Editorial & Analyses

    Promoting Hindu phobia is a Part of Greater Conspiracy

    Shammi Duggal
    July9/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    The Khilafat Movement and Moplah Rebellion exemplified the era's communal tensions, while Rahul Gandhi's controversial responses highlighted his promotion of non-violence, even amidst violence against Hindus.

    Rahul Gandhi and PM Modi in Lok Sabha

    The words uttered by Leader of Opposition Shri Rahul Gandhi on July 1, 2024 inside the Parliament are not just the utterances of an immature 54-year-old man trying to be a politician. The plot behind the words of Mr. Gandhi is much more sinister and grave than that. These are not his words in fact are the words of the mindset that was rooted in this country way back in 1920s’. Let’s look at some of the significant events of those times.
    In 1919, the Khilafat Movement was a political campaign launched by Indian Muslims in British India over British policies towards the last Sultan of Ottoman empire after World war I. Khilafat meetings in Malabar region of Southern India in 1921 fueled communal sentiments among the Moplahs (the Muslim tenants inhabiting the Malabar region where most of the landlords were Hindus), leading to Moplah Rebellion. The Moplah rebellion of 1921 was marked by extensive anti-Hindu violence, resulting in the massacre of over 10,000 and forced expulsion of 1,00,000 Hindus, destruction of over 2,000 temples, and countless forced conversions.

    The so-called “Bapu” or the father of the nation at that time who everyone was looking to seek direction in the aftermath of such a tragedy responded by saying that “The Moplahs were right in presenting the Koran or sword to the Hindus. And if the Hindus became Mussalmans to save themselves from death, it was a voluntary change of faith and not forcible conversion.” On December 23, 1926, Abdul Rashid, a Muslim assassin, killed Swami Shraddhananda, a leader of the Arya Samaj, while he was praying. Shraddhananda had initiated a program to reconvert Malkana Rajputs to Hinduism, bringing him into conflict with Muslim clergy.

    After the assassination, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi controversially referred to Rashid as "brother" and did not blame him for the murder, instead holding those who incited hatred responsible. He said “If you hold dear the memory of Swami Shraddhanandji, you would help in purging the atmosphere of mutual hatred and calumny. Now you will perhaps understand why I have called Abdul Rashid a brother, and I repeat it. I do not even regard him as guilty of Swamiji’s murder. Guilty indeed are all those who excited feelings of hatred against one another.”

    It is important to understand the significance of the timing of these two incidents and how it impacted the psyche of a common Indian. The 1920s in India was a time of profound transformation, where the environment was fertile for the blossoming of new ideas and narratives. This era, characterized by the struggle against British rule and the quest for self-identity, witnessed a surge in revolutionary fervour and cultural renaissance. The introduction of new technologies such as trams and silent films further fuelled this dynamic period of change. Amidst this backdrop, the nation was a crucible of innovation and ideological shifts, setting the stage for a new era of independence and self-discovery. Hence, it was an opportune moment for influential figures and storytellers like Gandhi to shape the emerging narrative. Through his speeches and actions, Gandhi was acutely aware that he was establishing the framework and standards that would endure for generations. It was a pivotal time to rewrite the history of the nation.

    If you examine Gandhi's words regarding both incidents, it's evident that he was establishing an expectation for Hindus to remain passive and submissive. Regardless of the extent of unprovoked violence they faced, they were not to raise an eyebrow, flinch, or complain. Gandhi took it upon himself to equate being a Hindu equivalent to being nonviolent. He said “If I were asked to define the Hindu creed, I should simply say: Search after truth through non-violent means”. Paradoxically while Gandhi kept perpetuating “Ahimsa Paramo Dharma” an incomplete verse picked from Mahabharata to push his narrative. While in Mahabharata Lord Krishna talked about “Ahimsa Paramo Dharma. Dharma Himsa Tathaiva Cha.” This means that non-violence is the greatest duty, so too is all righteous violence. Lord Krishna taught Arjuna that as a Kshatriya, it is his duty to fight, even if it means confronting and potentially killing his own family in battle. He instructed Arjuna to control his mind, advising him not to become attached to the outcomes or emotional turmoil, but instead to remain steadfast in his commitment and take decisive action.

    When you examine the narrative forced upon the Indian and Hindu psyche in the 1920s, it becomes clear why Rahul Gandhi, in 2024, feels such angst and rancour, repeatedly ranting about "Hindu violence." His perspective and representation are shaped by the same narrative where Bapu taught the average Hindu that their only duty is to be subservient. Imagine how challenging it is for Rahul Gandhi to accept a Hindu, Narendra Modi, becoming Prime Minister for the third time. For him, just being the PM is an act of violence. By merely existing, Hindus are perceived as victimizing the minority. An ecosystem that remained silent in the face of mass Hindu genocides, celebrated the perpetrators of violence against them, and propagated this narrative for over 100 years is now bound to feel extremely frustrated and helpless.

    One of the biggest lessons of history is to learn from it. If we want to learn from what all happened after 1920s’ when mere mortals were allowed to wrongfully shape religious identities for personal gains, then we know this time around we don’t allow the same to happen. Hindu identity is much bigger and broader and profound to be shaped by a uni-dimensional concept like violence or non-violence. Gita teaches us the sense of duty and staying true to that. Our sense of duty is to send a clear message to parliamentarians like Rahul Gandhi that you are on tax-payers money in the parliament today to not to try and become another story teller and shape narratives.