Outgoing Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (C), along with Indiaâ€™s Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi (2nd R), sit after paying respects at the Rajiv Gandhi memorial on the occasion of the former Indian Prime Ministerâ€™s 23rd death anniversary in New Delhi May 21, 2014. Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a female suicide bomber during election campaigning on May 21, 1991. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
The BJP led alliance victory has at least assured one thing. No longer can Muslim Indians be accused of living off a policy of official favoritism and appeasement. The Hindu nationalists had always relied on this issue in their electoral strategy. Now they are in power and they can easily stop all such schemes and programs they felt were created to appease Muslims. Moreover, with a clear majority of its parliamentarians, the Modi government is in a position to do what it had always asked the Congress governments to do, i.e, implement universal civil code, amend article 370, and abolish special privileges given to minority institutions. Above all, the Hindu nationalist law makers have the ability of taking care of anti-nationalists, non-patriotic foreign agents and traitors from places their leadership had described as bastions of terrorism. As the prime minister of the country, Modi now has the privilege to learn firsthand about those Muslims who he always thought believed in the division of the world into Darul Harb and Darul Aman with India being defined as the former.
No doubt development would be the priority. But behind this screen, there is a three tier agenda that the Modi government would likely to implement as the whispers from RSS and hard core BJP inner circles suggest. Through social media forums, internal memos and literature distributed during and after the election as well as speeches delivered in homes and smaller gatherings away from the glamour of the media, one can easily figure out the social engineering that is likely to take place in the next five years under Modi, if the government survives its tenure.
RSS and BJP views Hindus and India interchangeable. They are inclusive. Others that exist in India may be Indians but their status is less than those who profess Hinduism as their dharam (way of life). Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism can be defined as part of Hindu society as they are indigenous. Islam and Christianity are imported religions and they cannot be considered part of Hindu civilization unless their adherents renounce their faiths.
So when Modi government talks of national development or national policy, we must understand it as referring to Hindu development and policies favoring Hindus. During the next five years, the BJP would ensure that such polices are formed and implemented in the name of Indian nationalism. India has always allowed a section of people living outside the periphery of mainstream culture as the plight of Dalits suggest and if Muslims replace them as neo-Dalits, no one is going to shed tears.
The real strength of BJP is over 5 million RSS workers who are disciplined, and loyal. These workers would ensure that the Modi government policies are popularized in public and projected as the best in the interest of the nation.
Through legislations and public funds, companies and corporations supportive of BJP and RSS would have opportunities to maximize their financial gains. They would determine the labor laws, minimum wages, working conditions and the pace of development. They would develop policies of hiring and firing and decide who would move up from those sections of society who support RSS and BJP agenda. In states where non-BJP governments rules, though economic incentives, their opposition would be minimized and climate for an economic alliance would be created.
The RSs and BJP would implement its Hindutva agenda very meticulously avoiding the publicity. Before touching the Rama Mandir issue, the party workers would focus in rural areas especially in places where minorities are in insignificant numbers. With law enforcement agencies turning blind eyes, many of these communities would be lured back into Hinduism thus changing the demographics of these areas. After all RSS and its supporters believe that Muslims and Christians were Hindus forcibly converted to their new religion and it is the duty of every Hindu to ensure that the lost sheep are returned to their flock. This would happen in a subtle and organized manner. None of these two communities are organized to even have an data about their scattered folks in rural areas. Very few of these communities have actually been approached by Muslim groups in the past 66 years of independence. Majority of them are not even aware of the true dimensions of their faith. All they know is that they were born in Muslim families without realizing the meaning of being a Muslim.
How to combat the Modi Agenda
RSS and BJP are organizations created by people and strong leadership. Muslims can also create strong organizations and leadership. Their leadership must have a vision, a vision of whole of India not of their party, or community or sect. This vision must be based on the concept of human dignity of each and every one and not on the notion of Muslim superiority or supremacy.
The vision must be backed by a grass roots organization, an organization that reaches to the last Muslim living even in the remotest area.
The vision must be popularized through education, an education that does not make distinction between religious studies and social and natural sciences. An education that is value based preparing Muslims to serve humanity through improving their own living conditions. A vision that promotes peace and harmony and that inspires Muslims to forward thinking.
The education should be imparted through improving existing educational institutions that can adopt a new curriculum based on objective analysis rather than historical claims to subjective negative thinking.
There should be grass roots educational movement starting from angan wadi (pre KG schools) and elementary to institutions of higher learning.
Indian Muslims have tremendous human and material resources. The community runs over a million grass roots madrasas and other similar institutions though its own resources. It also has a strong ally in Muslims of Indian origin who have settled overseas. Through the combined resources of indigenous and overseas Muslims of Indian origin, Muslims of India can certainly create a new path for them. But they would need a leadership that is sincere and dedicated to India and the community and those values of Islam that promote peace, human progress, fellowship and human dignity. There is no point in trying to settle issues pertaining to factional and sectarian differences. They are world wide issues and Muslim Indians alone cannot solve them overnight. What they can do is to ensure that even weakest of their community is given an opportunity to live with dignity.