Reclaiming India As A Hindu Nation: Strategy, Planning, And Skills

Ramesh Rao

Jun 05, 2024, 11:30 AM | Updated 11:30 AM IST

PM Modi at the Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh.
PM Modi at the Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh.
  • What is this Hindu worldview that would not just be acceptable but which might be embraced?
  • The seven-phase, six-week 2024 General Election in India wound up on June 1, and exit polls and astrologers from Boston to Dubai to Bengaluru predicted that the BJP-led alliance would win a majority of the Lok Sabha seats. The BJP-led coalition prevailed, but barely.

    The question now is no longer how big the margin of victory was but whether Narendra Modi can helm a coalition government adroitly and keep the divisive and destructive home-grown and internationally-fed forces.

    While we can therefore expect Narendra Modi to helm the government for the third, consecutive term, the only one to do so after Jawaharlal Nehru, who was Prime Minister for nearly 17 consecutive years, it is now doubtful whether Narendra Modi wants to beat that record, with a variety of insiders and outsiders saying that he will give up the post of prime minister at the end of the third term in office or even earlier.

    Monday (or in this case Tuesday) morning quarterbacking has everyone rushing to answer why it happened this way, why some state was lost or barely held, why some big names with big achievements lost, why Bengal or Tamil Nadu or Kerala may never vote for a BJP dispensation, why Modi and his team lost opportunities to assuage the long-suffering Hindu majority, and so on.

    Who knows what the future holds? At this juncture, whether or not Modi will beat Nehru’s record of days in office is not the most important question facing India, a country under assault from internal and external forces who want to shape India as a “secular” nation, ridding it of its Hindu ethos and culture, or as a Muslim nation, part of the global ummah, or a nation divided between Christians and Muslims as most of the African countries are, or even a communist-socialist bastion joining hands with the People’s Republic of China.

    The nation’s Hindu foundation is sought to be loosened and broken, and the question therefore is whether Narendra Modi will be able and willing to shore up that Hindu foundation and make Hindus proud of their Punya Bhoomi again, now that the BJP could not win a majority of the Lok Sabha seats on its own, and with the National Democratic Alliance partners already being wooed and sought to be seduced to deny Modi his third term!

    The external forces — led by the US Government and its various agencies, Western media, Western academe, and media behemoths like Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based, Muslim majoritarian, propaganda arm of the Qatari royals — used every tactic and strategy in their playbooks to undermine the Modi Government and paint the BJP and Modi as Muslim-baiters and Hindu supremacists, and upper caste manipulators.

    The Associated Press, once a reliable, middle-of-the-road news service, hired its Muslim reporters to concoct shrill stories based on sparse, selective data. Their chief India correspondent, Sheikh Saaliq, for example, had so many stories headlining “attacks” on Muslims, in the past eight weeks, that one would wonder how many Muslims had died exercising their votes, and whether there was an exodus of Muslims to neighbouring Bangladesh and Pakistan.

    There was not one Hindu-Muslim riot anywhere in the country, except in West Bengal, where Mamata Banerjee has not only emboldened the Muslim population but allowed them and her TMC goons to slaughter Hindus, and when Muslims, abetted by the usual gangs of the Left and Congress Party laid siege to Delhi for months after the Citizenship Amendment Act was passed in 2019. Alas, the Associated Press’ Sheikh Saaliq does not seem to know or care where West Bengal is and what happens there or seek to record his fellow Muslims’ murderous mayhem in Delhi.

    Here are some of the stories in the Associated Press over the past eight weeks that offer tendentious, incomplete, and even false stories.

    For example, their March 15, 2024 story is provocative and false. Muslims are not excluded from becoming Indian citizens, but it is only those non-Muslims who are oppressed and discriminated against in neighbouring Muslim-majority Islamic Republics like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who get fast-tracked in the line of those waiting to seek Indian citizenship.

    Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and Sikhs have almost all been driven out of Afghanistan, are worse than second-class citizens in Pakistan, and are constantly harassed, threatened, and robbed in Bangladesh. We don’t read about that in Mr Saaliq’s diatribe:

    -India announces steps to implement a citizenship law that excludes Muslims (March 11, 2024)

    -India’s new citizenship law excludes Muslims. Here’s what to know (March 15, 2024)

    -As India’s election nears, some Bollywood films promote Modi politics by embracing Hindu nationalism (March 22, 2024)

    -A Modi rival is arrested. Now, supporters of the opposition leader are protesting in India’s capital (March 22, 2024)

