A high court judge in Allahabad, northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, issued a reactionary ruling dripping with Hindu supremacism earlier this month denying Javed bail, a 59-year-old Muslim man. In March, over six months ago, Javed was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police for the “crime” of slaughtering cows under the state’s draconian anti-cow slaughter law, and he has been languishing in prison ever since.
Judge Shekhar Kumar Yadav included many shrill Hindu and communitarian observations in his 12-page bail judgment. He called on the Indian national government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, himself a Hindu arch-communitarian, to make “cow protection” a “basic Hindu right” and to have legislation passed by the Indian parliament proclaiming the cow a “national animal”.
Judge Kumar’s comments were breathtaking for their overtly Hindu-Communalist perspective, medieval backwardness, and disregard for basic judicial principles. Referring to ancient Indian religious texts, the judge wrote: “The cow has been shown to be an important element in ancient Indian texts such as the Vedas and the Mahabharata which define Indian culture and for which India is known. . “
Needless to say, he failed to mention the Taj Mahal, arguably an even better known product in the world of Indian culture, which was built for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and fuses traditional Indian, Persian and Turkish elements. Ottomans. In his biased rant on Indian culture, the High Court judge also failed to recognize how it has been enriched and transformed for over a millennium by the culture of Arab, Persian, Turkish and Central Asian Muslims. , including helping to give birth to Hindustani. music, Mughal cuisine and the Urdu language itself.
According to Judge Yadav, âThe protection and promotion of cows is not only about a religion, but it is the culture of the country. It is the responsibility of every citizen to save culture regardless of their religion. “
Accumulating more stupid comments, he said: â[Whenever] we have forgotten our culture, foreigners attacked and enslaved us and if we are not warned we must not forget the rampant attack and capture of Afghanistan by the Taliban.
Absurdly pitting “beef eaters” against those who raise cows for a living, the judge argued that “the right to life is above the right to kill and the right to eat beef cannot never be considered a fundamental right â. Spewing out the pseudo-scientific nonsense that is the backbone of the Hindu Right, he also asserted, âScientists believe that the cow is the only animal that inhales and exhales oxygen.
This judgment of the High Court of Allahabad, one of India’s oldest and most respected high courts, is emblematic of the extent to which the vile Hindu communitarianism promoted by the BJP, which heads India’s national government since 2014 and for 13 of the last 23 years, has become firmly entrenched in the so-called secular Indian justice system, and at all levels. In 2019, India’s Supreme Court, yielding to decades-long unrest from the Hindu right, ordered the Indian government to build a Hindu temple on the razed 16th-century site. Babri Masjid mosque, which was illegally demolished by Hindu fanatics mobilized and incited by the main BJP leaders in December 1992, in express violation of an order of the highest Indian court.
Judge Kumar’s remarks are part of the poisoned agenda of Hindu supremacy (Hindutva) relentlessly pushed by the Modi government to channel growing social anger against mass unemployment, poverty and social inequality along reactionary principles and divide the working class. Since coming to power in 2014, the Modi government has staged one vile communal provocation after another, including stripping Jammu and Kashmir, so far the only predominantly Muslim Indian state, of its statehood. and its special semi-autonomous constitutional status. In the name of “protecting the cows”, he encouraged and protected Hindu-vigilant groups who terrorized and killed poor Muslims. Critics of Hindutva and the communitarian policies of the Modi government, including a renowned journalist and several prominent intellectuals, have been killed with impunity by extremist Hindu terrorists.
Nowhere is the BJP’s Hindutva extremist agenda more forcefully implemented than in Uttar Pradesh, which is both India’s most populous state, with an estimated 227 million people in 2018, and is home to its largest Muslim population, with a total of 34 million.
The BJP-led state government of Uttar Pradesh is led by Yogi Adityanath, a Hindu mahant (high priest) and notorious Hindu supremacist. Modi and his main henchman, Amit Shah, personally recruited Adityanath from the BJP and nominated him for the post of chief minister of state in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
Prior to taking over as head of state government, Adityanath founded his own extremist Hindu organization, the Hindu Yuva Vahini. Over the past decade and a half, the organization staged numerous deadly attacks, lynching impoverished Muslims for the crime of “eating beef” and sometimes burning their homes. Hindus Yuva Vahini also attacked Christian churches and pastors.
Adityanath, who runs the state with an iron fist, now uses the state administration, especially the notoriously violent state police, to hunt down and harass innocent Muslims and Dalits (the former untouchables). accusing of concocted legal transgressions, in particular of slaughtering cows or “” illegal religious conversion.
The chief minister issued two ordinances explicitly directed against Muslims. Although the slaughter of cows was banned in Uttar Pradesh in 1955 by a state government of the Congress Party, the Adityanath Cow Slaughter Prevention (Amendment) Order 2020 makes it now punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years and a draconian fine. Beef happens to be a cheaper meat in India and is often used by the poor, especially Muslims and Dalits, to supplement their hungry diets.
The second ordinance, called the âlove-Jihadâ ordinance, is based on the ignominious communitarian duck according to which Muslims seduce Hindu women in order to convert them to Islam, and that this constitutes another front of the Muslim holy war ( jihad). In reality, the ordinance is used to criminalize intimate relations between Muslims and Hindus. Traveling bands of Hindu vigilantes violently assaulted these couples, and the state has instituted criminal proceedings against many young, innocent Muslims.
The roots of these reactionary contemporary developments can be found in the communal partition of the subcontinent in 1947 into an expressly Muslim Pakistan and an ostensibly secular India. The Congress Party of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru bears the primary political responsibility for partition as it was unable and organically unable to unify Muslim and Hindu workers against the intrigues of British colonial overlords leaving India, the demand of the âtwo nationsâ of the Muslim League, and the communal provocations of the Hindu Mahasabha and the BJP mentor to date, the RSS. Fearing the growing movement of the working class and the increasingly radical temperament of the anti-imperialist struggle, Congress betrayed its own program for a united secular India, struck a deal with London under which it inherited the colonial state machine and implemented partition.
The post-independent “secular” Indian constitution drafted from 1947 and adopted in 1950 includes an explicit “directive” clause, Article 48, which directs the Indian state to formulate legislation for “[prohibit] the slaughter of cows, calves and other dairy and draft cows. This was a blatant concession from the Constituent Assembly dominated by the Congress Party which drafted India’s post-colonial constitution to the Hindu-extremist “cow lobby”, one of many concessions and accommodations that the Congressional government after independence turned to Hinduism. on the right, although he was politically marginalized and discredited due to the opposition of the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS to the anti-colonial struggle and outright collaboration with the British colonial regime.
The Congress Party, which included in its leadership a large faction of Hindu communitarians, fertilized the Hindu right over the next three decades, when it continued to dominate Indian politics and continually held power in the center. He did so first and foremost by making this once marginal movement a legitimate part of the Indian bourgeois establishment. As part of its increasingly elaborate attempts to defuse the growing social opposition of Indian rural workers and workers by stoking caste and community divisions, Congress subsequently responded and made concessions to the reactionary agenda of the Hindu supremacy of the BJP. This ultimately led to the brazen and illegal demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, and helped create the conditions for the emergence of the BJP, first as a party of national government, and now as the first party of the Indian bourgeoisie.
The only way out of this poisoned historical legacy is to build a working class-led anti-capitalist movement that unifies workers in all countries of Southeast Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the struggle for the Socialist Union. South Asian States.