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‘Indian Muslims have Stockholm Syndrome’: What pro-Hindutva press said on Ram Navami violence

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

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New Delhi: New India will longer accept the history of Nizams and Owaisis, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in an interview with Organiser, the weekly English mouthpiece of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

“The Left has always idolised those who challenged the Indian Union,” Sarma said. “Unfortunately, Nizams and Owaisis are heroes and not legends like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Subhash Chandra Bose, but modern India does not accept the history of Nizams and Owaisis, I am echoing the sentiment of new India.”

“You can always be pro-minority,” he said in answer to a question on his government’s drive to evict “encroachers” from land belonging to satras (Vaishnavite monasteries) and his recent remarks about minorities.

“But if a Hindu temple which is as old as 4,000 years is captured, if a satra is encroached upon today, should a democratically elected government compromise in the name of so-called secularism,” he added. 

Also Read: Two RSS comics that captured the imagination of kids & teenagers, inspired them to join outfit

Modi as Lord Vishnu

Former Modi supporter and right-wing writer-journalist Hari Shankar Vyas claimed that Union Minister Nitin Gadkari could pull the BJP, RSS, and India back from ruins. 

“He does not care about Narendra Modi and the officers. He just needs work. He puts the needs of the Sangh before his own,” Vyas, the editor of Hindi daily Naya India, wrote in an editorial of the newspaper on 9 April. “He speaks in the cabinet and is the only man in a crowd of ruling Hindus and courtiers,” Vyas wrote. “He says the Congress and the opponents are also the Hindus of India.”

Vyas also wrote that he had warned of possible misuse of the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  

“Narendra Modi, on the other hand, sleeps on the Sheshnaag like Lord Vishnu in a state of ecstasy from people’s enchantment, with rich people pressing his feet and people applauding,” he wrote in his editorial. “His face, his sage-white hair, the power gleaming from his every pore is the fate of the Hindus of the 21st century and the enigma for the rest of the human society on earth.” 

The whole of India is like a temple and Modi is sitting in its sanctum with devotees receiving “five-five kilos of grain-salt bags in blessings”, he wrote. 

Rahul Gandhi, Imran Khan unite in their hate for RSS: Ram Madhav

India’s neighbours are facing challenges that India could help resolve, Ram Madhav, the former national general secretary of the BJP and a senior leader of the RSS, wrote in Panchjanya, the Hindi weekly mouthpiece of the RSS, Monday.

Madhav compared Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, saying they both stood united in their hate for the RSS.

He wrote this in the context of Gandhi’s recent comments on the need to protect India’s institutions from the Sangh Parivar.

“From 1975 to 1977, when Rahul Gandhi’s grandmother Indira Gandhi was crushing India’s democracy and writing a black chapter, only one organisation resolved to become the country’s shield against dictatorship — the RSS,” he wrote in the column. 

He also wrote that India’s democracy was an inspiration to its neighbours. 

“With the political crisis in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, all eyes are fixed with hope on Indian democracy. The governments of these countries today are praising India’s democratic features and looking forward to its support,” Madhav wrote in his Panchjanya column on Monday.  

“The stronger the establishment of democracy in countries in South Asia, the better it is for them because China — the other major power in the region which has close ties with many countries in the region — has a different political system,” he writes. “As generously as China provides in this area, the reason is equally selfish.” 

Meanwhile, Organiser described the newly-elected prime minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif, as “not so Sharif” (ignoble) and said the Sharif family’s track record did not inspire optimism.

“The replacement of Imran Khan with Shehbaz Sharif is not going to change the situation in Pakistan as the Army continues to call the shots,” it wrote on the cover of the magazine Monday.

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‘Indian Muslims’ Stockholm Syndrome’

“Muslims in Bharat seem to be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and they have developed positive feelings towards their captors or abusers over time,” the Vishva Hindu Parishad said on its website on 16 April, reacting to the recent communal incidents on Ram Navami. 

The ancestors of 85 per cent of Muslims are Hindus who converted to Islam “at the point of a sword”. 

