Daya Varma and Vinod Mubayi


While Muslims are the obvious target of Sangh Parivar, no one should feel immune to their pernicious policies- even Hindus?


The Western press these days is full of stories about the fast-spreading Talibanization of Pakistan.  And it is indeed a very serious and critical problem confronting the state and people of Pakistan.  But the sub-text to many of these stories is that this phenomenon is something rooted in the DNA of Muslims, that it is unique to those born in the faith and culture of Islam.  This issue of INSAF Bulletin shows that something similar is fast spreading in India led by those who consider Muslims to be their greatest enemy but whose culture and values are indistinguishable from their Taliban across the border.


In the early 1980s, the Pakistani poetess Fahmida Riaz and her family were given shelter by Indira Gandhi in India from the threat posed by the Pakistani dictator Zia-ul-Haq.  Liberal Pakistanis, long accustomed and inured to the rhetoric of assorted Islamic fundamentalists, looked to secular India as a model. But the destruction of Babri Masjid and its aftermath shook Fahmida’s confidence in India when she wrote her well-known poem “Tum bilkul ham jaise nikle” (You turned out to be just like us).


Since its inception, INSAF Bulletin has argued that while the immediate target of Hindutva fundamentalists of Sangh Parivar are Muslims, its ultimate target are all people who do not conform to their vision of India, of morality, of political formation and above all of social conduct and interaction.  While the demolition of the Babri mosque popularized the culture of fundamentalism and the Gujarat massacre of Muslims demonstrated its practices, many believed that only Muslims were the Sangh Parivar’s target. Those who opposed these moves of the Sangh Parivar were dismissed as Muslim lovers (and Hindu haters).


However, the Sangh Parivar has not created an army comprising of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajarang Dal and many other social and political formations just to demolish a Masjid and kill a few thousand Muslims. They have a grander plan and they are proceeding along it in a systematic manner.  What is a bit surprising is the speed at which their plan is unfolding. The attack on Christians, a tiny minority in India, followed by the attacks on young women, regardless of caste and religion, probably none of whom are Muslim, in public bars, along with attacks on couples on Valentine Day, highlights the unfolding of their comprehensive agenda.  Two articles on that theme, one by Ram Puniyani and the other an editorial in the Hindu newspaper, focus attention on not only the general fear but also the gravity of the danger of Hindu fundamentalism.


The main victims of the Jehadi fundamentalists in Pakistan are Muslims. It is thus not surprising that Hindus themselves will ultimately become the main target of Hindu fundamentalists. In a way this is probably inevitable because this alone can lead to a broader clash between the ordinary citizens of India and the burgeoning Hindu fundamentalists. In the bitter battle that would follow, we feel certain that Hindu fundamentalism will be finally buried and a truly democratic secular culture will emerge more strongly.

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