By Mubarak Ali Baloch
Both regional and international media is abuzz with reports indicative of shrinking space for minority population making 20% of total population of India. BJP (Bhartiya Jannata Party) the ruling party at centre had formed central government in past but no such anti-minority feelings were reported. Present setup of the party at centre is headed by Narendra Modi, the ardent follower and one time Parcharak of RSS (Rashtriya Sevak Sangh). The latter’s primary motto is to ensure Hindus domination at the cost of minority’s religious freedom. RSS with thousands of stalwarts having various responsibilities at different tiers of the outfit including teams of so-called vigilantes engaged in terrorizing non-Hindu population. Incidents of defilement of religious places, vandalizing the churches and sexual molestation of Nuns are unabated. Currently beef ban is being ensured and Muslims are lynched by Hindu zealots; latest victim being Abdul Khaliq Saifi near Dadri not away from Delhi under the suspicion of beef consumption
Space of religious tolerance has shrunken to the extent that Hindu activists have now diverted their assaultive mode towards liberal figures. It has been observed that writers, artists / intellectuals with liberal outlook are being targeted for their liberal and soft posture towards issues. Lately, M.M Kalburgi, author of over 100 books and outspoken critic on Hindu religion, Communist leader Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar (hailing from Mahrashtra) have fallen prey to Hindu extremists attack. It is learnt that Sanatan Sanstha, a least heard Hindu extremist is said to be responsible for these murders. M.M Kalburgi was a renowned scholar of Sanskrit. Hinduvta seeds were formally sown back in 1990s when Lal Kirshan Advani of BJP had gathered Hindus on a single plank and encouraged extremists to demolish 15th century Babri mosque in Ayodhya. The same could materialize on 06th December 1992 when a huge mob attacked mosque and razed it to ground. Such activities normally led to the birth of extremism with a new vigour. Meteoric rise in it is witnessed in the face of ongoing wave of intolerance which is shrinking the liberal space in otherwise secular India. Narendra Modi’s government is now under the sway of RSS, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal etc. Emboldened faces of these outfits have now started dictating people what to eat, wear and what not. This growing chauvinistic jingoism is not easy to vanish due to the fact that Hindu fundamentalists under the garb of RSS have penetrated deep into the India’s social fabric.
A wide-spread network of Hindu organizations with extremist leanings has been established. There are Saraswati Shishu Mandirs with formal schools which highlight the so-called Hindu ascendancy of yesteryear tinged with communal hatred against Muslims and other faiths in India. Thus a new mindset is in making laced with bias and bigotry at the cost of communal harmony. BJP government at centre is seen subservient to RSS (Rashtriya Sevak Sangh) as largely reported in media that recently Nadrendra Modi produced his cabinet members before the men in Khaki shorts and black caps; RSS office bearers, who subjected cabinet members performance to close scrutiny. RSS reported satisfactory performance of Modi’s cabinet. These Hindu Taliban are with all audacity seen inspecting private life of people that includes eating habits and lynching Muslims under the suspicious of beef eating, or even bovine keeping. Rajeshwar Singh; head of Dharm Jagran Samiti (DJS) in Uttar Pradesh while defending forcible conversion of Muslims and Christians has recently asserted in a TV talkshow that India would be free of Muslims and Christians by 2021. This is alarming and minority population is seen quite perturbed.
Hindu extremists have been spewing venom against Pakistan. Recent, attempts to sabotage Mr. Khursheed Kasuri’s ‘book launch ceremony’ in Mumbai and spraying black the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni hosting the show were reported in media. Besides, Shiv Sena’s threat compelled ICC to keep Aleem Dar, a Pakistani known for his impartial umpireship; off from series between South Africa and India recently played in India. Imran Tahir, a Pakistani born South African cricketer was asked by team management to stay in hotel in Mumbai in the face of Shiv Sena threats. His Pakistani background and being Muslim got him restricted inside hotel. Shiv Sena hardliners on 19 October had stormed the office of Shashank Manohar chief of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) protesting against Shashnak’s planned meeting with his Pakistani counter-part. In view of Hindu extremists’ growing communal hatred towards non-Hindu population of India it appears that these Hindu Taliban would never stop their activities and the communal peace would remain their activities’ victim.