    -Opponents and journalists in Narendra Modi’s India feel the squeeze ahead of an election (April 15, 2024)

    -Once a fringe Indian ideology, Hindu nationalism is now mainstream, thanks to Modi’s decade in power (April 18, 2024)

    -India votes in third phase of national elections as Modi escalates his rhetoric against Muslims (May 07, 2024)

    -India’s parliament has fewer Muslims as strength of Modi’s party grows (May 15, 2024)

    Al Jazeera’s coverage of Indian events has always bordered on the shrill and propagandistic, and its coverage of the preparations for the general election was predictably so, but given the Israel-Hamas war, its correspondents’ and its editors’ eyes have been cast elsewhere, and their hearts put into manipulating the American public about the “35,000 Palestinian civilians,” “mostly women and children,” that the Israeli Defense Forces have supposedly killed, leaving all the Hamas soldiers bravely fighting the “Zionists”!

    The coverage of Indian news and the option for expressing views about India in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, or the BBC were so skewed that we need teams of investigators to track and collate their partisan, provocative coverage of Indian matters over the past decade.

    Suffice it to say, that the threat to India as a Hindu nation is present and dangerous. The interference in Indian elections and in Indian society have been so carefully plotted that we need to acknowledge the work of the diligent investigators of DisinfoLab who have connected the dots.

    Be that as all these may, the focus now should be, for Narendra Modi and his ministerial team, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, as well as Hindu-centric institutions across India and around the world, on how to keep Hindus safe and grow India’s foundational Hindu ethos in the new “coalition dispensation.” Why should anyone bother about India’s Hindu ethos? As Anand Ranganathan has pointed out in his short, trenchant, clear-eyed account — Hindus in Hindu Rashtra: Eighth-Class Citizens and Victims of State-Sanctioned Apartheid — forget about Hindus being targeted elsewhere in the world, they are not safe in India, their “Punya Bhoomi”!

    Ranganathan labels Hindus “eighth-class citizens” because he lists eight ways in which Hindus have been robbed of their identity, their places of worship, their ability to run their educational institutions and manage their religious institutions, reclaim Hindu heritage sites, are refugees in their own country, where the justice system and its managers have bigoted views about Hindus and Hindus’ concerns, and where Muslims marauders who decimated Hindus are celebrated and roads and cities named after them.

    Given that there are so many forces aligned against Hindus, a majority in only three countries in the world — India, Nepal, and Mauritius (barely) — whereas there are 49 Muslim-majority countries and 157 Christian-majority countries and territories in the world, it is time for Narendra Modi and Co., to begin freeing India of its colonial legacies — both Muslim and European/Christian — and of its post-independence “secular” shackles that have bound only Hindus while fetishizing over and offering “minorities” rights and privileges that are denied the majority Hindus.

    They could have taken the lead on some of these matters over the past ten years, but they might have either miscalculated or strategized poorly about when and how to bring about the changes.

    How can Modi and his team rejig their efforts to shore up the lives of Hindus now?

    Game theory and war games

    Students in elite business schools learn about “game theory,” and there are game theorists who have won the Nobel Prize in Economics. From cooperative game theories to noncooperative game theories, from symmetric to asymmetric, from zero-sum to non-zero-sum, from sequential to simultaneous, from perfect information to imperfect information, from evolutionary to stochastic, and so on, there are several models and theories offered to help players (economic, war/defense, social, political, technological, philosophical) figure out tactics and strategies in responding to opponents and enemies, partners and employees, defence needs and command and control warfare needs, artificial learning and machine learning, consumers and markets, and elsewhere.

    It is time for the Modi Cabinet and the NDA Coalition partners therefore to gather the best teams in all these fields in India to begin strategizing — in the form of four-dimensional chess that includes more than two players, in fact, many players.

    Colour code them — from the red of the Communists/Marxists to the green of Muslims/Islamists, from the blue/red of Christians to the yellow of the Khalistanis, from the saffron of Hindus to the pink of the socialists and gender activists — find their internal and external support institutions, and have them create scenarios — political, social, religious, cultural, war/battle, academic/scholarly — and generate options to help the ministers take action based on the fluid and complex dynamics of multiple forces and actors acting simultaneously in different parts of the world and within India.

    Of course, there is always the challenge of overcomplex theories and players going down the rabbit hole of identifying and chasing multiple variables and plotting different outcomes. Occam’s razor, as we know, is about the law of parsimony and the “problem-solving principle” that recommends searching for explanations “constructed with the smallest possible set of variables.” However, for far too long, the Indian political class has mostly used blunt instruments and short-term thinking to achieve their immediate goals, planning neither for their long-term well-being nor the nation’s safety.

