Earlier this week, MSNBC news host Mehdi Hasan went on a vitriolic rant against PM Modi, Hindus and Hindutva, painting a grim picture about India and stoking fear psychosis about an imminent genocide of Muslims and Christians under an assertive Hindu nationalist government at the Centre.
Mehdi was, of course, playing to the gallery, reinforcing the meticulously concocted narrative by the Left to portray the Modi government as a regime pathologically antithetical to the minorities, especially Muslims and Christians, while being unabashedly pandering to the Hindu majority. Ever since PM Modi, the Left’s bete noire, was elected to power at the Centre, the leftists have resorted to McCarthyism to level false allegations against his government and project them as an anti-Muslim regime.
Mehdi Hasan’s diatribe against PM Modi, Hindus, and Hindutva
In the video, Hasan starts by talking about ‘right-wing’ regimes like that of Russia. He says that Putin has ties to far-right groups in Russia and beyond. Interestingly, while Hasan claims that Russian mercenaries are far-right groups (white supremacists), he fails to mention that the Azov battalion in Ukraine is proven Nazis. Zelenskyy himself admitted that they were. Then he insidiously proceeds to draw a parallel between the authoritarian regime in Russia under Putin and the democratic government in India under PM Modi.
Hasan then talks about how India’s Prime Minister is hankering after re-creating the “lost Hindu Kingdom” one likes to call “Hindu Rashtra” and is “far-right” and “supremacist”. What Hasan tries to do here is, equate Hindu nationalism with one of the menaces afflicting the West—White Supremacism—and convey that India is suffering from the scourge of Hindu nationalists. He conveniently omits to mention that Hindus are hated just as much as Muslims by White Supremacists.
In the video, Hasan talks about how Muslims and Christians are “literally” on the verge of genocide. This is an oft-repeated hyperbole that Modi detractors routinely resort to in order to reinforce their narrative against Hindus and Hindutva and characterise the Centre as inimical to Muslims and Christians. Here again, Mehdi expediently papers over the number of instances when Hindu religious processions have come under attack from Islamists. Recently, a mob of Islamists attacked the Hanuman Jayanti procession in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri. Before that, a Ram Navami procession came under attack from Islamists in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone. Hindu religious processions in other states across the country also faced similar attacks.
But Mehdi fails to mention these instances in his tirade against PM Modi and Hindus, lest it would undermine his propaganda. Instead, he goes on to cite the person that the Leftists usually when their arguments are tenuous: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He reminds people that Gandhi was murdered by a Hindu extremist—Godse. Mehdi’s aim here was to highlight how Hindu nationalism has bred ‘extremists’, one of whom was responsible for the assassination of Gandhi.
Again, Mehdi fails to provide background about the incident and declares Godse as a Hindu extremist. When Godse murdered Gandhi, one has to remember that India was going through a churn that the world had not seen. A nation had been torn into two by Ummah enthusiasts, much like Hasan himself. Divided on the basis of religion, elements like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi watched over as Hindus were butchered in thousands and lakhs. Godse was a political assassin who murdered Gandhi because he could no longer stand smelling the blood of his own brethren. Yes, Godse committed a terrible crime but he was not an extremist or Hindu terrorist who killed Gandhi solely because his religion ordained him to do so.
Moving on, Hasan then shifts his focus to the organisation that is intrinsically Hindu in nature and carries out social work without exhibiting any kind of religious discrimination. He claims that RSS founder, Gowalkar, praised Hitler and the organisation shares its ideology with the Third Reich. In his profuse writings, letters, articles, statements and interviews, there doesn’t seem to be a single sentence which declares Gowalkar’s admiration for Hitler. Yet, the liberals around the world continue to peddle the lie ad nauseam to malign the world’s biggest mass organisation.
The Left’s attempt to sow confusion among Hindus by creating an artificial distinction between Hinduism and Hindutva
The Islamofascists and ‘liberals’ appear to be working on the principle of vilifying every individual, regime or organisation that is unabashedly assertive of their Hindu identity. But doing so explicitly runs the risk of alienating the entire Hindu community. To avoid this predicament, they tried to differentiate between Hinduism and Hindutva, which is nothing but a distinction without a difference, a clever ploy to confuse ordinary Hindus into believing that the attack is not directed at them but towards the adherents of Hindutva.
