By Sushil Kutty
The consolidation of the Hindus is at breakneck speed. The Hindutva forces at play have no competition. There is nothing to match the right wing’s polarization strategy. And the tactics employed are striking a chord with the Hindus. It’s being driven home that time is fast running out for the Hindu way of life unless he pulls up his socks.
The resultant resonance suits Hindutva. The Congress-led UPA is aware of the crippling tactics employed but knows not how to retaliate in a patently Hindu-majority country. The attempt to drive a wedge between “Hindu” and “Hindutva” fell flat, as was seen in the state elections held last and earlier this year.
The advantage to the BJP is that unlike the Congress and the other so-called secular parties, the BJP has never been shy in declaring its intent. In fact, polarization is the BJP’s USP, the most “basic” part of its strategy. Don’t be surprised if some BJP Smart Alec with a degree from Harvard or Yale doesn’t rename the BJP, Bharatiya Hindutva Party!
The sad part of the story is that the Congress party particularly has lost connection with the Hindu. The majority of Hindus at one time used to vote for the Congress, which was proof that an overwhelming number of Hindus were “secular-minded.” But there was a chink in the secular armour and the Congress chose to ignore the warning signs. Hindutva was eroding the secular mindset.
Today, the rank and file of the Hindu, who are younger by the yard and mile, are bound by religious nationalism, which is driving them to the Hindutva fold. It is no longer quiet acquiescence, “reluctant acceptance of something without a protest.” The ‘Hindu is waking up’ is no longer a cliché. The belief is finding currency that for far too long the Hindu has suffered the humiliation of being labelled a “nation of cowards.”
That said, if CAA has gone into the “thanda-buxa”, it was because the Hindutva forces realized that something which didn’t basically hurt the “Muslim minority” and therefore was not the glue to bring Hindus together wouldn’t work towards polarization. It’s the same with the “hijab”. Muslim women wearing or not wearing the hijab does not hurt the Hindu, and therefore useless aid to polarize.
But ‘halal’ and ‘loudspeaker’ are potent weapons, patently polarizing because it is written in their dna. If ‘halal’ denies outright the “Hindu way of life”, the “azaan on loudspeaker” is a daily provocation that plays on the sentiment that, for far too long, the Hindu has been at the receiving end, taking it on the chin and yet unable to put a stop to the humiliation.
The possibilities are endless. For instance, the “other” faith has only one god to flaunt. The Hindu had at last count 36 million! If push comes to shove, there could be countless “shobha yatras” every day of the year, countless provocations to the ones who choose to be easily provoked.
The confounding part is the “One God” people are falling for the trap, believing they are living in the medieval age. Their usage of terms like “Muslim areas” aren’t doing them any good, either. After Partition and Pakistan, there shouldn’t have been mention of “Muslim areas.”
If India is pitted with Muslim and Hindu areas, then what? If India cannot be “Hindu Rashtra”, India cannot also be “Muslim areas.” It is dangerous. But to believe that the Hindus threaten the idea of India because of their sheer numbers is missing the woods for the tree. A growing number of Hindus believe that the “believers” are the Trojan to be feared.
Also, a misconception and complacency has crept in, which was spelled out by AIMIM’s Akbaruddin Owaisi when he challenged the “100 crore” to “remove the police for 15 minutes.” Yes, people on both sides of the aisle believe that the “coward nation of Hindus” survives at the mercy of the police and the army, remove them and the Hindu won’t last even 15 minutes!
For the politician and political parties, the spate of communal riots following the “shobha yatras’ is what the doctor prescribed to win elections. What the rioting and polarization are doing to the Hindu and Muslim is something worse than unimaginable.
No wonder a slumbering Amit Shah is trending on Twitter even as the combined Opposition has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to wake up to the dangers of his ways. Maybe, a couple of Raj Thackeray’s “bhompus” should be deployed to wake up the Rip Van Winkle. Politicians do not seem to know how the world changes when they are sleeping. (IPA Service)