    There must be a better way to govern the country and ensure the well-being of all its citizens; however, when citizen groups, wedded to supremacist, monopolist, and violent ideologies are also among the mix, then it becomes imperative to find ways to reduce their ability to plan for Jihad, Armageddon, end times, the death of the state, lands without borders, and the seizure of all private property. We cannot therefore afford not to plan to counter the strategic moves of these forces that have vast and powerful external support and benefactors.

    Chanakya-neeti, we believe, has been used by Modi and his team to counter the many threats they have faced as individuals, as a political party, and as leaders of the country. Was Chanakya’s time as complex as the present? Maybe. But what he has offered as lessons in leadership, governance, administration, diplomacy, warfare, economics, and other matters should therefore be used in combination with modern tools that enable strategists to plan for and execute complex moves to win friends, defeat enemies, maintain order, and sustain India’s civilizational growth and well-being.

    Let us not forget that in a matter of two decades, after the four-coordinated attacks on the US by Islamist suicide attackers on September 11, 2001, that led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 people, and cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars if not more, what is now at the front and centre of American media, politics, and academic endeavors is not the threat that Islam and Islamists still pose for the country but how “Islamophobia” needs to be countered and how Muslims have to be “protected” and allowed special rights to gather, protest, and pray wherever and whenever they please!

    The six months of riots, protests, blockades, and mischief in the US, following the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, go to show how the Arab/Muslim-bloc money has reshaped American politics, higher education, and media narratives.

    How was this made possible? It first started in Western European countries, where Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the region. Christopher Caldwell, in his book, “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West,” has captured clearly and precisely how Muslims have reshaped the region, mostly for the worse, as Douglas Murray has done in “The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam”.

    The US is now going through the second phase of Arabization or Islamization that Western Europe went through, and the third and final phase in Europe is bound with and by their ties to the US, which, in turn, will see that third phase accelerate in the next decade. The financial ties between the Middle East and the US go back at least a hundred years. See here.

    However, what has allowed the 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to change the narrative in the US about the plans and programs of the Global Ummah is how much money they have been able to pump into the US economy, and especially into its universities, think tanks, and media houses. They have also used the money to carefully pick and choose American Muslim students to attend the best schools, acquire the best academic credentials, and then place them in the institutions — government, academic, justice, human rights, media, entertainment, and business — to shape the American narrative on the Muslim presence, programs, and conditions for change.

    How the Palestinians have been able to shape the global narrative post-October 7, 2023, is captured in this essay by Gary Wexler, who recounts his interaction with an ominous young man, Ameer Makhoul, twenty-five years ago, who told him that he and his team would create global pro-Palestinian organizations.

    Arab money has flown into building a vast network of madrasas in India, but Modi has been able to work with some of the Arab kingdoms and show them how the radicalization of their citizenry not only augurs ill for the world but will also affect them negatively.

    When UAE’s foreign minister therefore warned Europe about how they were becoming incubators of terrorism he was pointing out how the Arab countries deal with Islam-inspired terrorists. Chanakya Neeti involves using leadership and diplomatic skills to reshape relationships, and when the use of force is neither possible nor advisable in dealing with fraught relationships then the wise way would be the one of diplomacy.

    There are two hundred million Muslims in India, and if we include Muslims in the states that were broken off from India in 1947, India/South Asia becomes the largest Muslim country/region in the world (150 million Muslims in Bangladesh, and 215 million Muslims in Pakistan). This is India’s demographic reality, and the wise leader would know that the best way to deal with 565 million restive Muslims is to make them believe in the Hindu worldview of “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam,” rather than embrace their version of “End Times.”

    What is this Hindu worldview that would not just be acceptable but which might be embraced? It would include buildings, institutions, and programs that would advocate yoga and meditation, Ayurvedic medicine, the concept and worship of “Nirguna Brahman,” vegetarianism, the pursuit and practice of purusharthas — Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha — with the ideal of the rule of cosmic law in all human affairs, etc. However, the building of massive, palace-like Swaminarayan temples would soon bring us woe if not enmity.

    The biggest elephant in the Indian room is coloured green. The red, the blue-red, the yellow, and the pink are riding that green elephant. In Modi’s third term in office therefore let us hope that he and his coalition team of wise women and men will be able to play the role of skilled mahouts and make that elephant do the work of rebuilding and supporting Hindu India!

    Ramesh Rao is a Professor of Communication Studies at Columbus State University. Views expressed here are personal.

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