[Written at the eve of Indian Elections in April-May, 2004]


[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]


India is a vast country and by virtue of that, it is called as a sub-continent with various regions, climates, high mountains, deep valleys and majestic rivers like Ganges.   Its population is exceeding 1.2 billion. It is heterogeneous in its formation and is rich in mineral and agricultural resources. Its history is quite ancient and dates back to the most primitive time of human civilization. Its original nationals were called Dravidians who were driven back to the South when the Arians attacked and occupied plane and fertile lands of the North. The Arian’s culture, religion and myths dominated the Indian socio-economic-political scene until the arrival of Muslims in the sub-continent from both the North and South in Malabar with their own distinct civilization – religion, name and nomenclature and a complete system of life and code of conduct in every walk of life. Both the Arian and Muslim culture flourished in India side by side for about a thousand years until the appearance of British people through the waters of the Bay of Bengal. British dominated the scene of Indian politics for about two hundred years. They were forced to give it up by granting Independence to Indo-Pak subcontinent on August 14/15, 1947.


Throughout the above scenario, the high cast Hindus were trying to establish the “dictatorship” of Brahmanism and keep the “untouchables” under their “feet” as serfdoms, clearly violating the fair name of “Mother India” promoting and perpetuating the tutelage of unholy cast system. The stalwarts of Hindu culture were always trying their best to absorb all the minorities, including Muslims as the integral part of the main streamline of Hinduism. The Indian National Congress always claimed to be the representative of all. The elections of March 1946 under British India were held just to ascertain that which party represents whom and to what extent. As such, the Constitution of India recognized their separate existence and gave a total secular outlook to Indian politics with guarantees of human and representative rights to minorities. The dream of “Akhand Bharat” retreated for the time being in the background.


After independence, Indian National Congress dominated the Indian politics, under the leadership of Nehru “dynasty” which was secular in behavior but mockingly pro-Hindu at heart. As such, secularism in its truest form could not be established in India. The hypocritical role of Congress with Indian minorities, including Muslims disbalanced the political system of India and gradually tilted it towards sectarian Hinduism, which is now better known as “Hinduta”. It gave open opportunity to breed Hinduism in its most naked form. The dreamers of Akhand Bharat, the cherishers of “cow-protectors”, the slogan raisers of “Bandai matram”, the advocates of “returning back to the civilization of “Paracheen call” [old civilization of Arians] , were all smoldering with their underground and open efforts under the well organized efforts of Rashtria Savok Sing and its various militant offshoots. BJP is nothing but the political denomination of all these trends under whose umbrella all the protagonists of Hinduism are flourishing in their respective ‘hide-outs’. When the writer of this article was secular in his outlook, believing in Hindu-Muslim Unity, attended a public meeting of RSS in Bahraich, UP in 1946 and heard the vision of its leader Golwalker, it looked odd to me. He presented his vision to transform India into a Hindu dominated country where all the minorities will be amalgamated like tea in the melting pot. It opened my eyes and I gradually drifted towards Islam in due course.        


India currently is passing through a transition from total secularism to total Hinduism. Within the next decade or so, the BJP and its constituent parties are likely to unfurl their hidden agenda of Hinduta and “Saffron” culture. The current agenda of BJP is to recapture power in the forthcoming elections by hook or by crook. Unfortunately, under the “pressure” of President Bush, General Musharraff of Pakistan has become a “party” to this game. Under a deep “diplomacy”, Pakistan had “lost” both one-day and the Test match cricket series to India just to “facilitate” BJP to win over the scheduled general elections in April-May 2004 by capturing the “swinging” votes of Muslims and getting an offer of “temptation” from India to start “meaningful” dialogue over the outstanding issues in June-July 2004. What a fool are the people at the helm of affairs in Pakistan. India will “dictate” term to Pakistan, if BJP succeeds and Pakistan will have no choice but to surrender to the “good wishes” of Bush-Vajpayee. The agenda of RSS will come into operation and there will be nobody to stop it except the will of the Creator and Sustainer.


The cat has already come out of the bag. In India, this election is being fought on the same issues of sentimentalism as pinpointed above. Let us have a look over the issues that have already been adopted by RSS, BJP, and Sangh Parivar as their vision for the future. That is the agenda of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and it is as under:


* Protecting the Hindu culture and Hindu society from the aggressive designs of “Jihadi” movements;


* Building of Ram temple in Ayodhiya and abolishing the enquiry procedure in that respect;          


* Abolishing the especial Provision Act of 1991 for protecting the places of worship;


* Declaring cow as sacred national animal and should not be allowed to be slaughtered under any circumstances;


* Promulgation of Common Civil Code and inclusion of Sanskrit, stories of Ramain and Mahabharat in the educational courses;


* Imposing total restriction over the change of religion;


* Abolishing the Article 370 about Kashmir from the Indian Constitution;


These and many other items from the manifesto of Hindu Parisad that are being patronized by BJP and its constituent alliance are sufficient prove to foretell the future political set up of India. The entire secularism of “Bapu”, “Nehru” and “JPN” is at stake. It is projecting the emergence of a Hindu dynasty of “Chankiya” once more in India in the next decade. What India has gained through secularism in the West, by claiming to be the largest secular democracy of the world will be dismantled at the altar of Hindu myth and mythology. The minorities that are in much more large number than the dominant Brahmans are to take notice of these silent but most violent realities of Indian politics. If BJP attains power in the forthcoming elections in Center and most of the states, it will try to establish a “Ramraj” in India where the untouchable, the Dalits, the Muslims and the Christians will have to survive at the “wishes” of the philosophy of RSS and its allied forces. India is fast heading towards the crossroad where it is likely to depart from its secular constitution and political set up to a theocratic state where only the Hindu religion will dominate in every phase of life. It may endeavor to fulfill its centuries-old dream of “Akhand Bharat”, if persons like Musharraff or secular regimes remain in power in Pakistan with the active support of Bush-Vajpayee-Sharon and their conspicuous hegemonies to dismantle, dislodge or destabilize Pakistan.


At this critical juncture of Indian politics, the Muslims of India have a very important role to play. At one side, they are to advocate that the good of India lies in promoting and establishing the family values of love and respect for each other, advocating brotherhood and goodwill for each and every citizen with dignity and strictly observing no “cast-gender-religious” discrimination within the body politics of India. On the other hand, they must make every possible effort to develop a common platform of all the minority groups to support only those candidates in the forthcoming election who uphold these values and commit to honor and preserve the fundamentals of the Indian constitution that guarantees the secular set up in India. Votes of minorities, especially those of Muslims and scheduled cast, must not be divided. Time is very short at their disposal. However, let us hope for the best but be prepared for the worst that is visible as the logical outcome of different alliances, manifestoes and political hegemonies both at home and abroad. India today stands at a crossroad: either to remain as a secular tolerant country or becomes an unbearable Hindu country for the minorities to be doomed for good.


In return, India will get nothing but stiff opposition from the scheduled cast people and other minorities who constitute about 80% of its population. It may create dislocation or may put in reverse gear its modern development. The current campaign of BJP Government of “feel-good” will become “feel-bad” for decades together. India will become a closed society and its inhabitants will be pinpointed as religious fanatics wherever they will go and whom they will meet.  



Shamim A Siddiqi

April 15, 2004