New Delhi: Though Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech in New Delhi on Tuesday, condemned the killing of people in the name of religion, more and more voices echoing similar concerns as raised by Former Vice President Hamid Ansari are coming to fore every day.
“History doesn’t allow me to trust Modi,” Abdul Haq Qasmi, an Imam in a Delhi mosque, said virtually rejecting the Prime MInister Modi's assertions made during his Independence Day speech, according to Arab News.
Qasmi was at India Gate with 25 students when Modi delivered his fourth Independence Day speech from the Mughal era iconic Red Fort, and with flags in their hands, they chanted “Saare Jahan Se Achha Hindustan Hamara” (India is better than all the countries in the world).
“Economic development means nothing if you keep your population in fear and deprive them of peace and harmony", Qasmi added.
Qasmi's statement came days after outgoing Vice President Hamid Ansari in an interview with Rajya Sabha television channel talked about the “feeling of unease and a sense of insecurity” among Muslims.
Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi also expressed concern in Parliament last week about the “dark forces” diminishing India’s core values.
But the BJP and its patron Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a radical Hindu right-wing group that works as an ideological fountainhead of the ruling party and Hindu fringe groups, reject these concerns.
Rakesh Sinha, a prominent thinker in the RSS and head of the India Policy Foundation, a right-wing think tank based in New Delhi, described political developments since 2014 as “decolonization of Indian politics and Indian discourse.”
He told Arab News that India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who is called the founder of a liberal, secular and democratic India, “Westernized the idea of India, which was alien to the vast majority, and Modi is bringing about a course correction.”
He said “secularism in India so far meant an appeasement of Muslims,” and the creation of an “Islamic ghetto” in the country “that we’re trying to dismantle.” He added: “We’re on the path to becoming a “genuine liberal democracy.”
Many in India find this argument very disturbing. They say it is the resurrection of the “two-nations theory,” which led to the partition of the country and believes that Hindus and Muslims cannot live together.