-Dr. Rahul Kumar, Senior Diplomacy & Security Expert-
– The Asian Independent, UK – Suspension not expulsion of Nupur Sharma, ruling BJP spokeswoman who passed offensive remarks against Mohammed Prophet on a religious debate with Navika Kumar on Times Now on 27.05.2022 is analyzed by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, ex -president of the Center for Policy Research, New Delhi, as Half Victory because of political pressure from more than 15 Gulf countries including secretariat of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (IOC) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This is the first time that the sheikhs and elites of the Arab world collectively reacted against Hindu hate mongers who are targeting Muslims in particular and Sikhs, Christians and Dalits in general. The larger question in this case is, will it stop forever in India? The answer is NO.
In the past, all secular citizens of India observed that hundreds of thousands so called saffron clad leaders, seers under the protection of Uttar Pradesh chief Minister Yogi Adityanath called for genocide of Muslims openly in religious functions at Kanpur (UP). Member of Parliament of BJP, Tejasvi Surya called for Ghar Bapsi of Muslims and Christians. He also said these faiths were propagated by wielding swords.
Muslims activists and organizations along with secular leaders filed a police complaint and the matter went to the honorable High Court where Hindu hate mongers got bail easily with impunity. It did not change the culture of the party. Little punishment and glorification of Hindu hate mongers by the organizations like Vishva Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal , local RSS workers and many other politically affiliated organizations with the BJP get encouragement to spew venom against Muslims.
Former Ambassador Talmiz Ahmed who served in Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE in an interview with Karan Thapar said that apology is not forthcoming from the government of India in the wake of offensive remarks against Mohammed Prophet by its own spokeswoman. He also said, ‘ Dr. S Jai Shankar, External Affairs Minister of India, is an instrument of Modi-RSS and is not cleared to handle serious crisis with Muslim world.’ His viewpoint states that Modi-RSS or Hindu organizations are least bothered about the economic loss to India that gets $83 billion (2020-21) in remittances from the Gulf countries. About 53% of this came from just five Gulf countries- the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman. Remittances constituted about 3.1 % of Indian GDP in 2020.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honored with the highest civilian award ( Order of Zayed) in 2019 by the UAE as a mark of appreciation for his efforts to boost bilateral ties between the two nations. The UAE leadership welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a red carpet in 2018 and Modi was allowed to solemnize the opening of Hindu temple – Swaminayran Temple in Abu Dhabi. The BJP spokespersons and fringe element mushrooming under the shadow of the ruling BJP in India are least bothered about such mammoth honors given by the UAE to PM Modi. It shows that ideological agenda of the ruling BJP leaders is to make India geo-strategically weak and dependable and helpless. It also shows that the leaders of the BJP are not bothered about making India a “VISHAW GURU’. They are also not bothered about the unblemished image of PM Modi in the world. The entrenched rouge elephant in the ruling BJP are also least bothered about the religious sentiments of Muslims personnel’s working in the Indian Army (According to CNN IBN`s Minority report, of India`s one million soldiers only 3percent are Muslims or roughly 29,000 soldiers in all) who safeguard international borders against encroachment, infiltration, aggression without thinking even about Hindus denigration of Mohammed Prophet. The ruling BJP leaders are least bothered about the support India requires from the West Asia region and Islamic Africa to realize India`s dream of securing a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. Hindu hate mongers, leaders and seers are least bothered about 8 million Indians working in the Gulf countries and around 40 million depends on remittances back in India.
The implications for national security are larger because of Hindu-Muslim divide. India`s national security is under threat as Pakistan and Indonesia jumped into the fray. Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif including Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutoo Zardari of Pakistan are trying to make it an international issue. PM Shahbaz Sharif alleged that India under Modi is trampling religious freedom and persecuting Muslims. Former Prime Minister of Pakistan tweeted, ‘Modi government is deliberately following a policy of provocation and hatred towards Muslims in India including inciting vigilante violence against them.’ The BJP leaders provided oxygen to Pakistan`s campaign against India. Taliban, a recipient of India`s assistance, is found lecturing India on the issue of offensive remarks against Mohammed Prophet (PUBH). Massive protests in Pakistan and Bangladesh took place over Mohammed Prophet insult. It is expected that China is going to make advantage of Muslim`s anger and frustration against India in the West Asia region.
India under Modi, however, is coming across a petty, vindictive nation that seeks pleasure in humiliating the oppressed and the less privileged as written by Rana Ayyub. If Prime Minister Narendra Modi can show eyes to Pakistan he can also stop communal agenda and prove Rana Ayyub wrong. If Prime Minister Narendra Modi can tell the USA President look, ‘India under me would not succumb to your pressure on Russia, then he can prove wrong Vijayakshmi Nadar, New Jersy member, International Federation of Journalists who said, “Modi and his ministers are using Hinduism to spread hate and extremism. Mr. Modi is a product of RSS, a right wing para-military organization inspired by the Nazi. She warned the American government that Hindu American Foundation (HAF), Hindu Student Council working in several universities in America seeking to unify Hindus in the US, is doing the opposite.“ The goodwill Prime Minister Narendra Modi earned by hard work in 8 years should not be destroyed by those who want to be good in the eyes of the higher echelon of the central leadership of the BJP and try to get election tickets, Rajya Sabha seats or plum posts. Now Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to enact the slogan of SABKA SAATH SABKA VIKAS SABKA VISHWAS (together with all, development for all, trust of all). Prime Minister Modi has to make a judgement call to stop all kinds of communal discourse, Hindu-Muslim animosity, lynching of Muslims, Beating of Dalits, burning of chirtian churhces and save his skin in the international community. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to convey a loud and clear message to Hindu hate mongers that not only trade but also people to people relations matter. Respect for other religions,religious personalities, respect for values and beliefs,and cultural traditions since civilization are also essential in maintaining and nurturing cordial, cooperative and sustainable relations between India and the Gulf Nations.
Dr. Rahul Kumar, Ph.D. in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi (India), is an independent researcher. His area of interest encompasses diplomacy, foreign policy and international relations. The views expressed in this article are personal.