On the “ New” Islamophobia and the Discourse Thereof

On the “ New” Islamophobia and the Discourse Thereof
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ABRAR REYAZ

While, the British was ruling India after the end of Mughal rule, two Hindutva figures, V.D Savarkar and M.S Golwalkar tried to redefine and gave a new dimension to concept of nationhood in India. According to them, India was a not a territory belonging to its inhabitants and dwellers. But, it was a nation state belonging to those who are Hindus. They propounded the idea of separate nation state and projected Muslims, Christians and Jews as aliens and invaders of their mother land. It is believed, they were very much concerned of seeing a Muslim state – ‘Afghanistan’ at the forefront in the immediate neighborhood. This sense of insecurity and dream of triumph over the subcontinent lead them to brand a different version of Hinduism, a political or syndicated Hinduism, as described a noted historian, Romila Thapar. The propagation and disseminating of these ideas created polarization and intolerance throughout the then British India. The divide and rule policy of the British added to the mix. More to this, the Congress sidelined Muslims and refused to give them their demanded rights which led to the partition of the subcontinent, among other things.
The liberal lobby in India has always tried to project Jinnah as solely responsible for partition. Recently, Indian National Congress MP, Shashi Tharoor used the term ‘Hindu Pakistan’ to describe the threats, if BJP comes to power in 2019. Earlier, in one of his interviews, he described RSS as the ‘Hindu Taliban’.
On one hand, BJP has demanded apology from Tharoor for hurting the sentiments of Hindus. And on the other side, his own party to which he belongs, has in a way tried to disassociate itself from this remark. If we go a little deeper, terms like Hindu Pakistan and so on – these terms are not less Islamophobic. They depict the state, situation and scenario, show, how Indian liberals target Muslims openly for Partition.
Frankly speaking, Taliban and Pakistan are result of foreign occupation and jeopardizing minorities respectively , among other things. All things held equal, Pakistan was result of propounding of communal politics. If one argues, Tharoor has used the term in a very different context. By this, he means, Pakistan is unsafe for minorities; in this sense, India isn’t safe either. Unfortunately, Shashi Tharoor is not the first one to use these demeaning terms. The tragedy is that, Mehdi Hasan used the term ‘Christian Taliban’ to target Christian fundamentalism in his piece in The Intercept, a month ago. A brilliant response was written to him by Hafsa Kanjwal in The Aljazeera.
The right wingers use unacceptable and derogatory terms against Muslims on usual bases. Well, coming it from a left winger or a liberal is something un-usual, raises eyebrows and might be part of projection of soft-hindutva politics against hardliners. The timing of remark is also substantive.

The author is a student of Law at Department of Legal Studies, Central University of Kashmir. He blogs at: http://AbrarReyaz.blogspot.com and can be reached at: abrar_reyaz@live.com

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