Articles brought to Narendra Modi’s notice yet to be removed

Even as reports that Narendra Modi is changing his sartorial style to embrace clothes preferred by Muslims suggest the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate is looking to soften his hardliner image, the party website continues to contain anti-Muslim literature.

In fact, the presence of literature targeting minorities on the BJP website was flagged to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate personally in June this year during a Muslim outreach programme. But three-and-a-half months later, these articles remain on the website amid reports of Mr. Modi adding Pathani kurtas, and other styles preferred by Muslims, to his wardrobe in an attempt to distance himself from the 2002 riots in his State.

The anti-Islamic literature on the BJP’s website was brought to Mr. Modi’s attention at the June conclave by Syed Zafar Mahmood, former Officer on Special Duty to the Sachar Committee. On Tuesday, he told The Hindu that nothing had changed and a cursory look at www.bjp.org confirms this.

The three articles flagged by Mr. Mahmood form part of BJP’s explanation of its Hindutva philosophy of “cultural nationalism.” While one article ‘Hindutva: The Great Nationalist Ideology’ does not bear the name of the author, the other two — ‘Give us this day our sense of Mission’ and ‘Semetic Monotheism — The Root of Intolerance in India’ — are authored by M.V. Kamath and S.Gurumurthy respectively. ‘Hindutva: The Great Nationalist Ideology’ states that “the vibrancy of Hindu society was noticeable at all times in that despite such barbarism from the Islamic hordes of central Asia and Turkey, Hindus never played with the same rules that Muslims did...”

Lauding the Ramjanmabhoomi Movement as a Hindu reawakening, this article concludes with, “The future of Bharat is set. Hindutva is here to stay. It is up to the Muslims whether they will be included in the new nationalistic spirit of Bharat. Hindutva will not mean any Hindu theocracy or theology. However, it will mean that the guiding principles of Bharat will come from the great teachings of the Vedas, the ancient Hindu and Indian scriptures….’’ In his article, M.V. Kamath cites K.M. Munshi to assert that the will to national unity is hard to develop but easy to dissipate. “Generally it is dissipated under certain conditions: First, if the dominant minority [Muslims] has no sense of mission as regards the future of the nation; Secondly, if its will to unity is fragmented by contradictory loyalties; Thirdly, if it becomes psychologically alien to the masses.”

Maintaining that “Hindutva has a cultural — not religious — connotation”, Mr. Kamath says “the cry of Hindutva is intended to give the dominant minority a sense of mission, a feeling that this country with its hoary past is theirs, if only they will accept it.” Mr. Gurumurthy, in his essay on ‘Semetism’, states that the story of “Islam is one of 1,500 years of unmitigated stagnation.” It is the changelessness of Islam — “its equal revulsion towards dissent within and towards non-Islamic thoughts without — that has made it a problem for the whole world.”

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