Islamabad, Pakistan: International Institute for Global Strategic Analysis (IIGSA) conducted a webinar titled, “Hindutva, the Rise of Extremism and Debates on Secular India” to generate an inclusive debate on the growing Hindu extremism in India under the BJP regime which continues to create tectonic shifts domestically and internationally. It is also changing Indian political culture and strategic posture to a more aggressive one. Panelists of the international webinar included leading academics from Europe and bureaucrats Pakistan. The webinar was attended by researchers, policy makers, journalists and students from different countries.
The webinar concluded that India is implementing a fascist policy not only against its own population but also an aggressive posture towards regional countries. The support of BJP government to the Hindu extremists has led to the killings of hundreds and thousands of Muslims and other minorities in India. Indian hegemonic ambitions, cultivation of lobbying groups and propagation of fake propaganda has resulted in a volatile Asia. Time and again, India has pushed the region towards brink of a nuclear war which is evident from Pulwama crisis, the claimed-surgical strikes and most recently Indo-China standoff in the Himalayas.
The silence of West on Indian aggression while allowing Indian terrorist entities abroad to raise and disperse funds for these activities places them equally responsible for the atrocities and crimes being committed by New Delhi. The panelists also predicted that BJP would be successful in forthcoming elections which would induce deteriorating effects in the region if not contained by international community.
Mr. Sarmad Ali Khan, the Founder of IIGSA, opened the platform for discussion after giving a brief historical background of the current BJP Government. He said that it is an open secret that BJP is a political wing of the Hindu Nationalist militia-RSS, which draws direct inspiration from Adolf Hitler and Nazi ideology. He said that BJP has actively labeled Muslims of India a threat to Hindu majority; promoted a narrative of Hindu insecurity and portrayal Islam as the root of evilness against Hindu nation. Mr. Khan said that BJP’s Akhand Bharat narrative, anti-Muslim approach and extremist-led policies internally and externally are deteriorating the situation in and around India.
Mr. Hamid Ali Khan, Director IIGSA, discussed the foundation of secular constitution of India. He emphasized that the current BJP government has forgo the basics of religious inclusion. BJP, under the leadership of PM Modi, is implementing an exclusive approach to marginalize Muslims and all other minorities. He also pointed towards the letter written by Indian Naval Chief, bureaucrats and civil authorities to the President of India to stop the discriminatory policies as they are leading towards deterioration of the state of India.
Dr. Desiree Di Marco, Non-Resident Research Associate at IIGSA, talked about the silence of European government over the violent actions of India under the Hindutva ideology. She said that based on the enhanced trade and economic strategic partnership between West and India, the West would remain silent based on the sense of obligation. She outlined many Indian religious terrorist organization such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA) are tax-exempted and work at scale in the U.S. without any hurdles. In addition, many European countries maintain a common ideological ground with India on the basis of far-right politics.
Mr. Abdul Basit, Former Pakistani High Commissioner to India, discussed the evolving dynamics of Indian politics. He outlined that BJP has transformed its society from civic-nationalism to ethnic nationalism. PM Modi has towed an inflexible political narrative which is aimed at marginalizing and afterwards killing the Muslims. He analyzed the future as worrisome for Indians as well as regional countries as he feared the crushing of Muslims in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and those in mainland India.
Ms. Marta Falguera, Non-Resident Officer at IIGSA, highlighted how the Hindu extremism is affecting the immigrants of India. She mentioned the effects of constitutional amendments of Citizenship Amendment Act on the Indian Muslims and other religious minorities. The establishment of detention centre’s, amendments in the Citizenship Amendment Act, and discriminatory laws against different immigrants / refugee groups altogether show dual policies of BJP government. She also outlined how many refugees groups are protected by rights provided by UNHCR which are not guaranteed by Indian government. India remains one of the worst countries for immigrant integration because of its discriminatory policies steered ethnically and religiously.