On May the 16th, 2014, Indian polity changed- possibly forever. Narendra Damodardas Modi not only won, but won with margins unexpected by all but possibly he himself and a handful of his core team. Congress was routed so badly that it is yet to recover even seven years and one more Lok Sabha elections down the line.
Modi might have made his campaign and manifesto all about Vikas and economics and social harmony, but, and let’s be very clear about it, people voted him in with such gigantic proportions for Hindutva- for the emotive issue, out of sheer anger and humiliation that Hindus had to suffer for ten years under the previous Sonia Gandhi regime. Hindus were called not just terrorists but “worse than Islamic fundamentalism” by the scion of the ruling party, Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati had to languish in jail under the fake murder charge for years, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was arrested on similarly bogus terrorism charges and brutalized in a manner comparable only with Islamic rule or Guantanamo Bay, the Rama Setu/Adam’s bridge came to the verge of being blown to smithereens just so that the thankfully late Karunanidhi could gloat over the Tamil Brahmins… the list can go on! And Narendra Modi, the ‘Hindu Hriday Samrat’ from Gujarat, as his own campaign called him back then, was seen as an anathema to this all- an unapologetic, masculine, aggressive Hindu, a renunciate and celibate (and hence supposedly incorruptible by moneybags of secularist forces) monk-turned-politician, a yogi, a ‘KarmaYogi’… Hindus bought into every single of these narratives sans question, and he went on to win the most impressive, roaring victory of the Indian democratic republic’s history, to be bested by none but his own self five years later.
But when Hindutva side stops to take stock of the last seven years, it finds itself all but cheated and hoodwinked by the man (and from 2019, his right-hand man, Amit Shah). Nothing of any significance to Hindutva has been achieved by this government- Kashmir is still a no-go zone for Hindus, 370 or no 370, CAA-NRC acts have cost Hindus their lives and dignity but have not been implemented, the arms of the state (judiciary, bureaucracy, and legislature/political class itself, including the BJP) are hostile against every salience of Hindutva and Dharma, determined to create one homogenous goulash (khichri) in the pot of ‘Sarva Dharma Samabhava’ and indiscriminate Nehruvian-Gandhian secularism, rechristened ‘Sabka Vishwas’ by the Prime Minister after his second victory, anti-Hindu media still sets the narrative and policy at all the places it still counts…
And at the centre of all this sit the two most powerful men of this country- Modi and Shah- commanding and controlling these trajectories through their veritable political arsenal, most impressive of which is the IT cell, and simultaneously keeping the flames of Hindu outrage blazing and slickly redirecting them away from themselves through their political mechanisation while doing nothing to solve the Hindus’ issues and problems.
Sadly, this is even not the worst thing- the worst is that despite their practical inaction, there is no party in opposition to fill the Hindutva void. Nobody else seems interested in Hindutva and Hindus. When Congress was doing what Modi is doing to the Hindus, at least there was a BJP to raise objection on the records of Lok Sabha, at least there was an RSS to arm and organize Hindus in bare minimum self-defence and cultural galvanization, there was a VHP, a Bajrang Dal, a Hindu Yuva Vahini to turn to, for paying back the other side in the same coin and hence providing the deterrence value which the state failed to do. Today, there is none.
Bengal is blazing, Hindus are getting slaughtered and exiled in their homes and villages for the ‘crime’ of voting for the BJP, and the head of the BJP government is congratulating the mass murderer Mamata Banerjee for her third oath-taking ceremony.
In such times, it becomes of even greater importance to take stock of the government and demand accountability- as Dharmiks and Hindus, as Hindutvavadin-s, as the citizens of India, preferably in that order. This is an attempt for the same, spanning over only the last one year.
Modi, and his Crimes of Omission
‘Maun-Modi’ at home
Recall those times when not just the BJP and opposition, but even you and this writer used to jeer at the then prime minister Manmohan Singh for keeping silent on the most burning issues of the day? He used to get called “MaunMohan”. One should wonder as to what to call the current Prime Minister, whose silence is stonier, deadlier, more harmful, more deceitful and treacherous?
The most recent example of his finger-on-the-lips stance is playing out in front of our eyes, where he has resolutely refused to utter a word about the ongoing pogrom of Bengali Hindus and BJP workers in West Bengal, following his defeat at the hands of Mamta Bannerjee and her Trinamool Congress. Not only has he himself not spoken, but even his right hand, his second-in-command MHA Amit Shah has adopted the same stance. The only tweet from the duo about the situation is PM’s ‘congratulations’ to Mamta Banerjee for her victory and taking oath as the CM of the violence-ridden state for the third time.
