Hindutva depicts the way of life of Indian people, their state of mind, and their ethos. Hindu, Hindutva, and Hinduism cannot be confined to the narrow limits of religion alone excluding the content of Indian culture and heritage. Or confined to merely describing persons practicing the Hindu religion as a faith. Hindutva or Hinduism cannot be equated with narrow fundamentalist Hindu religious bigotry or as depicting hostility, enmity or intolerance towards other religious faiths or as professing communalism.” Who said this? Wait. It is only half the question. Here is the other half.
A book titled Sunrise over Ayodhya authored by an eminent political leader but not so eminent a lawyer and released recently says that the Hindutva movement in India is the ideological counterpart of international Islamist terror outfits — Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Nigerian Boko Haram. Both have killed tens of thousands of innocent people, kept thousands as sex slaves and concubines, tortured and mutilated human bodies, forcibly converted people, and waged war against states with the aim of establishing a global Islamic State consisting of only Muslims, and eliminating all others. What is that book and who is its author? The answer to both will make the full story.
The answer to the first is that it is the Supreme Court which in 1995 expounded on facts and ruled that Hindutva and Hinduism are the way of life, culture, and ethos of Indian people. The author of the book who equates Hindutva to ISIS and Boko Haram is Salman Khurshid, a Congress leader, also a lawyer who asked the court in 2019 to reconsider its 1995 decision. Now, is Khurshid just equating the philosophy of Hindutva to the ideology of ISIS or Boko Haram? Or is he mocking the Supreme Court for expounding the ISIS-like Hindutva as the ethos, culture, and way of life of India? Interesting questions which the Indian discourse is unfortunately ignoring.
Khurshid’s party colleagues P Chidambaram, a better-known lawyer, and Digvijaya Singh, a better-known leader, were at his book release event. They are ideologically convergent threesomes. Khurshid defended the terrorist outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), banned by both the Vajpayee and Manmohan governments, in courts to get it declared as a peaceful outfit, and also wanted the Hindutva judgment uprooted. Chidambaram, a better legal brain, used it as the Home Minister to fabricate the idea of Hindu terror as an equivalent to Islamic terror.
Digvijaya Singh had been endeavoring to create and sustain the image of Hindu terror for a long. The three gentlemen share the view that either terror has no religion, or if it has, Hindu terror has to be innovated to give company to Islamic terror. Khurshid’s book now attempts to upgrade the idea of Hindu terror from local to global status by equating the Hindutva movement in India with ISIS and Boko Haram. Now, look at what ISIS and Boko Haram are, with which Khurshid compares the Hindutva movement.
ISIS and Boko Haram
ISIS claims to be the inheritor of the Islamic Caliphate founded by the earliest Islam to which it mandates the world’s Muslims should owe loyalty. According to the US think tank Wilson Center, ISIS divides the world as Muslims on the one side and non-Muslim Kufrs on the other, led by America, Russia, and Jews. It celebrates “terrorism as worship of Allah as He ordered” Muslims. The Islamic Networks Group (ING) lists murdering innocents, persecuting Christians and Yazidis, forced conversions, human torture, and mutilation of bodies, oppression of women, sex slavery, concubinage, harsh punishments as ISIS’ pastime in its endeavor to establish global Islamic rule.
Referring to the 11 initially named in the FIR, the