Skip to main content

Hindutva paradox: 'Proud' of Sunak, Kamala Harris, not Mother Teresa, Sonia Gandhi

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* 

With Rishi Sunak having become the Prime Minister of UK, India's 'bhaktmandali' is in a celebration mood. Even the 'liberals' are celebrating it. For the record, people of Indian origin have become leaders in various countries, including Mauritius, Suriname, Fiji, Trinidad etc., yet we never felt proud of them.
Most of these Indians were basically related to the families of 'indentured labourers', or what was termed slave trade, but that was never celebrated, despite the fact that these leaders have been proud of their Indian origin, and rightly so, because colonisation uprooted them from their roots and identities. Their love for India needs to be understood in their attempt to trace their roots which the brutalities of colonisation inflicted upon them.
Kamala Harris became vice president of gthe USA, though that position is not so powerful. Yet, Indians 'celebrated' her being installed as vice-president. Now it is Sunak, whose family had migrated from Gujranwala, now part of Pakistan, to Kenya in 1937. Sunak's father Yashveer was born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1949. He migrated to England in 1966. He married Usha in 1977, whose parents had migrated from Tanzania. Sunak was born in 1980 in Southampton. He married the daughter of NR Narayana Murthy, founder-chairman, Infosys.
One may feel proud of Sunak’s and Kamala Harris’ Hindu origin, yet the fact is, they went to the western world to 'earn' money and luxuries of life. They were never really deprived of their identities; in fact. they enjoyed their Hinduness much more than they would have in India. They belong to the category of Hindus who enjoy everything in the west, and yet don’t want to give the same rights for other minorities.
It is these luxurious castes which want to control our politics and social narrative in India, too.I don’t know what is there to rejoice. Sunak is UK born. Modern democracies are 'citizenship based', where all citizens of a nation have the right to participate in social-political life.
Ironically, all those who rejoice in Sunak or Kamala Harris have campaigned against Sonia Gandhi. One of the most disgusting, distasteful and vicious social media campaigns was done against Sonia Gandhi by the Sangh Parivar and its organised trolls. She was called names, her nationality was questioned.
Much before she could have been elected as the leader of UPA, Sonia Gandhi faced the worst form of slanderous campaign by the top leaders of BJP. including Sushma Swaraj and Uma Bharati. Sushma Swaraj went so far as to say that if Sonia Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India she would shave her head and sleep on the floor like a widow. Not without reason, Sushma Swaraj was regarded as the face of the BJP. In fact, the RSS and the BJP want such women leaders who remain committed to regressive thoughts and justify the oppression of women.
It is not the issue of Sonia Gandhi alone. Muslims in India have been living here for more than 500 years. A majority of Muslims are of Indian origin, and yet their loyalty is in question. India's Union Cabinet does not have a representation from 14% minority of the country, and the top leadership of the ruling party continues to degrade and vilify Muslims. The representation of Muslims in India's Parliament and state assemblies has been continuously shrinking, but that is of no concern for the party which reaped dividends because of divisions.
In order to deny the representation to the minorities and the marginalised, fake slogans of nationalism and national identities have been floated. Today, a number of people are suggesting that India is politically more diverse. They give the example of Dr Mankohan Singh and APJ Abdul Kalam. A Hindutva supporter 'prime time' expert even wondered the other day when would Jammu and Kashmir have a Hindu chief minister.
India was perhaps the best model of diversityl but that happened under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, undoubtedly the tallest among all as the builders of modern India. Indira Gandhi too promoted diversity. Dr Zakir Hussain and Fakharuddin Ali Ahmed became presidents of India. VP Singh made Mufti Sayeed the Union Home Minister.
The BJP can claim that it made Abdul Kalam as President. It also can claim to have made Ramnath Kovind, a Dalit, as the President of India. But one has only see the difference between him and Dr KR Narayayan, the other Dalit President, who spoke his mind and stood in the defence of the Constitution. Abdul Kalam was a BJP choice for many reasons. His life was considered the example of an 'ideal Muslim' (as per the RSS thinking) who appreciated Brahminical system more than Islam.
Ramnath Kovind never had time follow the path shown by Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. BJP refuses to allow an assertive Ambedkarite or a Muslim as leader in independent India. The BJP and the Sangh Parivar have no respect for diversity of languages or ethnicities. Even today, the current regime continues to impose Hindi over non-Hindi speakers.
UK is learning how to rule the world in the new millennium. It is finding new ways to enforce the neo-colonial rule
India's Muslims have never ever felt so alienated as during the past eight years. As far as Kashmir is concerned, the Hindutva votaries who want a Hindu chief minister in the state forget that a Hindu raja, Hari Singh, had ruled over majority Muslim subject in the state before it became part of India.
The question is not who should become the leader, as it is purely a democratic prerogative. The BJP has done this at many places. It placed non-Adivasi leaders as leaders in the Adivasi dominated Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Yogi Adityanath is the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh but native from Uttarakhand. Narendra Modi gets himself elected from Uttar Pradesh despite being a native of Gujarat.
India needs to learn a lot from western democracies. It should learn to respect individual freedom and the right of choice. Even when Hindutva bhakts celebrate Sunak, he remains loyal to the UK and will do everything to protect his country’s interest.
Clearly, Mother Teresa or Sonia Gandhi are far more Indian and to be proud of than Kamala Harris and Sunak. There are hundreds others who left their native lands and became Indian citizens and devoted their lives for the welfare of the poorest of the poor, and we all should be proud of their work and dedication, even if they may not be Hindus.
We need to introspect how powerful countries enjoy the power of migrants and diversity. Look at the diversity in the UK and the USA -- both the countries have become richer, thanks to the migrants. India enjoys huge diversity as no other country. Our ethnic and linguistic diversity should be our strength, but the Sangh Parivar and the BJP wish to make us believe that it is our biggest obstacle in the way of becoming 'vishwaguru'. They want to impose Brahminical 'uniformity' of style all over the country.
UK, on the other hand, is learning how to rule the world in the new millennium. It is finding new ways to enforce the neo-colonial rule. Sunak will prove to be a stronger right-winger for his country. Surely, he is not going to serve our interests. Great Britain under him will not become a Hindu Rashtra, as India will not become another Rashtra under someone else. It will remain a powerful Christian country and the institution of Monarchy will keep it alive, even if democracy under pressure will pave the way for migrants to acquire the highest position. Sunak represents the right wing Tory Party of England. He will continue with the party's agenda.
The UK did not allow Jeremy Corbyn to be the Prime Minister as he was too radical to lead a country which colonised a major part of the world. Jeremy Corbyn could have been much better for global peace and social justice than an obscenely rich  Sunak, who will only strengthen the right wing agenda in his country and may work against the interests of the immigrants and racial minorities.
Sunak's ascendency has an international dimension for UK's internal politics. He will follow the colonial and white supremacist agenda more powerfully than others to survive in local politics. There is nothing for us to celebrate in it, and the best that we can do is to learn to accept differences and accept the fact that in a democracy any citizen irrespective of caste and religion has the right to occupy the highest position.
*Human rights defender. Facebook”; twitter: @freetohumanity



