MODI’S ‘HINDUVTA’ RIDDLING THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION
AUTHOR: MASHUK AHMED KHAN
L.L.M.; M.Phil.; M.A.; PG.Dip.; MCIPD
A Legal Academic; and
The University of Oxford Philosophical Society; and
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development:
No one for sure has ever caught the sight of reincarnation of a departed soul of a human being, including India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (‘PM Modi’), in spite of his deepest submission to Hinduvta – a cultural ideology – devised by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (‘Sangh Parivar’) in the 1920s. If Hindu mythology of reincarnation or its deep seated fanciful root in Hinduism were to be given any credence, then certainly, one has to reckon the apparent reincarnation of Apartheid in the 21st Century India under PM Modi’s reign. The (hypothetical) Hindu goddess of reincarnation, Karni Mata – instead of vermin – ostensibly reincarnated a Sangh Parivar with defiled souls for her continued reprisal against Yama (Hindu god of death); but in its place, it appears, that her malice were obliquely transferred to Muslims for years to come. The hard truth is; the greatest evil has transpired to rule the heterogeneous Bharat Mata (‘Mother India’) and molest her piety. Modi-government – a political Golem of the Sangh Parivar – has given a free rein to Hinduvta (Hindu-ness) – which means, for an individual to assert himself or herself an Indian, one must be a Hindu or adopt Hindu-ness (like some Muslim Bollywood film stars). It is now openly chanted, even by the government ministers (let alone the ordinary Hindu mobs) with no regard to Indian Constitution or in the least, ‘humanity’.
The Sangh Parivar: An image of aggression
The Sangh Parivar is the only political organisation, vehemently objected to the idea of a secular India and sought to include Manu-smriti (‘Manu Codes’) in the Indian Constitution at the time of its drafting. Although Manu Codes were not included in there due to its discriminatory nature against the lower castes, Dalits (out-caste), and women in general; the Sangh Parivar’s wishes not to have a secular Constitution, however, had been tacitly accommodated with the omission of any provision for secularism thereto. The key players of the Constituent Assembly Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (‘Dr Ambedkar’), Sir Benegal Narsing Rau, Sardar Vallabbhai Patel, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma, all with their legal background were definitely conscious of this fundamental vacuum within the draft Constitution, that will have a great impact upon non-Hindu religious groups; and more significantly the ‘Indian Muslims’ to, freely practice their religion. Yet this fact, in consonance with the proposition of Professor K T Shah (from Bihar) to insert the words “Secular (Federal and Socialist)”, and the movement led by Brajeswar Prashad (from Bihar), to include the words “Secular (and Socialist”) in the preamble of the Constitution; the word Secular curiously lacked due favour in the Constituent Assembly (of 299 members) and was therefore aborted.
An Unsecular Indian Constitution (‘the Constitution’) thus, came into existence finally, in January 1950, arguably with an overwhelming victory of the Sangh Parivar. For unknown reason(s) India’s Constitutional Guru Dr Ambedkar remained passive on secularism issue; and yielded to the unfair prejudice the Constitution were to cause to non-Hindus as a result. To say in euphemistic terms, it was probably a compromise Dr Ambedkar made to his quasi-liberal thinking, in the midst of elitist supremacy in Indian politics and/or was a trade-off against Manu Codes, for the abolition of ‘Untouchability’ under Article 17, at the cost of secularism. Essentially, Article 17 was inserted to protect the out-caste (Dalits) and other lower caste Hindus from constitutional discrimination. Dr Ambedkar surely was not in a strong bargaining position – given his Dalit background – to push the case harder for secularism. The Constitution had to reflect the Hindu ownership of India more so than secularism, and it is a general view amongst the Hindu population, hitherto prevalent. That being said, Article 1 of the Constitution prima facie mitigates this Hindu proprietary sentiment about India to some extent with the inclusion of the word Bharat to denote India, in its preamble.
