A clash of civilisations seems to be their goal

I am in mourning because I am bereaved. I am in mourning because something I grew up with has passed away; something which I always felt defined my country may be dying. I am in mourning because the spirit of India may be dying a premature and violent death. I am bereaved because for the rest of my life I may have to endure the throes of bereavement and live a life of utter regret.

In his essay, From Fundamentalism to Fascism and beyond: the trajectory of Hindutva, author Siddhartha Mitra has very succinctly painted the situation that afflicts India today. He has quoted a dialogue from the film Garam Hawa (Hot Wind). "Garam Hawa hain Mian, bare garam; Jo Ukhda nahin, sukh jayega". (Scorching winds, sir … the searing heat! Those who are not blown away will dry and wither).

India seems headed on a Hindutva trajectory path — from fundamentalism to fascism and beyond. The dreadful intolerance and the burning hatred that were seen in the orgy of violence in Gujarat in 2002 could be returning across India now — tearing apart the mosaic of tolerance which had always defined the Indian society and Indianism.

Since the Hindu nationalistic political party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returned to power in May this year, there have been over two dozen communal clashes across India killing scores of people and rendering many more homeless. The president of the Congress party, Sonia Gandhi claimed there have been 600 instances of communal violence since May till now.

In India, a clash of civilisations seems to be very much under way.

What the award winning author and noted geopolitical analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya observed about the conflict brewing in the Middle East fits like a tailor made one for India. He says, wiping out the Christians of Syria and Iraq to remap the mid-east is a prerequisite to a clash of civilisations.

There is an attempt to cordon off the minorities in India and create distinctive and sharply delineating lines. Under this scheme, there can no longer be a melding transition between societies. What is being staged is the creation of an exclusively a "majoritarian democracy" or an "ethno-democracy" dominated by the Hindu majority.

This, according to Kannan Srinivasan's coinage, is "Subaltern Fascism" which aims at "complete subjugation and mastery over the Muslims in India through the use of violence".

Pretence and mischief may have been at play behind the BJP's return to power and, therefore, it is certainly no coincidence that violence against minorities is on the rise in India.

However painful it may be, the reality today is that the Indian majority in the age group of 15 to 50 seem now indoctrinated by the toxin of subaltern fascism and united by their hatred, which is essentially communal. The Nehruvian liberalism and plurality which were fundamental to India's national identity until sometime back have now been replaced by a strange sense of majoritarian fundamentalism.

However, there can be no doubt that the Congress rule over the past 10 years, especially the last five years, has not been a good one on many counts. Frustration was growing among the electorate against the United Progress Alliance (UPA). But that wasn't the sole reason, I reckon, why the UPA or the Congress suffered the worst electoral mauling ever.

The elementary reason was the growth of a virulent and viperous fundamentalism fuelled by a covert desire to subjugate the minorities. In BJP, the overwhelming majority of the voters probably saw an organisation or a party which could fulfil their desire if voted to power.

Added to their growing anger against the Congress and the UPA, their views on minorities seem to have become central to the majority voters.

Fanned and fuelled in generous degree by the essential fundamental philosophy of the BJP the voters voted en masse seeking to create "a common cultural identity of the majority cultural group in (the) country to help promote the idea of a country in which Muslims were the outsider inside. Religious and national identities thus merged, an approach which (suited) the (BJP)."

Attempts to subjugate the minorities (read Muslims) and to gain complete mastery over them have left India teetering on the brink of an unprecedented social polarisation, which, I am afraid, may drive the country into a situation which we see in the Middle East today.

In pursuing the path of communalism, the hatred professed by the communalists is simply  too virulent. Just note here that  Isis or as they are now called the Islamic State (IS), too, wants to create a homogeneous cultural and religious identity in the Levant.

Given the mandate the that BJP enjoys and the state of polity that now prevails in my country, I am afraid fascism and fundamentalism could only grow beyond the firmament that vaults the nation.

I am convinced — and so too are many like me in my country — that the BJP is essentially a fascist outfit and shares a common nationalistic philosophy with the Nazis in Germany.

The presiding rule of the society's likely slide deep into fascism and ethno-democracy look as sinister as Yinon Plan, which sought to control Eurasia by constructing a clash of supposedly different civilisations.

The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman.


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Reader Comments

Well done Mr Mitra! You have just added another two years to your stay in the Middle East. This writer will sell his country- he has apparently already sold his soul and his conscience- just to ensure that he continues to live a life of air-conditioned comfort abroad rather than returning to the country he claims to love and doing something about all the ills that he so loves to talk about.
I have said it earlier, and I will say it again....shame on you Mr Mitra. You are a traitor of the worst kind!

It is writers such as these who fan the flames not a party which has been voted to power democratically. To label all those who voted BJP to power as fanatics & to taint them with communal colors only reflects the mindset of the author. He has always been partisan in his writings & with this article his true colors stand revealed.