Modi’s Modituva: A Corollary of Hindutva Ideology

The arrival of Narendra Modi in Indian politics has added another chapter to New Delhi’s political history, which mainly revolves around the confrontational approach of Hindu ideology against the non-Hindu communities of the subcontinent. The prevalence of fanatical trends of Hindu ideology in Indian politics caused various unforgettable developments in India during and after the partition of the subcontinent. The British colonial retreat from the subcontinent let Pakistan become a reality without preventing an unprecedented growth of Hindu ideology against the non-Hindu communities in general and against Muslims in particular. Instead of ending the unparalleled growth of the fanatical version of Hindu ideology, the end of the colonial era in the subcontinent caused massive bloodshed during the migration of Muslim communities in the secured areas of Pakistan. The overwhelming wave of extremist Hindu ideology under different political administrations captured the Muslim majority areas of Kashmir and started violating fundamental human rights through various belligerent means. Thus, a brief overview of the subcontinent’s history presents an awful picture of various human rights violations against the non-Hindu communities living inside and outside India. Apart from targeting the Muslim population of the subcontinent, the Sikh and various other religious groups remained victims of New Delhi’s belligerent behaviour. The change of government in India in 2014 started recalling the history of the subcontinent when the quest for acquiring regional dominance became a gravitational point of Indian politics and shaped various violent domestic policies of New Delhi.
Modi assumed the Prime Minister’s office in 2014 and became the fourteenth Prime Minister of India while having a strong association with right-wing Hindu nationalist parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtirya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The genesis of Modi’s association with right-wing Hindu nationalist parties can be traced in his political background when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001 and was prominently involved in the Gujarat communal riots of 2002. Even the Supreme Court of India created a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the involvement of Narendra Modi in a brief period of massive bloodshed against the Muslim population. The findings of the SIT respectfully separated Modi from the 2002 Gujarat riots and satisfied the Indian Hindu population. In contrast, Modi’s disconnection from the communal bloodshed remained a prime concern of the international community and raised serious concerns of different states. The leading proponents of human rights in the world rationally examined Modi’s active involvement in the inter-communal violence of Gujarat and banned Modi’s entry into their countries. The United States had banned the entry of Modi into the US while considering him ineligible for an American visa due to his failure of preventing the series of bloody incidents against Muslims in 2002. The start of his tenure as the Indian Prime Minister in 2014 changed the American decision of not granting a visa to Modi. The change of Modi’s position in Indian politics just upgraded his standing in domestic politics while augmenting New Delhi’s existing antipathy towards non-Hindu communities. The change of Modi’s status from Chief Minister to Prime Minister in domestic Indian politics altered the conventional patterns of Hindu nationalism in India while redefining the conceptual foundations of Hindutva ideology. The transformation of Hindutva’s ideology under the influences of the Modi government brought significant changes in Indian politics and reshaped New Delhi’s formal interaction with the non-Hindu communities.
This conceptual reconstruction of Indian religious ideology is internationally dubbed as the Modituva ideology, which reflects Modi’s version of Hindutva and its political practices. A thin layer of the international intellectual circles has defined the concept of Modituva as Modi’s way of empowering the extremist Hindu population of India against the non-Hindu communities while mainly targeting the Muslim and Sikh communities. In other words, the political manifestations of the Hindutva ideology have been revised under the BJP’s rule in India, in which Prime Minister Modi has introduced his own demonstrations of the Hindutva ideology by revolutionizing the conventional foundations of this ideology. While rationally keeping in view various ideological reorientations of Hindu nationalist ideology under Modi, it is more appropriate to pragmatically call it Modituva ideology, which has augmented the traditional hated sentiments of the Indian Hindu population against non-Hindu communities. The spread of this updated version of Hindu ideology across India has formalized communal violence in India by integrating Hindu fanatical thoughts into the socio-political culture of India.
There are many pieces of evidence to validate the association of Modituva ideology with contemporary Indian politics, where the issues of communal violence have become normal incidents for the Indian government. On practical grounds, the formal positions of the mainstream Hindu authorities of the Modi government are actively involved in supporting extremist Hindu sentiments through various direct and indirect means. Recent derogatory remarks of BJP’s two leaders against the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are appropriate examples to legitimate the argument that the Modi regime is determined to promote an anti-Muslim narrative across the Indian society. Akin to Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal’s Islamophobic remarks, an official meeting of the right-wing Hindu leaders have formally declared the need for Muslim genocide to make India a Hindu-only nation. This call for starting a widespread killing of the Muslim population appeared during a three-day conference that tried to instruct the BJP’s supporters to defend their religion with weapons.
In the debate on the Islamophobic agenda of the Modi regime, the positions of various individual political leaders and religious authorities on the anti-Muslim agenda cannot be overlooked under the BJP rule. Yogi Adityanath, a former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and a prominent Hindu monk, is an appropriate example in this regard. Adiyanath is prominent in BJP’s current government only due to his famous anti-Muslim stance and violent anti-Muslim campaigns. An international survey has mentioned the thirty-four public anti-Muslim statements of Adiyanath, along with various other hate speeches of different Hindu extremist politicians. Other prominent BJP leaders include Dinesh Kushwaha, Haribhushan Thakur Bachaul, Ashwini Upadhyay, Mayankeshwar Singh, Raghvendra Pratap Singh, T. Raja Singh, and Nand Kishor Gurjar, who have supported the Hodituva ideology of Modi through issuing an antipathy towards Muslims publicly. Additionally, the women’s wing of the BJP (Mahila Morcha) passed various communal statements in different public gatherings. Udita Tyagi from Mahila Morcha is famous for her anti-minority stance in Indian politics. In this way, the continuation of the anti-minority agenda of the Modi regime has promoted a right-wing Hindu nationalist agenda in Indian politics.
Based on the scenario mentioned above, it can easily be maintained that the transformation of Hindu ideology into Modi’s connotation has launched a new era of communal violence in India. The spillover effects of Modi’s version of Hindutva ideology have disturbed the religious sentiments of the whole Muslim world because the Muslims from different corners of the world have started conveying their disappointment to the international community on the promotion of the anti-Muslim narrative by New Delhi under the BJP rule. In short, the prevalence of extremist Hindu ideology in Indian politics has marginalized the presence of the non-Hindu community in India, where the Muslim population, after Sikhs, is becoming the prime victim of Modituva ideology. The Muslim-ness or Muslim identity has become a serious issue in India, and the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu Kashmir (IIOJK). Therefore, the greater responsibility now lies on the western world, which has strong economic and strategic ties with New Delhi. In response to the recent wave of anti-Muslim remarks by two BJP politicians, the Muslim countries have decided to raise their voices against Modi’s Modituva ideology. Apart from positively considering the reaction of the Muslim world to the BJP’s extremist rule against Muslims, the advocators of fundamental human rights need to pay serious attention towards New Delhi under Modi’s rule. In this way, an active and unanimous position of the international community, beyond the divisions of the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds, could be helpful in restoring the forces of peace and harmony in South Asia.

Modi’s Modituva: A Corollary of Hindutva Ideology

About Dr. Attiq ur Rehman 10 Articles
The author is Assistant Professor at National University of Modern Languages, (NUML) Islamabad

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