A provision for secularism was merely incorporated into the Constitution by 42nd amendment in 1976 (The Constitution (42nd amendment) Act 1976), having had replaced the wordings “sovereign, democratic republic” with “sovereign, socialist secular democratic republic” – perhaps to put some gloss over, India’s murky democratic images worldwide. Nevertheless, there will always be a question mark as to India’s secularism. Upon neutral scrutiny of the judgment in the most infamous case of Ram Janamabhoomi (‘RJ case’) one can deduce that the Supreme Court of India has subjectively justified Secularism: ‘Sarwa Dharma Sambhava’ (tolerance of all religion); having extensively cited from the Hindu Scriptures: Atharva Veda, Rigveda, Yajur Veda etc., instead of making any reference to modern democratic political concept of Western secularism. Although the Constitution broadly resembles the first Amendment of the United States’ Constitution on Secularism, the Supreme Court was of the opinion in RJ case that the Indian government has the ‘power’ to take over any religious place including ‘Mosques’. Isn’t it mind-boggling?
Since assuming power, Modi-government engaged itself tampering with the Constitution, in order to deprive Indian Muslims of their lawful rights and entitlements. It started off with the abrogation of Article 370 depriving Kashmir of its autonomous status – reinforced by yet unimplemented United Nations Resolution 1949 for a Plebiscite; the abrogation of Art. 35A removing restrictions on property purchase in occupied Kashmir by people from other parts of India. It then followed immediately with the enactment of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, which created new domicile provisions for non-indigenous population to settle in the occupied Kashmir (came into force on 1 April 2020), triggering opportunities for demographic flooding in there from other parts of India. Further enactment of new Citizenship law (Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2020) – excluding Muslims of their right to equal treatment contrary to Article 14 of the Constitution; and the advent of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019, that interferes with the Islamic Sharia Laws on divorce etc.. PM Modi’s unremitting interference with the Constitution, to the disadvantage of Muslims, no doubt heightened fear amongst them that India is rapidly taking the shape of a Hindu republic – as originally envisioned by the founder of the Sangh Parivar Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar as a challenge to Indian National Congress (‘Congress’).
Muslim rule in India lasted for some 1,000 years; began with Mohammed Bin Qasim (715 AD) and descended to many dynasties such as: the Slave (1206-90), Khilji (1290-1320) , Tughlaq (1320-1413), Saiyyid (1414-51) , Lodhi (1451-1526) and finally the Mughal dynasty (1526-1707) – the remnants of which ended with Bahadur Shah’s (Bahadur Shah Zafar(II)) failed revolt against the British Raj in 1857 and his death in 1862 in Rangoon (Yangon) prison, Burma (Myanmar). Bahadur Shah’s revolt was the first of its kind against the British Raj for India’s independence. India flourished politically, economically and in every respect under Muslim minority rule with all its Princely States and people. Thereby Hindus and Muslims have been living in India side by side for centuries sharing its socio-politico-economic resources. During the period of British Raj Hindus and Muslims were united with their Indian identity, social fraternity, sense of liberty and patriotism; and asserted their lawful rights and entitlements in the absence of any Constitution. Shoulder to shoulder Hindus and Muslims fought against the British Raj to free Mother India from the continued rape she was subjected to, for 190 years.
It would therefore be utterly wrong to suggest that Hindu-Muslim cannot live together. The social division between Aam Janta is often created by the Political culprits and, clearly is the case, under the Modi-government. PM Modi’s ‘Hinduvta’ with its innate Hindu Nationalist fascism, sending wrong messages to India’s presumed liberal democrats and secular audience about Muslims – intended to provoke and deepen a nationwide hatred against them; and thereby destroy India’s socio-political tolerance of its nearly 20 Crore (200 million) Muslim population. Hinduvta in reality constituted – a fascist hegemonic class – completely independent of Sanatani (Orthodox Hinduism) or Neo-Devanta (Reformist Hinduism), but no doubt, is instrumental to, stirring religious sentiment of the ignorant Hindus to – hounding and denigrating the Muslims at large. If it was not for the overall dominance of Indian National Congress (the elitists) at the Centre for 50 years or so, from the date of first Nehru Ministry (15 Aug.1947); India would have been turned into an earthly HELL for its Muslim population.
