. BJP leaders openly espouse Islamophobic statements. In April 2020, journalist Isobel Yeung while interviewing Subramanian Swamy, a leading stalwart of the BJP who was spouting anti-Muslim venom, reminded him about Article 14 of India’s constitution. “The State shall not deny any person’s equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India”. Swamy retorted that she was misinterpreting it and said, Muslims are “not in an equal category” to non-Muslims!

India is not only not democratic or free, it is a country ruled by criminals and gangsters. At least 40% of India’s parliament members face serious criminal charges such as rape, murder, extortion and other criminal acts. Where is India’s election monitoring body that permits criminals to participate in elections and sit in parliament?

This is what the Freedom House report pointed out: “Political rights and civil liberties in the country have deteriorated since Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, with increased pressure on human rights organizations, rising intimidation of academics and journalists, and a spate of bigoted attacks, including lynchings, aimed at Muslims. The decline only accelerated after Modi’s reelection in 2019. Last year, the government intensified its crackdown on protesters opposed to a discriminatory citizenship law and arrested dozens of journalists who aired criticism of the official pandemic response. Judicial independence has also come under strain; in one case, a judge was transferred immediately after reprimanding the police for taking no action during riots in New Delhi that left over 50 people, mostly Muslims, dead.”

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