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    Mealworms: The Unsung Heroes in Our War Against Plastic


    by P. Mohan Chandran

    From KC Venugopal defaming Geeta to Owaisi calling 24 crore BJP voters indoctrinated: How Hinduphobia is normalised in parliament, led by Rahul Gandhi

    Overly hateful comments against Hindus and Hinduism by legislators inside the hallowed parliament has shockingly become a norm, leading to attacks and dehumanisation of the targeted community. But more seriously, the normalisation of Hinduphobia in the Indian Parliament strikes at the heart of 's pluralistic ethos and threatens to unravel the social fabric that binds the nation together.

    A troubling trend to demonise Hindus and Hinduism has emerged in recent months, most notably during the elections and more lately, in the Indian parliament following the transient setback to the Modi government in the polls that saw opposition parties fighting under the banner of the INDI bloc improving its tally in some pockets of the country, resulting in what their cheerleaders in media have hailed to be a ‘moral victory'.

    The principal opposition party, Congress, ran a polarising campaign, using divisive rhetoric to foment caste divisions and spreading malicious disinformation to erode the Dalit voter base of the BJP. This strategy resulted in a gain of 47 seats, bringing their tally to 99 and making them the largest opposition party within the INDI alliance. The elections also witnessed significant gains for the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in the country, which is also home to Ayodhya, the birthplace of the Ram Temple that was inaugurated by PM Modi earlier this year.

    Since then, the opposition parties, having realised the rewards of dividing the Hindu society, have stepped up their efforts to sow further divisions among the majority community and undermine the core voter base of PM Modi and the BJP. And in the process, normalised Hinduphobia in the Indian parliament.

    The opposition parties have realised the benefits of dividing Hindu society and are making greater efforts to sow discord among the majority community and undermine the core voter base of PM Modi and the BJP. As a result, Hinduphobia has become shockingly normalized, even within the Indian parliament.

    For example, during his speech in the Lok Sabha, Congress leader KC Venugopal insinuated that Godse learned violence, murder, and intolerance from the Bhagwad Geeta. Such a comment is so outrageous that if it were directed at a minority community, it would have sparked widespread protests with mob running riot chanting ‘Sar Tan Se Juda' slogans.

    A major factor contributing to Hinduphobia in Parliament is the politicisation of religious identities. To secure minority appeasement, politicians vilify Hinduism and its followers, seeking to galvanise the minorities while simultaneously hoping to create rifts within the majority community. This strategy not divides the Hindu community but also engenders enmity among them, polarising the electorate that manifests itself in derogatory comments, unfounded accusations, and inflammatory speeches against Hindu traditions and practices.

    In one fell scoop, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi branded all those who voted for the BJP as indoctrinated and anti-Muslim. “The mandate Narendra Modi got is because of hatred against Muslims, due to Hindutva. I would like to say it is not Modi's indoc but every single person who voted him despite his anti Muslim voice,” Owaisi said in the parliament.

    The BJP received over 24 crore votes, mainly from the Hindu fold and other Vedic communities. However, categorising every voter who supported the saffron party as brainwashed and anti-Muslim is an extreme and bigoted extrapolation, bordering on intolerance to diversity and aversion to the right that the constitution grants to every citizen to vote for their preferred political party.

    Owaisi, who had courted controversy with his unwarranted ‘Jai Palestine' comment during the oath-taking ceremony, once again raked up the Palestine issue seemingly to pressurise the Indian government over the Israel-Gaza war and rally his Muslim supporters behind the Palestine cause. During his speech in the parliament, Owaisi questioned the Indian government's decision to supply arms to Israel, a strategic decision aimed at shoring up a beleaguered ally whose and military capabilities might prove critical to India in an event it is foisted with a confrontation with the PLA troops on the border.

    While Palestinian Muslims are sympathised as victims even though the ongoing Israeli attack was triggered by October 7 attacks by Hamas, Hindus in India are unjustifiably characterised as bigots and Muslim-haters just because they voted for a political party that embraces an ideology that places national interests above narrow religious considerations.

    But beyond Owaisi and KC Venugopal's vitriolic attacks is a politician who is at the fulcrum of dissemination of Hinduphobia. The grotesque normalisation of Hinduphobia in the parliament is led by none other than the Leader of Opposition (LoP), Rahul Gandhi. The Gandhi scion, who is defacto leader of the Congress party, and among the senior most leaders in opposition ranks, sparked controversy when he said on Monday (July 1), “All those who identify themselves as Hindus indulge in violence, intolerance, and untruth.”

    Notably, this is not the first time that Rahul Gandhi has expressed Hinduphobic . In 2014, he infamously said those who visit temples molest women. “Those who go to the temples, worship the goddess, refer to women as daughters and mothers, molest women in the bus,” Gandhi, the then Congress vice-president had said. In March 2024, Gandhi kicked off a political storm by revealing that he is “fighting against Shakti” while admitting that it finds reference in Hinduism.

    In September 2023, while attacking the Modi government on the Women's Reservation Bill, Rahul Gandhi went on to insult Hindus and their faith arguing that Murthis in Mandir are powerless.

    Demanding a caste census, Rahul Gandhi said that Lok Sabha is called the temple of democracy. Then he went on to say whether any BJP MP take any decision, do they make any law or participate in making a law?

    He continued, “Not at all. Neither Congress MP, BJP MP, nor any other MP. MPs have been turned into murtis in temples. OBC MPs have been filled like murtis (in the Parliament) but they don't have any power. There is no contribution in (sic) running the country. This is a question I have raised.”

    As evident from his past comments, Gandhi's Hinduphobia is not a recent phenomenon. However, a senior politician indulging in brazen hatred against a community not only legitimises their dehumanisation but also encourages others to the follow the suit and continue targeting the community, a sample of which we saw today with KC Venugopal and Owaisi both demonstrating no qualms in targeting Hindus and their religious scriptures.

    In any case, the legislative bias against Hindu interests is already becoming more apparent. Proposals and policies that disproportionately affect Hindu institutions and practices call into question the fairness of lawmakers. For instance, regulations that strictly control Hindu temples while other religious establishments face fewer restrictions demonstrate a clear bias.

    Amidst this, overly hateful comments against Hindus and their religious scriptures by elected parliamentarians can manifest in several ways, including discriminatory laws, hate speech, and exclusionary policies. Such normalisation of hate against Hindus can erode democratic principles, chip away at social cohesion, and trigger genocidal violence against the target community. More seriously, The normalisation of Hinduphobia in the Indian Parliament strikes at the heart of India's pluralistic ethos and threatens to unravel the social fabric that binds the nation together. As the world's largest democracy, India must uphold the principles of equality and inclusivity, which makes it incumbent upon lawmakers to work towards eradicating this pernicious trend and fostering a more harmonious and united India.( Courtesy: OpIndia)

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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