That can only widen the gap, can't bridge it
Uncertainty and Indian politics are born together. So attached to one another that the two can never be divorced. It may seem bogus to many critics to equate recent changes in Indian political environment with the change of government at the centre.
But it cannot be discounted that the saffronization of India has geared up and has acquired high speed and momentum since Modi wave swept India from North to South and East to West. The Modi-mania is helping the Hindutva parties and the saffron brigade to expand their wings in, what looks, an undaunted and free atmosphere.
The winds of change are hovering over India. The triumph of BJP and its allies was turned by the political pundits as a mandate to change for change. Parties harping on secular agenda and ideology put an all time flop show. Opposition is demoralized as the Congress could manage only 44 seats, an all time low. This victory of BJP signifies the change of mood in the Indian society.
Change is manifested when Nathuram Godse, the one who killed Mahatma Gandhi, is praised and made a hero overnight, and to iconize him, a temple of his name is being constructed.
A bike rally is scheduled to present Godse, who till date was looked as a villain, as saviour of Hindutva, an unsung hero who for killing Gandhi has been demonized by the secularists. It seems history has been very cruel to him and the brigade look to correct, what to them seems an unjust treatment for Godse. Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the RSS said that India was a Hindu Nation where many Hindus had been forcibly converted to other religions.
To him, Ghar Wapsi aims to bring them back into their original faith, thus make India a pure Hindu Nation.
Preparations are on to make ‘Gita’ national book of India and days are not too far when the Preambular words would be re-written in a fashion to sooth the saffron ideology and Hinduism be made a National Religion. Indian would then be a Sovereign, Hindu, Democratic, Republic representing an idolized ideology.
Religious conversion has become a hot debate in the Indian politics in recent times because of the mass conversion programmes organized by Bajranjdal, Shive Sena, Vishva Hindu Parishad and other Hindu Rightist parties across India. Ghar Wapsi” (Home Coming) what they call, has acquired much criticism for forcibly converting religious minorities especially Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. The programs of mass conversions started from Agra where hundreds of Muslims were made to covert to Hinduism. Some of the victims blamed that they were promised ration cards and OBC status. Opposition parties raised the issue in the Parliament and demanding a debate in the Parliament about Right to Religion and forceful conversion and to table an anti-conversion Bill.
The conversion drama that unfolded soon became a bargaining counter for many groups who threaten to change faith if their demands are not fulfilled. Many downtrodden Hindu threaten to make a change over to Buddhism or Christianity.
These moves through a high pitch send a clear message that these poor people are in desperate need of socio-economic development. Faiths to them have secondary or tertiary importance, but survival has the first priority. The Indian situation is that while it has increased the number of billionaires, the poor have become poorer and even the middle class is finding it difficult to make ends meet because of rising prices, especially of food commodities.
These can of course become the cause of political instability and upset the aggregate growth scenario. The leadership seems to have developed a vested interest in keeping the people poor, illiterate and backward and is quite good at the art of redistributing just enough crumbs to the toiling masses to keep insurgency at bay.
India, a multi-religious nation has been a cradle of harmony and peace since the dawn of civilization. Hindus and Muslims, along with other religious minorities are living together since ages, they are together and have to remain together.
Alas! One wonders what can change of religions do to those whose socio-economic positions become more vulnerable by changing their faiths.
(The Author is Lecturer Political Science at Girls Higher Secondary Yaripora)