5 Little Known News since Modi became Indian Prime Minister

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Narendra_Modi

Modi took oath as Indian Prime-Minister in May 2014. Here are some News that might have gone unheard, but are very important to understand how Modi is trying to convert India into Hindu Nation and oppress Minorities:

[dropcap]1.[/dropcap] In June 2014, Journalist & Filmmaker Shubhradeep Chakravorty’s documentary film “En Dino Muzaffarnagar” which investigates the communal violence that shook the city of Muzaffarnagar (in the state of Uttar Pradesh) was refused clearance for screening by the Central Board of Film Certification.

At the time of applying to FCAT, Mr. Chakravorty had in a Facebook post on July 30 said: “Two hours and twenty seven minutes long En Dino Muzaffarnagar by Shubhradeep Chakravorty & Meera Chaudhary is going to be recorded in the history as the first documentary film banned under Prime Minister Modi. Gagging order came on 30th June… We will not go down without a fight.’’

[dropcap]2.[/dropcap] In June 2014, publisher Orient BlackSwan announced that it was suspending publication of several titles in response to a legal letter from the ‘Shiksha Bachao Andolan’ (“Committee to Save Education”), an organization founded by Dinanath Batra, a senior member of the RSS. Among the titles being set aside is Communalism and Sexual Violence: Ahmedabad Since 1969, by Indian academic and Rhodes Scholar Megha Kumar whose work looks at the incidence of sexual violence during three communal clashes in that city.

[dropcap]3.[/dropcap]  In its capitulation, Orient BlackSwan was following the lead of another publisher, Penguin India, which, after a three-year legal challenge by Batra had voluntarily decided in April 2014 to withdraw copies of “The Hindus: An Alternative History” by Wendy Doniger, a professor at the University of Chicago. Among other reasons, Penguin cited “duty to protect its employees against threats and harassment.” In the interim, Batra has been politically elevated by the Modi administration and he is now an authorized textbook author although his recently mandated texts are full of racist and misogynist content.

[dropcap]4.[/dropcap] In August 2014, 72 Valmikis (a section of the Dalit community) who had in the past converted to Christianity underwent a so-called “re-conversion” to Hinduism in Aligarh in the state of Uttar Pradesh, under the auspices of the ‘Dharam Jagran Vivad” (Religious Awakening Forum). This was a “Ghar Vapassi” (literally, a “return home”) ceremony through which the Sangh Parivar intervenes to claim non-Hindu members of the Dalit and Adivasi communities as Hindus.

Further, it is crucial to note that conversion laws, passed by a number of states, do not apply to such ‘Ghar Vapassi’ ceremonies.  The Sangh Parivar has a singular focus on curbing any conversions out of Hinduism, particularly by Dalits and Adivasis.

[dropcap]5.[/dropcap] One of the most damaging ways in which Hindu Nationalist groups seek to realize the “Hindu Rashtra” (literally, “Hindu Nation”) is through projects of Revisionist History.  The BJP’s frontal attack on history proceeds at two levels: changing grade-school textbooks, and secondly, by gaining control of India’s top research, educational and cultural institutions.

The Modi administration has already begun installing Hindutva ideologues into positions of power in academic spaces. One of the early appointments that alarmed many is that of Dr. Yellapragada Sudershan Rao as the head of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). Dr. Rao’s main research project is that of proving the historicity of texts of Indian epics such as the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, a project, it seems, that would involve a revisionist rewriting of Indian history as that centered on a Hindu identity.

Rao’s academic credentials have been described as “questionable” by Romila Thapar, India’s most respected historian. Thapar has pointed out that Rao has never been published in any peer-reviewed journal of history, and she has also commented on the “little visibility” of his research. What endears Rao to the BJP is the fact that he is president of the “Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana” (ABISY), an RSS organization that operates out of the RSS office in Delhi. Rao’s Hindu supremacist views are clearly expressed on his personal blog, including his praise for the Hindu caste system and his defence of Hindu supremacist demands to build a temple at the site of the Babri Masjid, destroyed in 1992 by mobs led by the RSS, BJP and VHP.

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