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EDITORIAL: Coming from Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Hindu extremist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevek Sangh (RSS), the remarks he made at a recent book launch are as unsurprising as they are delusional. “Partition has happened once, it won’t happen again,” he said, adding: “the only solution to the pain of partition lies in undoing it.” This provocative statement aimed at Pakistan could be ignored had the RSS been a fringe outfit, the likes of which exist in various countries, but it happens to be the ideological fountainhead of the ruling BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). RSS and BJP leaders know that they cannot undo Pakistan; so the next best policy from their perspective, as openly declared by India’s national security Adviser Ajit Doval, is to destabilise this country through acts of terrorism, which they have been trying to do by sponsoring the TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) terrorists and Baloch insurgents.

The RSS chief also said Hindustan (India) is a Hindu nation whose origin was Hindu, and if Hindus want to remain Hindus then Bharat has to be made “akhand” (undivided).” The statement brims with all sorts of fallacies. First of all, the original inhabitants of India, the Dravidians, did not follow Vedic Hinduism. Secondly, in its claim of ‘Akhand Bharat’ the RSS includes not only Pakistan and Bangladesh, but also present-day Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Sri Lanka and even Afghanistan. At no point in time were they part of Akhand Bharat. In fact, before the advent of Muslims rule followed by British colonials, India was not a single entity; it was divided into several kingdoms and fiefdoms. Their problem is that they want to get even with the part of the subcontinent’s history that pertains to Muslim rule. The talk of greater, united India is no more than a figment of the imagination of people like Bhagwat and prime minister Narendra Modi. It is worth noting that the RSS never participated in the Hindu-Muslim struggle against the colonial dispensation; in other words, it had no role in the independence of India where Muslims are being systematically marginalised through discriminatory laws. Moreover, the leaders of RSS-BJP combine, including UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, constantly make aggressive statements against Muslims, encouraging their activists to lynch Muslims on mere suspicion of eating cow meat, demolish old mosques, and attack Muslim homes and businesses on one pretext or another. Hindu mobs are also free to hound and harm Muslim students in such prestigious institutions as the JNU in Delhi.

In its reaction to belligerent remarks of RSS chief, the Foreign Office in Islamabad issued a statement, saying Pakistan has repeatedly highlighted the threat posed to regional peace and stability by the “toxic mix of the extremist ‘Hindutva’ ideology and expansionist foreign policy being pursued by the ruling RSS-BJP dispensation in India.” Islamabad also advised them to accept the established realities, and learn to follow the imperatives of peaceful coexistence. That though is to fall on deaf ears as long as anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan rhetoric sells in that country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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