Are Indian Hindus turning communal?

Arunava Chatterjee
Arunava ChatterjeeOct 09, 2015 | 15:40

Are Indian Hindus turning communal?

There is great consternation in the country in the wake of the Dadri lynching incident. "Secular" political leaders, intellectuals and minority leaders have condemned the dastardly act, and rightly so. The controversy has now crossed the national frontiers and is hogging space in international print and electronic media.

Before this incident, not far back in time, riots took place in Muzaffarnagar, resulting in the killing and displacement of a large number of people. The Gujarat riots in 2002 also led to the massacre of a large number of people belonging to the minority community. This sad phase in independent India's history is still being examined and re-examined by government and non-government agencies in the country.


On the other side of the spectrum, we saw the horrific Mumbai blasts, in which many people from the majority community lost their lives. Then there were bomb blasts on suburban trains in Mumbai. The German Bakery blast in Pune is still fresh in our memory. The blast killed a large number of innocents, including a highly promising brother-sister duo, leaving their parents childless.

Besides, Kashmiri Pandits were evicted from their homes and pushed out of Kashmir. They became refugees in their own country. Incidents of bombings and killings at places of worship of the majority community are plenty. Even the greatest institution of democracy, the Parliament, was not spared. All these crimes were committed by criminal and misguided elements belonging to the minority community, aided by certain fundamentalist foreign elements.

If we look elsewhere, the present Sheikh Hasina-led government in Bangladesh is working hard to instil secular values in public life. However recently, secular bloggers belonging to both communities (Hindus and Muslims) were butchered in broad daylight by Muslim fanatics. The population of Hindus has shrunk to seven per cent, from 37 per cent at the time of independence, and is shrinking further, in the face of religious persecution by fundamentalist groups.


The facts mentioned are not intended to justify an incident like Dadri. But it is pertinent to look at the hard facts. The Muslim population in West Bengal now stands at 30 per cent, thanks to illegal infiltration from Bangladesh.

Foreign fundamentalist propaganda has radicalised a section of the Muslim youth in India and some have reportedly travelled to West Asia to fight alongside the Islamic State (ISIS). Recently, we also saw people confronting the security forces with Pakistani flags in their hands in Kashmir. They were not taken to task.

The "secular" political leaders yelling in their support are not interested in the well-being and development of the Muslims. The Muslim vote bank have become the trump card to win elections, with the Hindu population being divided along caste lines by the same leaders. The same can be said about our secular intellectuals, whose only aim is to protect their progressive and secular image at the cost of the majority population. The leaders' agenda is to retain a stranglehold over the members of their community on religious grounds.

The Hindus by their nature and religious teachings are very secular and tolerant of other religions. They have not reacted violently, but are angry. If some sections in our country take advantage of their anger to stage aberrations like Dadri, are they the only people to be blamed? Aren't our pseudo-secular political leaders, intellectuals and community leaders equally responsible? Have politics of religion turned Indian Hindus communal?

Last updated: October 09, 2015 | 15:40
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