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Bullying is a habit. Threat is a tool. Force is a conduct. Oppression is an ideology. Nobody is beyond the scope of atrocity range of India. From organizations, to activists, to NGOs, to media, to cricketers it is one whole story of bashing, beating, pushing, and abusing all those dare to oppose. Just imagine the height of lowness. An ex-South African cricketer. Nothing whatever to do with India or any conflicting issues. He gets warnings, threats, from BCCI and he decides to expose them. He tweeted, "Completely unnecessary of the @BCCI to bring their political agenda with Pakistan into the equation and trying to prevent me playing in the @kpl20. Also threatening me saying they won't allow me entry into India for any cricket-related work. Ludicrous."

Embarrassing, humiliating, exposing, putting India on the back foot. Not so for India. BCCI India responds: "Even if Gibb's statement is assumed to be true, the BCCI would be well within their rights to take decisions with respect to the cricketing ecosystem in India. The fact that the Indian cricketing ecosystem is the most sought after for cricketing opportunities globally, should not be envied by the PCB". A statement bespeaking arrogance. A statement reflective of the Hindutva ideology of the ruling government. And a statement based on the RSS ideology of racial superiority. This has become the governing value of all that matters in New Delhi. The Indian policy of isolating, banning, demonizing Pakistan has gone beyond politics to culture, arts, business and sports. Interfering with a local event in Pakistan may seem petty and ridiculous as said by Gibbs, it is part of a mindset that is dangerously based on certain fascist principles:

  1. Ideology of intolerance- What can be more evident of the RSS philosophy of violence against those who do not share their view than Gandhi's assassination. Gandhi believed in non-violent movement. RSS not only disbelieved in it but wanted to punish the believers. Gandhi's murderer, Nathuram Vinayak Godse, shot Gandhi three times in the chest. He was a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The RSS, established in 1925, remains an extremist right-wing Hindu nationalist and a volunteer paramilitary organization. It was banned after Gandhi's assassination. However, the far-right organization got directly involved in politics and founded a political party, Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), the predecessor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Almost a hundred years later very little has changed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a history of violence. The Samjhota Express fire created by a Hindu mob that killed 1,000 passengers, mostly Muslims was attributed to his complicity. In 2005, he was excluded from Visa list in the USA under a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act that "makes any government official who was responsible for or directly carried out at any time particularly severe violations of religious freedom ineligible for a visa." Thus the violent mindset has been led from the top by leaders of RSS.

  2. Ideology of suppression- As Hitler's Nazi party went after Jews, Modi's RSS team in government has gone after Muslims in particular and other minorities in general. The prime example of this is illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir's revocation of special status. August 5th 2021 marked 2 years of suppression, oppression, violence and geo-demographic infiltration of Kashmiris. Article 370, along with Article 35A, established special status for the disputed territory and defined a separate set of laws for the Kashmiri people in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. They included limited citizenship, ownership of property and fundamental rights of the current residents of Jammu and Kashmir, which are critical for a plebiscite under the UN's auspices. Revoking this article has allowed Hindus and non-Kashmiris to come to Kashmir, get domiciles, and impinge on all rights of Kashmiris with the goal of turning them into a minority, if and when, plebiscite takes place.

  3. Ideology of subterfuge- American historian Jeffrey Herf maintains that Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi Party actually used the 'big lie' propaganda technique that they described. They used it to turn long-standing anti-Semitism in Europe into mass murder. Herf further argues that the Nazis' 'big lie' was their depiction of Germany as an innocent, besieged land striking back at tormentors. The 'big lie' philosophy was to lie so much and so big that it resembles the truth. Modi's India has followed the same principle but through advanced technology. For over a decade India has created this web of lies about Pakistan. Just as Hitler's anti-Semitism was based on lies, India's anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim propaganda is also based on a web of fake and disinformation network. The EU Disinformation Lab uncovered the big lies of India in their report. India was using 750 websites under ANI and SG (Srivastav Group) for 15 years to defame Pakistan. The EU DisinfoLab report said: "The actors behind the operation hijacked the names of others, tried to impersonate regular media such as the EU Observer, used the letterhead of the European Parliament, registered websites under avatars with fake phone numbers, provided fake addresses to the United Nations, created publishing companies to print books of the think-tanks they owned. This repeated, consistent, wide-scale, lying through fake identities and using dead professors and defunct NGOs created a picture of Pakistan that was full of violence, terror and danger.

Pride and arrogance does come before a fall. A lie is a lie. Fakeness is temporary. Based on a booming market, savvy PR skills and astute entrepreneurship, India posed as a challenger to China economically and politically. Corona has put cracks on that shiny facade. Health system crippling in India exposed to the world scenes that are rare even in horror movies. Economy that was riding high, crashed. For many countries this may be time for reflection. For more humane leaders this may be a time for soul searching. Jacinda Ardern the New Zealand Prime minister apologized for an immigration crackdown on Pacific Islanders in the 1970s. Not so India, not so Modi. They have become even more petty and high handed. As is evident by their threat to Monty Panesar, a British Indian cricketer. He was warned that visas, broadcasting doors in India will close if he participated in Kashmir Premier League.

Some may say India gets away with everything. So did Hitler- but for 11 years. Today the Nazi ideology is a forbidden affair. There are laws on anti-Semitism. This should be a lesson for Modi. But rarely has history witnessed extreme arrogance being reversed. For Pakistan it is not just a political duty to denounce and struggle against this ideology but a moral and human responsibility to fight and stand against a mindset based on hate, suppression, violence and arrogance.

(The writer can be reached at [email protected])

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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