India’s Grave Existential Threat – Islamic Radicalism
by G B Reddy on 14 Jul 2017 7 Comments

Islamist radicalism is an existential threat for Hinduism as Indian History abundantly testifies. Ipso facto, Hinduism stands decimated in neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, what with Pakistan hounding the ancient Hindu civilisation.


The recent spurt in communal clashes in India includes Saharanpur, Meerut, Hashimpura, Muzaffarnagar. According to official data of 2016, communal violence increased by 17 per cent from 2014 to 2015.


The latest communal outburst in Baduria which falls in Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal that broke out over an objectionable post on Facebook is a grim reminder of how tensions simmer below the surface. As per media reports, a post put up by a student  showed “objectionable images’’ linked to the Prophet and Ka’aba Sharif in Mecca that went viral in Baduria. There soon followed a Muslim mob vandalising Hindu shops and homes, and setting fire to vehicles, triggering retaliatory attacks and resulting in mayhem.


On Thursday, July 6, 64-year-old Kartik Ghosh died as fresh violence erupted in Basirhat town. Ghosh was returning home on his motorcycle on Wednesday afternoon when he was attacked by a mob and stabbed; he died the next day, becoming the first casualty in the violence that has rocked the town since July 3.


Growing incidents of violence in Bengal revive memories of the communal carnage that accompanied partition. The story of the Noakhali riots, a series of semi-organized massacres, rapes, abductions and forced conversions of Hindus and looting and arson of Hindu properties organised by the Muslim League in Noakhali in Chittagong Division of Bengal (now in Bangladesh) in October–November 1946, should act as a grim warning of what could unfold if Bengal districts experience violent demographic upheavals. ISIS has been making a strong bid to entrench itself in neighboring Bangladesh, and would use the base for action in neighbouring West Bengal and Assam.


Mamata Banerjee needs to shed her pseudo secular credentials and act in a resolute manner, before it is too late. The Congress Party’s minority appeasement and vote bank politics has left a devastating legacy among all pseudo secular political parties. Banerjee knows that after partition, the Hindu minority of East Pakistan was systematically decimated through State collusion with non-state actors.


To add to the problem, politicians like the Owaisi brothers freely indulge in rabid communal polarisation politics, not to mention the Kashmir separatist leaders who deliver hate speeches with impunity. In the past too, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, late Syed Abdullah Bukhari, was in the forefront Muslim vote bank polarisation. It is said that at one stage the Congress Party offered the family a ministerial berth.


Not to be left behind in minority appeasement, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has dubbed Israel as a “terrorist state” and slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for trying to good relations with that country. This is likely the consequence of Kerala Muslim youth returning home from the ISIS; they can only radicalise society and politics further.


For the sake of power and pelf, many regional political parties and leaders are succumbing to radical Islamist demands such as reservations. Telangana Chief Minister KC Rao has conceded to the demand of 12 per cent reservations. Most political parties host grand “Iftar” parties with gusto, with little gestures to other faiths.


The collusion between Muslim and Christian ideologues and groups to destabilise Hindu society by appeals and allurements to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is real.


The Hindu value of “tolerance” stands antiquated and at odds with today’s reality. In large swathes of West Bengal and Kerala, Hindus are on the retreat, with quite a few districts/areas undergoing sharp demographic changes and impacting political parties with their numerical might. The growth rate of Muslim population in West Bengal and Assam is also a matter of national security concern. In West Bengal, Muslims constituted 19.85% in 1951; and 27.01% (2.45 crores in real numbers out of total 9.12 crores) in 2011.


The highest concentration is in three districts bordering Bangladesh: Murshidabad – 66.28%; Malda – 51.27%; and Uttar Dinajpur – 50.92%. Following close behind are Birbhum 37.06%, South 24 Parganas 35.57%, North 24 Parganas 25.72% and Koch Bihar with 25.54.


In Muslims in 1951 accounted for 17.62%; in 2011 census they rose to 34.22% of the population. Nine out of 27 districts have a significant Muslim majority population of over 50%): Dhubri 79.67%; Barpeta 70.74%; Darrang 64.34%; Hailakandi 60.31%; Goalpara 57.52%; Karimganj 56.36%; Nagaon 55.36%; Morigaon 52.56%; and Bongaigaon 50.22%. Three districts have over 30% Muslim population: Cachar 37.71%; Kamrup 39.66%; and Nalbari 35.96%. Kokrajhar district closely follows with one-third Muslim population.


Even in Kerala, the Muslim surge is real, from 0.78 crores in 2001 to 0.88 crores in 2011, even as the Hindu population has declined from 1.82 crores in 2001 to 1.78 crores in 2011. Muslims are in significant numbers to influence the outcome of elections in certain districts, viz., Mallapuram 70.24%; Kozhikode 39.24%; Kasargod 37.24%; Kannur 29.43%; Palakkad 28.93%; and Waynad 28.65%.


Meanwhile, in Pakistan, Hindus as a percentage of population declined from 25% in 1947 to 12.9% in 1951 due to population exodus during partition. As per 1951 census, West Pakistan had 1.6% Hindu population, while East Pakistan (modern Bangladesh) had 22.05%.


According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan data, around 1,000 Hindu families fled to India in 2013. In May 2014, a member of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, revealed in the National Assembly of Pakistan that around 5,000 Hindus are migrating from Pakistan to India every year. In Bangladesh, Hindu population has halved to 10.2% from 22.05% in 1951.


Clearly Hindu civilisation is at the edge of a precipice, ready to crash into the abyss. The politics of vote banks on partisan communal lines will surely take us there. 

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