A major shift took place in the Indian subcontinent on Monday when the government of India revoked the special status it had conferred on its only Muslim-majority state – the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
In doing so, India demonstrated a spinal cord of steel, this coming after 1,000 years of Arab, Turkic, Persian and Afghan Islamic invasions, followed by Portuguese, French and British colonization, had reduced it to mere spaghetti.
India today stands as tall as the Himalayas and walks as gracefully as the Bengal tiger.
As expected, Pakistan invoked its self-styled role as the godfather of India’s Islamists. The country’s military-backed Prime Minister Imran Khan made a barely concealed threat of a nuclear attack unless India revoked its actions taken on its own sovereign territory.
Khan told a joint session of the Pakistan parliament, “if we fight a war till we shed the last drop of our blood, who will win that war? No one will win it and it will have grievous consequences for the entire world,” he thundered. Then, as if to mollify his threat of a worldwide nuclear catastrophe, Khan fooled no one by insisting: “This is not nuclear blackmail.”
Khan then played the race card: “What they (Indian government) did in Kashmir is in accordance with their ideology. They have a racist ideology … ingrained in their ideology that puts Hindus above all other religions and seeks to establish a state that represses all other religious groups.”
India’s actions were taken through a change in two articles of its constitution that won approval in both houses of the country’s parliament. The fact this led Pakistan to threaten nuclear war tells us why so many of us consider the country not just a state sponsor of terrorism, but a threat to world peace under a military that is carrying out a genocide on its own people in the occupied once independent country of Balochistan.
India has a peculiarity to its history. Unlike the Persian and Egyptian civilizations that crumbled in the face of Islamic expansionism of the 7th and 8th centuries, India’s Hindu society was able to survive despite the total erasure of Hinduism from the 5,000-year-old Indus Valley Civilization by the Arab marauder Muhammad Bin Qasim and later murderous plunderers such as Tamerlane and the Moguls ending with the looting of its riches and resources by the British.
When they finally left in 1947, Britain amputated India’s limbs to partition the ancient land into three, with the Islamic State of Pakistan flanking India on both its eastern and western borders.
On paper India had won its freedom in August 15, 1947, but on the ground the ancient plundered land was not free until Monday.
Acting in good faith and making India secular to accommodate its Muslim minority, for decades its Hindu leaders distanced themselves from their heritage. India’s first education minister came from a family in Mecca that claimed to be a direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad.
In fact, India is the only major civilizational country where you are systematically taught to hate your heritage and glorify the invaders who came to destroy it. And this absurdity is called “secularism.”
Anyone standing up for the rights of India’s Hindu heritage of its indigenous and aboriginal population, who took pride in their ancient Vedic texts was labelled by the slur of being an “ultra-right Hindu nationalist,” while those who propagated the total Islamization of India under the Arab doctrine of “Ghazwa-e-Hind” and the eradication of every Hindu Temple were free to claim such hate as being their “right” to practice their faith.
But in the words of Bob Dylan, “the times, they are a changing.” India has finally won its freedom from the clutches of those who mock its heritage and wish it harm.
Under this new freedom, India’s Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians will be equals before the law and not hide behind “special status.”
The writer is a Pakistani-Canadian journalist, writer, broadcaster, secularist, and liberal activist. He is an advocate of gay rights, separation of religion and state, opposition to Sharia Law, and advocacy for a liberal, progressive form of Islam. Mr Tarek is known for his open criticism of Pakistan, and, is even banned from making public speeches or lectures in the country.