The Hindutva Capitalist
By Soter D’Souza*
As anticipated, the Hindutva Capitalist forces appear to have employed their dirty tricks department to divert public attention from the mega sale of this nation to select local industrialists and foreign players. To cover up the mass-scale relaxation of environment laws that facilitate indiscriminate land conversions in the guise of boosting economic investment, the nation is being distracted with demands for an Anti-Conversion law to stop faith conversions instead of land conversions. It seeks to get the nation embroiled in heated debates over foreign faiths while FDI gets promoted by using the back-door ordinance route to circumvent parliament. On one hand, the TV soap star turned Minister is busy saffronizing education by claiming it to be necessary for protecting Indian culture, while the party is busy promoting EDM festivals, casinos and drug culture in Goa.
By not condemning and stopping the mass ‘Ghar Vapasi’ programmes undertaken by fanatic groups, but rather pretending to distance itself from such activities, the government is actually mocking the intelligence of this nation. The intent to destroy the plurality of religions and cultures in this nation is obvious when Christmas Day gets rechristened as Good Governance Day. For fascists there is always a premeditated justification and propaganda put in place for every act of vindictiveness and abuse.
By pushing for an anti-conversion law, this government is attempting to remote control people’s choice of faith just like it controls people’s opinion through its print and electronic media. The anti-conversion bill will be nothing but a tool to declare India as 100% Hindu rashtra as other religions will no more be recognized by the State just as in the case of the reservation law denies the existence of Christian Dalits. The hypocrisy of Hindu fanatics is naked for those who have eyes, their deceptive rhetoric is audible to those who have ears and the crookedness in arguments is glaring for those who have open minds. This mischief has the tacit support of the business class and its domesticated intelligentsia which is using religion to corner a social and economic stranglehold over the masses.
The foreign faiths seem more of an obstacle to those who support a caste system and are intolerant to freedom of expression. This is the only plausible conclusion to the false accusations of mass conversions speculated by Hindutva fanatics as census data of the Government proves otherwise. The heart burn against foreign faiths seems to spring from the threat to the hegemony of the dominant castes who detest education and health facilities being taken to the masses and the socio-political empowerment of marginalised sections. This is exactly the underlying fear for Hindutva fanatics who circulate stories about how foreign funds received by the Church surpasses the annual budget of the Armed Forces, but stop short of spelling out how these funds are legal and get ploughed into community development in this country without discrimination. Some isolated instance involving minorities gets generalised by the Hindutva fanatics as ‘conversion’ or ‘love jihad’ conspiracy, while incidents involving Hindus who throw acid, rape, hang or burn young girls get quietly swept under the carpet.
* Soter D’Souza is a social thinker in Goa, a freelance writer, and an expert in Panchayat Raj. This article first appeared in the “Herald”- a Goan newspaper.