India has a long, varied history and rich history. However, over the past 1000 years it has been:
- Ruled by the Muslims for 800 years.
- Subjugated by the British Empire for 150 years.
- A democracy for 70 years.
The population of India is in the region of 1.4 billion and can be broken down into the following :
- 80% are Hindus.
- 15% are Muslims.
- 5% are Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists & others.
As a unique religion, Hinduism is professed to have existed for over 4000 years. One billion of its people within India are ardent and diehard followers – but also, in substantial numbers in countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka – and also in countries of the Islamic faith such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan. The religious texts of Hinduism are known as Vedas, Purana, Ramayana, and Geeta plus its worship is concentrated on a polytheistic tradition involving millions of ‘Gods’. However, with the utmost respect, Hinduism is not the same as Hindutva.
What is Hindutva?
As I said in the last line in the previous paragraph, Hinduism is not the same as Hindutva and Hindutva is NOT Hinduism. Hindutva can be simplified as a nationalistic ideology based on the fact that Hindus were subjugated, degraded as well as forced to live in fear by oppression by the sanctimonious , as I will explain below.
When did Hindutva originate?
From 1881 to 1931, there was a sharp decline of Hindus in India from 75% to 68%. This alarming statistic strengthened the newly developed inferiority complex amongst the neo-nationalists. In addition, the atrocities by the British Empire were at its peak in 1919 and the Muslims of India assembled to preserve the Ottoman Caliphate, which developed an attitude towards the anti-imperialist/anti-British sentiment. This in return resulted in some Indian Hindus developing an inferiority complex, which began to allow the extremists to initiate nationalistic ideas. By brainwashing the community via fear-mongering language, the ideology came to fruition and the emergence of Hindutva began after years of being dormant.
How did Hindutva originate?
Vinayak Savarkar – an atheist, who supported the atrocities of Hitler and was influenced by the fascism of Nazi Germany as well as Italy – was the first person to conceive the term ‘Hindutva’. Savarkar not only took advantage the identity of Hindus, but he also took advantage of the ancestry as well as the culture to ostracize the Christians and the Muslims. In addition, he was a staunch member of the Hindu Mahasabha – a nationalist party of Hinduism as well as being implicated and charged for being the co-conspirator in the assassination of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi.
RSS -Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
The National Volunteer Organisation also known as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is a right-wing paramilitary group. Deeply influenced by Sarvakar, Keshav Baliram Hedgewar founded the organization in 1925 by individuals from the Brahmin caste (the top caste in their hierarchy).
Via unverified claims, the aims were to defend Hindus and to ensure their control over India. As previously mentioned, the inferiority complex was born out of the hate towards Muslims. In simpler terms, they were jealous of their neighbours as they wanted some of their characteristics and qualities because they perceived those as being vital to the strength of the Muslims. For example, the community is intense, close as well as unified, however the Hindus feared them because the Muslims existed across Europe, Africa and Asia.
The RSS became a pan-India organisation under M.S Golwalkar. He popularised the term ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (Hindu Nation) and perceived that the society of Hindus was under threat from the west via progressive ideas and believed that society functioned better via caste lines. He defined India as a holy nation from the oceans to the Himalayas. By amalgamating religion with nationalism, he referred India as ‘Bharat Mata’ (Mother India). During his tenure, his quest for racial purity advanced and his nefarious concepts towards the Muslims and Christians increased as he perceived them as impure and not proper Indians. Thus, he came to the conclusion that partition is like slaughtering up your own mother.
As time progressed, the grotesqueness escalated, spilling into education, farmer/labour unions and in due course – politics.
BJP – Bharatiya Janata Party
After the collapse of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and then the Janata Party, the BJP was founded in 1980 by people who had been influenced by Hedgewar (the founder of the RSS) and Sarvakar (the chief ideologue of the Hindutva).
At the beginning, the BJP were modest and localised. However, they capitalised on the shortcomings of the commanding Congress Party which had led India since partition and they have always maintained a close association with the RSS.
Escalating violence against Muslims under the BJP
With assistance from the political elite, the ideology increased its might against Muslims.
An example would be that a campaign was started by the BJP in 1992 to demolish an ancient mosque in Ayodhya in order to gain the crucial votes to fuel the movement. A few years on, the BJP leader – L.K. Advani – led a march on the mosque in order to provoke and instigate violence on Muslims.