Muslims’ sincere contributions to India’s socio-economic, political and cultural heritage range from: business, education, literature, architecture, horticulture, arts and culture, sports and philanthropy cannot be denied. A multi-fold expansion of Muslim’s contribution has been thwarted by socio-politico-economic prejudice against them. However, some of the legacies are noted hereunder in a nutshell:
Aligarh University (est:1875): founder: Sir Sayyad Ahmed Khan. Alumni include: India’s first Muslim President Dr Zakir Hussan, Justice Ram Prakash Sethi, Justice Baharul Islam, Justice Sayyid Saghir Ahmed, Justice Sayed Murtaza Fazl Ali ( all of them Supreme Court Justices) and Sahib Sing Verma (Chief Minister, Delhi), Mufti Mohammed Sayeed,(Chief Minister J&K)…
Osmania University, Hydrabad (est:1918): founder: Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan. Alumni include: India’s ex-Prime Minister P V Narshima Rao, Shri Vengupal Reddy (economist & President: RBI), Barrister Assaduddin Owaisi (MP) for example
Jamia Millia University, Delhi (est.1920): founders: Mahmud al-Hasan, Hakim Ajmal Khan, President Dr Zakir Hussain & others. Alumni include: Barkha Dutt (television journalist), Shah Rukh Khan (actor), Mouni Roy (actress), Anjana Om Kashyap (journalist), Virendar Sehwag(Cricketer)…
Tibbiya College (for Unani Medicine) Delhi (est.1916); founder Hakim Ajmal Khan – famously known as Masiha-e-Hind (Healer of India). The college later became Ayurvedic and Unani University and is affiliated with Delhi University.
Amir Khasru, Mirza Ghalib, Mir Taqi Mir, Daag Dehlevi, Jigar Muradabadi, Shabbir Hassan Khan (Shaair- e – Inquilab), Qatil Shifai, Kaifi Azmi, Khwaja Mir Dard, Bekhud Dehlevi, Bashir Badar, Nida Fazli, Bahadur Shah Zafar (II) and most notably Dr Allama Iqbal for Giving India a National Anthem (“Sare Jahan Se Accha Ye Hindustan Hamara”). Muslim women in India’s literary world include: Ismat Chughtai, Quarratulain Hyder, Rashid Jahan, Begum Rokeya Sakhawat, Shah Banoo, and Wajida Tabassum. The list is not exhausted here.
Hakim Ajmal Khan, Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar(‘Maulana Jauhar’), Mohammed Ali Jinnah (‘Jinnah’), Maulana Abul Kalam Azad(‘Maulana Azad’) and Abdul Ghaffar Khan (nicknamed “Frontier Gandhi”), to Dr Farooq Abdullah, Assaduddin Owaisi (MP), Ghulam Nabi Azad (MP), Mufti Mohammed Sayyed to Mehbooba Mufti, and many more. Hakim Ajmal Khan, Maulana Jauhar, Jinnah, Maulana Azad and Abdul Ghaffar Khan played a pivotal role in India’s struggle for independence against the British Raj. Maulana Azad was twice elected, President of the Congress, the first time in 1923 (aged 35) and the second time in 1940; and was the first Education Minister of independent India. Hakim Ajmal Khan was a President of Congress in 1921. Maulana Jauhar was a President of Congress in 1923. There were three Muslim Presidents, namely: Dr Zakir Hussain, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Dr Abdul Kalam (Nuclear Physicist/missile man of India); and an acting President Justice Hidayatullah following Dr. Zakir Hussain’s death in 1969. President Dr Abdul Kalam by virtue of his exclusive work on intermediate, and Inter Continental Ballistic Missile programmes on Agni, Prithvi, Akash, Trishul, and Nag, raised India’s nuclear position to international reckoning.
Justices of the Supreme Court: Baharul Islam, Sayyid Saghir Ahmed, Sayed Murtaza Fazl Ali, M Y Eqbal, and Fakkir Mohammed Ibrahim Kalifulla.
