Spanking the Indian Muslim: What’s the straw that might break the camel’s back?

India Palash Krishna Mehrotra Dec 23, 2019

What makes the Hindutva project unique in India is its ambition to bring about an ideological churn in an organically diverse country of a billion-plus.

At the foundation of Hindutva, going back to Savarkar, lies its animosity towards Muslims.
The Indian Muslim watches silently as another election goes by. More poisonous fiery electoral speeches.

Pankaj Mishra, in Age of Anger, writes about the rise of populist governments around the world. While this phenomenon has much in common, especially the foregrounding of a right-wing perspective, there is also much that separates these nationalist strands.

What makes the Hindutva project unique in India is its ambition to bring about an ideological churn in an organically diverse country of a billion-plus. At the foundation of Hindutva, going back to Savarkar, lies its animosity towards Muslims.

Take Donald Trump for instance. He panders to and attracts the white supremacist vote. He is in favour of Confederacy flags flying atop government buildings in the American South. But he doesn’t really belong to white supremacist ideology. On the contrary, he is best friends with Kanye West and, under his and Kim Kardashian’s influence, has been using his presidential powers to help out blacks stewing in the judicial system.

Let’s move to Boris Johnson, the elitist-populist, who studied in Eton and Oxford’s Balliol College, which enjoys a left-wing reputation. Boris stood against outsiders of two kinds: the EU and Brussels, and the immigrant in Britain, the Polish plumber who was stealing jobs. But even in his short-lived first term, he appointed Indians to prominent posts. His recent victory owes a debt to the Indian immigrant community favouring him.

Which brings us to Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindutva. Since Hindutva is premised on an anti-Muslim fundamental, it works differently. The BJP denied electoral tickets to Muslims, rendering them politically irrelevant. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is the lone Muslim in Narendra Modi’s cabinet. Muslim appeasement, you see, had to stop with immediate effect.

Narendra Modi

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