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‘Islamism, wokeism’ threatening Europe’s liberalism — Hindu Right press weighs in on France riots

ThePrint’s round-up of how pro-Hindutva media covered and commented on news and topical issues over the last couple of weeks.

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New Delhi: Islamism with “cover from wokeism” is putting liberal democracy under severe stress, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) English mouthpiece Organiser said in an editorial, weighing in on the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old French citizen of Moroccan descent in France.

On 27 June, Nahel Merzouk was fatally shot by the French police after being stopped for a traffic violation in a Paris suburb. The incident led to riots and allegations of racism. 

“Anarchy leading to revolution is their goal,” Organiser said. “European liberalism is facing an existential threat from this combination. Until they find the solution, they should not preach what they cannot practise to others.”

In his column in The Indian Express, RSS senior functionary Ram Madhav also spoke about the police shooting, saying the immigrant debate in France is “mired in many myths and obvious exaggerations”. 

Apart from this, the Hindu Right press also worried about the “Christianisation” of India’s Northeast and what the killing of a Jain monk in Karnataka signifies. Here’s a roundup of  the news this week.

Also Read: Oppn unity rooted in ‘anti-Hindu’ attitude passed off as secularism, says Hindu Right press

On France unrest 

In its editorial, Organiser linked the unrest in France to what it called “cultural Marxism”, saying that under the garb of liberalism, cultural Marxists were giving the country’s “so-called minorities a licence not to follow the law of the land”. 

It was referring to the nationwide demonstrations that were sparked by Nahel Merzouk’s shooting. 

“Unfortunately, the ideology of cultural Marxism, which never believed in a democratic form of government, instils a sense of guilt in the law-abiding majority,” the editorial said. 

“As per the basic principle of the rule of law, any killing of a citizen by authorities is condemnable and questioned. The misjudged shooting and death of Nahel Merzouk is no exception. (But) can the arson and looting be justified in the name of protest is the first question, and for whom is another?”

Merzouk, the editorial said, was driving a car at the age of 17 — a crime under French law.

The teenager also jumped a red light, drove at high speed in a bus lane and didn’t stop despite multiple warnings. “He had 15 recorded incidents in a judicial file, including using false licence plates, driving without insurance, and carrying drugs. The law of 2017 did not come out of nothing,” it said, referring to a 2017 law on refusal to obey.

Enacted in the wake of the 2015 Paris attacks, the law gives police the licence to shoot someone they believe likely to “threaten” their and other’s physical safety.

In his piece on the unrest, Madhav said that the violence brought into focus the immigration to Europe, especially after World War-II.

“Unlike their European counterparts, these immigrants, mostly from North Africa and West Asia, refused to integrate with the French social order and insisted on maintaining their distinct identity. They were often poor and many were illegal entrants into the country,” he wrote in The Indian Express

The Liberal-Left establishment, “drunk on the mythical idea of multiculturalism”, welcomed them, he wrote. 

“France, by its constitutional traditions, doesn’t recognise any identity save the French national identity for its citizens. It doesn’t keep any records of the religious or other profiles. Yet, it is that ‘Frenchness’ that sections of the new wave of immigrants refuse to adhere to,” Madhav wrote.

When these immigrants “refused to rise for the French national anthem or when they chose to boo the French team and wave the Algerian flags in the stadium, some in France woke up to the imminent danger”, he wrote.

“Like the racism debate in America, the immigrant debate in France too is mired in many myths and obvious exaggerations,” he wrote. “Any talk of respect for the French way of life for all citizens is immediately dubbed by the Left-Liberals as integrationism and racism. Multiculturalism is upheld as a trophy to celebrate.”

Need ‘intellectual kshatriyas’

Another article in Organiser called on “intellectual kshatriyas” to help “put up nationalist narratives”, and respond to “phoney narratives”.

In an article titled ‘World awaits India to take role of Vishwaguru, intellectual kshatriyas need to come to the fore’, author Pankaj Jagannath Jayswal said that “the world is looking up to India today and our ancient scriptures help in getting a better understanding of spiritual, intellectual, economic, management, scientific, and technological elements”. 

The article and its call “intellectual kshatriyas” come a week after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat made a similar appeal at an event in Pune, Maharashtra, last week.  

“The true task is to awaken intellectual kshatriyas who are proactive, study carefully with the correct intent, bring out the truth, put up nationalist narratives, highlight concerns on time, and respond to phoney narratives and tales on time,” Jayswal wrote in Organiser

So who are these “intellectual kshatriyas”? One example, according to Jayswal, is Jijabai, the mother of 17th century Maratha king Shivaji, and the role she played coining his concept of “Hindavi Swarajya” or “self-rule of Hindu people”.

