Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
History

How did we get here?

A brief journey through modern India's history to understand the evolution of Hindu-Muslim relations in the country

Athar Husain 09 Mar 2020
Hindu Muslim

 

Post India's independence, our society has gone major transformation vis-a-vis Hindu - Muslim relations, and in this journey there have been several stages:

  • Green revolution resultant emerging strong farmer community and emergence of their leadership specially from OBC's

  • Nationalisation and India's decisive victory over Pakistan and resultant Bangladesh

  • Emergency, JP movement and resultant decisive defeat of Congress with RSS and Lohiates combining together

  • India winning cricket World Cup and emergence of Amitabh Bachchan as angry young man and resultant  Shahanshah of Bollywood

  • Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi's assassination

  • Rise of BJP, Ram Mandir movement,and resultant Babri Masjid demolition

  • Neo-liberalisation, resultant huge emerging Hindu middle class, rise of OBC and Dalit leadership

  • First BJP govt at the Centre under Atal's leadership 

  • Gujarat riots and emergence of Modi as face of Hindu chauvinism

  • Khan troika ruling the Bollywood

  • India's hegemony in World cricket and Sachin Tendulkar as Emperor of World cricket

  • Return of Congress and Manmohanomics and resultant more buoyant Hindu middle class

  • Modi winning big and Congress losing badly with Gandhi-Nehru family aura completly wiped out

  • Emergence of new regional faces of Akhilesh, Kejriwal, Mamta, Jagan and Stalin

  • Modi-Shah in control, with divisive CAA pushing Muslims back to the wall politically and making them fight for their survival and amidst that, India facing it's biggest economic slowdown in the last 50 years.

Amidst all these stages Hindu society, by and large, was also reshaping into distinctive social classes as per their belief in Indian Constitution and Hindu thought and they can be categorised as follows: 

First, who believe in the essence of the Vedas, the ‘Puranic’ and religious texts and it’s approach to the oneness of Man with the divine  i.e. the eternal ‘Atman’ (the soul) and its eventual merger with the Paramatman (the supreme) in the ‘divine karmic’ order. All the while, upholding the egalitarian and non violent spirit of Hindu theism and it’s well propounded philosophies.

The first kind is further divided into two sub categories:

1. That has acceptance of all religions in conformity with the traditional Hindu vedantic thought of ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam’ (world is a family) and perhaps, is a bit in the atheistic mould. Yet, believes in a higher power and life cycles of cause and effect and thinks of the other as his own.

2. Is more adjunct to his religious and ritualistic duties: in his devotion and prayers to the chosen one in the pantheon of Hindu gods, a believer in the holy texts and the essence thereof, as also in the play of karmic cycle in the destiny of man etc. But deep down, still believes that all paths lead to one god and therefore, is tolerant of other religions and dogmas if they don’t infringe on his faith and religious practices.

Second is the one who is having this fear of the ‘other’, that is Muslims in this context, apprehensive of his country being subsumed overtime by the radical wave of Islamization that is currently sweeping across some parts of the world, including Europe, and so is willing to fraternise with the Hindutva philosophy as his shield, despite government demographic statistics stating otherwise and thus serving to Sangh's political agenda.

Third is left liberal who thinks Hindu ethos can be kept on the back-burner to push their agenda of liberalism which cannot be compromised for anything.

Similarly, the Muslim society reshaped exactly the same  with greater influence of Gulf money a clergy led society came with large influence of Wahabi Islam.This Islamic school of thought believed in purtitanism and ridiculed those who practiced Islam with Indian traditions and that is Sufi Islam or Barelvi school of thought.

Then, of course, there was the emerging middle class among Muslims which because of modern education came in contact with left liberal ideology on the one side which believed in the equality and liberalism with women being given equal opportunities whereas within that middle class there was those who where in the influence of Wahabi Islam and puritanism.

The Hindu-Muslim relations in India are decided by this middle class, of both the communities, and it is a contradiction that their aspirations do not match their actions. Both aspire to a luxurious life  with economic betterment but ongoing struggle leads to social disorder thus economic slowdown. Whether they are left liberal Hindus and Muslims they have to bear the brunt of clash of Wahabi Islam and Hindutva and resultant social disharmony.