Because of this semantical jugglery, ordinary Hindus come to believe that the Left’s outrage is against Hindutva and not against Hinduism. But they fail to discern that the two are one and the same and the distinction is an artificial creation that the ‘liberals’ and Islamists have presided over for the express purpose of undermining the consolidation of Hindus. It also serves another motive. It acts as a ‘distraction’ to help ‘liberals’ in shielding Islamists intoxicated with supremacist beliefs and pathological hatred toward idol-worshippers.
For years now, the leftists and their allies in the West have used this trope of Hinduism and Hindutva being two distinct entities to peddle their pernicious narrative against Hindus. Whether it is the Indian politicians such as Rahul Gandhi and his minions in the media or the anti-Hindu ideologues and organisations in the West, they have all partaken in this grand exercise of perpetuating the notion that Hinduism and Hindutva are two distinct ideologies.
Earlier last year, the conference ‘Dismantling the Global Hindutva‘ laid bare how there existed no difference between Hindutva and Hinduism for the ‘liberals’ and Islamofascists. The conference that claimed to “deconstruct” Hindutva ended up undermining Hinduism and Hindus by providing its platform to Hindumisic elements who felt no qualms in furthering their Hinduphobic beliefs and deriding concerns raised by Hindus.
Even as Hindus continued to suffer violence and persecution, whether it was the anti-Hindu Delhi riots that took place in 2020 or the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from their home state, some nefarious anti-Hindu ideologues patronised by the ‘Dismantling the Global Hindutva’ insisted that Hinduphobia was an imaginary construct, created to fend off the criticism of casteism, Islamophobia, sexism, anti-Semitism, and other ideologies.
Shielding Islamists and preventing Hindu consolidation: Motivations that fuel the leftist trope of Hinduism and Hindutva being separate entities
This deliberate attempt to sow confusion in the minds of Hindus about Hindutva and Hinduism being two disparate ideologies is also an attempt to prevent attention from being diverted toward the atrocities committed by Islamists against Hindus. The Hindus of today are conscious of the historical wrongs committed against them and the consequent whitewashing exercise undertaken by the apologists of Islamists which continues to this day.
Hindus have endured multiple genocides in the last several centuries. The Islamist marauders from central Asia who raided temples and conquered vast tracts of Northern India often indulged in committing mass slaughter of Hindus. Hindus were given two options—to accept Islam or die a torturous death. Credible historical accounts say Hindus, to the tunes of millions, were slaughtered by various Muslim rulers who invaded and ruled India. Not only were Hindus tortured, raped, and killed, but they were also humiliated as the Islamist invaders attacked their temples and destroyed their revered idols.
Even in independent India, thousands of Hindus have been victims of hate crimes. For instance, lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir were forced to flee their homes after Islamists ran a concerted campaign to evict the Hindus from the Valley. More than 500 Kashmiri Pandits, who either refused to leave their ancestral homes or simply could not do so, were killed by the Islamists because they were Hindus.
In February 2020, the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act reached a crescendo when Islamist mobs ran amok, creating havoc in the National Capital. Hindus were targeted, attacked and killed by the bloodthirsty Islamist mobs, most notably the brutal murder of IB sleuth Ankit Sharma, who was allegedly hacked to death by a Muslim mob. There were countless other Hindus who perished in the riots unleashed by the Islamists in Delhi.
More recently, Islamists in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone, and several other places in the country attacked Hindu religious processions on the account that they were “provocative” in nature. When the respective state government initiated the demolition of illegal properties of rioters, their allies in the civil society billed the action as politically motivated, with the aim to subjugate the Muslim minorities, even though Hindus too lost their establishments in the anti-encroachment drive. A certain section of ‘liberals’ went on to demonise the Hindus as ‘provocateurs’ responsible for inciting the Muslims into rioting when the procession was traversing through what they called ‘Muslim areas‘.
However, the ‘liberals’ and Islamofascists like Mehdi Hasan continue to whitewash the Islamists and perversely portray them as victims. They not only sweep under the rug the historical and the ongoing persecution of Hindus but also resort to making spurious distinctions between Hinduism and Hindutva so that Hindus could be deluded into believing that the danger facing the country is not from the creeping Islamism that threatens to upend the country’s secular fabric but from the Hindu consciousness that has risen to counter it.