By Syed Ali Mujtaba
The ongoing hate, divisiveness, and “othering” business against the Muslim community and other minorities in India by the Hindutva forces is not a mere smear campaign, but a well thought out strategy to achieve political dividends that need to be countered with equally forceful and effective strategy by the targeted communities.
What is seen is, Indian minorities are subjected to a well-planned and skillful campaign of hatred, lies, propaganda, and disinformation on a regular basis by the Hindutva forces to polarize the society. This is being done with twin objectives, to massage the ego of the Hindu community by targeting the Muslim community and by indulging in such calculated adventurism, consolidate the majority vote bank.
A large number of people particularly Muslims are passive spectators of such hateful campaigns since 2014 and they are suffering such humiliation in utter silence. The hate factories in India are not only targeting the Muslims, their hit-list includes; Christians, Sikhs Dalits, and other downtrodden communities.
Unfortunately, this phenomenon is an often repeated development, there is no effort made to counter such hate campaigns by the targeted groups. As a result, the Hindutva camp is busy organizing events after events through its well-thought-out plan of action and strategy and there is no one to challenge them.
There is a long list of hateful campaigns built in India, the prominent being the one against the Tablighi Jammat in March 2020. In recent memory, the starting point can begin from the shooting of an unarmed Muslim in Assam following the eviction drive there. A photographer stomping his dead body brings a chill in the spines of the viewers. This was followed by the burning of the Muslim ghettos and places of worship in Tripura. Then the mowing down of the farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri in UP was another gory scene that was watched. This was followed by a genocide call of the Muslims, given by the Hindu religious Parliament in Haridwar.
Even before this news ran out of steam, an open-source app on the Microsoft-owned Github platform called “Bulli Bai” hit the headlines. Then in quick succession came the news that Prime Minister Narendra Modi got stuck on the Punjab highway and a media blitzkrieg campaign started safety to his life that pumped enough energy to pump up the sagging image of the Prime Minister.
All these events happened in a well-planned, well-orchestrated well-organized manner, in a sequence, executed by the master strategists in the Hindutva camp.
Most of these events happened in the BJP ruled states and presumably under state patronage. There are multiple strategies in such campaigns to reach out to the public. They were fed with toxic tales, lies, disinformation, and fictitious narratives to achieve the objective of polarizing the society on communal lines.
The entire purpose of such a campaign is to build hatred against the Muslim community among the Hindus to fetch their loyalty towards the Hindutva protagonists and so develop the majority vote bank.
As one watches all these spectacles, one thing that comes out clearly is that all these are happening through a well-planned well strategized campaign. One event gets over another takes its place and the murky game of hate and canard never ends.
In the battle of strategies, there is no response from the targeted communities. They have no clue how to counter the well-crafted strategy of the Hindutva campaigners. As result vilification, intimidation, humiliation all roll into one continue to flourish in India.
The targeted groups are expecting that the so-called secular political parties may take up the cudgels on their behalf, but such parties do not want to antagonize the majority votes and so they remain quiet and their conspiracy of silence allow such malpractices to happen with impunity.
The targeted groups also expect the police, the court, and their own leaders will come to their rescue and take up the fight on their behalf but none come for their help. As a result, the evildoers are getting emboldened as their opponents lack any counter-strategy to neutralize them.
Resultantly, much is lost in the battle of strategies, and the worst is yet to come. If the targeted groups continue to remain static and passive there are likely to be many catastrophes in the making in the future. Hence, there is an urgent need to engage conscious people in raising awareness about this evil practice going on in India. This can be done by getting organized to develop a counter-strategy to rebut the hate narrative built by the opposite camp.
There should be events, lectures, discussions, etc. organized focusing on strategizing devices and mechanisms to effectively counter the hate propaganda going on in the country. Such well thought out plan of action can emerge only through brainstorming efforts and its secret modus-operandi can put the opponent on the back foot.
There are multiple ways and means to exploit social media, advertisements, organize smaller gatherings, mass contacts, and other ways to achieve the objective to stop the polarization and division among people.
The idea of making a counter-strategy to combat the dominant narrative can only succeed if like-minded people can come together for such a specific purpose. They brainstorm measures, means, modes, mechanisms to counter the well-organized strategies of the hate factories in India can be done by professionals, technical persons, visionaries as it’s a battle for ‘do or die.’
There is no dearth of such people in the country. What is lacking is an organizer who can assemble a team that can develop a counter-strategy campaign to combat hate factories. The time has come to stop reacting to certain hate campaigns and to counter-strategy to make them sound hollow. The effective counter-strategy tools can only evolve only if there are collective selves and the collective resolve to achieve the purpose.
It’s high time that all the minority communities should activate themselves into a participatory role to take on the challenge and become an effective counterforce to the hate mongers in the country. This is going on only due to the lack of counter-response from the targetted group and as a result, the dark forces are making lives hell for the peace-loving people of India.
This fight is about holding the pluralistic values and making an inclusive society against those divisive forces who are bent to unite the majority vote bank on the basis of hating the minority communities.
It’s only the positive spirit of India that comes together and leads the fight of moderation, toleration, and peaceful co-existence that can rekindle the fading hopes of upholding the true spirit of India.
An initiative in this direction is taken by Mr. Razi Raziuddin from Washington DC who is organizing counter strategy sessions to take up such a fight. His efforts are laudable and should be strengthened. Those who like to join hands with him can contact him at +1-(301)-788-8884 (email@example.com).
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org