He is right. The Muslim groups do more damage, but the Hindu groups are more dangerous because India has a Hindu majority. If we look at world news, Indian Muslims are actually a wonderful lot. An improving economy and greater possibilities opening up for Muslims have ensured that most Muslims in India see themselves as Indians first. Never mind what the people say. Look at Muslim friends you have. Shopkeepers, colleagues. Do you seriously think they spend time planning how to harm you? Yet, the Hindutva thoughts on Islam or Christianity color people’s outlook to the extent where they can go “Oh, you are a Christian? I didn’t know!” if they like someone before realizing his religion. As though knowing Christians automatically means that your being Hindu is under threat, or knowing Muslims means that at the first sign of a riot they will come looking for you to kill you, all of a sudden.
Look at all this rhetoric and compare it with people you actually know and interact with. Its simply not true. The Hindutva guys have an utter blackout on the subject of Hindu on Hindu violence, while Muslim on Hindu violence is the big evil, Christian missionaries are absolute personifications of Satan or something.
Yet Hindu extremists continue to promote Muslims as a vicious lot – changes in our society have not registered, and the projected image of Muslims remains as that from brutal killings of the partition, and other riots. This is dangerous to India even if there were not a single Muslim in it, because once a population is sensitized into finding ‘enemies’, the process takes on a life of its own, and the range of enemies and hostility takes on a life of its own after a certain critical mass, after which, it destroys the society itself.
Why go far, look at Pakistan. Extremism began as a means of getting resources for an anti-India agenda, then anti-Soviets… it was never intended as anti-National – in fact its origins were highly patriotic. As India hardened its security and Afghanistan was clear of the Russians, what happened? A whole new set of enemies were born. Now we have Shias, Sufis, Ahmediyas, being attacked – even the government itself, as Taliban starts seeing wrong in what they do.
It didn’t begin with bombings. It began with believing that a certain country, then a certain kind of people, etc were evil and must be resisted. The rest was simply natural progress.
Already we see among many Indians a denial that what happened in Gujrat was horrible. We see all kinds of excuses ranging from “who started it” to “Hindus got killed too”. Everything except the fact that an overwhelming number of Muslims were mercilessly slaughtered.
Never mind the Muslims. Heck, they are a minority anyway. What is happening to Hindus in the process? We are turning into a lot of people who think its okay to butcher people if they are bad enough. Islamic terrorism can never destroy us as thoroughly as the rot we nurture ourselves, just like India didn’t need to do much to bring Pakistan to this horrible state it is in now.
And this is totally from a focus on India as a Hindu state. Even if Muslims didn’t exist, this would still be true. If a dog bites you on the street, it is insane to think its okay to bite dogs you see. Similarly, it is insane to nurture hatred in our hearts because of what someone else does. We only destroy ourselves.
Rahul Gandhi is absolutely right. It is a sad thing for India that the BJP doesn’t stop to reflect and starts throwing tantrums everytime Hindu or Muslim is mentioned.
BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said Gandhi’s comment shows that he wants to identify terror with religion and is ignorant about Indian civilisation.
“Terror is terror, it must not be translated into vote bank politics. Terror should be investigated and guilty must be punished,” he added.
If terror must be investigated and guilty proscecuted, why is there such a pandemonium each time Hindutva is so much as mentioned? When was the last time Prakash Javadekar protested against references to Islamic terrorism?
With the Congress corruption and the BJP’s insanity, India is thoroughly screwed in terms of possibilities for solid leadership. How I wish that we had a political party that had the governance skills of the BJP and the inclusive perspective of the Congress.