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Questioning the Indian Diaspora’s Support of Narendra Modi

Donald Trump made his first official visit to the UK amidst huge protests in London and in other cities across the UK. He is, perhaps, the least popular US president visiting the UK after only one year into his term in office. As per the ratings released by YouGov, 67 percent of Britons rated him as a poor or terrible president.

The protests are surrounding his highly controversial Muslim travel ban; his policies on immigration which involves separation of children from their parents; his attitude towards women, and many others. Asad Rehman, from the Stop Trump Coalition, was quoted on CNBC as saying

“People are coming out to reject the politics of bigotry and hatred, the Muslim ban, (Trump’s) war on migrants, normalization of violence against women, but they’re also coming out because they disagree with his attacks on the poor, on his economic policies, on his pulling back from human rights, on his planet-wrecking policies.”

The Stop Trump Coalition says that more than 250,000 people took part in the protests in Central London alone, describing it as “one of the biggest ever seen in the capital”.

Trump, incidentally, is not the first foreign leader whose visit to the UK has sparked protests. Previously, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who has visited the UK twice since assuming office, was also met with protests, although not quite on the same scale as those that marred President Trump’s visit.

Both leaders practice a majoritarian form of politics wherein might is right. While the racially motivated attacks against African-Americans and Muslim-Americans have sharply risen in the US since the beginning of the Trump presidency, the attacks against Muslims in India have similarly risen since Modi assumed office. Both the leaders have a penchant for commenting on everything under the sun, especially on the micro-blogging website Twitter, while at the same time being oblivious and indifferent to the attacks against minorities. Further comparisons of the two leaders reveal more similarities between them rather than any differences.

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Despite the similarities in their politics, the British public showed a greater disapproval of Trump than of Modi. In fact, the Indian diaspora in the UK were largely welcoming of Prime Minister Modi,[1] especially during his first visit in 2015, despite the fact that the British government had previously banned Modi for his role – or rather the lack of it – during the Gujarat riots of 2002 while he was the Chief Minister of the state.[2] It was during these riots that there was widespread killing of nearly 1,000 Muslims, including three British nationals, over a period of three days.

The members of the Indian diaspora, while being minorities themselves in their adopted countries have largely been supportive of India’s Narendra Modi,[3] despite his government’s track record against minorities.

While the support for Modi, may have dwindled and opinion appears to be divided, especially after the horrifying incidents of rape of minors in Unnao[4] and Kathua,[5] in which BJP lawmakers defended the rapists by asking for their release from police custody, Mr. Modi still holds sway among the diaspora. For many members of the Indian diaspora, supporting Mr. Modi’s hyper-nationalistic views compensates for their hidden guilt at leaving their “motherland”. To such people, turning up at Wembley, 60,000 strong, to listen to him speak is an act of patriotism. It does not matter to them that those who question his policies back home are termed as anti-nationals, deserving to be sent to Pakistan. It does not matter to them that minorities have been lynched at the hands of firebrand Hindu nationalists motivated by statements from ministers in his cabinet or from his party.[6] [7]

Apart from cheering the speeches of Mr. Modi, the Indian diaspora plays another major role in the politics of the world’s largest democracy. The Indian diaspora in Britain and the United States makes major financial contribution for right wing groups in India, which promote Hindutva, such as the RSS (rashtriya swayamsevak sangh) and VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) both of which are ideological mentors for the Prime Minister’s party, the BJP.[8]

Ramachandra Guha, a noted historian, once observed in his article in the Hindustan Times,[9]

“NRIs have helped fund the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh; according to one study, between 1994 and 2001, some $2.5 million were repatriated to groups associated with the RSS and the VHP.”

The VHP and RSS, apart from being the ideological mentors for the BJP, the party of the Prime Minister, also are the parent bodies for several other extreme right-wing groups who have been indicted in several cases of what is termed as ‘saffron terror’. While these organisations portray themselves to their donors and others as promoters of Indian culture, they are in reality promoters of extreme right-wing ideas. The killer of Gandhi, Nathuram Godse, was a member of the RSS and his ideals of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (Hindu State) form part of the frequent discourse in these organisations.

Even Hitler’s Nazi party, which may be taboo to even speak of in the West, is given an honourable mention within their literature. One such is found in the book ‘We, or our Nationhood defined’, written by Deendayal Upadhyay, one of the earliest members of the RSS. In it Upadhyay writes,

“To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races—the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.”