‘Manipur burning due to Christianisation’ 

In his column in Dainik Jagran, BJP leader Harendra Pratap attributed the ethnic clashes in Manipur to the “Christianisation of the Northeast”.

Clashes between the tribal Kukis and the non-tribal Meiteis first erupted in Manipur on 3 May following a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ taken out to oppose the demand for inclusion of Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category. According to police data, over 157 people have been killed and more than 50,000 displaced in the ongoing violence.

“Except for the Kachari tribe of Dimahasao district, the Naga-Kuki and Hamar tribes have been Christianised. Among the eight states of the Northeast — Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and Assam, Nagaland — has 86.47 percent, Mizoram 94.43 percent and Meghalaya 86.14 percent tribes/tribals. These three tribal-dominated states have now become Christian-dominated,” he wrote.

According to Pratap, this “Christianisation” of tribals has also led to anti-national forces being active among them. 

“In fact, armed separatist groups operating in the Northeastern states are already planning another partition of India. They say that if Muslim majority areas can be cut off from India, then why not Christian majority areas? Due to this, in the absence of transportation difficulties and industrialisation, the violent politics of separatism continued to flourish there,” he said in the column. 

A desire to see the region become like the developed Christian countries is gaining ground here, he said. 

“This emboldened the separatists. People dedicated to Indian and patriotism should not even do service work in the northeast, for this a conspiracy was hatched to stop their entry. Even the office bearers of Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh were killed.” 

The BJP, he wrote, had prioritised the Northeast. 

“For this, the central government has created a separate ministry. Due to this, there has been a change in the political atmosphere there. The BJP has formed governments in Arunachal, Manipur, Tripura and Assam on its own strength,” Pratap said. “Despite this, Manipur is not being controlled because the anti-national forces active among the tribal brothers are hatching conspiracies. They are internationalising the Kuki-Meitei struggle.”

Also Read:  ‘Personal laws of a community seriously violate women’s rights’ — Hindu Right press on need for UCC

Moody’s low-rating 

In his column in Dainik Bhaskar, Right-leaning author Minhaz Merchant questioned American credit rating agency Moody’s grading system. 

Moody’s rates India at the lowest investment grade “Baa3” — similar to those assigned by S&P and Fitch at ‘BBB-‘. The central government has reportedly been holding talks with Moody’s for an upgrade. 

The grading, he wrote, raises questions on the credibility of such rating agencies.  

“How believable is this when India has never been a sovereign debt defaulter in the last 76 years?” Merchant asked. “After this, the need has been felt to question the system of ratings given by global agencies to sovereign nations. This problem is associated with the ratings ecosystem all over the world. For instance, Fitch and S&P — the other two top US ratings agencies —  have also assigned India a sovereign rating of BBB — in their May 2023 report.”

He further wrote that ratings from global agencies are flawed, but they still determine where various sovereign wealth funds — state-owned assets invested abroad to achieve national objectives — and pension funds invest their money. 

“Global agencies have also been showing a biased attitude towards developing countries on points such as freedom of the press, democracy, hunger and university rankings,” he said.

“Many IITs in India have course material more difficult than MIT but they are given 200th rank. The time has come for Indian rating agencies like CRISIL and CARE to also start making sovereign ratings of different countries and start evaluating countries of the world on different parameters.”

Jain monk’s killing  

In its magazine Hindu Vishwa, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) condemned the killing of a jain monk in Karnataka. On 7 July, the body of Kaamakumar Nandi was found dismembered in a borewell in Karnataka’s Belagavi district. The killing, which allegedly occurred over a financial dispute, has caused a political storm in the state.  

In his article, VHP secretary general Milind Parande said the killing and the “chopping of his holy body by jihadis seems somehow to be the result of the anti-Hindu policies of the Congress-led government in the state”. 

Neither the “sadhus nor the bharatiya society are safe in the state today”, he said.

“Ever since the ministers of the new state government began talking about removing the anti-cow slaughter and the anti-conversion laws, the audacity of the dharma-drohi (blasphemous people) and anti-national forces has increased. By curbing these criminals, who are thorns to society, the murderers and their accomplices should be hanged to death without delay,” he wrote.

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

Also Read: ‘Conspiracy against Gita Press, attempts to defame’, says Hindu Right press on Gandhi Peace Prize row


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