Political Consensus Necessary for the Greater National Interest -Sohrab Hussain

Cover Story

The Hindu Renaissance started its journey in early 20th century. It was basically the doctrine of supremacy of Hinduness which had been termed as “Hindutva” by Veer Savarkar. The wave “Hindutva” was continued. Thereafter Dr. K. B. Hedgewar formed the RSS ( Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) in 1925 in Nagpur. Its political wing was known as Jana Sangh, now known as BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar (1906 –1973) said that the purpose of RSS is to build a Hindu State from Himalayas to Kanyakumari where Hindus will be supreme and rule the subjects. It has been termed as ‘Hindutva’. In order to be supreme, RSS follows the ideology of Hitlar i.e. to suppress the minorities. M. S. Golwalkar said that non-Hindu citizens must accept the culture of Hinduism, supremacy of ‘Hindutva’; in other word, they must be seemed to be Hindu in terms of their culture, appearance etc. If not, they would be subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment- even no citizens’ rights. Such ideology is similar to French’s right wing movements against Muslims based on Islamophobia, Zionists who believe in the extinction of Muslims.
“The non-Hindu people of Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and languages, must learn and respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but of those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture…in a word they must cease to be foreigners; Or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment- not even citizens’ rights”- M. S. Golwalkar
Consolidating the concept of Hindu Rashtra, the idea of the Akhand Hindu Rashtra is basically a political move of ‘Hindutva’. Such Idea is not about a country or state where Hindus reside, rather it is about a Hindu-nation-state. That means it shall not be a secular state but a state based on religion like other Islamic or Christian or Jewish state. Problem is such the idea of Hindu State is not emerged from the theology of Hindu religion. In other word, Hindu-nation-state concept is not supported by the theology of Hindu religion. Such Hindu-nation-state concept is apart from Hindu Theology and it is conceptualized by RSS in the mid-nineteenth century.
Moreover, it is argued that the Akhand Hindu Rashtra would be ruled by the majority Hindus. There are contradictions in such state concept. Such as how a person shall be determined as Hindu—the one who is a sanatani, or the one identified by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar or the one found by the British in their census of India? What will or which text would replace the Constitution of India—Vedas, the Gita, Manusmriti, Sathyarth Prakash or the tract by Savarkar? The question of demography will be equally pertinent because if we include all the imagined territories in mapping the Akhand Hindu Rashtra, Hindus would become minority and would lose the legitimacy to rule being the majority. As the Hindu-nation-state would be based on religious separatism and deprivation of religious minorities, such state would not be able to ensure the rights of the other religious groups. The idea which is based on apartheid against specific religion cannot ensure the justice in the society.

Importantly, BJP dies its politics based on the ideology of RSS i.e. establishing Hindu-nation-state ensuring supremacy of Hinduism based on separatism and deprivation of other religious groups especially Muslims. Using separatism, extremism and marking the Muslims as infiltrator they cast the vote in their favor and came to power for second time. The upheaval of such extremist thought is on rise. Now Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) started to implement National Register of Citizens (NRC). The Indian government published NRC result on 31 August 2019 by which 9 million people have been shown as stateless. The NRC has been concluded based on a shift from Assam Accord (Agreement between Indian Government and AASU in 1985) to CAA. Pursuant to clause 5 of the Assam Accord, who came to Assam before 1st January, 1966 shall be regarded as Indian citizen. Clause further mentions that foreigners who case to Assam after 1st January, 1966 and before 25th March, 1971 shall be treated or detected as per the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order 1964. It means those who entered into Assam between 1966 and March 24, 1971 shall not get Indian citizenship. The Assam Accord does not call for their deportation but they were to get voting rights only after expiry of 10 years from the date of their detection or declaration as foreigner. But CAA shifted the date from 25th March, 1971 to 31st December, 2014. It would easily make the Muslims stateless.

Indian Parliament passed Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) on December 12, 2019. Under this act, Indian government accords the Indian citizenship of Hindu minorities residing in Bangladesh, Pakistan & Afganistan and cancels that of those who (so called) infiltrated into India illegally. These initiatives are the part of making a Hindu-nation-state where Hindus would be supreme and rule the state based on values, culture originated from Hindu religion. As it is linked with the power and politics, BJP, political wing of RSS, has been practicing separatist politics and marking Muslims as infiltrators, trespassers and trying to cast Hindu voters in their favor. In order to implement their plans, and repatriate the so called Bangladeshi infiltrators they need to come to power in the West Bengal and Assam. As a part of their plan, they used their sectarian and separatism card to cast the Hindu votes in their favor. At last they came to power in Assam in 2016 in State Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) securing 60 seats. In 2021 election, The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) secured 75 seats and formed the state government. At the same time, they used full force to win in West Bengal against Mamata Banerjee. But they have been failed in last election of 2021. The failure in West Bengal made their plan difficult to be executed but they shall try again to come to power in West Bengal. If they would become successful in West Bengal and Assam simultaneously it could make millions of Indian citizens stateless and cause refugee influx in India. Thereafter, BJP government would push them to Bangladesh. Bangladesh is already suffering from refugee crisis of Rohingya, so she would not be able to take the burden of such possible Indian refugee influx. For now, they would not be successful to push the Muslims to Bangladesh but they will not leave their goal. So West Bengal and Assam’s politics is potentially connected to the interest of Bangladesh. The formation of BJP government in West Bengal and Assam simultaneously will fall Bangladesh in tough situation and Bangladesh will not be able to tackle such possible upcoming situation. The basic difference between the politics of Congress and BJP regarding Bangladesh is that Congress intends to suppress and oppress Bangladesh from colonial perspective; in contrast, BJP intends to integrate the Bangladesh territory with current India as like as they integrated Kashmir. In order to do that, BJP government’s first initiatives is to push all Indian Muslims to Bangladesh. If they become successful to do so, they would invade Bangladesh to integrate with India.