It is this same Deendayal Upadhyay the Prime Minister declared “a guiding force for us all”.[10]

The fact that these groups have been at the heart of several incidents of communal violence between Hindus and Muslims appears to be amiss with the diaspora. It is sheer irony that while living in multi-cultural societies they push for a fascist agenda in their motherland. As, Ram Guha observed, “The current Overseas Friends of the BJP have, inevitably but regrettably, diminished the meaning of ‘Indians’ to make it ‘Hindus’.”

In view of the recent protests against Trump the time is ripe for the British public to question the Indian diaspora’s support of Narendra Modi. The time is ripe to question their support for fascist groups such as the VHP and RSS. The time is ripe for educated and affluent Indians in the West to end their bigotry. For what use is affluence and literacy if it cannot end bigotry?

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] https://scroll.in/article/768946/why-are-so-many-in-the-hindu-diaspora-completely-taken-with-modi

[2] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/9605070/British-decision-to-lift-ban-on-Narendra-Modi-criticised.html

[3] https://scroll.in/article/768946/why-are-so-many-in-the-hindu-diaspora-completely-taken-with-modi

[4] The Unnao rape case refers to the rape of a 17-year-old, and the accused as per the chargesheet is an MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) belonging to the same party of the Prime Minister, the BJP

[5] The Kathua rape case refers to the abduction, gang-rape and murder of an 8-year-old, inside a temple, near kathua in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. The accused, which included a priest and four policemen out of a total of eight people, claimed their intention behind this gruesome act was to strike fear into the nomadic muslim community, to which the victim belonged, and drive them away.

[6] https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/eX49hwQvNTd9qAE4yURglO/Ten-days-in-Narendra-Modis-India.html

[7] https://indianexpress.com/article/india/bjp-lawmakers-top-the-list-in-hate-speech-related-cases-adr-5151370/

[8] https://scroll.in/article/668870/new-report-shows-how-hindutva-groups-operate-in-us-send-money-to-india

[9] https://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/how-the-congress-lost-the-diaspora/story-K8hIXsz1D7dzZFFjr41fbO.html

[10] https://thewire.in/history/deendayal-upadhyaya-guiding-force-hindu-rashtra (just above the paragraph titled upholder of caste)

About Tariq Huq

Tariq Huq is currently a student in the Prophets Mosque, Madinah, KSA after having graduated from Madinah University in the year 2017 with a BA in sharia. He is a hafiz of the Quran and also holds a degree in economics from University of Madras, India. During his vacations he conducts lectures and workshops in Chennai, India and was recently in London to lead tarawih prayers in the month of Ramadan 1439. His interests include writing and reading on various topics such as Islam, politics, cricket and other issues affecting society.

4 comments

  1. Thank you for telling it as it really is and getting the facts out to those who are still interested in facts. God had already said that the most hateful and spiteful towards Muslims were the Jews and the idol worshippers (eg Hindus and Buddhists). That’s what events on the ground made clear – the state terrorism and the concentration camps. People who get radicalised on hate and spite, are unable to behave rationally after that. Its a sub standard limited existence, and that’s what we witness. The problem for the people who rejected objectivity truth facts morality rationality and chose to consume themselves with hate spite bitterness, is that is limits their potential to progress and achieve. Of course I use the words in their fullest sense and not some narrow limited take. Thank you God for guiding us to the true way of life as advocated by Noah Abraham Moses Jesus and Muhammad, and giving us real prospects to achieve and attain great heights. Thank you God – You are very kind.

  2. Thr perceptive know that knowledge and works devoted to Lord almighty Allah and his messenger avail. Modi of India is incorrigible Hindu. He is a low born sick psychopath. If Muslims of India shy away and fail to confront their usurped rights” their children and history will never forgive them. Hindu by in large is a cowardice 5000 year old enslaved people. Muslims by in large are rulers and must act upon their brave ancestry instincts.

    • People like you are the exact reason for which Modi is popular and he keep on getting popular support to protect Hindus from radicals in my country

  3. God has created diverse human beings to live in this tiny global village of one family. Creation by its very nature is diverse with different species, different communities, different cultures and languages. These differences represent the beauty and wonder but diversity is sometimes not fully appreciated, resulting in all sorts of clashes. The Indian society and Establishment must learn to respect and accommodate others, as if in a family.

    Indian Govt and Hindu society must learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. Muslim community is part and parcel of the Indian society. They are not foreigners. They speak Indian languages like Punjab, Gujrati, Bengali, Urdu and Hindi. their faith and culture is different. Stop treating them like garbage and they will stop ruining your precious country. It is difficult for you to accept, respect and tolerate Muslims with different culture, languages and FAITH. You have no choice but to accept them for your own survival.