The immense harm that this can cause to the ‘philosophy of (Sanatan Dharma) Hinduism and Islam which teaches equality and brotherhood and the nation cannot be overstated, since it is bound to lead to further fissures and distrust in society, shredding the social fabric of India. This is a matter of grave concern for all of us, residing here in India, and also for our future generations, as it is our responsibility and duty to keep the country united, safe and strong; free of sectarian strife, to prevent foreign investment from shying away from Indian shores. Growth of a nation is commensurate with its social stability and unity. Let us not disrupt it to irreconcilable and irredeemable levels, it is perhaps time for us who believe in Indianess only to barricade this onslaught of hate and insecurity.

* The author is Director, Centre for Objective Research and Development (CORD), Lucknow.

How did we get here?

A brief journey through modern India's history to understand the evolution of Hindu-Muslim relations in the country

Hindu Muslim

 

Post India's independence, our society has gone major transformation vis-a-vis Hindu - Muslim relations, and in this journey there have been several stages:

  • Green revolution resultant emerging strong farmer community and emergence of their leadership specially from OBC's

  • Nationalisation and India's decisive victory over Pakistan and resultant Bangladesh

  • Emergency, JP movement and resultant decisive defeat of Congress with RSS and Lohiates combining together

  • India winning cricket World Cup and emergence of Amitabh Bachchan as angry young man and resultant  Shahanshah of Bollywood

  • Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi's assassination

  • Rise of BJP, Ram Mandir movement,and resultant Babri Masjid demolition

  • Neo-liberalisation, resultant huge emerging Hindu middle class, rise of OBC and Dalit leadership

  • First BJP govt at the Centre under Atal's leadership 

  • Gujarat riots and emergence of Modi as face of Hindu chauvinism

  • Khan troika ruling the Bollywood

  • India's hegemony in World cricket and Sachin Tendulkar as Emperor of World cricket

  • Return of Congress and Manmohanomics and resultant more buoyant Hindu middle class

  • Modi winning big and Congress losing badly with Gandhi-Nehru family aura completly wiped out

  • Emergence of new regional faces of Akhilesh, Kejriwal, Mamta, Jagan and Stalin

  • Modi-Shah in control, with divisive CAA pushing Muslims back to the wall politically and making them fight for their survival and amidst that, India facing it's biggest economic slowdown in the last 50 years.

Amidst all these stages Hindu society, by and large, was also reshaping into distinctive social classes as per their belief in Indian Constitution and Hindu thought and they can be categorised as follows: 

First, who believe in the essence of the Vedas, the ‘Puranic’ and religious texts and it’s approach to the oneness of Man with the divine  i.e. the eternal ‘Atman’ (the soul) and its eventual merger with the Paramatman (the supreme) in the ‘divine karmic’ order. All the while, upholding the egalitarian and non violent spirit of Hindu theism and it’s well propounded philosophies.

The first kind is further divided into two sub categories:

1. That has acceptance of all religions in conformity with the traditional Hindu vedantic thought of ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam’ (world is a family) and perhaps, is a bit in the atheistic mould. Yet, believes in a higher power and life cycles of cause and effect and thinks of the other as his own.

2. Is more adjunct to his religious and ritualistic duties: in his devotion and prayers to the chosen one in the pantheon of Hindu gods, a believer in the holy texts and the essence thereof, as also in the play of karmic cycle in the destiny of man etc. But deep down, still believes that all paths lead to one god and therefore, is tolerant of other religions and dogmas if they don’t infringe on his faith and religious practices.

Second is the one who is having this fear of the ‘other’, that is Muslims in this context, apprehensive of his country being subsumed overtime by the radical wave of Islamization that is currently sweeping across some parts of the world, including Europe, and so is willing to fraternise with the Hindutva philosophy as his shield, despite government demographic statistics stating otherwise and thus serving to Sangh's political agenda.

Third is left liberal who thinks Hindu ethos can be kept on the back-burner to push their agenda of liberalism which cannot be compromised for anything.

