It may be surprising for many to read this however the truth is that there were many states that never gave their loyalty to the Indian Establishment at the time of India’s independence in 1947. Under the leadership of the ruthless hardline lawyer, Vallabbhai Patel, the Indian Government purchased the loyalty from over 500 princes and royals giving them perks and privileges in modern india and arm twisting those who didn’t like to budge and had become accustomed to being in power.
The Indian Establishment went as far as sacrificing over 20,000 to ensure that certain states like Hyderabad didn’t side with Pakistan at the time of independence.
Apart from this, the six north eastern states which are still seen with questioning eyes where India still implements its illegal AFSPA act giving the armed forces sweeping powers over the civilians never ratified the unification with India. Culturally, linguistically & religiously these states never saw themselves as a part of India apart from the fact that they were only linked to the larger part of India by a 12 km wide tract of land just like the neck of a rooster.
It’s not far from truth to say that the actual control the Indian Establishment has had over India has not been more than 60 to 70% at any point of time. Many times it has been lower than that. These are official figures which the government itself releases from time to time.
For instance, the governments control in the Naxal areas is very limited. The red corridor, a term used to denote the Naxal infested areas, covered 180 districts out of 640 in 2009.
Political Vacuum’s within India
Organizations like the panchayat (village committees) and the tribal committees which have been part of the daily lives of people in villages and towns for centuries have over the years filled the vacuum which was left after the Mughal and subsequently the British Rule.
Grassroots organizations which have worked to become part of thesepanchayats have been able to win the hearts of the masses and been able to turn them loyal to the government and in cases disloyal to the government as has been the case with the Naxalites and Maoists who have worked to assist 100’s of villages in the Red corridor and thereby buying their loyalty.
It is in circumstances such as these, when an atmosphere of hatred against Islam is already widespread, even small rumors can lead to a major tension.
And when something like this happens which is beyond the control of the government, the choices they make are based on whether the results of such frictions benefit them or not. Every word its leadership says, every action it takes is measured and calculated and its repercussion assessed.
It is in this light that the recent Dadri killing should be seen or even incidents before that, like the Gujarat riots or even those before that.
Effects of Communal tensions on India’s global Image
The Indian leadership does not see the incident in Dadri as a damaging incident internationally, as this incident was much smaller compared to the communal tensions that have happened in India in the past 60 years. India is witness to over 50000 riots since its independence and over 600 riots since the recent elections. Killing one man doesn’t add to the already blacked face it carries. Not to mention that the governing party and its leadership are people who have been the face of one of the largest massacres of the Muslims in India and globally.
However it definitely helps it solidify its image, that the existing government will turn a blind eye towards right wingers and will support those who carry the idea of turning India into a Hindu Nation.
And not to forget that some of the world’s biggest powers are known to have severely oppressed their minorities and this includes the USA in its treatment to the blacks and the Chinese in its treatment of the Muslims. So India happens to come closer to their league not move away from them.
As for the global image that India is trying to build as a hub for Business, these incidents don’t create a challenge for India. The Capitalist businessmen who will want to come and exploit the cheap labor and cheap human resource in India just like the East India Company did wouldn’t worry because of the secure environment the Indian government promises them for business. Not to mention that these Capitalists themselves are not on morally high grounds for wherever they have gone they have abused the land and its people and its resources. So they are pretty much on the same page.
One thing however that may have gone unnoticed is that so many Indian academics, secular thinkers, historians have come forth and asked the government to rethink its policies and have openly questioned the government’s attitude and its support to right wingers, this is specially after the recent Dadri incident.
And there is clearly a sense of panic in many of them. The reason is simple.
BJP is still an immature nascent party with little experience in national politics and with a lack of serious thinkers and policy makers, to the extent that they did not even have qualified lawmakers to take important cabinet positions, so they had to appoint an unelected lawmaker as the minister of 4 ministries — defense, finance, corporate affairs, information & broadcast combined. This is one of the reasons their behavior is amateur and unprincipled from the Secular point of view.
The government leaderships delay and silence on atrocities committed against the minorities will only disenchant the minorities and disintegrate them from the larger society, a task that the previous governments worked so hard to achieve. And this is what these secular thinkers are worried about. A continuous atmosphere of communal hatred and tensions will only lead to the disintegration of the Muslims from the larger Indian society.
Is it just bad news and more bad news ?
A disenchanted and disintegrated community generally can go into 2 directions, either isolate themselves or stand up and fight for their rights.
This is the silver lining for the Muslim activists and dawa carriers today. This is their opportunity to go on the grassroots and rebuild the confidence in the people.
They have the opportunity to show them the failure of the Secular Politics and Democracy. They should show them how their decades of belief and trust could be shed away in one go. They should show them how scholars of madrasas like Deoband went to the extent of banning Cow slaughter but still their loyalty is questioned. They should show them that the only way out for them is Islam. And that Democracy and Secular politics could never give them their rights. And that the true protector of their honour, their wealth and their lives would be a sincere leader who wouldn’t turn a blind eye when they are killed.
This is perhaps their only opportunity to recreate a strong revivalist movement in the Muslims in India, a modern Khilafat Movement, calling towards the reestablishment of the Khilafah Rashidah in the Muslim world who will implement Islam and fight for the rights of Muslims globally.
Let us remember what Allah (swt) said in Surah Ahzab
لِيَجْزِيَ اللَّهُ الصَّادِقِينَ بِصِدْقِهِمْ وَيُعَذِّبَ الْمُنَافِقِينَ إِنْ شَاءَ أَوْ يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا
(All this happened) so that Allah may give reward to the truthful ones for their truthfulness, and punish the hypocrites, if He so wills, or accept their repentance. Surely, Allah is Most-Forgiving, Very- Merciful. [TMQ Ahzab: 24]
This should comfort everyone who has been worried, and he should realize that this is his opportunity like the companions opportunity at the Khandaq to please Allah (swt).
Abu Khaled Al Hejazi
Abu Khaled Al Hejazi