    Muslims ruled India for many centuries, but the majori­ty of its citizens always remained non-Muslims. India came under Muslim rule by force, but Islam pen­etrated among the people of India by propagation and example of the Sufis. This is a fact which has been clearly elaborated by the famous journalist-writer of India, Khuswant Singh, in the first volume of his “The History of Sikhs”.

    Multiculturalism is not about integration but about cultural plurality. It is not about separation but about respect and the deepening awareness of Unity in Diversity. Each culture will maintain its own intrinsic value and at the same time would be expected to contribute to the benefit of the whole society. Multiculturalism can accommodate diversity of all kinds – cultural, philosophical and religious – so that we can create a world without conflict and strife.

    When Muslims conquered India, Muslims were benevolent and tolerant, right? That’s what Rutgers Newark professor Audrey Truschke would have you believe.

    Ramadan Day 14 thought for the day from my new book The History of Jihad:

    “When Hindus and Muslims lived in harmony,” by Aijaz Zaka Syed, Saudi Gazette, August 19, 2017:

    “AT a time when the Muslims are being hunted like animals on the benign watch of the BJP, two brave new books revisit a time when they ruled the country. The Hindus and Muslims lived in harmony under Muslim rulers, including under the powerful Moguls, argues Audrey Truschke of Stanford University, an authority on South Asian culture and history.

    In her fascinating book, Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court, Truschke suggests that the heyday of Muslim rule, from the 16th to 18th centuries, had been one of “tremendous cross-cultural respect and fertilization and not religious or cultural conflict.”…

    The ‘Culture of Encounters’ was followed by another ground breaking tome on perhaps the most controversial figure in Indian history. Aurangzeb: The Man and the Myth is another brave attempt to understand the life and times of the last great Mogul emperor who ruled for nearly half a century and whose reign covered the length and breadth of India including Afghanistan and parts of Myanmar.

    “The Aurangzeb of popular memory bears only a faint resemblance to the historical emperor,” notes Truschke as she seeks to clear the cobwebs that have always clouded his image. She sifts fact from fiction and the man from the many myths that have grown around him over the centuries, thanks to biased telling of history as part of the British colonial project.

    She dismisses the myth that Aurangzeb had been driven by religious zeal and his rule was defined by the oppression of Hindus….

    In my new book The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS, I introduce you to the real Aurangzeb, beyond these ridiculous academic myths, in his own words and the words of eyewitnesses to his deeds. Aurangzeb in 1670 issued this decree: “Every idol-house built during the last 10 or 12 years, whether with brick or clay, should be demolished without delay. Also, do not allow the crushed Hindus and despicable infidels to repair their old temples.”

    A Muslim historian, Saqa Mustad Khan, writing just after Aurangzeb died in 1707, reported that in January 1680, Aurangzeb “went to view lake Udaisagar, constructed by the Rana, and ordered all the three temples on its banks to be demolished.” The following day, “Hasan Ali Khan brought to the Emperor twenty camel-loads of tents and other things captured from the Rana’s palace and reported that one hundred and seventy-two other temples in the environs of Udaipur had been destroyed.” Later that year, “Abu Turab, who had been sent to demolish the temples of Amber, returned to Court…and reported that he had pulled down sixty-six temples.”

    Bakhtaran Khan, a nobleman during Aurangzeb’s reign, was also pleased, noting that “Hindu writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices, and all the worshipping places of the infidels and great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed in a manner which excites astonishment at the successful completion of so difficult a task.”

    You won’t learn all this at Rutgers, or most any other American university. They’re too busy teaching academic fictions such as those retailed here by Audrey Truschke, and warning their students about “Islamophobia.” But you can get the truth in The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS: click here to preorder. The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS is the only comprehensive one-volume history of jihad in the English language, including not just the jihad in Europe but in India, Africa and elsewhere, drawing primarily on accounts of eyewitnesses and contemporary chroniclers. Arm yourself with the truth against the prevailing disinformation. Preorder here now.
    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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In a digital age of misinformation, anti-Islamic media, and a lack of Islamic guidance and solutions, Islam21c seeks to empower Muslims to take ownership of our narratives in all spheres of Islamic discourse.

We urgently need your support to keep this project going and to expand, improve, and empower millions more.
Donate as little as £3, £5, £10 a month (or more) and share in the rewards of Islam21c.

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