In the contemporary world, Akhand Bharat has a contrasting relation with Westphalian order.
It tries to override the concept of sovereignty for physical expansion, a method to increase land boundary. This concept was considered as radical but the prolonging BJP rule in the last decade has made it mainstream through like-minded media coverages. Unfortunately, the growing majoritarian trend since last decade in ‘World Largest Democracy’ is resulting in wider acceptance of the concept within India as BJP’s public support is skyrocketing. Nationalism a formidable force in Modi’s India.
Prime Minister Modi an active member of RSS, is notorious for his complicity in the post-Godhra riots. Modi claimed that the fire on the train which killed 59 Hindus in 2002 was an act of Islamist terrorism rather than an outbreak of communal violence, after that violence staged in Gujarat resulting in killing hundreds of Muslims. Modi always portrays India as once a glorious Hindu civilization eroded first by Mughals and then by British Empire.
For BJP, Hindus were forcibly converted in other religions without their will and it is the responsibility of their leadership to revert back those conversions by all means under the guidance of Modi known as ‘Butcher of Gujarat’. Over the decades, politicians frequently have violated the secularism mantra, often cynically and out of calculated political compulsion.
The leadership of the Indian National Congress, which ruled India for much of the post-independence period, traditionally has championed its commitment to secular nationalism. But in reality the Congress Party has invoked religious sentiments in India to suit its changing political interests followed by BJP. According to political scientist Ashutosh Varshney, “three competing themes have fought for political dominance in India.
First, there is the territorial notion of India, the land between the Indus River to the west, the Himalaya Mountains, and the seas to the south and east comprise India’s “sacred geography.” A second conception, the cultural notion, is the idea that Indian society is defined by the values of tolerance, pluralism, and syncretism. The final theme stresses religion, the land known as India is originally the homeland of the Hindu community. While different religious communities may call India home, proponents of this third viewpoint see India as fundamentally belonging to the Hindu majority” and this concept gained momentum under the leadership of Modi to further polarized the already divided society of India. The Hindutva ideology haunting India since the time of independence, the founder of India ‘Gandhi’ became its first victim.
Not only Gandhi but all those communities favored secularism met with dire consequences. Since then, the Hindutva ideology became the very foundation of every right wing political organization in India namely, RSS, Shiv Sena, Hindu Mahasbha, with the latest one being BJP, under the leadership of the most ignorant, fascist, cruel, and extremist person in the South-Asian region, Narendra Modi who is ruling India.
The cult of Modi in India has daunting everyone, promotes anti-intellectualism by attacking religious seminaries, universities and educational systems that might challenge its ideas. It is a nightmare for the press and media in fact anyone who is against the idea of Modi. Academics and scholars are fired, attacked for criticizing Hindutva or the policies of Modi. Government institutions, security and financial agencies, intimidate and harass opposition parties in fact anyone who dares to voice dissent.
From the destruction of Babri Masjid to the communal riots of 2022, Modi found everywhere in one way or the other. Muslims have been the prime target of Hindutva fascism in India, but unfortunately, they aren’t the only one. After Muslims, Christians and Sikhs have been suffering at the hands of Hindu vigilantes.
They are punished with pogroms, lynchings, targeted murders, custodial killings, love jihad, fake police “encounters” and imprisonment under false pretexts. Bulldozing their homes and businesses a tactic recently adopted by BJP following Israel, before the bulldozer era, punishment for Muslims was meted out by Hindu vigilante mobs under the supervision of Police.
The Hindu regime with the help of media tycoons made up of about 400 TV channels, numerous websites and newspapers to keep a continuous drumbeat of hatred and bigotry against minorities. On social media, it is now routine to encounter open calls for the genocide of Muslims.
In 2021, Mohan Bhagwat, the head of RSS, in his speech warned Hindus about the enforced religious conversions and demographic changes in India’s Northeastern states which consist of large Christian population.
Three days after the speech, Rameshwar Sharma, a BJP member called the Hindutva masses for a “India free of veil-wearing Muslims and Christian priests”. Similarly, the Sikh Community has also been on the Hit-list of Hindutva ideology since independence.
Their rising voice for a separate state, Khalistan have turned the edge of Hindutva swords against the Sikhs. Sikhs genocide in 1984 which left thousands of Sikh families homeless and most recently, on May 29, 2022, the most iconic Punjabi singer, Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, was assassinated by unknown killers who shot him 24 times in a broad day light.
Today India is not a secular state but a Hindutva dominated society further polarized the already divided society. The annexation and expansion policy of BJP is not only threatening minorities living within India but it is also worrisome for the neighboring countries.
