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Why are Hindutvadis Voting for Modi?

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By Aslam Abdullah

Dinesh Narayanan writing in the May issue of Caravan Magazine (www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/rss-30?page=0,7) reveals the following:

“In January, I went to meet Shyam Pandharipande, a former journalist who grew up in an RSS family, at his sixth-floor apartment in Nagpur. “I joined the RSS before I joined school and I completed my RSS training before I graduated from college,” Pandharipande told me. He recalled a revealing episode from his third year of the Sangh’s officer-training camp, in 1970, the last step in becoming a full-time RSS worker. During a question-and-answer session, a volunteer asked Yadavrao Joshi, then the head of Sangh workers across all of south India, “We say RSS is a Hindu organisation. We say we are a Hindu nation, India belongs to Hindus. We also say in the same breath that Muslims and Christians are welcome to follow their faith and that they are welcome to remain as they are so long as they love this country. Why do we have to give this concession? Why don’t we be very clear that they have no place if we are a Hindu country?” According to Pandharipande, Joshi replied: “As of now, RSS and Hindu society are not strong enough to say clearly to Muslims and Christians that if you want to live in India, convert to Hinduism. Either convert or perish. But when the Hindu society and RSS will become strong enough we will tell them that if you want to live in India and if you love this country, you accept that some generations earlier you were Hindus and come back to the Hindu fold.”

The Hindutva candidate, Narendar Modi is confident of his victory. He is certain to cross the electoral finish line to bag more than 272 seats to form the next Indian government.

There are still many unknown factors in the election and the victory is not as certain as Modi and the media wants everyone else to believe. However, one thing is certain. Modi’s election as prime minister of the country may not have serious implications for India but it certainly has serious implications for the minorities especially Muslims and Christians.
The world does not care if India is Hindu nationalist or a secular state as long as the world and those who manipulate it get a piece in the development pie of India.

To India’s majority, secularism is not an issue as long as their national pride is in high spirit. The national pride, no matter what one may say, is built on Brahmanical ethos and culture presented in the name of Hinduism.

There is a constituency of secular Indians who are concerned about the rise of Modi and they would speak loudly, but fascist forces have the ability to silence them one way or the other. India under Modi should be prepared to witness this.

But the brunt of Modi’s presence in the national government would be borne mainly by Muslims and Christians. Probably, the Christian community might get some reprieve because of the growing influence of the American dollar. American Christian evangelists would play a part in standing up for the dignity of their Christian brethren. But Muslims would not find much support in the world for the ordeal they might go through.

The strategy of Modi would be simple: declare Muslims as “terrorists” and deal with them as “terrorists” and no one would come to their rescue. Amnesty and Human Rights Watch might issue a few statements but who cares.

It is the community at the grass roots level that would suffer from discrimination. Of course, everything would be done in a legal way. There would be poster Muslim men and women who would sing the praise of Modi, but the majority of the community would suffer because not only Modi but those who support him have a vision of an India where Muslims must be marginalised at all cost.  

Modi has mobilised his partisan crowd who are more motivated than ever before to cast their votes for him or his party candidates. Why? Is Modi charismatic? No, he does not possess the quality of a leader who can make people laugh or cry and make them change their perspectives.

Is he a great orator?  No. He does not have the skills of an orator. His facts are wrong, his delivery is poor and his choice of words is lousy.

Is he a great scholar? No. He does not know even the basics of Indian history. If he were contesting the election in any European or North American country, he would have already become a laughing stock among people.

Is he a development guru? No. The development he is talking about is what any municipal corporation or city council can do.

Is he anti-corruption? No. He is reeking in corruption as he is the poster boy of multinational corporations and big businesses who know how to legalise corruption and loot.

Is he pro-people? No. It was in his state that the people belonging to a religion other than his own faced the worst violence in independent India and members of Modi government were directly involved in the genocide.

Then why is he pulling big crowds? Why does media talk of a “Modi wave” and why a good number of people are voting for him. Here are the answers:

1. He represents an ideology that on the basis of its hatred towards Muslims, Christians and other minorities wants to create a nation that gives priority to those who believe in this ideology;

2. He represents an organisation that is most organised and most disciplined in the world today and it has a committed cadre which can bring out its supporters in the street at a short notice;

3. He presents the face of a leader who is willing to do anything to fulfill the ideological dreams of his supporters.

A substantial number of people are supporting him because they believe that,

1. Modi is the only guy who can stop the so-called “appeasement” of Muslims. It is an irony that some 30 percent of India’s jobs and political offices are reserved for people who are identified as scheduled castes and scheduled tribes who are listed by the Hindu religious hierarchy as “Hindus”.They do not talk about appeasing Hindus. Rather, they refer to Muslim appeasement on the basis of a myth that they themselves have created;

2. Modi is seen as the only one who can engineer the genocide of a people and can get away by manipulating evidence and coercing and suppressing witnesses;

3. Modi is seen as the only guy who has the capability to use violence in the name of maintaining law and order to teach minorities a lesson;

4. Modi is seen as the only politician who can bring back the old Brahmanical domination by reintroducing Hindu laws in a secular way within the constitutional framework;

5. Modi is a religious fanatic and he wants to create a Hindu Rashtra based on the notion of RSS and his supporters feel that India can only prosper when it asserts its Brahmin identity;

6. His supporters view Muslims as anti-India. They consider Muslims traitors and enemies of Hindusim politically and socially. They think they have the best chance to get even with Muslims if they elect Modi.

But one must also remember that history is not often dictated by the known but by the unknown. Modi and his supporters might have their plans, but the history is capable of unfolding many unknown factors that might pose new challenges to India. (aslamabdullah.blogspot.in)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2014 on page no. 1

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