Indian political culture evolved through the ages; however, the recent socio-political developments in the subcontinent are severely complex and more dangerous to the various social fabrics. For instance, in the recent police firing in Assam while evacuating the ‘foreigners’, Chief Minister Hemant Biswa Sarma alleges different Muslim organisations, including the Popular Front of India and several Muslims ‘instigated the violence’ whereas he protects the murderers — police.
The armed force and BJP CM did not expect a lone man Moinul Haque, with a juiceless stick, would defend his home and family from being wiped out by an armed force.
The police now carry out the RSS plan to execute Muslims, who were mute facilitators in such instances in the past. RSS lynched Muslim men in the streets like animals and filmed it for wide circulation to instil fear in the minds of the Muslim community.
In contrast, it was an unexpected resistance faced by the Hindutva police in Darrang district; hence the pulling force ‘behind’ it has to be brought forward for RSS-BJP. The government at the centre accused the same that ‘PFI behind the violence’ in the anti-CAA protest and unleashed ED raids on PFI offices for finding ‘funding sources’ of the popular democratic resistance that is also not anticipated by the RSS.
In the Hathras visit case, UP police claims while arresting a journalist and student leaders that they are going to Hathras to ‘instigate communal violence’ followed by the gang-rape and murder of a Dalit girl. Why do the government, police and machinery portray Muslims and Muslim organisations as violent groups? Whether they blame only these organisations or the entire Muslims, then who is the real problem creator, these need to be examined.
‘Othering’ is the underlying factor of Indian politics benefited by the hate politics in which Indian Muslims and Dalits become the victims. The neo-Hindutva fascist organisation RSS creates an imaginary enemy to maintain their political gain and successfully propagated religious and caste polarisation.
America’s ‘war on terror’ after September 11 attack spouted many myths on Muslims that many societies in different countries taken forward unchecked. Indianisation of these global myths against Muslims such as ‘violent group’, ‘misogynists’, ‘disobedient to the constitution’ ‘Pakistan supporters’ and ‘political Islamists’ etc. are widely used by RSS to radicalise common Hindu youths. They counted Muslims are the internal enemy to be ‘cleansed’ ethnically. For preparing the ground, the burden of Separation, snatching Hindu holy places and polluting Indian culture; such sensitive issues are attributed to Muslims that presented as the time bombs set to explode soon. Babari, riots, bomb blasts, ‘love jihad’, beef, conversions, population growth, citizenship and narcotics are different cards issued one after another for this ‘cleansing project’.
Muslims in general or groups did not sit inactive in response to this at various times but actively resisted RSS propaganda legally and democratically. Muslims rely on constitutional remedies as they approach the judiciary, police and use other political measures to regain their rights and uphold justice. An excellent example of this is the legal fight for Babari, which extended over eight decades (the dispute was started in the 1930s) but disappointedly judiciary did not deliver justice to the Muslims. Similarly, they staged various peaceful and democratic mass protests nationwide to revoke the unconstitutional CAA unilaterally passed by the BJP government.
However, RSS and the ruling government portrayed even a tiny step of resistance from the victim community as ‘terror’, ‘anti-national conspiracy’ and ‘violence. RSS succeeded in doing this job with the help of government machinery and a section of media houses. Sometimes, groups from the victim community itself are being trapped in the anti-Muslim campaign and work for RSS.
There is a global conspiracy to demonise Islam, especially after 9/11, in which the Hindutva camp is a collaborator. According to many experts, Indian Muslims undergo pre-genocidal stages, one of which is dehumanisation that denies the humanity of Muslims through slandering. Hence, the allegations and tagging are neither against any single organisation nor individuals but actually, it points to Islam and general Muslims. At present, the BJP government has an ‘enemy’ from the Muslim community that is PFI.
As much as lies that are supposed to tarnish Islam and Muslims will be spout by the hatemongers against PFI until they have fallen. PFI is a metaphor in the Muslim community then they place the next target in place of PFI to achieve their extermination goal. We have a handful of examples; Maududi, a world-renowned Muslim scholar, is symbolised as the ‘political Islamist’, the idea which is said to be the root cause of ‘global terrorism’. However, they intentionally forget that the term ‘political Islam’ itself was coined by America to attack Muslim countries and was widely used in the post 9/11 period.
Not only the right-wing parties but the so-called secular parties use the same language that is being generated from the Hindutva laboratory. They vilify Jamate-Islami, a Muslim organisation founded by Maududi that they work for a theocentric nation even after the organisation expressed their interest in the constitutional democracy.
On the other hand, RSS explicitly tries to overthrow the Indian constitution and replace it with a Hindutva nation but they formed a government and gradually move to the goal. Similarly, the BJP government is silent on the alleged Hindutva terror attack during the Easter celebration in Sri Lanka in 2019 and alleges Pakistan as the “epicentre of global terrorism” in the UN house.
Babari Masjid demolition, state-sponsored atrocities in Kashmir, various terror attacks on Christian religious centres, Samjhota, Makka Masjid and numerous other bomb blasts are mere ‘internal matters’ to the government; hypocrisy is at peak. If the state atrocity in Kashmir is an internal matter, then rights violation of Muslims in any state can be an internal matter in the near future.
PFI is not the first and the only organisation being a target of the State. Generally speaking, organisations like Greenpeace and Amnesty were subjected to witch-hunting and closed their office in India. There is SIMI, which is banned over ban without a solid ground and now it is used as a threatening iron rod to suppress Muslims voices.
In the last seven years of the Modi government, dissent has been constantly targeted; opposition leaders, universities, organisations, academicians, right activists and whoever opposes RSS-BJP shall be the target of the Hindutva government.
However, PFI and Campus Front have been in the news for their involvement in the anti-CAA democratic protests, Hathras case and Assam eviction. Assam issue is rooted in the ethnic hatred against Bengali speaking Muslims that is escalated after BJP came into power. The state government evicted 50,000 Muslims by accusing them ‘foreigners’. CFI filed petitions at various constitutional bodies against the government’s unethical eviction in July 2021. The police started harassing them for bringing this issue into the public domain.
The state leadership assumes that the Delhi model conspiracy, like find a scapegoat and create a problem, then book them on the fabricated case, is being implemented in the issue. Some reports from ground zero say that Assam is the next Kashmir in the making.
These organisations have a pivotal role in bringing the paradigm shift in Muslim politics by imparting self-confidence and rights awareness. We teach that true empowerment of the weaker can achieve only by resisting internal and external threats. The uncompromising stand of the movement against Hindutva fascism is the primary reason behind this target. We dream people become organised for resisting oppression, defending rights and demanding justice.
M S Sajid is the national president of Campus Front of India, a Muslim student body.