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Radicalization of Hindus much bigger threat, Israeli media alerts Modi

The author also linked with elections the regular attacks on Indian Muslim traders, crackdown on interfaith marriages and mob lynching, and very recently the killing of Muslims in Assam

Tuesday September 28, 2021 7:08 PM, ummid.com News Network

Modi SCO Speech

Mumbai: In a rejoinder to Narendra Modi’s speech at Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit wherein he called upon the member states to join hands to fight “Islamic fundamentalism”, an Israeli leading daily alerted the Indian Prime Minister about the danger of rising radicalisation of Hindus calling it a “much bigger threat”.

“In reality, the radicalization of the majority is a much bigger threat confronting India than minority extremism”, Debasish Roy Chowdhury wrote in Haaretz.

Debasish Roy Chowdhury, co-author of To Kill A Democracy: India’s Passage To Despotism, further wrote that the Indian Prime Minister is frequently raising concerns over what he calls “Islamic extremism” at global platforms to hide his own failures, and to mobilize Hindu votes to remain in power.

“…for Modi, whose Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) uses Muslims as the electoral bogeyman to consolidate a culturally diverse and caste-riven Hindu vote base against a common "other," it makes sense to bang on about Muslim "radicalization" all the same, as a means of Hindu mobilization”, Chowdhury wrote in Haaretz.

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The author also linked regular attacks on Indian Muslim traders, crackdown on interfaith marriages and mob lynching, and very recently the killing of Muslims in Assam with elections.

“For Modi’s party, openly Islamophobic campaigns such as these help to avoid scrutiny and debate over governance and turn elections into a referendum for protecting the supposedly endangered majority. With the politically important Uttar Pradesh heading for elections in less than six months, the same strategy is at play again, only this time with an added twist and urgency”, he wrote.


“With not much to show for its last five years in the state, the memories of COVID losses and hardships still raw, and an intensifying farmers’ protest that threatens splits in its captive Hindu voter base, the BJP is left with no choice but to escalate its campaign of hate. Accordingly, radical supremacists calling for genocide are becoming increasingly common. Videos of small groups of self-appointed saviors of Hinduism tormenting lone Muslims are showing up on social media more often than before”, he wrote.

The author also tore into pieces Prime Minister Modi’s pet slogan “sabka saath sabka vikas”, recently re-coined as “sabka saath sabka vikas sabka vishwas” saying the reality on ground portrays totally contrasting picture.

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“When Modi bid for national power in 2014, he ran on a campaign of inclusive growth, with the slogan of "development for all". But overseeing an economy that has progressively worsened under him, Modi has returned to his core competence of divisive politics to maintain support in the face of the death and destruction as a result of his poor handling of COVID”, he wrote.

"The core messaging that emanates these days from Hindu supremacists is that development is not possible for all because Muslims, who constitute 14 percent of the population, are eating up the fruits of progress that should accrue to the Hindus, who account for 80 percent. Recently, the chief minister of India’s biggest state, Uttar Pradesh, which has a population the size of Brazil, triggered a controversy when he blamed Muslims for cornering the government-subsidized food meant for all."

Writing for the Israeli daily, the author also linked frequent attacks on Muslim traders and their economic boycott, and discriminatory laws in the states ruled by BJP with the boycott of Jews that started in 1920s at regional level, and ended as Judenboykott, the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses that formally became a state policy by 1933.

“Many of these attacks are now aimed at driving Muslims out of their livelihoods and businesses. While Modi waxes eloquent on global forums on the need for "rational thinking" to counter radicalization, Hindu fanatics linked to his party have been warning salons and shops against hiring Muslim men”, he wrote.

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