nationalism, also known as Hindutva, is a supremacist ideology that
aims to establish a theocratic Hindu state in India. It is different
from the religion of Hinduism which espouses pluralist traditions. The
founding fathers of Hindutva visited
Mossoulini's Italy to study
Fascism and borrowed the concept of religious nationalism
from Fascism and Nazism.
In a clear
manifestation of the outlines of fascism driving the Hindutva
supremacist movement, four senior Hindutva leaders - two from the BJP,
another from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and the fourth from the
Shiv Sena, unambiguously stated their position with regard to the fate
of Modi's critics and that of India's 200 million religious minorities.
of vitriol was opened by Modi's campaign manager and BJP strongman Amit
Shah, currently out on bail for staging fake encounter killings of
Muslims and banned by the Supreme Court from entering Gujarat. Shah
delivered a speech in a village near Muzaffarnagar, which was the site
of a bloody anti-minority pogrom last year. Shah described the
elections as an opportunity to seek "revenge" against the minorities.
The fact that the Election Commission initially banned Shah and then
lifted the ban, opened the doors for more hate speeches to
MLC Ramdas Kadam while sharing the stage with Prime Ministerial
contender Narendra Modi himself, yesterday threatened revenge against
Muslims and assured the audience that Modi would "destroy Pakistan in
six months of assuming power." It is worth noting that Narendra Modi
himself had given a speech in which he stated that "Pakistan will be wiped
off the world map".
recent public election rally in Jharkhand, Giriraj Singh, a senior
leader of the BJP had stated, "Those opposing Narendra Modi are looking
towards Pakistan. In the coming days, such people will have no place in
India. They will only find a place in Pakistan."
A few days
later Mr. Pravin Togadia, a man infamously associated with decades of
violent incitement and hate speeches, was caught
on camera calling for the eviction
of all Muslims from areas where Hindus live. In the same
speech he gloated about having used violence to drive Muslim families
out of their homes.
a gathering in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, Togadia said, "We should have it in
us to take the law in our own hands in an area where we are a majority
and scare them." Togadia further suggested that another
option is to occupy a Muslim's property by force and confound the owner
in a legal case that could take years to resolve.
Shah, Giriraj, Togadia and Kadam have given all Indians a chilling
reminder of the violent and repressive agenda of the Sangh Parivar
organizations and of the Hindutva ideology in general," said Mr. Alex
Koshy, a CAG spokesperson.
called on the Election Commission to impose an immediate ban on any
more speeches by these leaders, and also called on the government to
initiate criminal proceedings against them for inciting people to
violence. "Even before the election is complete, Hindutva supremacists
are letting the world know about their intentions," added Mr. Koshy.
development that is deeply reflective of the violent payload carried by
a potential BJP-led government, four veteran MLAs were replaced in the
state of UP, to allow individuals accused of mob violence in
Muzaffarnagar to contest the elections as BJP's candidates.
Over the last decade, CAG
has called attention to the immense danger posed by the growing
prominence of the supremacist Hindutva movement. Although the BJP's
Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi can potentially lead his
party to power in New Delhi, it bears reminding that the dangers posed
by the Hindutva movement to the democratic and pluralistic fabric of
Indian society is undeniably real.
Nationalism in the United States
Over the last one year, CAG
has warned about organizations in the United States attempting to make
Modi and Hindutva palatable to the American public. Outfits such as the
Hindu American Foundation (HAF), have remained steadfast in defending
Hindutva, by serving as apologists for Hindutva violence across India,
and obscuring Mr. Modi's role in the 2002 genocide in Gujarat. The
organized pogrom of 2002, in which more than two thousand Muslim men,
women and children were brutally massacred under Mr. Modi's watch, was
masterminded by the very organizations that are now promising more of
the same, should the BJP come to power. The threat to India's
democracy and secularism posed by Hindutva supremacists was brought to
the fore during the recent Congressional hearings on the plight of
religious minorities in India. Organizations with global credibility
such as Human Rights Watch, The Advocates for Human Rights and the US
Commission for International Religious Freedom testified to the Tom
Lantos Human Rights Commission about the Hindutva organizations'
history of repression against religious minorities in India.
overwhelming evidence available to charge Modi with crimes against
humanity, a lower court in Gujarat has protected Modi from prosecution
by completely ignoring the evidence amassed by lawyers representing
victims and survivors, human rights activists, eyewitness accounts, and
even whistle-blower testimonies. During this time CAG warned that the
real danger posed by Modi is the fact that his entry into the
mainstream would endorse and empower the violent extremism of the RSS
which he aptly and loyally represents. The HAF has done its part as
part of the Hindutva mosaic, by maligning Mr. Modi's critics, and
smearing human rights activists as "anti-India."
support given by HAF to Mr. Modi and the Sangh is essentially an
affirmation of HAF's Hindutva links that CAG had established through
its reports, titled "Affiliations
of Faith (Parts
I and II)."
CAG calls upon the HAF to publicly condemn the hate speeches made by
Mr. Giriraj, Mr. Togadia and Mr. Kadam, and to take a stand against the
Sangh Parivar actively fanning the flames of acrimony and hate against
minorities in India.
"There could not
be a clearer sign of the danger posed by the Modi-led Hindutva movement
to a US-India relationship founded on a shared common democratic
culture and pluralistic ethos," said Dr. Raja Swamy, also a CAG
spokesperson. "Now that Hindutva leaders have gone public with their
agenda, in all its terroristic malevolence, HAF's silence should
convince everyone that it represents neither Hinduism nor mainstream
Indian Americans of any faith including Hinduism," added Dr Swamy.
Congresspersons are urged to act decisively to ensure that this
chauvinistic movement whose leaders clearly espouse a desire to conduct
violent politics of hate and domination, abrogating the principles of
constitutional democracy and citizenship, be treated as such, and not
as falsely portrayed by the likes of the HAF. By co-sponsoring House
Resolution 417, the US Congress can take a principled stand against
attempts to subvert India's longstanding secular Constitution.
Against Genocide is composed of a diverse group of Indian American
organizations and individuals that have come together in response to
the Gujarat genocide to demand accountability and justice.
1. Dr. Shaik Ubaid
Phone: (516) 567-0783
2. Mr. Raja Swamy
Phone: (864) 804-0216
Coalition Against Genocide
Phone/Fax: (443) 927-9039