New Delhi: Muslim leaders reacting to the Udaipur killing are not outright discarding the ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ (beheading) philosophy, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) English mouthpiece, Organiser, has said.
The editorial in Organiser blamed certain “actors’” for encouraging radicalism, including “communists, NGOs, academicians, think tanks, secular politicians, human rights activists like Teesta Setalvad and fake news peddlers masquerading as fact-checkers like [AltNews co-founder] Zubair”.
“All these actors cultivate hateful minds and give confidence to the fanatics to take law into their hands,” read the editorial.
The arrest of AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair, the need to reform Islam, the formation of a new government in Maharashtra and the fall of the rupee were among other issues that found a voice in the Hindu right press this past week.
ThePrint brings you a wrap of what made headlines in the pro-Hindutva press over the past week.
Referring to Udaipur killing accused Ghaus Mohammed and Riyaz Attari’s alleged ties to Dawat-e-Islami, a Pakistan-based outfit of the Sufi-Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam, the Organiser editorial added: “Such organisations propagate and practice Islam worldwide as per the Hadiths, injecting and inculcating Kafirophobia, an in-built hatred towards the non-believers of Islam.”
“Of course, Ghaus and Riyaz are the actual executors. Still, the fundamentals that shaped their minds and the agents who carry those teachings are the equal culprits of the process,” it read.
In an opinion piece he wrote for News18, RSS functionary Rajiv Tuli said the Udaipur killing was the “handiwork of an exclusivist Islamist ideology that finds coexistence with people of other faiths a detestable idea”.
“Islamic fundamentalism is a global phenomenon. The aim of this movement is to return back to the ‘original’ principles of Islam as was followed in the 7th-century Arabia (sic). The dangerous part of this philosophy is that it enjoins upon the Islamist believer to convert all the other non-believers to Islam by force, violence, and might,” Tuli added.
‘Is Zubair a journalist?’
An editorial in Panchjanya, the RSS’s Hindi mouthpiece, questioned people who extended support to Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair following his arrest. Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police last month for allegedly hurting religious sentiments with a four-year-old tweet featuring a still from a 1983 film by director Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
“Who are these people who are trending the hashtag ‘I stand with Zubair’ in the name of freedom of expression when the communal hatred campaign launched by Mohammed Zubair against Nupur [Sharma] resulted in the beheading of tailor Kanhaiya Lal from Udaipur,” the editorial asked.
Referring to statements by the Editors Guild of India and the Press Club of India condemning Zubair’s arrest, the editorial added: “Both these institutions are there to look after the interests and affairs of journalists. Is Zubair a journalist? Then, why are these organisations coming forward in his defence? What is their compulsion?”
‘Hindu Lives Matter’
Organiser, in its cover story titled, ‘Hindu Lives Matter’, quoted a decades-old article on Islam by historian Sita Ram Goel, who gained a reputation for “exposing Nehruvian fallacies”.
“Islam has imposed an Emergency on India, so that everyone has the perfect ‘liberty’ to praise its Allah, its prophet, its scriptures, its history, and its heroes, but gets into trouble if he so much as says that Islam should answer some questions,” the cover story said, quoting Goel’s article.
Goel’s article goes on to say that the average Muslim is “unaware of what is written in Islamic scriptures”, has the “normal moral notions of his Hindu neighbours”, adding that “Muslim theologians and politicians exploit his ignorance and mobilise him on the streets by ascribing to enemies of Islam (sic).”
Terming Goel’s words “relevant even today”, the cover story added: “The emergency which Islam had imposed after its advent in India and which had caused resentment among Hindus for a long time, now stood fully sanctioned by the Hindu elite.”
“All religions were equal. But Islam was more equal. Small wonder that Muslims acquired an unprecedented sense of self–righteousness; they had scored a triumph which their sword had failed to win for them in more than a thousand years.”
‘Fictitious notion that Islam is in danger’
RSS ideologue Ram Madhav called for reform of Islam in an article for New Age Islam — a Delhi-based website founded by Sultan Shahin, a columnist who writes on Islamic theology and Muslim politics.
