“Democracy” in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat

April 17, 2008 by  


Politics of Hate and Culture

By Geoffrey Cook, MMNS

Berkeley–About a month ago, Shabnam Hashmi, the Indian female Muslim human rights campaigner stopped by the Eastern Shore of the San Francisco Bay.

2002 was the first communal uprising between Muslims and Hindus in the Gujarat in over twenty years.

Shabnam has worked for the advocacy of justice since 1991. During that decade, she had founded Anhad, a NGO (a non-Governmental Organization), later in that decade. When the Subcontinent was freed from the British, most of the Islamic peoples went over to Pakistan, but those who remained with India, made New Delhi the second largest Muslim country in the world although they make up a mere 13.4% of the Federation as a whole! Yet at first, the dream of Bharatt had so much promise for its citizens, but after the 1980s, the situation began to look worse. The RSS and VHP, which came to prominence during the latter part of the Twentieth Century was modeled on Italian Facism.

Thus, economic nationalism was liberalized; therefore, financial aid did not trickle down during 2002. This helped promote and galvanize inter-communal riots of that year.

Arson was organized through attacks on the streets. Petroleum-bombs burned Mosques and Sufic Shrines. Women were gang-raped. The right wing among the Hindus threatened relief organizations. Corpses were especially brutually dealt and set ablaze. Ms. Hashmi feels that the Hindu Singh (s) phenomena of aggression have not abated. Shabnam senses that there is still a belligerent animosity between the two communities.

The Media has not recorded the low-level violence at all. By 2006, women for the first time had taken part in the violence. Shabnam felt that Globalization and communalization go hand-in-hand with this sprouting hatred. While in Gujarat, only the Madrases are left for Islamic education while the Hindu hangs on to his lower caste/class right-wing propaganda by rote. This does not produce understanding or integration or even accommodations between persons and assemblages of individuals. Neither do the considerable monetary advantages of the State seep down to their poorest citizens – Christians, Hindus or Muslims – for the most part!

The Provinces’ population (s) is turning into the undergrowth of their communes within their public space. Indian Democracy – although it is the largest in the world – lacks much. One of its faults is a lagging Feudalism within its Federalism. A large number of lower class families are still internally displaced. The petite-bourgeois (small businessmen) have been reduced to proletariat (laborers).

Governmental Ministers have purposely surrendered minority rights. The Christian missionaries moved into the tribal forestlands one hundred years ago and more; therefore, the Christians have been in the jungle for some time, and the bouts they have had with the Sangh and the State itself have been outrageous! Caste Hindus and the Dalits and the tribal people have been at loggerheads in the rural areas!

Of all the States of India, Gujarat is one of the most advanced, but that is only upper 20% benefit. Strangely, Modi and his JVP have received the majority of the female vote. The Congress (Party) is weak regionally in comparison to the strength of the JVP because of the cohesiveness of the formers’ communalized.

Shabnam claims that the Gujarati elections of elections of 2007 were “taken” just as the American elections of 2000! The ’07 elections in Western India showed how far the communal forces were prepared to go to obtain political power, for the scale of the claimed vote did not equal the potential electorate!

“We have to fight…at an ideological level. We have to encounter hate [that is] in motion!”

Anhad drafts progressive artistic youth as sympathetic allies. They, then, became involved in the developing the oppressed Community struggle. Soon, they find it natural to take up collective issues, too, for most of the Gujarti Muslims are caught between “the legal process and a difficult [spot]!”

In the recent months with the Constitutional crisis in Pakistan, Western media has highlighted South Asia much more than in the past. Hopefully, Ahmedabad’s second political party, which has won the Center, will become strong enough to expand a strong counterforce against religious Fascism. The [third party], the Left Front is in a crisis, though!

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