Sanghi Hindutva state would mark end of Indian idea: Shashi Tharoor

Agencies
October 31, 2020

New Delhi, Oct 31: The Hindutva movement is the "mirror image" of the Muslim communalism of 1947 and its triumph would mark the end of the Indian idea, says senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, asserting that Hindutva is a political doctrine, not a religious one.

A 'Hindu India' would not be Hindu at all, but a "Sanghi Hindutva state", which is a different country altogether, says Tharoor in his new book 'The Battle of Belonging' that was released on Saturday.

"People like me want to preserve the India we love, and not turn our beloved nation into the kind of religious state we were brought up to detest," he said.

Tharoor also asserted that Hindutva movement rhetoric echoes the bigotry that India was constructed to reject.

In the book published by Aleph Book Company, Tharoor makes a stinging critique of the Hindutva doctrine and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which he says is a challenge to, arguably, the most fundamental aspect of Indianness.

Devoting a chapter to the 'Hindu Pakistan' controversy in the book, the former Union minister writes: "I had inveighed against the ruling party’s attempts to create a Hindutva version of Pakistan, since that was not what our freedom movement fought for, nor was it the idea of India enshrined in our Constitution."

"This is not just about the minorities, as the BJP would have us believe. Many proud Hindus like myself cherish the inclusive nature of our faith and have no desire to live, as our Pakistani neighbours are forced to, in an intolerant mono-religious state," he writes.

Tharoor's reported comment last year that the BJP will pave the way for creation of a "Hindu Pakistan" had sparked a controversy with the party demanding his apology over the remarks.

Hinduism, as Swami Vivekananda asserted, teaches the acceptance of difference as a basic credo, Tharoor said in the book.

"Hindutva is not Hinduism; it is a political doctrine, not a religious one," he said.

"What is bizarre about the media drama over my remarks is that no one who was giving airtime to multiple BJP voices, frothing at the mouth about my words, actually asked them one simple question: 'Is the BJP giving up its dream of a Hindu rashtra?'" Tharoor said.

BJP apologists point out that the government has done nothing to amend the Constitution, and others have suggested that the Supreme Court's ruling that secularism is part of the 'basic structure' of the Constitution makes the idea of a 'Hindutva Pakistan' impossible, he said.

"But the fact is that both have only been held at bay by the simple fact that the BJP has not had the numbers required to achieve their goal -- two-thirds of both Houses of Parliament and half the states," he said.

Their overwhelming victory in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 and winning a plurality of seats in the Rajya Sabha in June 2020 has ensured that they finally have all the elements needed to fulfil their "project", he said, adding that the nation has been "warned".

Tharoor argues in the book that the battle is between two opposing ideas of India or what might be described as ethno-religious nationalism versus civic nationalism.

In a sharp criticism of the CAA, Tharoor said it is the first law to question a basic building block of the nation -- that religion is not the determinant of our nationhood and, therefore, of our citizenship.

At a time when India's major national priority ought to have been its flailing economy, whose plummeting growth rate had already aroused widespread alarm even before the coronavirus struck, the Modi government plunged the country into an unwanted political crisis of its own making with the CAA, he said.

"With its penchant for shock-and-awe, the government pushed through Parliament legislation that fast-tracks citizenship for people fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh -- provided they are not Muslim. By excluding members of just one community, the new law is antithetical to India's secular and pluralist traditions," writes Tharoor.

"The religious bigotry that partitioned the country with the founding of Pakistan has now been mirrored in pluralist India. As I told my fellow parliamentarians, that was a partition in the Indian soil; this is now a partition in the Indian soul," he said.

The Hindutva movement is the mirror image of the Muslim communalism of 1947; its rhetoric echoes the bigotry that India was constructed to reject, Tharoor said.

Its triumph would mark the end of the Indian idea, the Congress leader added.

In the book, Tharoor also delves into the issue of the slogan 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' allegedly becoming an "acid test of Indian nationalism" and reiterated his stance that no Indian should be compelled to mouth a phrase that is nationalistic in the eyes of some, but not in his own.

Revisiting the 2016 controversy involving Muslim legislator Waris Pathan, who was suspended from the Maharashtra Assembly soon after for refusing to utter the slogan, Tharoor noted that some Muslims say, "'Tell us to say Jai Hind, Hindustan Zindabad, Jai Bharat, we'll do it -- but do not ask us to say Bharat Mata ki Jai'."

"The same Constitution that, in our civic nationalism, gives us the right to freedom of speech, also gives us the freedom of silence. We cannot put words in people's mouths," he asserted.

Tharoor also criticized the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated on August 5, 2019, saying Modi shocked the nation with an announcement on Kashmir that could well turn out to be the "political equivalent of demonetization"

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
November 28,2020

food.JPG

As thousands of farmers from Haryana and Punjab marched towards Delhi to protest against three farm laws, they were welcomed with water cannons and lathi charge, in an attempt to dissuade them. But undeterred, farmers have not stopped marching and have vowed to continue agitations unless the government scraps these laws.

In the midst of all this, mosques in Delhi have now come forward to organize food for the farmers, depicting that humanity is above everything.

Twitter user Mohammad Ajmal Khan shared a picture and wrote, ”Several Mosques in Delhi have organized food for the farmers arriving from Punjab and other states. Farmers stood by our side during CAA-NRC now it’s our turn for the sake of humanity. This very compassion & unity is bothering the intolerant rulers.”

Several Mosques in Delhi have organized food for the farmers arriving from Punjab and other states.

Farmers stood by our side during CAA-NRC now it's our turn for the sake of humanity.