Indo-Islamic Architecture: Palaces and landmark monuments:
Chowmahalla Palce (Hyedrabad) Jodha Bhai’s Palace,(Fatehpur),Deogarh Palace(Deogarh), Jaipur Palace (Jaipur), Samode Palace (Samode); Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace (Bangalore) Aam Khas, Juna Mahal,(Dungarpur), Udaipur City Palace, Takhat Villas, Moti Mahal (Bharatpur) Taj Mahal (Agra) Pari Mahal (Srinagar), Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur), Red Fort (Delhi), Agra Fort (Agra) Junagarh Fort (Bikaner), Qutub Minar (Delhi) a UNESCO world heritage Site; The Buland Darwaza (gateway to Fatehpur), Hauz Khas Complex (Delhi), Humayun’s Tomb, The Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula (termed as” Baby Taj Mahal”), Bibi Ka Maqbara (Aurangbad), Safdarjung’s Tomb, (Delhi) and many more.
Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Chashme Shahi (Srinagar, Kashmir) and Mehtab Bagh, (Agra), Pinjore Gardens, (Panchkula), Lodhi Gardens (Delhi), etc….
Arts & culture:
- Music: Naushad (Music director),to Sajid Ali, Ismail Darbar, Suleiman Merchant, Annu Malik, A R Rahman, Salim Merchant; and lyricists: Shakeel Badayuni; Majrooh Sultanpuri, Sahir Ludhianvi, Hasrat Jaipuri, Javed Akhtar, Farhan Akhtar, and Bismillah Khan (India’s Shehnai maestro), Allah Raka (for Tabla) and so on.
- Singers: Bade Gulam Ali, Chhote Gulam Ali, Md. Rafi, Talat Mahmood, Annu Malik, Armaan Malik, Adnan Sami, Atif Aslam, A R Rahman, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Suraiya, Begum Akhtar, and Malika – e -Tarannum Noor Jahan (before partition) and many more.
- Producer/directors – famously Mehboob Khan (of Mehboob Productions), Kamal Amrohi to Kabir Khan, Farah Khan,Habib Faisal, Shabbir Khan,Sohail Khan, Anees Bazmee, and Story writers: Salim Khan, Javed Akhtar, and Kader Khan.
- Actors & actresses: Yusuf Khan (Dilip Kumar), Feroz Khan, Sanjay Khan, Zakaria Khan(Jaint), Amjad Khan, Agha Khan, Mehmood, Jonny Walker(Abdur Rahim), Sayeed Jeffrey; Raja Murad, Irfan Khan, Sayed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jafri (Jagdip); Hamid Ali Khan (Ajit), Kader Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Farooq Shaikh, Salman Khan, Amir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan Pataudi, Fardeen Khan and Zayed Khan; Suraiya, Nassim Banu, Madhubala, Nargis, Meena Kumari, Nimmi, Waheeda Rahman, Saira Banu, Mumtaz, Zeenat Aman, Farida Jalal, Nazima, Zarina Wahab, Shabana Azmi, Tabu, Farha to Katrina Kaif and the list goes on
Cricket: Mohammed Nissar, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Mohammed Azaruddin. Mohammed Kaif, Zaheer Khan, Sayeed Kirmani, Waseem Jaffar, Mansur Ali Khan (Tiger Pataudi), and now Mohammed Shami.
High Profile Businessmen (Current):
To name a few: Mohammad Azim Hashim Premji (Wipro Group); M A Yousuff Ali (Lulu Group); Yusuf Khawaja Hameid (Cilpa Pharmaceutical), Dr.Habil Khorakiwala (Wockhardt Pharmaceutical); Dr Azad Moopen (Aster DM Healthcare). They are all Dollar Billionaires.
The recent donation of US$134 Million (one hundred thirty four million US dollars) by Wipro Chairman Muhammad Azim Hashim Premji to fight the COVID-19 in India is worth noting (source: Forbes 2 April 2020).
