The renowned author warned that terrorist outfits like Al -Qaeda will exploit the disenchanted Indian Muslims…reports Asian Lite News
Baria Alamuddin, award-winning Arab journalist and mother of London-based human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, accused Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of destroying the communal unity for his party’s Hindutwa agenda.
In an article in Arab News, Baria said that under the stewardship of Modi, India has lurched from secular democracy to demagogic theocracy.
Baria Alamuddin is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster in the Middle East and the UK. She is editor of the Media Services Syndicate and has interviewed numerous heads of state including Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto, King Hussain of Jordan, Yasser Arafat and Fidel Castro, to name a few. Baria was the last journalist to interview Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
“Although Hinduism has traditionally coexisted amicably with many other religious beliefs, India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party champions Hindutva — until recently a radical fringe ideology committed to rendering 276 million non-Hindus second-class citizens, or even non-citizens. The BJP’s primary target has been India’s 200 million Muslims, and the eradication of India’s cultural heritage as a synthesis of Islamic and Indic traditions.”
The renowned author warned that terrorist outfits like Al -Qaeda will exploit the disenchanted Indian Muslims.
“The BJP and Al-Qaeda feed off each other’s extremism and fearmongering,” she said in the article in Arab News. “Despite the resolutely moderate nature of Indian Islam, Al-Qaeda is energetically exploiting BJP extremist policies by radicalising and recruiting. Although Indian Muslims have mostly been unresponsive to such propaganda, if young people find themselves under constant attack they will inevitably be seduced by such murderous narratives.”
Baria, the last journalist to interview Indira Gandhi, said India is diversity personified, but the recent development destroying that edifice.
“On my visits there I have always been struck by the extraordinary richness and variety of cultures, languages, ethnicities, and forms of artistic expression. Attempts to impose a single theological ideology can only end badly. In 1984 I was the last journalist to interview Indira Gandhi, hours before she was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for bloody incidents a few months earlier at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. She expressed optimism to me that a society rooted in religious tolerance would overcome these tragic events. She recalled her own upbringing, going trekking with her father in Muslim Kashmir as an example of how India’s cultural traditions and diverse peoples were intrinsically interlinked.”
Baria also condemned the BJP move to instil their ideologies in the school text books.
“Militant BJP-affiliated academics claim that India invented nuclear weapons, stem-cell technology, aircraft and the internet — thousands of years ago! It is one thing for BJP members to wallow in such ultra-nationalist nonsense, but when this constitutes the raw material for school textbooks, we should fear for future generations,” she said.
Baria find parallels with India’s rise of Hindutwa with white supremacy in the US.
“Developments in India run in parallel to populist tendencies elsewhere,” she said. “A US Congressional investigation is currently laying bare how close America came to a coup by its sitting president on Jan. 6, 2021. The reliance of some Republicans on “white grievance” to mobilize their supporters has exact parallels in the BJP’s Hindu supremacism. Likewise, Israel’s apartheid policies reduce Palestinians to precarious non-citizens. Just as in India, Israel devolved from decades of being politically dominated by the centrist Labor Party to surrendering its democracy to ever-more ruthless and messianic extreme-right coalitions. Elsewhere, there are similar demagogic playbooks operating in Iran, Turkey, Russia, Hungary and Brazil.
“Thus, the BJP is just one manifestation of a populist pandemic that has infected the planet. This fever will break only when citizens wise up and choose real leaders who are genuinely committed to making lives better — not quasi-fascists who cling to power by triggering race wars, inciting genocide, and pouring fuel on the fires of hatred and intolerance.”