This anti-Muslim ideology is currently being “exported” to other countries as Hindutva ideologues move from the margins of Indian society to the center of power. When a bulldozer emblazoned with the portrait of the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, who also doubles as a fundamentalist Hindu holy man, took part in an Indian Independence Day parade recently, it caused an uproar in the US state of New Jersey.
In India, houses were demolished due to the terrorization of Muslim communities. Hatred is on the rise, and the most egregious example of Hindutva abroad occurred recently in the British city of Leicester. After the Asia Cup match between Pakistan and India on August 28, when Indian fans reportedly chanted “Death to Pakistan”, the city is on edge.
The situation worsened after 200 men staged a violent march in the Midlands city chanting “Jai Shri Ram”. Indian Muslims are used to hearing this, which, thanks to the Sangh Parivar, has been recast as a rallying cry against Muslims.
Members of the Muslim community have organized counter-demonstrations, and 47 people have been detained in connection with the disruption, according to local police. It is one of a “series of incitements”, according to the Muslim Council of Britain, an advocacy group, which includes chanting outside mosques and targeting Muslim homes and businesses.
These unfortunate events show that Hindutva is now seriously threatening inter-group peace in the West. Members of the Democratic Party in New Jersey have requested that the US government treat US-based Hindutva organizations as “domestic branches” of “international hate groups”, citing the seriousness of the threat.
The threats that organizations associated with the Sangh Parivar represent to the domestic security of Western governments should not be underestimated. Pro-Hindutva fanatics should be scrutinized as carefully as Muslim extremists to prevent them from creating ethnic conflicts in the West.
In addition, it is important to investigate the various Sangh Parivar-affiliated NGOs operating in the West to ensure that no money is being transferred to India to support anti-Muslim hostility. Progressive Hindu organizations in America have condemned the Hindutva mischief there.
Leaders of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities should cooperate to thwart the designs of extremists and prevent the poison of communalism from spreading further among the diaspora.