Similarly, the Muslim society reshaped exactly the same  with greater influence of Gulf money a clergy led society came with large influence of Wahabi Islam.This Islamic school of thought believed in purtitanism and ridiculed those who practiced Islam with Indian traditions and that is Sufi Islam or Barelvi school of thought.

Then, of course, there was the emerging middle class among Muslims which because of modern education came in contact with left liberal ideology on the one side which believed in the equality and liberalism with women being given equal opportunities whereas within that middle class there was those who where in the influence of Wahabi Islam and puritanism.

The Hindu-Muslim relations in India are decided by this middle class, of both the communities, and it is a contradiction that their aspirations do not match their actions. Both aspire to a luxurious life  with economic betterment but ongoing struggle leads to social disorder thus economic slowdown. Whether they are left liberal Hindus and Muslims they have to bear the brunt of clash of Wahabi Islam and Hindutva and resultant social disharmony.

The immense harm that this can cause to the ‘philosophy of (Sanatan Dharma) Hinduism and Islam which teaches equality and brotherhood and the nation cannot be overstated, since it is bound to lead to further fissures and distrust in society, shredding the social fabric of India. This is a matter of grave concern for all of us, residing here in India, and also for our future generations, as it is our responsibility and duty to keep the country united, safe and strong; free of sectarian strife, to prevent foreign investment from shying away from Indian shores. Growth of a nation is commensurate with its social stability and unity. Let us not disrupt it to irreconcilable and irredeemable levels, it is perhaps time for us who believe in Indianess only to barricade this onslaught of hate and insecurity.

* The author is Director, Centre for Objective Research and Development (CORD), Lucknow.

Related Articles

Communalism

Malappuram is not in the Wild West, Madam Maneka Gandhi: Open Letter

This scathing open letter on face book exposes not just the ill-informed rants of the former minister and BJP Member of Parliament (MP) from Sultanpur, Maneka Gandhi but challenges her and her party to please enact a law not to use elephants (or cranes) in public gatherings, festivals and processions, which the writer says will get all Kerala’s support

Communalism

Malappuram is not in the Wild West, Madam Maneka Gandhi: Open Letter

This scathing open letter on face book exposes not just the ill-informed rants of the former minister and BJP Member of Parliament (MP) from Sultanpur, Maneka Gandhi but challenges her and her party to please enact a law not to use elephants (or cranes) in public gatherings, festivals and processions, which the writer says will get all Kerala’s support


Monday

13

Jan

Nationwide

Saturday

04

Jan

Karve Statue, Kothrud, Pune

Theme

Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura
summer

Summer Culture

Our first summer culture bouquet features fiction from Syria and Iraq and poetry and art from Palestine.
khoj

Teaching Without Prejudice

Report of the CABE Committee on 'Regulatory Mechanisms for Textbooks and Parallel Textbooks Taught in Schools Outside the Government System

Campaigns

Monday

13

Jan

Nationwide

Saturday

04

Jan

Karve Statue, Kothrud, Pune

Videos

Culture

Watch: Sufism and its influence on Indian music

In this SabrangIndia exclusive video, Pandit Anindya Banerjee, classical musician Kallol Ghoshal and folk researcher Niladri Sekhar DasSharma talk about the Influence of Islam on Indian Music and how the Sufis, known for their great love for music and acceptance of many indigenous customs, allowed Syncretism to flourish in Bengal.

Culture

Watch: Sufism and its influence on Indian music

In this SabrangIndia exclusive video, Pandit Anindya Banerjee, classical musician Kallol Ghoshal and folk researcher Niladri Sekhar DasSharma talk about the Influence of Islam on Indian Music and how the Sufis, known for their great love for music and acceptance of many indigenous customs, allowed Syncretism to flourish in Bengal.

Analysis

Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura
summer

Summer Culture

Our first summer culture bouquet features fiction from Syria and Iraq and poetry and art from Palestine.
khoj

Teaching Without Prejudice

Report of the CABE Committee on 'Regulatory Mechanisms for Textbooks and Parallel Textbooks Taught in Schools Outside the Government System

Archives