October 6, 2022

Dharma Sansad and the Politics of Hate – Part I

Hate speeches and writings are against culture, heritage, traditions, constitutional rights and ethos. Secularism is in the blood of every Indian and India is respected world over for its culture and heritage

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch

The calls for genocide to kill Muslims during the Dharma Sansad at Haridwar on December 17-19 last year continue to remain in the news. The latest is that on January 11 the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Uttarakhand Government to reply within 10 days, why the hate mongers are walking free. After days from the incident and furore in the media, the Uttarakhand Government filed FIRs in the first week of January against two seers but they were not arrested. The seers were videotaped smiling with policemen and joking that policemen will soon join their genocidal campaign.   

The calls for genocide to kill Muslims during the Dharma Sansad at Haridwar on December 17-19 last year continue to remain in the news. The latest is that on January 11 the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Uttarakhand Government to reply within 10 days, why the hate mongers are walking free.

The incident has set the media afire, especially the social media, with sharp divide among supporters and those against these calls – polarisation as never before.

The supporters of the killing campaign have reasons like:

  • Anti-Hindu sloganeering and calls are being made by Muslim clerics and leaders like Asaduddin Owaisi, who is a Member of Parliament. Owaisi says his uttering has been distorted by presenting only parts of what he said. But did he say all Hindus should be killed?
  • Hindus are in danger because the Muslims birth rate is much faster and Hindus will be outnumbered.
  • Genocide during the Moghul era ruined the Indic Civilization, which must be reversed and revenge taken. Surprisingly, no grouse against the genocide and loot by the Britishers and we are negotiating an FTA with them. Is it because the British genocide was against Indians and not Hindus per se?
  • There are calls for jihad against Hindus by many organisations; hence, we should raise voices likewise. These calls no doubt are by multiple terrorist organisations, but if these are within India, is this the solution?

Those against the calls to kill all Muslims have the following to say: 

  • Hindu scriptures including our Vedas and Bhagwad Gita do not preach such killings.
  • Hindu Rashtra does not mean minorities are to be wiped out – this is against the very essence of Hinduism.
  • Whatever happened to ‘Unity in Diversity’ or is it replaced by ‘Only Hindu’?
  • Doesn’t the ‘deafening silence’ of the Prime Minister, Home Minister and government officials imply this call to kill Muslims has government backing?
  • The Prime Minister is under pressure from the Sangh Parivar and he is dancing to the tune of the RSS. As Modi’s OBC background grew more in public, Mohan Bhagwat started spelling out his anti-minority agenda.
  • Attack on Christians while Modi met the Pope personally and invited him to India shows Modi has lost control. 
  • The newly created Ministry of Cooperation under the Home Minister should be renamed the Ministry of Polarisation.
  • On one hand there are calls for killing Muslims but at the same time some preachers continue to say “Hindu ka sabse bada dushman Hindu hi hai.
  • Is this what our Constitution has taught us?

An interesting comment was that these seers are actually queers who probably plan to arm themselves with weaponry the PLA used for the surprise attack on Colonel Santosh Babu and his escort at Galwan but will run in all directions with their tales tucked between their legs hearing a bullet a mile away.

A former diplomat who earlier served as foreign secretary and is senior fellow at the Centre of Policy Research wrote that the Dharma Sansad is “only the latest in a series of intemperate and vulgar attacks against minorities that, if unchecked, may lead to an irreversible fragmentation and disintegration of the Indian Union” and that “if these vile threats are tolerated and go unpunished and unchecked, the very idea of India that we have inherited and nourished through many challenges, will cease to exist. This is a moment of peril for all Indians”. But concurrently a colleague of his of the chaploos variety wrote these calls are only from a small section which should be ignored. The same chaploos gang also calls the recent Chinese intrusions a small matter.

A former diplomat who earlier served as foreign secretary and is senior fellow at the Centre of Policy Research wrote that the Dharma Sansad is “only the latest in a series of intemperate and vulgar attacks against minorities that, if unchecked, may lead to an irreversible fragmentation and disintegration of the Indian Union” and that “if these vile threats are tolerated and go unpunished and unchecked, the very idea of India that we have inherited and nourished through many challenges, will cease to exist. This is a moment of peril for all Indians”.

The babus smelt the air and continued their machinations accordingly. On December 23 last year the 125-year old Saint Luke’s Church (built by Christian missionaries and lying in disuse since 1980) at Dalgate at the end of the western slope of Shankaracharya Hill, was thrown open to the public after renovation. Christmas celebrations in a number of places in India were attacked on December 25. 

Also on December 25, the FCRA application of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity was rejected; that too by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) headed by Amit Shah – the Minister of Cooperation dubbed Minister of Polarisation by a cross section. The decision was reversed not because the Chief Minister of Odisha directed that Missionaries of Charity should not run short of finances and that the Chief Minister’s Fund can be used if required, but the issue came up for discussion in the British Parliament.

The only sane voice from the Government was by the Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who speaking at an event organised to mark the 150th death anniversary of Saint Kuriakose Elias Chavara (spiritual leader and social reformer from the Kerala Catholic community) at Mannanam near Kottayam on January 3 expressed strong disapproval of attempts to ridicule other religions and create dissensions in society by saying, “Practice your religion but don’t abuse and indulge in hate speech and writings.” Observing that hate speeches and writings are against culture, heritage, traditions, constitutional rights and ethos, he said secularism is in the blood of every Indian and India is respected world over for its culture and heritage.

He called for strengthening the Indian value system and called for community service to be made compulsory for students studying in government and private schools to help them develop the attitude of sharing and caring in their interaction with others.

An overwhelming majority of the population in the Arab world regard the US as the main threat to their interests. The US did support the regimes of Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen during the Arab Spring but also engineered the takeover of Egypt albeit through elections by the Muslim Brotherhood (a terrorist organisation) with Mohammad Morsi as the President. Morsi was, however, overthrown by the military and placed under house arrest. The Muslim Brotherhood was officially banned in Egypt and declared a terrorist organisation. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) too banned the organisation. As of 2015, Bahrain, Russia and Syria also consider it a terrorist organisation. Presently, the primary supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood are Qatar and Turkey.

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took over as the sixth President of Egypt in 2014 and is still continuing. He is a retired military officer turned politician, who also served as the Chairperson of the African Union during 2019-2020. On assuming the presidency of Egypt, Sisi summoned the radical leaders and clerics and told them blankly that one billion Muslims in the world cannot kill the balance six billion plus non-Muslims and vice versa. He shut down the hardcore seminaries and jailed their preachers.

This article should be read in conjunction Part II (concluding part) which will follow shortly.

The author is a veteran of the Indian Army. Views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of https://strategicaffairsindia.in

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