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Mainstream, VOL LX No 28, New Delhi, July 2, 2022

Dear Silent Indians | Bhabani Shankar Nayak

Friday 1 July 2022

by Bhabani Shankar Nayak

The majority of Indian citizens are witnessing the persecution and everyday violence against their fellow citizens who are Muslims and religious minorities. The growing assaults on reason, science, secularism, Indian democracy and constitution are going to be landmarks in Indian history of diminishing democracy and citizenship rights. It is clear that Hindutva ideology is directly promoting sectarian politics of hate which is dangerous for the unity and integrity of India, peace and prosperity of Indians. The majoritarian silence helps in empowering Hindutva and their electoral dividends. From witnessing the persecution in the sidelines to the active participation and cheering loud or silence accelerates violence against our neighbours and our fellow citizens. How and why do majority of Indians stay silent and contribute to the persecution of their fellow citizens who are Muslims and religious minorities? The question baffles me as an Indian because I have grown up in a truly beautiful secular India where intercultural and religious harmony was its hallmark. In spite of all forms of existing inequality and exploitation, hate was not celebrated in Indian mainstream society. Majority of people used to oppose and condemn public violence in all forms.

The propaganda, media manipulation, anti-lower caste and class, anti-Muslim and anti-Christian prejudice and Hindutva symbolism in the name of Indian nationalism and Hindu religion socialises the masses and normalises violent persecution of innocent citizens of India. The conformation with power, prejudice, innocence, ignorance, and fear of power and caste-class opportunism are reasons behind this silence acceptance of injustice. Perhaps, more than one century of Hindutva propaganda has managed to achieve its objective of normalisation of violence against religious minorities in India. The Hindutva government patronises its own ideology and moving India in a direction of visible destruction. Amoral Hindutva despotism is a product of century long initiatives in different spheres of social, cultural, religious, political and economic life of the country and its citizens. The common, innocent and gullible Indians assisted the expansion of Hindutva forces and their organisations without knowing their toxic ideology of hate.

Many Indians still share the belief that Hindutva is a nationalist force and working for a developed India. In reality. Hindutva is a fascist force and working for the growth of crony capitalism in India where few corporations will control the economic and political life of India. The Hindutva forces have entered into every sphere of Indian national life to control the society, culture and religion in India within the narrow vision of Hindutva. The Hindutva ideology and its organisations are powerful enough today to follow the intimidation tactics to enforce the politics of persecution through electoral means. The next stage is going to be open and mass violence against religious minorities and anyone who opposes such a medieval force called Hindutva. The European fascism in the form of Hindutva awaits India and Indians if there is no mass movement against it.

Majoritarian silence does not help the cause of India and Indians. The peace, prosperity, economic growth and development depends on social harmony. The silence does not protect citizenship rights, dignity, jobs and career. The majoritarian silence surrenders all achievements of Indians to a reactionary Hindutva force that is working to handover all national resources to capitalist corporations. Muslims, Christians, indigenous communities, human rights activists, journalists and intellectuals are persecuted today, and majority of Indian will be persecuted tomorrow. It is a matter of time before Hindutva hell fire engulfs us all. Our survival, rights and dignity depends on our collective resistance against a small group of Hindutva fascists who are on streets today to destroy the India we love. Hindutva is still a small minority of individuals, organisations and networks if we compare India’s total population. Our silence is their strength. It is time to free ourselves from the prison of fear and silence for the sake of Indian Muslim and for ourselves. Any persecution of Muslim population by Hindutva is a persecution of all Indians. Hindutva can be defeated for the survival of India and Indians. Hindutva is now looking for ways to further expand its base and ideology. Our peace, prosperity and dignity as a nation depends on the defeat of Hindutva from every sphere of life in India.

(Author: Bhabani Shankar Nayak is associated with University of Glasgow, UK)

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