March 17, 2024

Stop Moves for Hindutva Rashtra! Defeat BJP!

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THE ten years of the Modi government have seen a serious assault on secularism and steps to desecularise the Indian State.  The BJP-RSS have sought to implement the Hindutva communal ideology by targeting the minorities, particularly the Muslim community, and seeking to convert them as second class citizens.  The various Hindutva outfits have unleashed violence against the minorities with the patronage and protection of the BJP-run state governments.  All these constitute a grave onslaught on the secular principle embedded in the constitution and is a warning of the onset of a Hindutva Rashtra, if the BJP comes back to power.


The inauguration of the Ram temple at Ayodhya on January 22, 2024 is a turning point.  The State-sponsored ceremony with the prime minister acting as the high priest symbolised the merger of the State and religion.  It also marked the basic violation of the secular principle by privileging the Hindu religion over all other religious faiths.

The cabinet resolution followed by the parliament  resolution on the consecration of the Ram temple have sought to make the temple a “symbol of national consciousness” and an “unforgettable moment in the development journey of the country”.   Thus, a religious place of worship has been elevated to become a symbol of “India’s vision, philosophy and path”.

The RSS and the Hindutva forces are working to convert the Gyanvapi mosque in Kashi and the Idgah in Mathura into temples.  This is being undertaken with administrative and judicial connivance and by violating the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991.


The Modi government got the Citizenship (Amendment) Act passed in parliament in December 2019.  This is an Act which violates the secular concept of citizenship by linking citizenship to religious identity. Illegal people who have migrated from neighbouring countries without legal documentation will be provided citizenship if they belong to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist or Christian religions, but not Muslim.  The rules under this Act have been notified on March 11, 2024, just days before the notification for the Lok Sabha election. Along with the CAA, the Modi government wants to update the National Population Register in the census survey and create a National Register of Citizens in which powers are given to officials to verify the antecedence of citizens residing in India, where again citizens belonging to the minorities will come under scrutiny. 


Various state governments have passed laws which target the minorities. Among them are anti-cow slaughter laws in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Karnataka; laws against forceful  religious conversions and against the so-called love jihad. Such laws have been passed in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Uttarakhand. 

It is these laws which are used against Muslims, particularly those who are involved in cattle trade and meat selling.  In state like Uttar Pradesh, scores of young men have been arrested for inter-faith marriages. 

Uttarakhand has adopted a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) which is majoritarian in nature and neither uniform nor civil.  The BJP plans to get such codes adopted in other BJP-ruled states.


On the ground, vigilantes target the means of livelihood of Muslims – cattle trade, meat shops – accusing them of cow slaughter or selling beef.  The laws passed in the BJP-ruled states are then invoked to ban cattle and meat trade.

Muslims plying their trade as vendors or auto-rickshaw drivers have been attacked in Madhya Pradesh (Indore), Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, so that they are forced to abandon their means of livelihood. 

In states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, bulldozing the houses of Muslims accused of an alleged crime have become a regular occurrence.  For instance, 1,208 buildings and structures were demolished in Nuh by the Haryana administration. 


Lynchings by mobs of persons accused of transporting cattle or carrying suspected beef have become a regular occurrence. After the first lynching and murder of Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri (Uttar Pradesh) in 2015, there has been a spiraling increase in mob lynchings. For instance, there were 107 incidents of mob lynchings in 2019 reported in the press.  There is no official record of mob lynchings and collection of hate crime statistics stopped in 2017. However, some statistics regarding hate speech exist by compiling cases of hate speech and other acts to promote enmity between groups on the ground of religion, race and place of birth registered under IPC section 153 A by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). It shows that there were 993 such cases in 2021 which rose to 1,444 in 2022 – up by 44 per cent.

Ram Navami processions have become another means to provoke communal violence against Muslims.  Such processions are taken through minority populated localities.  Loud music and offensive slogans are raised outside mosques and clashes engineered. In BJP-ruled states, such clashes become the pretext for police arresting and jailing Muslims. In 2022 and 2023, during Ram Navami, such violence occurred in Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Chattisgarh.

The Christian minorities are also targetted.  According to the United Christian Forum (UCF), in 2023, there were 720 attacks on churches, pastors and their congregations.  This is compared to 147 such attacks in 2014. In 2021, there were 505 and in 2022, there were 509 attacks.


Systematic efforts are going on to rewrite history textbooks for schools both at the central and state government levels. Under the guise of the National Education Policy, religious values and Hindutva ideology is sought to be introduced into the curriculum and syllabus. In BJP-ruled states, educational institutions run by minorities, including madarasas, have come under attack.


Under the BJP-RSS dispensation, there have been all-round attacks on the secular principles, whether it be constitutional values, the State not prioritising any religion or ensuring the rights of minorities. 

The desecularisation of the Indian State is being pursued in the ideological, administrative and constitutional spheres.  There is talk of changing the constitution, if the BJP gets a two-third majority in both houses of parliament. 

Continuance of the Modi government and the BJP in power will spell the end of secularism and the building of a “Hindu Rashtra”.  Defeating the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls is the pre-requisite for protecting the secular character of the republic in which all citizens, irrespective of their religious affiliation, will have equal status and democratic rights. 



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