All Opposition parties are trying to differentiate Hinduism from Hindutva in the hope of weaning Hindu voters away from Hindutva. But this narrative plays into the BJP's hands, demoralises Muslim voters and other suffering minorities, and limits space for new ideas that can counter Hindutva successfully.
Posts published in “Politics and Society”
India was not founded as a nation for the majority or the minority, but as a nation for everybody. Read on for visionary ideas from a new generation of Indians, seeking to bring back the spirit of our freedom.
Indians have often tried to convince themselves that India remains a largely tolerant and secular country. But several surveys and polls have proved that much of India remains conservative, undemocratic and intolerant. Liberal parties must build grassroots presence to change this reality.
It is safe to say that a Second Republic is already here. While the First Republic was defined by the values of the Indian freedom struggle, the Second Republic is defined by the Hindu religious identity. Is India then beyond redemption? Ultimately, the people must decide which republic they want to live in.
Repeated conflicts with Catholic France, culminating in Napoleon, forced or forged together a British Protestant social-political union, subsuming sub-national identities like the Scottish, the Welsh and the English. Indian history is also ridden with such inconvenient conflicts, which Indians must transcend.
In the 1970s, as Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was changing the face of the Constitution, Nani Palkhivala stood for whatever was right, irrespective of the might of the opposition he faced. Today, the ruling party is as strong as it was during Indira Gandhi’s reign. Nani Palkhivala is deeply missed.
For years, linguistic passions sometimes transcended religion or caste as a priority for many. But linguistic identities struggled to win majorities at the Union level and eventually gave way to caste and religious politics. The focus must now be on clearly articulating what constitutes the Indian identity.
The recent action against Kashmiri students for celebrating Pakistan's victory in a cricket match is yet another example of gross misuse of the law against Kashmiris. If the government intends to bring back a semblance of normalcy to the valley, it must shed draconian laws and try to win the hearts of the people.
History has a tendency to repeat itself, so most people either think that the past has no relevance today, or they view even the distant past as being one and the same as the present. That is why politicians are able to use the demolition of temples by Aurangzeb to perpetuate hate against innocent Muslims today.