The estimations coming out of Bengal put displaced Hindus anywhere between 4-5 thousand by the most conservative estimates to an upward of five digits in the worst-case scenarios, with private citizens and organizations like the Indic Collective having to approach the Supreme Court to take cognizance of the breakdown of any semblance of government and constitutional machinery in the state. And when this was all going down, the head of the national government and his right-hand were busy virtue-signalling to the hostile enemies about how they are gracious losers, by tagging chiefs of murderous, quasi-genocidal regimes in their tweets.
The tale of Modi’s damning silences is long and harrowing- so sit tight, and with resignation for there is no light at the end of this tunnel, only a dark abyss staring at the future of Hindutva, eager to engulf it, thankful to our Constantine delivering us to the gates of hell.
And so are his own party men
He has also continued to remain wilfully blind to the murder of dozens of his own cadre in Bengal in the last year, at the hands of Trinamool workers. Despite cries from all over the country to dismiss the state government and save the lives of the innocent, via the rightful exercise of the powers of Article 356, Modi-Shah did not do it. For them, being seen as moralistic upholders of the democratic ideals by their own enemies was of greater importance than saving the lives of their own workers. This was again in continuation with an almost-decade-long trend of the Mamta government’s visible complicity in murdering BJP workers and Hindutva supporters ever since she came to power, and the Modi government refusing to act against it because the outrage against these murders helps in consolidating the Hindutva vote bank elsewhere.
Inaction against Hinduphobic content and censorship
Last year not only saw a rise in Hindu-hating content on social media and the government’s explicit refusal to do anything about it but was also stunned by the very top management of social media companies acting openly against Hinduism. Baba Rampuri, a renowned mendicant and content creator of YouTube, reported the sudden erasure of his entire YouTube content in a day- a collection of videos he had created by back-breaking curation ranging over decades. In another instance, YouTube censored videos of Nataraja temple dikshitars doing aarti, claiming that the depiction of bare-upper-body worship by male priests violates its community guidelines of nudity.
Despite a lot of social media outrage, neither of the incidents of open Hindu-hatred on display by the social media Moghul did not see even a response from the Modi government, forget any actual action.
As if all of the aforementioned was not deplorable enough, the most contemptible feather in Modi’s cap of “strategic silence” (read: spineless shush) is his complete pretension that the Palghar issue doesn’t exist at all. Not only at that time, but until today, this man, who, through the proxy of his followers, calls himself “Hindu Hriday Samrat”, has not yet spoken a single word on the mob-lynching and brutal murders of innocent, defenceless sanyasins in Palghar, Maharashtra.
Silence on Hindus’ murders and mob lynching
The mob lynching and murder of a thief Tabrez, while reprehensible and indefensible in any civilized state, was important enough for Modi to get not only discussed in the Parliament but warranted a winded, virtue-signalling statement from the PM himself. Contrast it to numerous murders and mob-lynching of Hindus in the last one year only, forget whole seven years, which would include from e-rickshaw driver Ravinder and Dr Prashant Narang to Chandan Gupta of Kasganj, Prashanth Poojari of Bajrang Dal and Ramalingam of Tamil Nadu among the innumerable. Did Modi bother to even tweet about it? Nidhi Paswan is said to have had her throat slit by a Muslim, Nikita Tomar was shot on the point-blank range by a Muslim in broad daylight, merely a few kilometres away from the national capital. But Modi’s compassion, justice, sense of personal responsibility continues to evade Hindu victims of violence by Muslim perpetrators.
No Change in Textbook Content
There has also been no significant change in the textbook content of NCERT, especially the history textbooks, yet another year. Our young, impressionable Hindu minds are still being forced to learn self-loathe under the Aryan Invasion Theory myth, which has been debunked over and over again, they’re still taught the lie that the Hindu interactions with Islamic invasions have resulted only in an unbroken chain of Hindu defeats over centuries. And all of this has been demonstrated multiple times, including by a part of the present government’s advisors Sanjeev Sanyal, to be a part of the narrative to keep the Hindu morale down and broken.
To put things in perspective, one of the swiftest things Congress acted upon when it recaptured state government from the BJP was to re-introduce its lies and anti-Hindu propaganda, including against Veer Savarkar, whom Modi claims to be his hero. And yet, we are yet to hear either the PM or Amit Shah come out and say what’s stopping them from purging the textbooks of these lies.
No updates on plans for mass resettlement of Hindus in Kashmir valley, to dilute jihadi demographics
Similar to its evasive silence on textbooks, Modi has also given next-to-nil clarifications on his ongoing and future plans for repopulating and re-Hindu-ising Kashmir, which his supporters- both the party and the larger, ego-invested fandom- claim to be his masterplan. It neds to be kept in mind that not only had he tried to smuggle back 35A and 370 through the initial drafts of domicile laws putting umpteen hurdles in the way of increasing Hindu population in the state, but his justification for the rendering inoperative of article 370 in the first place completely omitted the most important stakeholders of the state- the Kashmiri Pandit community. He talked about vikaas, he talked about oppressed Shias and other Muslim minorities, he mentioned 370 pushing SC/ST community of Kashmir being denied opportunity of dignified state government jobs, he talked about tourism and India’s international image- basically everything under the sun but the Kashmiri Hindus. The silence was not ‘strategic’, it was telling!
