RTI: Threats to Hinduism ‘imaginary’, says Union Home Ministry

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre has effectively demolished all apprehensions and questions pertaining to any perceived threats to the Hindu religion, dismissing them as merely ‘hypothetical’ or ‘imaginary’.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) headed by BJP stalwart leader Amit Shah has categorically stated that it has no records or evidence concerning any so-called ‘threats’ to Hindu religion, in a recent RTI reply to Nagpur-based activist Mohnish Jabalpure.

In quite a brazen RTI query on August 31, Jabalpure had sought proof of “threats to the ‘Hindu religion’ in the country” that the MHA had in its possession.

After a month, the MHA’s CPIO (Internal Security) V.S. Rana responded to the effect that they are neither aware of nor possess any evidence suggesting alleged dangers to ‘Hindu religion’.

The reply, bordering on mild admonition, said that as per the RTI Act rules, the Public Information Officer (PIOs) can only provide information that is available with them, or which is falling within their jurisdiction.

However, since the Centre has no records concerning this, Rana contended that it was not possible to satisfy the ‘hypothetical’ query of Jabalpure and hence it was treated as void.

“This is the first time a key functionary of the MHA has said even any query pertaining to ‘threats to Hindu religion’ is imaginary and admitted on record that they have been no records to support any such speculation…,” said Jabalpure.

Despite this, he said the BJP and its affiliates, for vested political gains, continue to foment a fear psychosis among the majority Hindus that their religion and religious identity are in grave danger, he pointed out.

“The RSS’s flagship prayer in Sanskrit, ‘Namaste Sada Vatsale Matrabhume’, refers to saving Hindu religion and Bharatmata, which is chanted by all its activists across the country daily twice,” Jabalpure said.

He wondered how — when the Centre has confidently assured that Hinduism is not at any risk from any quarters — can the RSS drill such ideas through a daily prayer into the minds of its ordinary swayamsevaks, and said he plans to challenge it in the court as it goes against the tenets of Indian Constitution.

Nevertheless, Jabalpure says he is “extremely grateful” to the MHA officer Rana for his clear-cut reply — which should bury all political controversies on this sensitive issue and spell relief to the majority and minority communities, whose leaders seem to be pouncing at each other’s throats over ‘illusory’ threats.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: q.najmi@ians.in)