The BJP’s track record in India shows that democracy and extremism do not gel. Despite the pitfalls and an increasingly negative international reputation, Narendra Modi and his BJP carry on regardless. As a result, the future of Hinducracy as a democracy appears quite bleak.
Since its independence, nearly seven decades ago, India has been basking in the sunshine of its reputation as the “world’s largest democracy.” But the reputation was due to the fact that the country was founded on secularism which is the soul of democracy. India’s first prime minister, Jawaharal Nehru, a devotee of secularism, watered the sapling with his blood and sweat, so it took firm root in the country.
Fanatical concepts like Hindutva were unheard of at the time of independence. So, there was no lynching of a Muslim on the suspicion that he had stored the flesh of “Mother cow” at his home.
At present, however, democracy in India seems to be at the cusp of decline, due to the onset of extremism under BJP’s rule, because democracy and extremism are incompatible. Democracy is rooted in tolerance of dissent and exchange of views to arrive at a compromised resolution of issues that, in turn, fosters goodwill and unity among the people. Extremism, with its concomitant of a rigid attitude on issues, therefore, spawns disunity and fissiparous tendencies among the people.
As proof of the negative effect of the BJP’s extremist policies, several separatist movements have currently sprung up in the country. Seven states in the north, such as Meghalaya, Manipur, Assam, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim are, all, agitating to seek separation from India. In addition, there is the Sikh demand for Khalistan. These movements have no nexus with the Hindutva dogma. They are the result of the denial of democracy.
At the same time the BJP not only rules with a fascist hand, it even regards its 200 million odd, Muslims as outsiders, which is a totally bigoted and undemocratic notion. It is also a lethal blow to national unity, because, such a huge population cannot be wished away. It can neither be eliminated through mass genocide a la Hitler, nor can it be proselytized en masse.