From Canada and Britain to Australia, Hinduphobia has gone global – Yuvraj Pokharna

India as Vishwaguru

Yuvraj PokharnaAs the scourge of left-handed, vicious, and vitriolic (dis)information warfare continues against us, we can rest assured that we are rising and shining while treading a path to becoming the Vishwaguru, that is, the world leader. – Yuvraj Pokharna

Ever since the Modi government swept into power, the nation’s civilisational and nationalistic aspirations have been reawakened, while a torrent of concerted efforts to destabilise India, that is Bharat, has been demonstrated. With the reawakening of the Hindu psyche with pride and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its vanguard, the decades-old disguised Hinduphobic stance of the West is now out in the open. The relatively silent Hinduphobic sentiments have broken out in places like Leicester, Toronto, New Jersey, Australia, and across the globe.

This week, in a series of orchestrated attacks, 14 Hindu temples were vandalised in multiple cities in Bangladesh in one single night. The heads, limbs, and hands of Hindu idols were severed by unidentified miscreants. The attacks come amid anti-Hindu attacks by pro-Khalistani men in Australia. The viral videos displayed how the attacks were unprovoked and some pro-Khalistani men could be seen carrying rods and swords. Hindu temples have been defaced with pro-Bhindranwale slogans, anti-India slogans, and graffiti of “Khalistan Zindabad” and “Hindustan Murdabad” on the walls by Khalistan supporters. The coordinated pattern of targeting the Hindu community is not a standalone incident. Last year, during the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami, Hindu processions in Karnataka, Gujarat, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh witnessed heavy stone-pelting and arson by Muslim mobs. This is in tandem with the “dismantling of the global Hindutva clique.”

Not long ago, The New York Times posted their requirement for a business correspondent in India, which said, “India’s future now stands at a crossroads. Mr. Modi is advocating a self-sufficient, muscular nationalism centred on the country’s Hindu majority. That vision puts him at odds with the interfaith, multicultural goals of modern India’s founders.” Ever wonder why the political and religious views of a business reporter matter to a global publication? It is ludicrous how the world still believes that merit and hard work is required to get into the global press. It seems jejune to assume that the West’s palpable Hindu hatred and narrow, prejudiced prism are much older.

American newspapers have often defined India by “rapes and murders,” where “death is the only truth,” and these pen pushers parrot a dated narrative polarised by identity politics, misplaced virtue signalling and covert privileges. From the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to The Washington Post to The New York Times, the American newspapers’ headlines scream India as a failure, with Hindu extremism at its peak. The words “Hindu nationalism” have been used all too frequently lately, becoming the West’s favourite stick to beat India with.

“Inside Kashmir, Cut Off from the World: ‘A Living Hell’ of Anger and Fear” reads an assiduously crafted canard in The New York Times, dated August 10, 2019. By giving space to a litany of false information, the newspaper compromises journalistic integrity. Living hell was what the Kashmiri Hindus experienced for decades, and continue to. From the merciless mass genocide of the Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 to the displacement of thousands from their houses to still being persecuted in the valley, the Kashmiri Pandits are still waiting for justice.

“Death Is the Only Truth. Watching India’s Funeral Pyres Burn,” notes The New York Times on April 30, 2022. While the world poignantly struggled with the coronavirus turmoil, the global media indecently posted images of pyres, corpses, cremations, and dead bodies on their first page, symbolising the Covid outbreak with funeral pyres and cremation grounds.

“What is Hindu nationalism, and how does it relate to the trouble in Leicester?” reads an explainer article in The Guardian dated September 12, 2022. In Leicester, well-organised Muslim mobs vandalised temples and terrorised Hindus following India’s victory against Pakistan in the T20 cricket match of the Asia Cup. Several videos of Islamist gangs attacking Hindus made rounds on the internet, yet The Guardian chose to mention Hindu nationalism and blame the Hindu community for the violence in the United Kingdom. In September 2021, a politically motivated event called Dismantling Global Hindutva, designed to malign the Hindu community, was organised by an anti-Hindu Jamboree. To no one’s surprise, the thinly veiled Hinduphobic conference was sponsored by departments at top US universities like Columbia, Princeton, Berkeley, Harvard, and U-Penn. The institutional loathing for Hindus in the United States is not news; the West has always looked down on the Hindu culture. In the guise of academic freedom, the conference attempted to separate the term “Hindutva” from Hinduism, vilifying minds against “Hindutva” and falsely painting the Hindu community as purveyors of Islamophobia, hate, and extremism. Worse still, in 2021, Pratima Roy and Puja Roy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) interns, were targeted for having murtis of Hindu deities on their tables and the wall plastered with photographs of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The Indian Americans irked naysayers who believed that a person’s faith interferes with their ability to perform at the highest stage involving science, mocking them and the US space agency for correlating science and religion. Pratima and Puja were questioned on their ‘scientific temperament’ because of her overt expression of Hindu piety.

Recently, the United Kingdom’s national broadcaster, the BBC, aired a documentary, “India: The Modi Question,” against two-time democratically elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The documentary, fraught with innuendo, purportedly implicates the then Chief Minister of Gujarat in being responsible for the “climate of impunity” that enabled the 2002 Gujarat riots. Such disinformation undermines the informed choices of millions of readers, causing irreparable harm to the democratic environment of the country. Just for the record, in 2012, the Gujarat riots were investigated by a special investigation team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court. At a time when the current Opposition, the Congress party, was in power at the Centre, the SIT exonerated Modi. Last year, a three-judge bench at the apex court scrutinised the report once again, while hearing a plea, and reiterated that no material was discovered pointing towards any meeting of minds or conspiracy in the higher echelons. And then, there is the mala fide Hindenburg hit job on the gargantuan business tycoon, Gautam Adani, that reeks of a typical CIA espionage story, if not out of racial supremacy!

There is little doubt that such contrived and concocted hoaxes are being peddled to implicate and ascribe the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader with perpetuating the “fascist ideology” of the current governing establishment. The manner in which many such woke media publications indulge in “cavalier” journalism, and then actively participate in embracing victimhood, exposes a pen-wielding coterie.

India has recently crossed the United Kingdom to become the fifth-largest economy in the world. In the latest World Economic Outlook report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India has retained its crown as “a bright spot,” projecting a growth rate of 6.1 percent for the Indian economy during the next financial year from April 2023 to March 2024 and 6.8 percent in the subsequent financial year, both ahead of many advanced economies.

“India remains a bright spot. Together with China, it will account for half of the global growth this year, versus just a tenth for the US and euro area combined,” Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, an IMF official, wrote in a blog accompanying the World Economic Outlook update, a quarterly report. The timing couldn’t be more glaringly sinister. Nevertheless, we ought to expect more such targeted campaigns against us this year.

As Ron White said about hurricanes, “It’s not that the wind is blowing, it’s what the wind is blowing.” As the scourge of left-handed, vicious, and vitriolic (dis)information warfare continues against us, we can rest assured that we are rising and shining while treading a path to becoming the Vishwaguru, that is, the world leader.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin rightly notes, “India’s presidencies in the SCO and G20 will strengthen world stability and security.” – MSN-News18, 14 February 2023

> Yuvraj Pokharna is a Surat-based independent journalist and columnist.