And the same policy silence has been continued ever since, including the entire last year. There have been no updates at all on how the newly formed union territories’ demography would be managed, how the valley would be de-Islamized and Hinduised, how there would be a fairer balance of power between Muslim-dominated valley and Hindu-dominated Jammu, etc. The answer, unfortunately, is again Modi’s silence, and supporters’ blind insistence that some ‘masterstroke’ is in motion!
Not only within the borders of India, but Modi’s crimes of omission against Hindutva also cross even the seas and continue to harm both India and Hindus overseas as well.
Rashmi Samant issue
While this writer is no fan of and personally unsympathetic to Rashmi Samant due to her dabbling with the Left-wing politics in Oxford Students’ Union, it is in no way an excuse for Modi’s cowardly silence on this issue. It was hugely disgraceful of him to abandon a fellow citizen to fend for herself against the crowd of cultural Marxists calling for all kinds of harassment. His job, as PM, should have been to intervene himself, or at least get his minister of external affairs, S Jaishankar, whom he inducted with big fanfare and Doval-sque, Batman-ish stories of behind-the-scenes diplomatic prowess, to ensure her safety- both physical and political.
Her having to resign from the presidentship of the union due to the ‘crime’ of her and parents and relatives being supporters of a temple at Ram Janma Bhoomi was a direct slight to the pride of both India and Hindutva/Hinduism/Dharma- with a fellow Indian and Hindu being persecuted for them in a foreign land, the PM was duty-bound to defend the former, and honour-bound to protect the latter even more.
Instead, the only official word of the Modi government on the matter was Jaishankar’s ‘assurance’ that he would intervene in the matter “at the right time”.
Khalistani Build-up Right Under his Nose
While almost everyone was indeed shocked at the stunt Khalistanis pulled at the Red Fort at the Republic Day this year, that they were Khalistanis only masquerading as protesting farmers was news to no one, mercifully including the Modi government. His own ministers and party members were constantly alleging Khalistani links and dubious foreign funding to the siege-like crowd gathering outside the national capital and were being constantly amplified by the official IT cell and the larger extended army of hardcore supporters. And despite all the above mentioned, you would be hard-pressed to recall if either of the topmost two ministers of the government- the Prime Minister himself, and MHA Amit Shah, were to be spotted saying a word against the same crowd, the same supposed breaking India forces not only creating another Shaheen Bagh barely months after the first was dispersed, but also putting actual lives of citizens in danger by flouting COVID violations, for which government and judiciary were, by the way, fining the common citizenry exorbitantly. Despite all this, only the appeasement pleas, the broken record of “Annadata” rhetoric continued from the two topmost tiers of political leadership.
Then the already obnoxious and criminal polemics further deteriorated into fake narratives of Islam-Khalsa theological compatibility, with both covert and overt suggestions that Indian Punjab actually belongs with Pakistan and Hindus are the only ‘hurdles’ to this natural geopolitical ‘justice’. At one point, the fears that either “unfinished business of Partition” would be reopened, or Punjab would erupt in massive anti-Hindu rioting in response to the current trajectory of discourse, were no longer absurd paranoia but a very realistic possibility, but neither Narendra Damodardas Modi nor Amit Anilchandra Shah was heard grappling the poisonous political nettle by its thorns.
When the built-up finally culminated in openly challenging the state’s sovereignty, national security, and all of those otherwise-holy-cow concerns, in the form of 26/01 events, there was still not a pushback in the words of Modi-Shah against those who organized the shaming of the entire nation in front of the world.
Amit Shah- the Crimes of Commission
Exclusion of CAA and NRC from talking points in West Bengal
Since the immediate context is the Bengal election violence and how Modi government did nothing about it, it’s pertinent to also mention that CAA and NRC- over which 53 people lost their lives in the Delhi riots last year, and Shaheen Baugh mob laid siege on the national capital for more than three months before, and after as well, the riots.
Despite the issue of CAA-NRC extracting such a heavy price from Hindus, Indians, and the Indian state (which we happily paid, for the act was the right thing to do), it is now politically shelved. Not only are Hindutva-Right Wing critics of Modi, like the defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, alleging it, but even the government itself has left no stone unturned in signalling to the crores of Muslim infiltrators of Bangladesh currently living in Bengal that the act and the exercise of NRC will never be implemented. It was completely missing from their Bengal manifesto and political narrative in the run-up to the recently held elections because Modi wanted to appear statesman-like and win the approval of those who hate his guts and will never warm up to him as long as he’s supported by the large Hindu mass of this country- the communists, the cultural Marxists of intelligentsia and culturati, and overwhelming majority of Muslims.