Social activist Nadeem Khan also wrote how arrangement of food is being made in several mosques of Delhi and shared a number in case farmers need to contact them.Notably kitchens to prepare food have been set up at several mosques across Delhi and the organisers plan to continue this free delivery of food as long as the situation demands, Clarion India reported.

The hopeful news amid the chaos have warmed people’s hearts, who are now hailing India’s unity in diversity. One user wrote, ”MashAllah! Humanity above all. It’s time to serve the givers aka farmers.”

Propped on tractors and trucks, bikes, and many on bicycles and foot these marchers have started from six states, including the neighbouring Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan besides Kerala. The marches have been planned for two months to press the central government to repeal the recently enacted farm laws.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
November 23,2020

exam.jpg

Bengaluru, Nov 23: Six policemen, including two in the city, were caught impersonating candidates appearing for a written exam to recruit constables for the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB).

DCP (West) Sanjeev M Patil said the accused Nagappa Pavedeppa, a constable attached to the Sringeri police station and Mallikarjuna Babalannavar were caught separately in two examination centres in the West division on Sunday. The accused had applied for leave to come to Bengaluru to impersonate as candidates.

While the exams for KSRP and IRB constable positions were taking place across the state, the West division had eight centres. The department for recruitment and training held the exam for 17,940 constables at 36 centres.

The investigation revealed that the candidates had booked hotel rooms for the impersonators who agreed to appear on their behalf for a fee. But invigilators arrested them at the exam centre. Police took the accused into custody for further investigation.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
December 1,2020

tehran.jpg

Nicosia, Dec 1: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian Professor of physics who was the brains behind the Project Amad, Tehran's alleged covert programme for building a nuclear bomb, was killed near the city of Absard, 50 miles from Tehran last Friday in an ambush, by highly trained assassins, believed to be members of Mossad, the Israeli spy agency.

It is unclear how the attack actually took place, as a press report speaks about 12 assassins who exploded a Nissan car when Fakhrizadeh's convoy of three bulletproof cars was passing, and then the gunmen opened fire on the cars, killing the nuclear scientist and his guards. However, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency, quoting Iranian officials, says the assassination was carried out from distance with a remote-controlled automatic machinegun. "No human assets were present at the scene of the assassination and the shooting was carried out only with automatic weapons, " it claimed.

Iran immediately accused Israel of being behind Fakhrizadeh's death and for good reason. Since 2010 Israel had carried out 4 assassinations of scientists who were believed to be involved in Iran's nuclear programme and caused explosions at various facilities associated with the programme. As has been its usual practice, Israel did not publicly admit that it was behind the killings.

It should be mentioned that in 2018, Fakhrizadeh was named by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said that secret documents concerning Iran's nuclear programme, which were stolen by Israel, showed that Fakhrizadeh secretly continued Project Amad.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, promised to retaliate for the killing of the prominent scientist, while President Hassan Rouhani declared that Iran would retaliate for the murder, but pointed out that it would do so at a time of its choosing. "In due time, they will answer for this crime," he said, adding that the assassination shows Iran's enemies despair and depth of their hatred".

An immediate response came from the Iranian Parliament which on Sunday approved a vote to raise the rate of uranium enrichment to 20% (from 4%) and gradually withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (Iran nuclear deal).

BBC reports that John Brennan, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said the killing of the scientist was a "criminal" and "highly reckless" act that "risks lethal retaliation and a new round of regional conflict".

However, although the Israeli government did not publicly admit that the assassination of the top Iranian nuclear scientist was its own doing, a senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the New York Times on Sunday that the world should "thank Israel for killing the father of Iran's nuclear programme" and added that Israel would keep acting to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Many analysts believe that US President Donald Trump gave the green light to the Israelis to kill Fakhrizadeh, pointing out that Trump recently sought options for a military strike on Iran's nuclear programme, but was dissuaded from doing so by his senior advisers.

Amos Yadlin, Chairman of the Institute for National Security Studies of Israel told the Army Radio that whoever operated in Tehran "has one eye, maybe two on Washington. If the Iranians respond, it will enable President Donald Trump to order his generals to act against them. And if they don't, it could still possibly block the Biden administration from opening negotiations."

A similar view was expressed by Sweden's former Prime Minister Carl Bildt who said: "It's not unlikely that this targeted killing was part of efforts to prevent the Biden administration from reviving diplomacy with Iran and going back to the nuclear agreement".

Zvi Bar'el, Middle Eastern Affairs Analyst for Haaretz newspaper, points out that the timing of the assassination, "even if it was determined by purely operational considerations, is a clear message to President-elect Joe Biden, intended to show Israel's criticism of the intent to return to the nuclear accord with Iran and other issues, like freezing Iran's ballistic missile programme in return for economic cooperation".

Haaretz newspaper's diplomatic reporter Noa Landau writes that US President Donald Trump has more than a month before he leaves the White House, and on his way, he could set the world on fire. In starting this conflagration, it seems as though he plans to strike every match in the box. Standing beside him, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be more than happy to lend him a lighter".

Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei stated on Sunday that the Islamic Republic "should not fall into the trap of linking the assassination to past nuclear negotiations". He added that the killing of Fakhrizadeh would not remain unanswered, but not at a time that they want or the way and place they expect. "Iran sets the time and the place," he concluded.

What is noteworthy is that President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have maintained a deafening silence on the matter and did not utter a word about the assassination.

However, given that they publicly vowed to revive the nuclear deal with Iran, they probably think that by the targeted killing of Fakhrizadeh, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was betting on a harsh response by Iran, and in this way tried to sabotage future US negotiations with Tehran. This is something that it will be difficult for Biden to forget.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.