t is incredible to hear that the Emirate of Qatar has demanded a public apology from the Government of India. The Indian ambassador to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, had been summoned to the foreign office where he was reportedly given a note in which Qatar had stated that it ‘outright rejects and condemns’ the recent statements of some BJP leaders. Reportedly, Kuwait and Iran have also acted similarly a little later. This rebuke referred to BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma and some tweets of Delhi BJP media head Naveen Kumar Jindal which were considered denigrating and offensive towards Prophet Mohammed. It has resulted in the BJP clarifying that it ‘respects all religions and denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion.’
This single international threat seems to have made the BJP change its stance by slanting towards a secular position. The party has also been compelled to suspend Nupur Sharma and expel Naveen Jindal from the party’s primary membership. Little do these frogs in a well realize that in their enthusiasm to draw the attention of their political bosses for personal political benefits, their every action is having a terribly negative impact on India’s image. The push to be noticed as a Hindutva soldier seems to have galvanized many in the BJP to cross very many limits. In a world of social media, physical national boundaries as far as information travels have evaporated. People like Nupur do not have the depth to understand how international religious politics works. Her utterances demeaning the Prophet may have triggered an avalanche of condemnation of India by Moslem countries. All that one has to do is pick up a world map to understand how India is physically encircled by Moslem nations on all sides. The pan-Islamic mindset is no more limited to any particular geographical boundary. The high caste Hindoos thinking of an Akhand (united) Bharat have to realize what demographic composition would result if India is amalgamated with Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Notwithstanding what thinkers like Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo of the past century opined, the world today is drastically altered. To consider the Indian Moslem citizen as a minority fit to be used as a punching bag is a clear sign of complete ignorance of the global situation. India has upset the West recently by supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This might turn out to be a grave diplomatic faux pas should Russia lose the war. With the BJP’s Hindutva supporters attacking Prophet Mohammed now, India has been dragged into a dangerous vortex.
It is immature to think that the poor Moslem tailor living in a nearby slum is a helpless individual fit to be dragged out and beaten. The Akhlaq kind of incident has been going on for a few years but international reactions had been muted till recently. Now with Nupur dragging in the name of the Prophet and demonstrating utter disrespect, the scenario has completely changed. This may remind some about the Charlie Hebdo magazine’s cartoon on the Prophet and the resultant shooting and killing of its editor and many journalists of that publication by Islamic extremists in France. Therefore, when Nupur claims to have received death threats, one may tend to believe her.
The suspension of the BJP’s national spokesperson Nupur and expulsion of its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal would have put the aggressive Hindutva leaders of the BJP in a quandary. It may become difficult for them to gauge now how far they can go in their Moslem slamming game and still get protection. The BJP’s leadership may now seem to them as being weak and inconsistent. First instance of the leadership’s mixed signals was when these ‘fringe elements’ vehemently opposed the farmers’ strike and labeled the farmers Khalistanis and anti-nationals but yet they had egg on their faces when the Union government withdrew its own controversial farm laws without any excuse. This time, again, the party has been forced to act stern with senior leaders under international pressure.
‘Thus far and no more’ may be a difficult concept to explain and even more tricky to follow for the BJP hard liners who will, henceforth, find it tough and confusing to decide how far the party and the Union government will go to save them when counter pressure mounts.