Check Hindutva's vicious agenda

Check Hindutva's vicious agenda

In the last few months, various Sangh Parivar organisations have undertaken a campaign to assert their Hindu majoritarian cause and to stoke divisive fires in the society.

This has taken different forms and worked at different levels. Leaders, ranging from the RSS chief to functionaries of some of its associate organisations, have made controversial and unacceptable statements. 

Many of these statements, even from those holding elected and official positions, are blatantly communal. They push the majoritarian idea and denigrate the minorities. Demands have been made on governments, like the one made on the Maharashtra government to ban the use of loudspeakers in mosques, which are meant to annoy and provoke. The conversion to Hinduism of 57 Muslim families in Agra this week by a fringe body of the Bajrang Dal is the latest of the provocations.

The Bajrang Dal has called it a homecoming, as it is the position of all Hindutva groups that the conversions of all members of minority religions are only a return to their original faith, and are therefore natural and unobjectionable. 

These statements and actions are aimed at stoking communal tension and hatred and the creation of fear and anxiety among the minorities. They are also meant to highlight the claim of dominance and natural entitlement of the majority community. It is no coincidence that the campaign is being implemented in the most communally sensitive areas in the country.

The Agra conversions were targeted at the poorest people, slum-dwellers and perhaps migrants from Bangladesh. They would be considered illegal because they were made on the promise of BPL cards and other benefits. But the Hindutva groups and their leaders are unfazed by any criticism and have defended the programme. They have also announced plans for the conversion of 5,000 Christian and Muslim families in Bulandshahr, Hathras and Aligarh by Christmas.

Freedom to profess, practise and propagate any religion is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 25. But conversions by coercion or through inducements and fraudulent means are illegal. The suggestion that the controversies can be ended with a total ban on conversions is unsound because such a ban would be unconstitutional.

The Hindutva groups in any case have no patience to go by the law and are emboldened to act without any fear of consequences. They also look forward to opposition because it helps to increase the communal polarisation in society. The campaign

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