Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, December 2018
Abandon Islam to make peace with India: Indian General
As the ruling Bhartia Janta Party and its affiliates sought to see India a HINDU state by 2013, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has said that Pakistan has to abandon Islam and become a secular state for peace with India.
Reacting to the statement by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan that if France and Germany can stay together why not India and Pakistan, General Rawat said that for Pakistan to stay together with India, it will first have to become a secular state.
“Pakistan has made itself into an Islamic State. If they have to stay together with India, they will have to become a secular state. We are a secular state. How can we stay together, when they say they are an Islamic State and there is no role for anyone else,” General Rawat said.
Implicitly, what the Indian General is demanding is changing of the constitution of Pakistan which, like many Muslim countries, declares Pakistan an Islamic Republic. Article 1 of the constitution says: “Pakistan shall be Federal Republic to be known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”
Tellingly General Rawat is demanding a change in Pakistan’s constitution to eliminate ‘Islam’ from its name at a time when the ruling Bhartia Janta Party of Prime Minister Narendar Modi and its affiliates are planning to make India a Hindu state by 2013.
After Modi’s victory RSS chief proclaimed India a Hindu nation
A few weeks after Narendra Modi’s election as the prime minister of India in 2014, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had proclaimed India as a Hindu nation saying "the cultural identity of all Indians is Hindutva".
It is no secret that the RSS since its inception in 1925 has been working to declare India as a Hindu Rashtra. But, the 2014 General Elections results added extra impetus to this plan.
As everyone knows Narendra Modi draws his ideological mooring from the RSS, which he had joined at age 21. Modi is a Hindutva devotee and his political ideology continues to unnerve India’s minority groups. Under his patronage, the Hindutva forces have been regularly mocking at India’s secular constitution.
Encouraged by these utterances, right-wing Hindu groups came together in Goa to plan to formally convert India into a Hindu Rashtra. In June 2017, 132 Right-Wing Hindu organizations gathered in Goa for the sixth All India Hindu Convention. It was organized by Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and its sister organization, the Sanatan Sanstha. The four-day convention passed resolutions including: Declare India a Hindu rashtra, ban cattle slaughter and declare the cow India’s national animal, ban all religious conversions, start the construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.
In January 2018, The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) held one of its largest congregations in Gawahati, with 50,000 people turning up to attend Mohan Bhagwat's address. The RSS chief said the congregation was not a show of strength but an attempt to make people see that "the essence of India is Hindutva".
In 2013, Dr Charudatta Pingle, national guide of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), delivered a speech at HJS annual convention in Goa where he laid down 'guidelines' on how to create a 'Hindu Rashtra' by the year 2023.
Hindu Janajagruti Samiti has now updated its goal for Hindu Rashtra from 2023 to 2025.
During the speech, Pingle talked about forming a force of 400,000 warriors to target the army and what he described as 'biased' police force. 'Make a list of the policemen who committed atrocities on Hindus, they will be the first target,' he declared.
According to Dr. Babu Suseelan, the concept of Rashtra is nothing new. It can be found in Rig Veda. From ancient days to modern times, Hindu Rashtra was in existence. Eminent personalities have again and again insisted that Bharat Bhumi is punyaBhumi and now the time has come that Hindus around the world must join together and declare Bharat as a HINDU RASHTRA.
Reverting to the India-Pakistan relations:
While the ruling Bhartia Janta Party and its affiliates are aiming to convert India into a Hindu State by 2025, Indian officials and media is busy in promoting the idea of disintegration of Pakistan.
“Imagining South Asia Without Pakistan” was title of October 2016 article published in the Diplomat by Akhilesh Pillalamarri, an Indian international relations analyst where he says:
“India’s greatest geopolitical issue, on land, was the combined location and strategic stance of Pakistan. This is because Pakistan occupies a territory across India’s entire western frontier. Unlike the border between India and China, much of the Indo-Pakistani border is open plains, and can be easily crossed.
“More problematic is the fact that Pakistan occupies all the land routes between India and much of the region where India-based civilizations have traditionally projected influence and power: the Middle East and Central Asia.
“Additionally, Pakistan’s non-cooperative stance toward India makes it difficult for South Asia to become integrated through infrastructure and connected to the Middle East and Central Asia, which hurts trade.
“In light of this geopolitical problem and continued tensions on the border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir, a movement has emerged in some circles in India advocating for the breakup of Pakistan into its component states.
“Such an idea is a popular theme on Twitter and was also recently advocated by a retired Major Army General, GD Bakshi, during a speech at IIT Madras.”
In August 2016, General Bakkshi said: “In our generation, we split Pakistan into two. Your generation should split it into four. Only then we can live in peace!”
Perhaps Indians have taken cue from the article of Col. Ralph Peters that appeared in 2006 in the US Armed Forces Journal. Col. Peters argues that borders in the Middle East and Africa were “the most arbitrary and distorted” in the world and need restructuring. He singled out four countries – Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – for major re-adjustments while Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were also defined as “unnatural states”.
Under Col. Ralph’s plan, Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tribes would be united with the Afghan Pushtun belt. Pakistan (like Iran) would also lose its Baloch territory to Free Balochistan. The remaining “natural” Pakistan would lie entirely east of the Indus, except for a westward spur near Karachi.
Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America (www.journalofamerica.net) email: asghazali2011 (@) gmail.com
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