Therefore, Indian Muslims are No Aliens to Mother India and never will be. But the irony is: even with the existence of a Constitution today, Indian Muslims are not able to assert their fundamental human rights and entitlements in their own country.
In today’s India, Muslims are being indiscriminately persecuted, brutally murdered, and forced to say: jay Hindu Mata, Hari Hari, Vande Mataram etc..; their beard being forcefully shaved off; Muslim men suspected of hiding their identity in fear, are often compelled to remove their lower garments by the Modi-mobs – to inspect whether they are circumcised – so as to ascertain their religion, prior to brutalising them. Muslims are also being blamed and attacked around the country by the Modi-mobs – killing a few Muslims – for allegedly spreading the Coronavirus (COVID-19) [Al-Jazeera, New Delhi]. BJP MLA Suresh Tiwari (Deoria) openly asking non-Muslims not to buy vegetable from Muslims [Latestly.com 28/04/20]. Muslims are belittled and terrorised in every walk of their lives; their sense of security to live and work in their Motherland is seriously impaired. Everyday 24 hours, Muslims are living with the dread of unprecedented savage attack on them, which mostly include: butchery on their men, women and children; and their properties set on fire. What a cowardice act, just because they are in the minorities? Muslims’ fundamental rights to life, liberty, and freedom of movement in India, are now subject to qualification. They are not treated as equal citizens. Unsurprisingly, a considerable section of the Hindu population is ill-disposed to Muslims, and condones any unconstitutional measures taken by the Modi-government. Regrettably, Indian Parliament nowadays, crawling with plague-carrying BJP members belong to Sangh Parivar – spreading the disease of hatred against Muslims across the country – as part of their core political agenda.
It is psychologically very disturbing indeed, not only for Muslims but for any rational human being to witness the Modi-government’s unequal and cool-headed, barbaric treatment of Muslims. This has been exemplified by the enactment of new Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2020 (‘Citizenship Act 2020’) by the Indian Parliament; and its unfairness ensued further with police assisted carnage on Muslims in Delhi on 24 February 2020.
The Muslims were not allowed to even peacefully contest the unfairness caused by the new legislation (Citizenship Act 2020) upon them, by virtue of their constitutional right to equal treatment. Their indignation against illegitimate tampering of the Constitution has been suppressed by means of state-sponsored brutality by Modi-gangs. In consequence, hundreds of defenceless innocent Muslim men, women, and children were seriously beaten, injured, and 35 of them slaughtered, in the streets of North-east Delhi. Dead bodies of some Muslim men were thrown in the gutters. Police were seen to be indifferent to intervene actively to prevent the bloodbath. This was observed by the Indian National Congress, and its President Sonia Gandhi called the Centre and Delhi governments a “mute spectators” and held them responsible for the deadly communal violence. She also demanded resignation of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah [Hindustan Times 27/02/20]. Consequently, one of PM Modi’s favourite cronies and his mouthpiece Dr Subramanian Swamy (‘Dr Swamy’) launched a scathing attack on Sonia Gandhi, branding her as a Nazi leader, with reference to her Italian father, for telling the truth. In fact, it is the Modi-government as the executive branch of the Nazi Sangh Parivar, swiftly carrying out its Nazi mission against the Indian Muslims in the guise of democracy, as did Hitler against the German Jews in the name of German Nationalism. While the whole world condemns Nazism, the Sangh Parivar has openly adopted it, with their Hindu Nationalist fascism – the Hinduvta (Hindu-ness) – a reproduction of Hitler’s blood-thirsty Nationalist ideology. The leader of the Sangh Parivar M.S.Golwalkar (1940-73) disgustingly praised Hitler’s Nazi Germany as a “race pride” nation and is a role model for Indian Hindus to follow.
On the legal question of ‘equality’ for Muslims; in a recent interview with Isobel Yeung of Vice News (1 April 2020), Dr Swamy has made inhumane, despicable, and undemocratic statements against Muslims, with no heed to the fundamental human rights of individuals under the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 (‘UDHR1948’), or the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 (‘ECHR1950’) or more significantly Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees equality for all Indians. It appears to be the case that Dr Swamy’s academic acumen is blindly vested in his narrow-minded political model of Hindu Nationalist fascism, revolving around Muslims only, with historical evidence of inciting social hatred and persecution against them.
