May 17, President Barack Obama telephoned India’s future prime minister Narendra Modi expressing hopes that they can work closely and invited him to visit Washington at a mutually agreeable time to “further strengthen our bilateral relationship.”
Secretary of State John Kerry tweeted his congratulations, saying that he looked forward to working with Modi’s government to build “shared prosperity” and security.
Obama said that he looks forward to working closely with the leader of Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party – Bharat Peoples Party, the very same Butcher of Gujarat, whom the United States refused a visit visa in 2005 over charges that he turned a blind eye or worse to deadly anti-Muslim riots in the state.
The BJP, in opposition since 2004, has won the first outright majority by one party in parliament since the Congress in 1984: 282 seats in 543-member Lok Sabha (the lower house – the Peoples’ Assembly).
Although the most commonly heard refrain is that “the United States does not negotiate with terrorists,” but India’s 1.2 billion strong market is the reality. And BJP and cohorts are already labeled as “nationalists,” away from their true color: Hindu fundamentalists.
India is a key part of Obama’s policy of pivoting American power to Asia. On his 2010 visit, Obama called the budding strategic relationship between the world’s two largest democracies “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”
Just one day after the American ambassador to India Nancy Powell resigned on the eve of India’s elections, unconfirmed reports surfaced that the U.S. was already grooming her replacement: Rajiv Shah, 41, who is the current head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Shah is Michigan born but his parents are from Modi’s Gujarat.
Reportedly Modi’s disapproval of Powell is cited as one of the major reasons she either voluntarily resigned or was asked to quit by the Obama Administration.
India’s market size reigns. Britain nearly froze all ties with Modi after the 2002 Gujarat pogroms. But it ended its decade-long boycott in October 2012 after its high commission [ambasador] to India James Bevan met Modi to mark a “cordial beginning” to fresh ties. And British prime minister David Cameron, among the first to call Modi to felicitate on his party’s victory, issued him an invitation to visit the U.K. The opposition Labour Party’s shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander, declared, “our links with the world’s largest democracy will continue to be vital to the U.K.’s national interest.”
It may serve well to recall that following the riots, the United States and European powers were boycotting Modi.
Is it another consideration of India 1.2 billion market that always alert human rights, and especially women’s rights organization have chosen to remain silent over the revelation that the 63-year-old Modi, long famous for being a bachelor without any family, was in fact married – and has a legal wife? In fact, due to his election filing, he was obliged to acknowledge, he gave his vows almost 50 years ago. The Indian Express reported April 10, that under the Representation of the Peoples Act 1951, a candidate must declare the assets and liabilities of a spouse failing which the candidate could be disqualified.
Jashodaben, who still writes her full name as Jashodaben Narendrabhai Modi, 62, retired as a government schoolteacher and currently lives near Vadnagar, Modi’s hometown in Mehsana. In February 2014, she had told The Indian Express — in her first interview after Modi was declared BJP’s PM candidate — that she married him at the age of 17 and they lived together all of three months after which they parted ways amicably. She told the newspaper, “There has been no communication from his end to this day.” Their marriage, however, was never annulled formally.
Has Michelle Obama alerted her clothes designers to consider the color saffron – the BJP’s official color?
In 2002, across a period three weeks, an estimated 2,000 Muslims were massacred under Modi’s stewardship as state chief minister. There were instances of rape, children being burned alive, and widespread looting and destruction of property. Thousands of Muslims became homeless. It was an anti-Muslim pogrom, and the dead included Ehsan Jafri, a Muslim former parliamentarian, who was first stripped naked and marched and then beheaded and thrown onto a fire.
The anti-Muslim rampage was blamed on Muslims, being reaction to a attack on train carrying Hindus from a religious gathering. However, the Concerned Citizens Tribunal (CCT), headed by Teesta Setalvad concluded that the fire had been an accident, stating that the attack by a mob was part of the Modi government’s conspiracy to trigger statewide riots. In a 2007 expose, the newspaper Tehelka, released hidden camera footage of several members of the BJP, VHP and the Bajrang Dal admitting their role in the riots.
In an act that outclasses Goebbels, Modi, through close aides, runs a network of websites such as GujratRiots.com, that justify the 2000 Gujarat anti-Muslim pogroms. However, concerned citizens have set truth websites such ashttp://www.truthofgujarat.com/ to remind Modi of reality.
The defeat of the Indian National Congress probably ends the Sexually Transmitted Democracy that India had been since its independence, dominated by the Nehru/Gandhi dynasty. The BJP simply succeeds a party that has an equally Islamophobic record: occupation of Hydrabad, Junagadh, Manavadar, Kashmir, and East Pakistan, and tens of anti-Muslim pogroms. However, despite its blood-drenched record, most Muslims considered Congress less loathsome than the Hindu-fundamentalist BJP.
BJP has more than terrorist bearings. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS: National Patriotic Organization) — a right wing paramilitary group — generally endorses the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It was the RSS, which destroyed the 700-year old Babri mosque on Dec. 6, 1992, which had stood in Ahmadabad since 1528. The city has been renamed Ayodhya to strengthen the claim to a mythological connection to the site. According to the report of the [Justice Manmohan Singh] Liberhan Ayodhya Commission of Inquiry (2009), the BJP and the Sangh Parivar organized the destruction of the Babri Masjid. The Commission worked 17 years on this case. In April as the indian election scene was unfolding, the Cobrapost unveiled the findings of its sting operation that shows that the demolition was an elaborately planned act of the BJP and Sangh Parivar carried out by trained volunteers, and not an emotional outburst.
Modi’s recently revealed wife told The Indian Express, Feb. 1, 2014 that “He [Modi]used to spend a lot of time in RSS shakhas [the pyramid organization’s basic unit, which holds daily indoctrination camps].”
The organizations that are connected under the RSS ideological umbrella refer themselves as the members of the Sangh Parivar. In most of the cases, pracharaks (full-time RSS volunteers) are assigned to start and manage these organizations.The Sangh family includes the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Vanbandhu Parishad, Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Vidya Bharati, Seva Bharati and many others spread in all parts of society.
During WWII leaders of the RSS were open admirers of Adolf Hitler.
Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, who became the supreme leader of the RSS after founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, drew inspiration from Adolf Hitler’s ideology of racial purity.
In 1948, Nathuram Godse, a “former” RSS member, murdered MK Gandhi, considered father by India, allegedly due to Gandhi’s “closeness” to Muslims.
Gowalkar’s declaration is clear: “The non-Hindu people of Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and languages, must learn and respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but of those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture… in a word they must cease to be foreigners; Or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment— not even citizens’ rights.”
Kerala – which has an estimated 30% Muslim population — is the only state that withstood the BJP onslaught. The Economic Times’ May 17 report seems to signal that some Muslim leaders are seeking a way forward with the BJP. ET cites Maulana Mehmood Madni, the head of the Deoband school, Maulana Tauqeer Raza of the Bareillvy school, and Maulana Kalbe Jawad, the most influential Shia cleric of Uttar Pradesh thatMuslims too have voted for the BJP in large numbers, especially in Uttar Pradesh. These leaders are now calling Modi to fulfill the promises he has made to the community and the country.
Since, India’s independence, the Muslims who decided to remain in India, and today exceed 15% of the country’s population, despite the heartbreaks, largely served as Congress’ vote bank. Today, they face a challenge, trying to live under a strong Hindu-fundamentalist government.
The celebrated British-Indian sculptor, Anish Kapoor, told BBC’s Newsnight, May 17, that “India has dreamed itself a dream with a mass murderer as its main character.”
Will the world listen?