To chase after their acceptance like a jilted lover, Modi and Shah not only lost themselves one of the most important state election of their political life but made thousands of Hindus pay the fatal and destructive price of their political fetish.
Called Tanishq protest over activism
When the entire Hindu society was erupting in rage last year over the Tata group’s jewellery brand Tanishq’s Ekatvam ad, the spanner in the works was put by none other than the home minister Amit Shah himself. Calling Hindu anger over normalization propaganda over ‘Love Jihad’, which leads to death and worse of innumerable, gullible Hindu women every year, “over activism”, he clearly dog-whistled to his organization and IT cell to pull back and leave the Hindu society in the lurch, in the middle of a hostile cultural clash that finally seemed to be getting somewhere- Tanishq had not only pulled down the advertisement, but was also forced to issue an apology (of sorts); Amit Shah’s clear, unequivocal stand against the Hindu outrage punctured most of the steam out of the mobilization that may well have resulted in a large-scale boycott of not just Tanishq, but the parent company Tata itself.
And it’s not even the case that being the home minister left him with no other choice, as many of his apologists later argued. He could have very well-phrased his answer differently, to stress more on the democratic rights of the protestors to peacefully oppose the ad and mobilize people for what they believe to be right, instead of threatening and intimidating them with flexing his state power.
In politics, people who say “timing is everything in politics” don’t often realize, sequence of what you say, i.e., exactly how you say it matters more than anything. As the legendary Game of Thrones character Ned Stark said, “Everything you say before ‘but’ is horse shit.” By putting Ekatvam makes before the “but” and Hindutva protestors after it, Amit Shah could have still come through for his core voter base without needing to stop upholding the words of the law. But he chose not to, because that is how he always behaves with his core voters- contemptuous, disdainful, dismissive. He made his priorities loud and clear.
And Modi once again was loudly noticeable by his total absence from the scene.
Putting Hindu-hater Alt News in MHA’s list of credible fact-checking websites, but no mention of OpIndia, Swarajya, etc.
Before 10th May 2020, anybody calling Pratik Sinha’s vicious and avowedly, openly anti-Hindu portal Alt News ‘fact checker’ would’ve earned himself the moniker of ‘insane’ in the kindest of circumstances, if not “anti-Hindu Liberandu” itself. But the Bureau of Policy, Research and Development (BPRD) did exactly that, and nobody in the government or the BJP could even bat an eyelid. Why? Because BPRD is constituted under the Ministry of Home Affairs- Amit Shah’s ministry. It only led to a huge embarrassment of the government among its own supporters, but also caused massive disappointment and embarrassment to pro-Hindutva publications like Swarajya Mag, OpIndia, etc. who not only combat communist propaganda but also openly defend the government because of the shared values of Hindutva- and face a huge amount of online harassment for it.
When the heat of the issue seemed to not go away, the only course correction Amit Shah’s ministry did was to remove the document in question altogether, instead of removing the official in question, giving a public statement about it- either administrative (through MHA) or political (through BJP), or even updating the list, removing communist propagandists and including Swarajya Mag, OpIndia, etc.
This Cannot Go On
As the 8th year of the Age of Modi begins, the conduct of Modi and Shah, their active and passive hostility to Hindutva, the brazen display of hostility begs the question: are we still on the same team? BJP can pretend all it wants that its ‘Vikas’ narrative is what is fuelling its election machinery, but must not forget that it is only the support of the Hindutva core voter base that sustains these delusions- in Madhya Pradesh, for instance, only a fraction of Savarna-s, an important core voter block of the BJP, broke off due to incessant abuses hurled at them by the CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan and throwing them under the bus to penetrate other castes, and Shivraj’s electoral castle was pulled down. Similarly, in 2018 by-polls of Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat, vacated by CM Yogi Adityanath, was also lost when the core voters became temporarily disinterested in flocking to the polling booths due to the regional issues. It’s even electorally a suicide to take your core voters so much for granted, to treat them as captive vote bank, when disenchantment of even small slivers of core voters can turn your victory to humiliating losses.
There is an interesting comparison of BJP’s relationship with its core voter base doing rounds on social media- that BJP is like the typical lascivious, philandering husband from the 50’s and 60’s movies, who leaves the genuine, Sati Savitri wife at home to chase after the other women (often either the ‘vamp’, or of suspected fidelity, or both) only because the wife is too besotted with him to do anything about it. The interesting thing is that even back then, the greatest audience segment for such movies came from precisely this kind of tolerant women, and even that segment wouldn’t stand those movies in this day and age- how long does Modi-Shah think they can keep up with this, then?
(The Hindi version of this article can be read on DOPolitics here.)