A delusion

The recent inauguration of India’s new parliament building and unveiling of a mural has kicked up a controversy. The mural in the parliament building represents the idea of so-called ‘Akhand Bharat’. The concept of ‘Akhand Bharat’ refers to ancient India once ruled by kings like Chandragupta (Jain) and Ashoka the Great (Buddhist).
The Ashoka empire included parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Chanakya’s portrait has also been adorned with new buildings that articulated the idea of Akhand Bharat during the time of the Gupta Empire. India’s foreign policy strategy is inspired by Chanakya’s book ‘Arthashastra’ which is taken as a Bible by the Indian external affairs ministry. India’s parliamentary affairs minister said that the mural in the building represents the resolve of Akhand Bharat. Akhand Bharat is associated with the Hindutva ideology i.e., Hindu supremacy or hegemony.
It was because of Brahma Samaj and Arya Samaj movements which led to the creation of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in 1925. Leaders of RSS like Hedgewar, Savarkar and Golwalkar’s philosophy were inspired by Nazi Germany. They advocated that India is the homeland of Hindus only, therefore Hindus should rule India and other communities should be expelled or merged. Savarkar’s definition of Hindu was, a Hindu is one who inhabits the land from Indus to the seas and below Himalayas. Nathuram Godse (RSS worker) who assassinated Gandhi before being hanged chanted the slogan “Akhand Bharat amar rahe”. The RSS celebrates August 14 every year as ‘Akhand Bharat Sankalp Diwas’ (Akhand Bharat Pledge Day) for the formation of a reunited India. The Sangh Parivar is propagating the cause of Hindu Rashtriya a Hindu state.
The term ‘Hindutva’ was coined by Chandranath Basu, a staunch Hindu to create a collective Hindu identity. In 1980 the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the political arm of RSS, morphed into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a Hindu radical force. With the BJP in power that too under prime minister Modi the Hindutva ideology has replaced the so-called secularism contrary to the Indian constitution. According to the RSS president Mohan Bhagwat, India will become ‘Akhand Bharat’ in 10 to 15 years.
The lieutenant governor of IIOJK Manoj Sinhe recently said that “I have no doubt that one day the dream of Akhand Bharat conceived by our elders will be a reality”. The political parties in Nepal have protested against the mural and have demanded prime minister Dahal who was visiting India to raise the issue. Most historians are of the view that India never included Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Tibet, or Sri Lanka even in ancient times. With the fascist government of Sangh Parivar in power, the Muslims are at the receiving end on the pretext of love jihad, homecoming, eating beef, and slaughtering cows.
The majoritarian concept poses a threat to social harmony and minority groups in India. Historian Mukerjee quoting Nehru wrote, “If fascism ever comes to India it would come in the form of Majoritarian Hindu Communalism”. The radicalized chief minister of Uttar Pradesh is on record who said “The idea of Akhand Bharat will become a reality as Pakistan would eventually assimilate into India”. The BJP is following the philosophy of RSS which says all that South of Himalaya and North of the Indian Ocean is Bharat. India has not accepted Pakistan as an independent sovereign state as its neighbor.
The Sangh Parivar considers Pakistan as part of Akhand Bharat. The idea of the so-called Akhand Bharat has now been mainstreamed by the Sangh Parivar government with the support of India’s electronic and print media. Pakistan has expressed its serious concern over the mural installed at the new parliament building depicting the so-called ancient India.
If that is the case then Uzbekistan and Afghanistan may also release maps or install murals of the sub-continent when it was ruled by their forefathers for 800 years. The South Asian region is threatened by rising fascism and the radical government of India, and Pakistan is the only country that is obstructing Indian hegemonic designs. To contain Indian hegemonic designs Pakistan needs political stability and economic development. Khushwant Singh wrote in his book, The End of India that “India is going to the dogs, and unless a miracle saves us, the country will break up. It will not be Pakistan or any other foreign power that will destroy us, we will commit hara-kiri”.

The writer is a retired brigadier and freelance columnist. He tweets @MasudAKhan6.

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