From legal perspectives, however, one may not totally disagree with the issue underlying the Citizenship Act 2020, if construed on the basis, that the amendment was intended to accommodate those people only (non-Muslims), who suffer persecution in the neighbouring States on religious grounds. Nonetheless, the jurisprudence of Art.14 of the Constitution shall still interpose – concerning the exclusion of Muslims from the ambit of the Citizenship Act 2020 – in circumstances, similar to those of the other religious groups, and where discrimination is present [emphasis added]. The breach of Article 14 will concurrently violate Article 15 of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination.
Dr Swamy with Isobel Yeung
Dr Swamy’s explanation that Muslims are not in the equal category and therefore Article 14 does not apply to them is a bogus, thoughtless, and not at all a lawyerly interpretation of the law. If the categories of all groups were the same, then there would be nothing to distinguish between two or more groups; and so there will be no need for equality and anti-discrimination laws, as the purpose of equality will have been served automatically, by virtue of their equal categories or standing in society. Dr Swamy further argued that everyone is not equal; and therefore equality law only applies to those who are equal. That line of argument is again nonsensical, flawed, and absolutely a harebrained interpretation of the legal and factual issues; inconsistent with Arts.14 and 15 of the Constitution; and other International Laws such as: Art. 7 of the UDHR1948 and Art.14 of the ECHR 1950. The Equality law coupled with anti-discrimination law under Arts.14 and 15 of the Constitution respectively, is also intended to prevent discrimination and inequalities between individuals or groups in the interest of social justice; where one party is less favourably treated than the other in similar circumstances on grounds of race, gender, ethnicity, religion and castes etc.. And that is the core issue here; Muslims are excluded, explicitly, from the scope of the Citizenship Act 2020, denying them of the same rights (to Indian citizenship) granted to non-Muslims, in similar circumstances.
The best illustration is: if a Muslim, fled from Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal or Myanmar to India due to religious persecution and lived and worked there (India) for six years, will not be entitled to the same benefit as those people of: Hindu, Buddha or Christian or other religions – as designated by the Citizenship Act 2020. The disparities caused by this legislation to Muslims from availing the same benefits as non-Muslims in similar circumstances are subjective, discriminatory, and unconstitutional. It is therefore possible to challenge the Citizenship Act 2020 by way of judicial review – as necessary in a democratic society – to provide a broad conceptual scope to the wordings of Article14 due to its non-derogable nature in light of both: the International and domestic laws [emphasis added]. Equality for all cannot be severed, to favour one group over the others. Dr Swamy’s biased argument does not portray a good image of him, and of India, to the outside world. A legal argument put before him by Isobel Yeung could not be rebutted with his erroneous, and negative stereotypical statements that: “where Muslim population is large there is always trouble because the Islamic ideology says so” and “if Muslim becomes more than 30% (in a country) that country is in danger”. These statements are question begging as to Dr Swamy’s legal and factual authority to support his argument; does he have any? The answer is: None. For clarity; the word Islam means ‘Peace’. Its ideology does NOT advocate any form of trouble or social unrest or injustice, by virtue of its intrinsic qualities, Prophetic (Mohammedan) teachings, and the very name itself. Dr Swamy should either speak of the law or totally ignore it, but there is nothing in between for him to fall back, or contrive as to his convenience.
