Insights into the shaping of the new political landscape in India, with reference to Church vandalism in Haryana.
Being a Muslim, having studied in a Christian Missionary school and befriended girls from Hindu and Sikh families, I had never really had a chance to sneak into this ‘India’ of insecurities that is replete with Holier-than-thou rhetoric. Amidst the mutiny of colors and cake, crackers and delicacies; and abounding ourselves while fighting over the last bite until our arms hurt, we all grew up. As of now, the India that hates is all over the political discourse. It howls for attention, demands to be hated back. If you discern not, you might as well be from Mars.
Of late, the ongoing spate of Church vandalism in the nation clubbed with a fanatical attitude towards the other religious minorities has presented the World’s largest Democracy in an altogether new format. With the sabotage of St. Alphonsa’s Church in Vasant Kunj soon after that in St. Sebastian’s Church, the capital city registered fifth such incident in a span of just four months. The most recent episode that took place in Kaimri Village of Hisar District (Haryana) has deeply frenzied the Christian community that was already up in arms against the Sangh Parivar after the uncalled-for comment on Mother Teresa by RSS Supremo. Father Subhash Chand of Williwarsh Church in the village lodged a complaint against a group of young people that entered the plot where the church was being built and forcibly installed a Hanuman idol there. It is also alleged that they broke the cross and installed a flag depicting Ram. Incidents like these tempered with mucky rhetorics against the minorities have added to the insecurities of the sensible common man. The BJP having swept to polls last May largely on the ‘Development’ card, has failed to deliver to the expectations of the common man that hoped not to be taken for a casual ride atleast this time. With the rewriting of history textbooks, looking at any and every historical move from the Saffron prism, is the ruling party missing out on developing Scientific Temper into the national psyche?
HISTORICAL IMPETUS BEHIND HATRED
MS Golwalkar, who succeeded Hedgewar as the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh in 1940 has very frankly valorized Hitler and his ideologies in his book titled ‘We Or Our Nationhood Defined,’ for “purging the country of the Semitic races, the Jews” and demonstrated his hatred towards the minorities. Rejecting the idea of Indian Nationhood, he believes that the minorities should live as second-class citizens in India. As proponents of caste-system, the Sangh Parivar does not believe in equality. Not surprisingly, the manifestations of this ideology have come to surface in full bloom with the BJP coming to power.
The baseless argument that India is essentially a Hindu Rashtra and Muslims and Christians are all invaders that coerced the ‘Hindus’ into their respective religions; put forth by RSS and subtly backed by the ruling party; is the reason many sensible people that had initially sided with the BJP have backed out. Such lack of rationality that makes us shy away from admitting that We, the people alone gave to ourselves this treasure trove of knowledge (read: parliamentarians) that would once in a while enlighten us with an altogether different version of ‘Truth’ that was hitherto foreign to human race.
We really need to shift the burden of this debate onto ourselves before we run short of sanity in the political space. Exploit thy caliber in the best of ways so as to keep the dissent in good shape. We’ve got to write it down, speak it out, and debate over it; under it. If anything, popularize dissent. So that not we end up with an Indian society that takes obedience lessons way too seriously.