New Delhi: It is election time and so the issue of Muslims and the nationalism is sure to be raised. RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat, has once again dwelt upon the issue and said that Muslims, being Indian are Hindus.
It must be noted that ever since the Supreme Court declared Hindutva to be a lifestyle, pro-Hindutva organisations have become all the more aggressive. With the BJP in power, there is nothing that can stop RSS from uttering what it believes.
While talking to media in Madhya Pradesh he said every citizen of India is a Hindu, regardless of his religious belief. He added, “Though Indian Muslims follow Islam, but their nationality is Hindu.”
While speaking during the Hindu Sammelan in Betul, Bhagwat said that people of India should be called Hindu, the same way people of Germany are called Germans and people of America are called Americans.
He asked the Muslims to bow before the portrait of bharat mata. “Muslims should not find it odd to bow their heads before Bharat Mata” added Bhagwat.
He spoke about the sister organisation, Rashtriya Muslim Manch, whose chief did aarti of Bharat Mata in the spirit of nationalism. He said that this is what the people need to understand and that if the society has to live in unity then bowing before Bharat Mata should be seen as a unifying act.
This is not the first time that RSS has questioned the nationality of Indian Muslims. earlier too Bhagwat had said that all residents of India should realise and accept that they are all basically Hindus. This time he backed the etymology of his argument with the example of Americans and Germans.
India is a secular country and all citizens have the freedom to practice whatever religion they want to follow. And etymologically all residents of Hindustan are Hindustani, or Indians, and not Hindus, which is the term given to followers of Hindu religion.
Islam considers it the biggest sin, or shirk, to consider anyone else God other than Allah. Hinduism follows another set of beliefs that allows bowing to multiple deities, including deifying the motherland. This is not allowed in Islam, and suggesting something like this to Muslims is urging them to sin, which is against the secular spirit of the country and its constitution.
In Islam nationalism has a very different place than religion. Interchanging them is not something that is done in Islam.
Mohan Bhagwat follows the organisation that believes in establishing one religion, one culture and one language in the country. His comment about nationality follows this underlying theme.
RSS believes the minorities are second class citizens of the country. The organisation neither gives importance to other religions with minority population nor believes in their spirit of nationality. RSS believes that Muslims and followers of other religions can only be trusted when they follow Hindutva lifestyle. This is not a secular idea.
The debate between religion and nationalism is not new to India, but since organisations like RSS have come to power, Muslims have been targeted once too often about their nationality and whether nationality should be considered over religion. (Translated from Inquilab)