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Crackdown on PFI will ‘curb spread of Islamic radicalism’, says Hindu Right press

ThePrint’s round-up of how pro-Hindutva media covered and commented on news and topical issues over the past few weeks.

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New Delhi: The pan-India crackdown on the Popular Front of India (PFI) will go a long way in “curbing the spread of Islamic radicalism in the country” and the government should keep pressure on the outfit, said an editorial in the latest edition of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated journal Organiser.

Citing a 2017 dossier compiled by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the editorial says that it “unravels the strategies of the PFI which seeks to impose religious orthodoxy on Muslims and widen already-existing fault lines in society and fan out cadres to trap gullible non-Muslim girls in ‘love jihad’ and indulge in forceful conversions”. 

It went further to say that the agency had “blown the lid off its [PFI’s] nefarious plan” to finance protests and carry out violence in parts of the country in the wake of the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Pointing out that PFI’s alleged involvement in anti-CAA protests came to light after the arrest of one of its workers in the murder of a Sangh member in Kerala’s Palakkad, the editorial said that “PFI has fostered ties with some dubious Dalit, NGOs and ultra-Left outfits” and this with this “mutually beneficial association, Islamist outfits push the Left narrative on the RSS and BJP”.

Besides the ban on PFI, a tweet by the Congress mocking the Sangh, the clashes in Leicester, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwant’s meetings with Muslim thought leaders and the Indian rupee’s slide against the American dollar are other issues that found prominent mention in the Hindu Right press this past fortnight.

Also Read: Independence not result of Congress efforts & satyagraha alone — Hindu Right press lauds RSS role

Sangh’s contribution to nation-building

Hitesh Shankar, the editor of RSS-affiliated Hindi journal Panchjanya, wrote in an article about the Sangh’s role in nation-building in response to a tweet by the Congress showing a burning pair of khaki shorts to suggest that its Bharat Jodo Yatra was making the RSS uneasy.

Congress and Rahul Gandhi “must remember that Nehru, who was critical of the Sangh, had to invite the Sangh to attend the 1963 Republic Day parade in view of the Sangh’s role during the 1962 China War”, he claimed.

The editorial added that “during the 1965 Pakistan War, the then PM Lal Bahadur Shastri urged the Sangh to help in handling the law and order situation and take over Delhi’s traffic control. In 1977, Indira Gandhi inaugurated the Vivekananda Rock Memorial at the invitation of senior RSS pracharak Eknath Ranade”.

Referring to the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose unveiled near India Gate by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shankar wrote, “The party that could not connect itself with Neta ji, how can it attempt to connect India (Bharat Jodo)?”

‘Hindus in Leicester living in terror’

In an article for Organiser, author Rashmi Sawant said the clashes between groups of Hindus and Muslims in UK’s Leicester earlier this month should be a cause for concern for every Hindu. “The minority Hindu population in Leicester continues to live in terror as tensions remain high with the possibility of provocation and propaganda by Islamist leaders,” she wrote.

“It is a popular and widely accepted theory that the recent India vs Pakistan [cricket] matches have been the source of escalated tension between Hindu and Muslim communities in Leicester, but that is not the case. 

“For a very long time now, Hindu homes have been vandalised on Muslim majority streets in a bid to corner them and terrorise them into fleeing those localities. Similar attacks have been sustained by Hindu businesses as well in the region,” the article read.

Sawant demanded that it is time for the government to support its people living in the UK, especially when Kashmir, India’s internal matter, has often been discussed in the British Parliament.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), too, in a letter to UK Prime Minister Liz Truss alleged that miscreants involved in the violence in Leicester were making “false allegations” of local Hindus harming them earlier.

“If this were the case, not all people admitted to hospitals would be Hindus. The houses, properties or religious places of Muslims would also have been damaged. Several Hindu places of worship in Leicester have been insulted and defiled,” VHP international working president Alok Kumar wrote. 

Kumar also claimed that “violent protests also took place near a major Hindu religious and cultural centre in Smethwick in Birmingham”.

Terming the violence in Leicester the “latest episode of Islamic fundamentalism”, he wrote that “Islamic fundamentalism has plagued Britain and other countries over the past several decades”.

‘Hindutva same as Sanatana Dharma

Adversaries of Hinduism have created an “artificial distinction between Hindutva and Hinduism”, RSS national executive member Ram Madhav said in an interview during a discussion about his new book, ‘The Hindutva Paradigm’.