“That the conquered populace was given the choice of conversion or death,” VHP’s joint general secretary, Surendra Kumar Jain, wrote on the website. “The converted people should naturally have hatred, not reverence for those Muslim invaders. Unfortunately, the ones who are on the same page with the invaders appear to be leading in controlling the Muslim psyche.”

The VHP also wanted those who allegedly attacked the Ram Navami processions to be booked under the National Security Act. 

“These attacks are an act of terrorism. Exemplary action should be taken under the NSA (National Security Act) against every attacker, their supporters and hosts, lone wolves, and sleeper cells,” Jain wrote. “The role of PFI — a terrorist organisation in Bharat — is now clearly coming to the fore,” he added.

For context, news reports have claimed that police were investigating the possible role of the Popular Front of India — an Islamist organisation — in the communal violence in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone on 10 April.  

Jain also questioned the allegation of provocative slogans being raised at the procession. 

“How can ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ‘Jai Shri Ram’ be provocative slogans while raising ‘Wajib-ul-Qatl’ (deserving murder)? ‘Sar dhhad se Judaa Hoga’ (your head will be beheaded)? The most provocative slogan in world history is: ‘La illaha illallah muhammedur rasulullah’ (there is no God, but Allah and the Prophet is the last messenger of God),” he wrote.  

Ramzan violence 

Panchjanya’s cover had a silhouette of a Muslim man offering namaz with a mosque with loudspeakers in the background. 

“Why Azaan on loudspeakers? Can a person’s freedom to live in peace be curtailed under the guise of religious practices?” asks the question on the cover. “Can a particular religion be given the freedom to challenge the faith of other believers? And is it justified in a democratic and civilised society to ignore the instructions of the courts on the insistence of a particular religion?”

Panchjanya’s editor Hitesh Shankar claimed in his column Monday that the violence during Ramzan was not a “region-specific phenomenon” and was related to “Ramzan and Islam”.

Has this (the attacks during the month of Ramzan) happened for the first time? But it is not an exception. If stone-pelting was limited to only one place, then one could consider it an accident, but it has happened at more than a dozen places,” Hitesh Shankar wrote.

“These episodes of riots are related to Ramzan and to Islam. This is not a region-specific problem, nor is it the case that Muslims are facing more problems in this period,” Shankar wrote.  

Organiser called the recent communal clashes “synchronised jihad”. 

Also Read: India’s turned a blind Right eye to Hindutva violence, but it can be a threat to State itself

Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb false narrative’

 The recent instances of stone-pelting at Ram Navami processions at different locations in the country prove that the narrative of ‘Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb’ (syncretic culture) is false, or it has been selectively interpreted, said Rajeev Sachan, senior journalist and right-wing leaning author in an article in Dainik Jagran published on 13 April.

 “If there is really a Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb in the country, then why did the Supreme Court have to resolve the Ayodhya case, and what is the reason that many Muslim leaders are not ready to accept its decision,” Sachan wrote in his column. “After all, the Ganga-Jamuna whose origin is in the Himalayas at the same place and which meet at Prayagraj, how can they be a sign of different cultures,” Sachan wrote.

“Whenever Owaisi or other Muslim leaders have to mention ‘Jai Shri Ram’, they prefer to say ‘JSR’. Similarly, ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ is ‘BMKJ’ for them. Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, the General Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, had already said that Indian Muslims are going through a difficult time in terms of their religious customs and traditions — can there be a more provocative statement than this,” he wrote. 

Senior journalist and right-wing intellectual S. Gurumurthy wrote an article in Swadeshi Jagaran Manch’s magazine in its April edition on the Russia Ukraine crisis and India’s growing stature in global politics.

“Though India has not voted for Russia, it has taken a firm position on the discovery of a bioweapons facility in Ukraine funded by America,” Gurumurthy wrote. “And America, despite loosely calling India shaky on the Ukraine war, has not applied the CAATSA law to stop the sale of Russia’s missile system to India. Undoubtedly, the Ukraine war diplomacy has shown India’s rising stature.”

This report has been updated to reflect the fact that the correct translation of ‘La illaha illallah muhammedur rasulullah’ is ‘there is no God, but Allah and the Prophet is the last messenger of God’. The error is regretted

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

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