The Citizenship Act 2020 violates a number of Articles of the Constitution, including Art.15 (against discrimination). Hence, this legislation could have been challenged outright, by way of Judicial Review in a High Court or directly in the Supreme Court of India, but for Art.32(4) which reads “unless there are some constitutional amendments, the right cannot be suspended”; thereby allowed suspension of rights by amendment. By the same token Art. 368 subsections 3 and 4 obliterate the provisions provided for in Art.13 for Judicial Review in the event of derogation from Art.14, with recourse to Art. 32(4) of the Constitution. The Art.32 which Dr Ambedkar thought was the ‘soul of the Indian Constitution’ – is therefore a misnomer. The support provided to Art.14 by Art.13, once overridden by Art.368 (3), makes Art.14 paralysed – but not lifeless. It is a catch-22 situation, and raises doubt as to the consistencies between various Articles of the Constitution by cross-reference, albeit Art.368 was inserted to provide some flexibility. The government must not under any circumstances derogate from its duty to ensuring fundamental rights to all its citizens as provided for under Part III of the Constitution, and other international laws on human rights, cited above. The 42nd amendment to Article 368 of the Constitution with an added clause authorising the Indian Parliament to remove a fundamental right is inherently unconstitutional. This plagiarised (cut and paste) Constitution followed with piecemeal amendments time to time to suit the Party political needs, definitely causing ambiguities, within its provisions. Therefore a full anatomy of the Constitution is required as of urgent necessity by independent legal experts [further emphasis added].
Although democracy means rule by the people, it is often taken to mean a rule by the majority. In this context a government represents the interest of its entire people, irrelevant of whether the government is chosen by the majority or minority votes. It does not provide for a sectarian rule by the largest section of the population, based upon group identity by castes, or religion or cultural dogma. The British ideology of democratic rule by ‘first past the post’ election engineering – popularly adopted by many ex-colonial countries including India, is one such example. This method could provide as little as 33% of a country’s population to form a majority government and is evidenced even in the United Kingdom. It is a highly contested terrain as being contradictory to majoritarian democracy. Yet it is a popular norm by virtue of political bipolarity, however unethical, existing in most capitalist states; presumably with a granny-knot between the democracy and aristocracy.
Nevertheless, any government in India (Central or State) during its incumbency (regardless of its voting share in the polls) is under a Constitutional obligation to, protect its individual citizen’s rights to life and personal liberty, as per Art.21 in conjunction with Art.12 of the Constitution. Modi-government is no exception to this; if it fails or neglects to perform these duties, then it is not a “government of the people”. A mass-driven Hindu majority Modi-government does not mean minority Muslims should be subservient to Hindu-ness or otherwise be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The fundamental tenets of a democratic republic, in theory, allow a single electorate to oppose a Bill or challenge any legislation by way of judicial review. Modi-government has narrowed the democratic definition of Indian Nationalism to Hindu Nationalism having undermined the value of the Constitution; and creating a neo-apartheid socio-political culture in India; forgetting that Mahatma Gandhi had fought a hard-nosed battle against apartheid in South Africa. This is politically a dangerous move by the Modi-government that will ruin India’s social harmony and political fibre irreparably. PM Modi is sowing the seeds for uncontrollable growth to Hindu-Muslim acrimony for his personal political gains. This may eventually lead to India’s geo-political decline at some point – similarly to that of the former ‘mighty’ Soviet Union in the 1990s. India must not take things for granted.
Historically, Muslims were also oppressed in the former Soviet Union. Like the spoliation of Babri Mosque in Ayudhya, hundreds of mosques were closed, torn down or repurposed by the Socialist regime. Muslim Chechnya has a history of resistance to Russian imperial expansion for centuries likewise that of Kashmir’s resistance to Central government. Unlike other Soviet constituents Chechnya had only the barest autonomy. Even with the fall of Soviet Union, Chechens’ fate did not alter. In 1994 Chechen Muslims were ruthlessly massacred in tens of thousands (100-150,000), and 500,000 of them were displaced, when Chechnya wanted to secede from the Russian Federation. Russia restored its federal control over it again by waging a second war on Chechens in 1999. The recent annexation of Kashmir by Modi-government is identical to the forceful re-occupation of Chechnya in the year 2000 by Russia. But what is significant to note here, that the former Soviet Union had a totalitarian system of governance in contrast to that of India’s democratic republic; and the new born Democratic Russian Federation was no match to India’s democracy either. Yet India’s approach to Kashmir and the Indian Muslim in general, is no less ruthless than the Russian approach to Chechnya.