For such separatist politics of BJP, RSS and Shiv Sena killed thousands of Muslims in Gujarat riot under the direction of Narendra Modi. Simply for such riotous, extremist, Islamophobic and separatist politics of BJP and Narendra Modi, Bangladeshi Islamists, Leftists and other political parties condemned the welcome of Narendra Modi in Bangladesh and they demonstrated in Dhaka City. A number of students from Qawmi Madrasa and supporters of Hefazat-e-Islam participated in the protests in Baitul Mukarram. The police along with Student League and Jubo League jointly attacked the protesters. The tension spread out in Hathazari Madrasa and Brahmanbaria. Several students and demonstrators had been died in clash with police.

As India has big influence upon the government officials, policies, the government took such demonstration seriously and considered it as a big threat for their safety and interest of India. Then government started crackdown and arrested big political figures of Hefazat-e-Islam and Chatra Odhikar Parishad. The patients of Covd-19 were increasing rapidly. The government used the excuse of Covid- 19 pandemic and imposed ‘lockdown’ to control Pandemic and arrest political opponents. At the same time government used all possible means to decrease the acceptability of their political opponents and make the moral ground to arrest them. In the meantime, Mamunul Haque, the Joint Secretary General Hefazat-e-Islam, has been captured with his newly married wife. The government took it as their opportunity to decrease his credibility, and destroy his image and make moral ground to arrest him since his voice was high in every protest taken place against government. To defend himself, he admitted indirectly that the leaked out conversation was true and his first wife was not aware of his second marriage. To acknowledge publicly the leaked out conversation as correct was morally and religiously correct but politically stupidity. The government focus on this issue was not for moral reason rather for political reason. If Mamunul Haque would politically vibrant he could not acknowledge publicly instead he denied the fact for political reason. The politics works with its purpose not with internal moral questions. In politics, the morality is determined as per the purpose and plan of the political gain. To achieve such gain, morality differs from facts to facts. In short, political morality does not work like religious morality.

In France, Samuel Paty, a school teacher, made a caricature of Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) as a sign of freedom of expression. In order to defend the caricature, Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, remarked that Islam is in crisis and it needs to be adjusted with the secular France. He marked any reaction towards such caricature as ‘Radical Islam’. Such defamatory statement of Emmanuel Macron regarding the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) sparked outrage among the Muslims all over the world. At that time, Hefazat-e-Islam and many other political parties protested against such defamatory remarks. On the other hand, thousands of Indians- who are basically activists of BJP- supported France government’s action. Thereafter, Israeli attacked during Ramadan (2021) upon Palestinians with full force. Thousands of Bangladeshi supported Palestinians; in contrast, Indians supported Israeli illegal attack upon Muslims. In the question of Muslims, RSS, BJP and Zionists are friends because their politics is based on making a state having no Muslim of if have, they reside as slave. So, they have taken all Muslims as their enemy. So in international arena, BJP and Zionist Israel are friends in this case. Similarly, to keep the Indian colonial influence upon Bangladesh, they need such a government that shall stay in power and serve their interests. In this case, India takes all kinds of Islamic political identities in Bangladesh as a threat for their interest. At the same time, Awami League needs to stay in power. So, there is a common interest of these three groups. Awami League is staying in power with the help of India, India is keeping influence upon Bangladesh with the help of Awami League and Israel- America is keeping their influence upon this region with the help of India. In this case, Awami League is knowingly or unknowingly working as a local of India-Israel- American block in this region. To do so, they weakened all politically opposition parties by all means. As a part of this game, they started the same crackdown against the Hefazat-e-Islam and Chatra Odhikar Parishad.
Applying such tactics, Awami League may stay in power for long time but national security has been shaken for such political vacuum. As a political party, Awami League may be succeeded in the question of power but it ultimately serves those political entities who would no longer be the friends of Bangladesh. In politics, conflicts among political parties are common, but no political party should stay in power by sacrificing the national security or interest. All political parties in Bangladesh should keep in mind that RSS will not leave their dream to make Hindustan, a state based on Hinduism having no right for Muslims. So, Political consensus is necessary to protect the national interest of Bangladesh.

The author of this article is regularly contributing to politics, national & international issues.