Right-wing forces have been slowly gaining ground for many years; secular thread now rendered fragile

Amidst the ongoing debates on the crucial ‘why’ Right-Wing managed to get adequate votes in these recently held elections in the 5 states of the country, let me focus on the Right-Wing Hindutva cadres

Right-wing forces have been slowly gaining ground for many years; secular thread now rendered fragile

Humra Quraishi

Amidst the ongoing debates, discussions and analysis on the crucial ‘why’ the Right-Wing managed to get or gather or grab adequate votes in these recently held elections in the five states of the country, let me focus on the Right-Wing Hindutva cadres cum private senas/ armies spread out, right across, from the top to the grassroots level.

This is no overnight build-up! This has been happening rather too systematically for the last several years and now, of course, more than writ large. This build-up of the Hindutva forces and the severe dangers involved was first brought to my notice by Khushwant Singh, when he and I were putting together the book titled – 'Absolute Khushwant- The Low-Down on Life, Death & Most Things In-Between' ( Penguin) where he put forth his views on an entire range, from emotions to death to the Right-Wing, to the political scenario.

The year was 2009 – 2010 and Khushwant and I would sit and discuss just about everything and anything. But after or before every such discussion he would sound and look very worried about the rise of the Right-Wing in the country. To quote him from the above mentioned book which was published in 2010: “My only worry today is the rise in the right-wing fascist parties in the country. We allowed fascism to dig its heels in our courtyard. We let them get away with every step they took and never raised a howl of protest…We failed to hit back because we have never been a united force and do not realize the perils of allowing our country to fall into their hands. Events such as the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the burning of Graham Staines and his children and the barbaric and mindless carnage in Gujarat are events that stink of politics mixed with religion. I have always maintained that politics and religion do not go together; they must be kept apart at any cost …What concerns me is how narrow-minded and intolerant we Indians have become.”

Along the same strain, he had also commented, “What in Nehru’s times were parties of marginal importance, the RSS, the Hindu Mahasabha, the Jan Sangh, the Shiv Sena and the Bajrang Dal, gathered strength and became the main opposition to secular forces.”

He also detailed his meeting with Rahul Gandhi. In fact, Khushwant had gone ahead to praise Rahul Gandhi, “He has a vision and that’s very important. I’m impressed with him, impressed with the way he’s been conducting himself. He has the right attitude.”

The dark reality of the present day is that today it’s the communal Hindutva forces which seem to be in control. New forms of violence and harassment and hounding is on! And till about a cadres of secular men and women are trained and spread out at the grassroots level, the going would be very tough for the average citizen of this country. It is now no longer a question of Hindu- Musalmaan- Dalit – Christians, rather there is an immense worry and apprehension for all those of us who can see the dangers engulfing us all, striking at the very roots of our survival.

There’s an uneasy quiet spreading out, in and around the rural and the urban locales. Political mafia in control! With that, the hapless masses are left with just about no means to question the rulers of the day.

Polarisation and divides are spreading out amidst much decay and deterioration. Writ large is a crumbling infrastructure. And in it, human forms and psyches contained are being by unleashing communal and caste divides!

Nah, no full-fledged pogrom or rioting will take place, because that would rob the Right-Wing government the opportunity to hoodwink the masses with those stale one-liners on the so-called good governance day: "See, how well we are containing all possible creatures from all possible castes and communities!"

There’s fear and scare in the minority communities, of the state machinery and also of those private brigades. Didn’t we all get glimpses of those un-nerving shots of severe violence when during the anti- CAA protests, the police force unleashed brutalities on unarmed protestors…it got difficult to even view those disturbing shots of policemen barging into homes, attacking and assaulting. Targeting even the places of worship — the mosques.

What baffles political commentators is the fact that though there were serious criminal cases against several so called top politicians yet they continue to rule. Not a squeak in terms of revolt or outcry against their appointments. Fragile we have been rendered…seeing the decay and hopelessness spreading out.

Views are personal

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