However, with a moderate progress in its political system in recent years – in pursuit of Mikhail Gorbachev’s legacy of glasnost (openness) – Russia now, is embracing the Islamic values; and leaning towards the Muslim World for commerce, friendship, and political co-operation. Notably Moscow has re-opened its door to Islamic revivalism in Russia. A grand Mosque was opened in Moscow on 23 September 2015 – “The Moscow Cathedral Mosque” – at a cost of US$170 Million, (of which $100 million donated by a Russian Muslim billionaire and Senator, Suleiman Kerimov) with a capacity to hold 10,000 worshipers at a time, and is 20 times bigger than its original size – built by the Tatars in 1904. What is remarkable though, that the old site of the Mosque was neither nationalised nor destroyed by the then Socialist regimes or religious mobs; or any of its land claimed or procured by the Russian Orthodox Christians (who forms 73% of the Russian population as against 10% Muslim minority) in order to preserve its historical significance unadulterated. Whereas, the Babri Mosque in Ayudhya could neither escape the Hinduvta vandalism and destruction, of its 464 years old structure or the loss of its site to Hindu extremists for building a Ram Mandir on it, by an arbitrary decision of the Supreme Court.
Moscow Cathedral Mosque (originally Tatar Mosque)
India is no mightier than the former Soviet Union or the present day Russian Federation. The concept of ‘might is right’ did not work at all for the Soviet Union against popular uprising in its constituent units – demanding secession from the Union. Most of the Muslim Soviet constituents namely: Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Hayastan (Armenia), Kazakstan, Tajikistan, have separated from the Soviet Union as part of its unavoidable disintegration process, completed on 25 Dec.1991.
PM Modi should note that James Madison (‘Madison’) and Alexander Hamilton had a serious fear of “mobocracy”; and for Madison Public meant the rational part of the population, not “the ignorant and vulgar, unfit to manage its reins”. By this, Madison implied that democracy needs the right thinking members of the Public including perhaps the privileged upper class, for it to be managed properly. In this context PM Modi’s rise to power from a constitutionally recognised ‘Other Backward Class’ (lower-caste) is suggestive of his governance lacking the requisite qualities, the democracy requires; although PM Modi himself boasts that his politics always has been of better quality, notwithstanding his belongingness to a Hindu lower caste.
Apparently, PM Modi has influenced the mass appetite of Hindun-ess (Hinduvta) of the low caste and out-caste Hindus (who collectively make up 70% of India’s total population (Statista:23/09/19) with his narrow attitude towards Muslims, in order to accede to power. The threat posed by Modi-government’s deliberate pitting of citizens (Hindus) against citizens (Muslims) is not just a threat to inalienable rights to life, liberty, and security of minority (14%) Muslim citizens, but also is a threat to India’s socio-political order and harmony. By the looks of it, Modi-government is en-route to transforming the world’s largest (not qualitative) democracy into a world’s largest Mobocracy with the evil spirit of Hindu Nationalist fascism (Hinduvta). If this muddy politics against Muslims continues, Modi-government will increasingly adopt the characteristics of a fascistic government, or what Jefferson (Thomas) warned of as an “elective despotism”. So, the “Wolf must be kept out of the fold” – for every-one’s benefit – not just of Muslims.
In practice, India has never been a secular unitary constitutional republic. Muslims have always suffered unfair prejudice in different parts of the country and it is evidenced by so many bloody riots where Muslims were slaughtered in thousands – merely to feed the sentiments – of Hinduism and/or Hinduvta. A Muslim population ratio of more than 30% in a country could be dangerous, as expressed by Dr Swamy, in his interview with Isobel Yeung on the question of equal rights – is vile, racist, ill-founded and unsound. This is not a yardstick of equality. India must rise above its narrow-mindedness towards its Muslim population and recognise their unfettered rights to live, work, and practice Islam in India; and that every Muslim is a non-severable part of the Main. Liberal democracy and secularism in India still remains a fairy tale.
15 May 2020