Hindutva ideology


In its 72 years as a free country, India has never faced a more serious crisis. Already its institutions – its courts, much of its media, its investigative agencies, its election commission – have been pressured to fall in line with Modi’s policies. The political opposition is withered and infirm. More is in the offing: the idea of Hindutva, in its fullest expression, will ultimately involve undoing the constitution and unraveling the fabric of liberal democracy. It will have to; constitutional niceties aren’t compatible with the BJP’s blueprint for a country in which people are graded and assessed according to their faith. The ferment gripping India since the passage of the citizenship act – the fever of the protests, the brutality of the police, and the viciousness of the politics – has only reflected how existentially high the stakes have become.
The recent attack at a new church in India’s capital Delhi by the supporters of Hindutva ideology has exposed the country’s claims of protecting the religious rights of minorities. The irony of the situation is that the attack took place when the church was holding its first Sunday prayer.
Besides Muslims and Dalits, now Christians are also facing frequent incidents of targeted religious hatred. Arpan Peter, an Indian Christian from Bangalore said being a minority, he had started feeling unsafe in India. I am a minority and unsafe for being one. I can’t even imagine what it must feel to be a Muslim in this country. India has turned into a communal hellhole like never before. And if you’ve voted for the BJP (Bharatia Janta Party), you undoubtedly are responsible for this mess. Peter said he had received a call from his father, asking to avoid going to church. This is the first time he asked me not to indulge in a faith of being born in it.
CJ Werleman, Global Correspondent for Byline Times and Columnist for Inside Arabia strongly criticized the attack on a church in India. He also shared a video clip of the attack where the members of Hindutva group Bajrang Dal vandalized the church. Shoot the traitors [Christians], he posted on his Twitter account, referring to the slogans raised by the mob. He called upon the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia to declare as “terrorist organizations” the groups including Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal.
Ashok Swain, an Indian-origin Professor of Peace and Conflict Research in Sweden lamented the situation in India where Christians suffered hatred in the name of religion. He also put on Twitter another video of the Hindutva mob seen pressurizing the Christians to leave their place of worship. A recent study showed that Christians make up 2.4 percent of India’s massive population. Indigenous Christians in India say they are under increasing pressure to give up their faith due to mounting pressure from Hindu activists. According to news reports, the Hindu activists and organizations conduct special drives in villages to pressure Christians. Frequent attacks on churches in India are reflective of the fact that minorities are facing continuous persecution and the situation demands a serious attention of the international human rights watchdogs.