The concept is also problematic for small South Asian states who tries to maintain a strong and balancing relation with India for their strategic calculations. BJP regime has left the British far behind in terms of atrocities and cruelty on minorities, the rule of BJP always been upholding its extremist Hindutva ideology.
The military wing ‘RSS and Shiv Sena’ are more powerful than ever before but world powers are not taking any action against them because of strong bond of economic and military interests. Today the world’s largest democracy is in turmoil and it is burning itself on a much faster pace.
LINES OF PERSUASION
1. The staged Pulwama attack was the brainchild of Modi government to rally political support by domestic public for the then-upcoming elections by capitalizing on anti-Pakistan narrative, national revenge sentiment and war hysteria created by domesticated media / manipulated campaign.
2. Even after 4 years, facts regarding Pulwama attack remain unanswered; Why was Adil Ahmed Dar arrested & released 6 times from 2016 to 2018? Did the unjust & harsh treatment of Adil Dar resulted into Pulwama Attack? How is it possible that Pakistan was able to smuggle 350 Kg of highly explosive material right under the noses of 800,000 Indian security personnel and across hundreds of kms? India is yet to render any irrefutable evidence. How was India able to conclude Pakistani hand behind the attack within hours of the incident while ignoring the numerous past arrests of Adil Dar & statement of Adil’s parents that he resorted to revenge after the torturous treatment by BSF / CRPF?
3. Codenamed “Operation Bander”, Indian Airforce cowardly attacked a fictitious target which was never there on the ground on the night of 26 Feb 2019. The payload was dropped in mountains killing some crows and trees only while India media went into a war frenzy terming it Surgical Strike 2.0 and claiming that hundreds of terrorists had been killed. Pakistan took the foreign and domestic media to Balakot and revealed the reality of so-called surgical strikes. Until now, India is yet to render any proof whether a surgical strike was conducted at all? If it was conducted, where were the 300+ casualties or infrastructural damage?
4. On 27 Feb 2019, PAF jets struck the targets deep inside IIOJ&K while avoiding populated targets to avoid the loss of life. The brief skirmish also resulted in downing of 2 Indian jets by PAF, shooting down of a helicopter by nerved Indian Army & capturing of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. As a peace gesture, Pak released Abhinandan within 48 hours of his apprehension demonstrating that Pak is a peace-loving nation.
5. To hide the embarrassment, India started making ridiculous claims. First, they denied shooting down of any Mig-21. Then Indian media claimed shooting down of Pak F-16 which was also rejected by the US, Christine Fair as well as Indian Defence experts. To make the matters worse, India announced awarding Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman with Vir Chakra for his alleged (though denied internationally) shooting down of F-16 which was a laughable fantasy aimed at appeasing domestic audience & efforts to hide own dismal performance in Pak-India standoff.
6. Operation Swift Retort demonstrated that Pak has the capability to defend itself against any form of aggression while retaining the liberty of retaliation at time & place of own choosing in response to any hostile misadventure. It highlighted Pak’s capability to dominate the escalation ladder, retaining control of the spiraling situation and ability to exit the conflict at own advantage.
7. The resolute & measured Pakistani response restored national prestige & morale, people’s trust in Armed Forces as well as thwarted Indian design of dominating the region by offsetting its ‘new normal’.
8. The Pak-India standoff brought the nuclear South Asia very close to a possible volatile conflict having potential to destabilize the entire regional peace. The strategic restraint exercised by Pak in face of fake surgical drama, measured & calculated response to avoid populated targets during Operation Swift Retort & release of Wing Commander Abhinandan as a peace gesture diffused the situation.
9. Indian media was monumental in creating a war hysteria by glorifying fabrications and without realizing the repercussions if the conflict had spiraled out of control. Contrary to the war frenzy of Indian media, Pakistani counterpart played a more mature role by toning down the rhetoric, unearthing Indian propaganda through investigative journalism & highlighting Pak’s peace overtures against Indian warmongering.
10. The timing of Pulwama attack has also raised many serious questions on the incident, its handling by Indian govt & subsequent immature impulsive response. This year, 9 states will have local elections in India leading to 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The question which comes to the mind is that will Modi again stake the regional peace for political gains or will International media, Global comity & Indian public pre-empt the nefarious designs of radical RSS driven Modi’s hijacked BJP?
11. World must realize that the last time it followed an appeasement policy, WW2 occurred resulting into massive loss of life and unprecedented destruction. Will the world continue to ignore Indian belligerence & war mongering attitude due to temporary alignment of interests or will the world realize the brewing storm in the so-called ‘largest democracy’?