Writing that political correctness “prevented” many from underscoring the radicalisation of young Indian Muslims, Madhav said: “This radicalisation of individual Muslims, on the fictitious notion that ‘Islam is in danger’, started with the rise of outfits like Abdul Nasser Madani’s Islamic Sevak Sangh in Uttar Pradesh in the mid-1990s, and continues to this day through outfits like the Popular Front of India (PFI) in Kerala.”
“Islamic radicalism grew in West Asia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan because of state patronage. But in India, it is the liberal political and intellectual apologist ecosystem, coupled with stony silence, if not tacit support, of the Muslim leadership, that is emboldening these radical outfits and individuals,” Madhav wrote.
He further alleged that intelligence agencies in states where a non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is in power, like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, “refuse” to do their bit to tackle Islamic radicalisation.
Central agencies, like the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), are working hard to curb the activities of radical outfits that promote terror and violence, Madhav added.
Quoting an interview he gave to ThePrint, Madhav wrote that some well-intentioned Muslim scholars responded to his statement that Muslims should “discard concepts like ummah, kafir and jihad” by insisting that such concepts had a different meaning.
“But what is the use of telling Hindus about a ‘different meaning’, when the madrasa and the mosque consistently propagate hatred and exclusivity! How does it help hiding behind the facetious argument of ‘Islamophobia’ when some Hindus point out the need for reform,” Madhav asked.
Eknath Shinde’s ‘masterstroke’
Throwing his weight behind newly-elected Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, journalist Dibya Kamal Bordoloi in an opinion piece for Organiser termed Shinde’s Hindutva appeal a “game-changer”.
“The lost ideology of Shiv Sena in the last two-and-a-half years as a partner of MVA [Maha Vikas Aghadi] in Maharashtra with Congress and NCP was an obvious reason for Shiv Sainiks to join the rebel group. More and more rebel Shiv Sena MLAs started joining the Shinde group in Guwahati. The rebel strength was increasing day-by-day, which was also escalating the worry of the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena,” Bordoloi wrote.
Welcoming his appointment as a “masterstroke”, Bordoloi wrote that Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra with the “complete backing of Bharatiya Janata Party”.
“Earlier, Shinde, who led the rebels, was expected to be sworn in as the deputy chief minister and Fadnavis as the chief minister after losing power in 2019 when the Shiv Sena walked out of a pre-poll alliance with the BJP and formed a government in alliance with Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party. Thackeray’s resignation culminated Fadnavis’s campaign to topple the MVA government,” wrote Bordoloi.
Increase in trade deficit to blame for fall of rupee
Swadeshi Patrika, the monthly magazine of the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch, published an editorial in its June edition on the fall of the rupee in comparison to the American dollar, blaming it on global inflation and imports from China.
“The question is whether a gradual depreciation of the rupee is inevitable or if it is impossible to formulate a strategy to strengthen the rupee. For a long time, the policy of free trade has been adopted by the governments and imports were allowed at least import duties,” the editorial read.
“Due to the dumping of imports in the country by many countries including China, not only our trade deficit increased in an unprecedented manner, our industries were also adversely affected and our dependence on imports increased (sic). Simultaneously. The increase in the trade deficit had a direct impact on the demand for dollars and caused depreciation of the rupee.”
“A decrease in imports may reduce the demand for the dollar. On the other hand, due to India buying crude oil from Russia and paying it in rupees, there may be further reduction in the demand for dollars and the result will be seen in the form of appreciation of the rupee”, the editorial concluded.
‘Club class environmentalists tried to stall Aarey car shed’
In an opinion piece he wrote for News18, Right-leaning journalist Ratan Sharda endorsed the Maharashtra government’s decision to retain the proposed Metro car shed in Mumbai’s Aarey.
Arguing that Aarey was “never a protected forest”, Sharda wrote: “It was reserved as a grazing land and had its own tribal villages inside it. Aarey Dairy project had been shut down due to various reasons, including vested interests.”
Sharda further said that only “club-class environmentalists” are protesting against the state government’s decision to build a Metro car shed in Aarey.
“Every delay in completion of the project means hundreds of crores in rising costs due to inflation and more misery for the commuters. But there were some professional club-class environmentalists who tried to stall the Aarey car shed.
“Misguided environmentalists went to courts where they lost the case. But they kept trying to stall the project. [But] For steadfast and firm former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, this project would have got buried in time and delayed forever,” Sharda wrote.
(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)