During an inquest, it came to light that BJP politicians like Vajpayee (a later prime minister of India) and Advani were incriminated for the disaster. The perpetrators – who killed an estimated 2000 people – were all later exonerated by the Indian courts in 2020 as the BJP had firmly established itself in government.
Under BJP rule in Gujarat, led by Narendra Modi, there was mass violence against Muslims in 2002. The total people to have been killed were estimated to be at 2000 and approximately 150,000 displaced. Eyewitnesses claim that the preparators committed heinous crimes ranging from torture to mutilation to rape and even the police were in on it by giving out addresses of Muslims to be attacked by the orders of Narendra Damodardas Modi.
Things went from bad to worse in 2014 when Narendra Modi secured power. Muslims have been attacked with quintessential bias all over the country. Like any other person, Muslims consume meat, however the cow is extremely sacred in Hinduism. Supporters of Modi have been roaming various states on personal vendettas searching for people, who have killed and sold meat of the cow, which has been labelled as ‘Cow vigilantism’ has spread with impunity.
The status of Jammu and Kashmir – a disputed area between India and Pakistan – was changed by Modi in 2019, which exponentially increased Indian state oppression within the region. Religious leaders and politicians have been indulging their perverse lust for power and control by killing and displacing Muslims as well as raping their women with no shame.
Journalists have been targeted after exposing the ongoing shenanigans by the extremists. Women in the southwest region state of Karnataka have been prohibited to wear the hijab whilst attending college resulting in other states to follow suite. Homes of Muslim protestors have been tarnished because of their opposing views to the BJP policies. Courts frequently reinforce hostile policies and actions, choosing to interpret India’s secular constitution in the most heinous way possible.
Hindutva spreading to Britain
By a variety of ways, the ideology of Hindutva has spread like wildfire in the United Kingdom.
- It has spread via parliamentarians through their affluent political links. Priti Patel, the former Home Secretary, sent a hospitable memo to the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK for hosting an event titled ‘RSS: A Vision in Action – a new Dawn’.
- Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, a number of voluntary sector organizations flourished via Hindutva, which allowed them to gain momentum.
- During the leadership campaign in which Rishi Sunak stood. there appeared to be a significant Indian diaspora lobby within the Conservative Party. Hence, via social media campaign, there was a lot of encouragement for UK Hindus to vote for the Tories. The reason was because apparently the Labour Party was anti-Indian and anti-Modi policies in Kashmir. In addition, the same Indian diaspora lobby added its voice to claims of anti-Semitism against the Labour Party. The same lobbies appear to offer donations to police-related charities in the UK, so spreading their influence and neutralising criticism.
- India is a huge market for trade/business, therefore the high and mighty British government is unlikely to undertake actions that risk its trade relationships in a post-Brexit world.
- Playing a direct role is the Indian High Commission. The Leicester community were flabbergasted and ruffled by the acts of Hindutva violence and intimidation over months of Summer (2022). The City of Leicester consists of Hindus, Muslims and White British citizens. However, instead of lambasting the violence, the IHC issued a statement claiming that the Hindu places of worship in Leicester were being violated and demanding immediate ramifications. The statement was shut down by a number of Hindu organisations condemning the Hindutva-inspired offence, despite making no mention of the alleged attacks invoked by the High Commission.
Nazism, Italian fascism and even Zionism were borne out of secular ideas via nationalism and uses the respective religions for its own agendas. However, Hindutva was not borne out of religion. It was borne out of fear of being degraded and overwhelmed by the majority – indomitable will of Muslims – as well as the untapped calibre of the Muslim conglomeration.
Thousands of years on, the ideology has evolved from a philosophy to an establishment that has gained popularity amongst the younger generation. It has sky rocketed to new heights and achieved a power in politics that was not imagined by Chandranath Basu and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar – who coined, formulated and progressed the idea that India should only be consisting of Hindus and only Hindus. Lock, stock and 100 barrels.
Thus, this ideology known as Hindutva has now a prominent segment of the nationalistic dominion in New Delhi as a key element in the foreign policy of India.
What has happened in Leicester seems to suggest that the nationalistic government of India are endeavouring to instigate disorder between communities abroad.