'Draconian' Kerala health law follows WHO diktat: Govt readies to take harsh measures

By Dr Maya Valecha*  The Governor of Kerala has signed the Kerala Public Health Bill, which essentially reverses the people’s campaign in healthcare services in Kerala for decentralisation. The campaign had led to relinquishing of state powers in 1996, resulting in improvement of health parameters in Kerala. Instead, now, enforcement of law through the exercise of power, fines, etc., and the implementation of protocol during the pandemic, are considered of prime importance.

Reject WHO's 'draconian' amendments on pandemic: Citizens to Union Health Minister

By Our Representative  Several concerned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister to reject amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted during the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA75) in May 2022, apprehending this will make the signatories surrender their autonomy to the “unelected, unaccountable and the whimsical WHO in case of any future ‘pandemics’.”

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Bihar rural women entrepreneurs witness 50% surge in awareness about renewal energy

By Mignonne Dsouza*  An endline survey conducted under the Bolega Bihar initiative revealed a significant increase in awareness of renewable energy among women, rising from 25% to 76% in Nalanda and Gaya. Renu Kumari, a 34-year-old entrepreneur from Nalanda, Bihar, operates a village eatery that serves as the primary source of income for her family, including her husband and five children. However, a significant portion of her profits was being directed toward covering monthly electricity expenses that usually reach Rs 2,000. 

Work with Rajasthan's camel herders: German scientist wins World Cookbook Award 2023

By Rosamma Thomas*  Gourmand World Cookbook Awards are the only awards for international food culture. This year, German scientist  Ilse Kohler Rollefson , founder of Camel Charisma, the first of India’s camel dairies, in Pali district of Rajasthan, won the award for her work with camel herders in Rajasthan, and for preparing for the UN International Year of Camelids, 2024. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why is electricity tariff going up in India? Who is the beneficiary? A random reflection

By Thomas Franco*  Union Ministry of Power has used its power under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003 to force States to import coal which has led to an increase in the cost of electricity production and every consumer is paying a higher tariff. In India, almost everybody from farmers to MSMEs are consumers of electricity.

'Pro-corporate agenda': Odisha crackdown on tribal slum dwellers fighting for land rights

By Our Representative  The civil rights network Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), even as condemning what it calls “brutal repression” on the Adivasi slum dwellers of Salia Sahi in Bhubaneshwar by the Odisha police, has said that the crackdown was against the tribals struggling for land rights in order to “stop the attempts at land-grab by the government.”

Deplorable, influential sections 'still believe' burning coal is essential indefinitely

By Shankar Sharma*  Some of the recent developments in the power sector, as some  recent news items show, should be of massive relevance/ interest to our policy makers in India. Assuming that our authorities are officially mandated/ committed to maintain a holistic approach to the overall welfare of all sections of our society, including the flora, fauna and general environment, these developments/ experiences from different parts of the globe should be clear pointers to the sustainable energy pathways for our people.

Hazrat Aisha’s age was 16, not 6: 'Weak' Hadith responsible for controversy

Sacred chamber where Prophet and Aisha used to live By Dr Mike Ghouse* Muslims must take the responsibility to end the age-old controversy about Hazrat Aisha’s age at the time of her marriage to the Prophet (pbuh) – it was 16, not 6 (minimum was 16, Max 23 per different calculations). The Hadiths published were in good faith, but no one ever checked their authenticity, and they kept passing on from scholar to scholar and book to book.  Thanks to 9/11, Muslims have started questioning and correcting the Hadiths, Seerah, and mistranslations of the Quran. Now, the Ulema have to issue an opinion, also known as Fatwa, to end it and remove those Hadith entries. Mustafa Akyol, a scholar of Islam, implores Muslims to stop deifying “the received traditions” and critically study their religious past, shedding rigid legalism and close-mindedness. Someone else used the phrase “copycat Muslims” to identify scholars who copied what was given to them and passed it on without researching or questioni