“There is a lot of misconception about the term Hindutva, largely due to motivated negative propaganda by adversaries. One such effort is to create an artificial distinction between Hinduism and Hindutva. This term is used by adversaries of Hinduism to call a person or organisation extremist,” Madhav said.

Talking about his book, Madhav said he has attempted to “present Hindutva in a twenty-first-century perspective by anchoring it on the perspective given by its great proponent, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, in his seminal work, integral humanism”.

India did not produce Karl Marx or John Stuart Mill but it did produce Gautam Buddha, Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi and Shankaracharya, Madhav added. “Hindutva is the essence of the philosophy of all the great sages, saints and scholars who lived in India over the millennia.”

“Hindutva is not an ideology, it is the same as Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma”, Madhav said, adding that ideology is a “closed set of ideas, but philosophy is enriching”.

Also Read: ‘Flood jihad’ — Hindu Right press sees ‘jihadist conspiracy’ in Assam deluge

‘Rupee stronger against other currencies’

In an editorial in its monthly magazine Swadeshi Patrika, RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagaran Manch argued that even though the value of the Indian rupee has fallen against the American dollar, it has been getting stronger in comparison to other currencies.

“The rupee has depreciated by 5.41 per cent against the dollar in the last five months, meanwhile, the Pound Sterling has depreciated by 4.87 per cent against the rupee, the Japanese Yen by 6.10 per cent and the Euro by 4.97 per cent,” the editorial said.

It added that the country’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) recorded 12.4 per cent growth in June and that “consistency in growth of IIP across sectors indicates an uptick in economic growth”.

“Though, this is slightly lower than what it was in the same month a year ago (13.8 per cent), it’s still better than last year, growth was from a lower base due to the effect of the pandemic. Growth in Mining IIP is recorded at 7.5 per cent in June 2022, Manufacturing IIP growth was recorded at 12.5 per cent, while for electricity, it was recorded at 16.4 per cent,” it read.

‘No Hindu ever said what imam said about RSS chief’

Right-leaning journalist Hari Shankar Vyas, in a column for Naya India, gave his take on RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s visit to a mosque and a madrassa a day after his meeting with Muslim thought leaders.

“I find it laughable that Mohan Bhagwat got the words like ‘Father of the Nation’ and ‘Raj Rishi’ from the mouth of a Muslim. What an imam has said, was never said by any Hindu. It is also sad because Mohan Bhagwat and top officials of the Sangh could only find Maulana Ilyasi’s illegal mosque to pay their respects,” Vyas wrote.

He contended that it “would not be wrong if the Muslims now say that Mohan Bhagwat has come to fly the pigeons of peace in the mosque”. 

“Narendra Modi releases the cheetah and Bhagwat comes to the mosque and flies pigeons,” said Vyas.

Dialogue is important for harmony, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran Hriday Narayan Dixit wrote in a column for Dainik Jagran on Bhagwat’s Muslim outreach.

While their religious beliefs are different, he said, Hindus and Muslims share the same ancestors.

“There is no definition of a minority in the Constitution, but appeasement politics has brought this word into focus. So much so that former PM Manmohan Singh had said minorities have the first right to the country’s resources. Muslim intellectuals should ponder over this,” the former Speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly wrote.

Adding that “stoking fear among communities is futile” and “dialogue is the only way forward”, Dixit wrote that the RSS chief’s “initiative to interact with Muslim intellectuals will help in maintaining social harmony”.

‘Yogi model of law & order’

In an article published in Punjab Kesari on the completion of six months of the second Yogi Adityanath government, Right-leaning author Swadesh Singh said there has been an improvement in law and order in Uttar Pradesh.

“Due to better law and order in UP, the progress made on the parameters of development should be studied on the basis of it. This experiment of the Yogi government can prove to be effective for developing countries and other states of the country,” Singh, a professor at Delhi University, wrote.

He added that the BJP government has spent “Rs 6,000 crore since 2018” to strengthen law and order in the state.

“Because of the better security conditions, girls can go to schools, shopkeepers can keep their shops open till late at night and this has affected the development indexes. For countries with a population of more than 7-8 crore, this law and order model of the Yogi government can prove to be inspirational,” Singh wrote.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

Also Read: ‘Hindus ridiculed continuously’ — Hindu Right press on poster for Leena Manimekalai’s ‘Kaali’


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