Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray wants India to be a ‘Hindu state’. Aren’t such communal remarks unconstitutional enough to warrant arrest?

Posted on by Jayant Suri

Shiv Sena is communal, and it’s not afraid to say so. The party founded by Bal Thackeray has been very clear about its agenda: promoting Hinduism. Nothing wrong in that, I must say. To promote one’s religion is harmless, everyone in India has the right to do so. But announcing a party’s wish to create a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ (Hindu Nation) is wrong at many levels.

Recently, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray demanded that India be proclaimed a ‘Hindu state’. Why? Because the Indian security forces have been ‘suffering’ at the hands of Kashmiri ‘Muslims’. In his habitual myopic Hindu fervour,  Uddhav Thackeray forgot to look at the Kashmiris, who have been living in the Valley for years.

Uddhav Thackeray addressing the mass

“We have to decide now… enough of this ‘secular’ stuff. The only option left is to declare India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ if attacks on Hindus have to be prevented,” Thackeray said in his annual birthday eve interview.

I believe a comment as communal as something like the “Hindu Rashtra” should warrant an arrest, because it is against the Constitution of India. The provisions relating to “Right of Freedom of Religion” of the Articles 25 & 28 of the Constitution of India make India a secular state. To invoke a religion-based state should be a crime that can create a great misbalance in the already disturbed societal scenario in India.

Uddhav with his son Aditya Thackeray during a rally in Mumbai

Shiv Sena is BJP’s oldest ally and Sena ideologue Bal Thackeray and late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan were instrumental in forging the alliance. What united both the parties is their zealotry in ‘protecting the rights of the Hindus’. But much of this changed when the 2014 Lok Sabha elections declared BJP as the winner in state as well as the Central level. BJP is sailing smooth, and it feels a severance with the Sena in Maharashtra is not going to hurt them.

Uddhav Thackeray is seemingly upset over losing importance. But to call the need for a religion-based state is so against the spirit of India. Outside Maharashtra, his sena is creating havoc in the name of “protecting” Hinduism. Recently, Shiv Sena members in Punjab’s Phagwara tried to create a clash in a mosque and vandalised some shops run by Kashmiri Muslims. This was in a state where the majority is not Hindus, but Sikhs, considered a minority religion in India.

Shiv Sena activists on a protest march

The Shiv Sena goons got their match when they were chased by Muslims, accompanied by Dalits and Sikhs. While the sena scampered, they must have realized that the spirit of India is much stronger than the might of a misplaced Hindu jingoism. The party’s biased propaganda was obvious when a few years back they attacked Hindu Bihari migrants in Maharashtra.

India is for all, and all is for India. It’s true Hindus are a majority in India, but there are also Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Muslims, Christians and Jews. The whole might of Shiv Sena cannot determine the status of our nation, based on religious bigotry.

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About the Author

Jayant is a serious young man who believes ‘one’s belief is his only reality’. He doesn’t get affected by noise, but uses his analytical mind and voracious reading to come to conclusions. He plays lead guitar in a local band and wants to attend a ‘Metallica’ concert.