India’s image has taken a beating in the world. It may produce serious repercussions for our standing in the entire world. Former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan has drawn the nation’s attention to the economic effects of anti-Muslim activities of pseudo-nationalists, known as Hindutva stalwarts.

He told a recent economic conclave that violent activities in several states in India will seriously damage our standing in the civilized nations of the world. He cited the example of China, whose ill treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang and atrocities in Tibet have dented its image and it is facing severe criticism and sanctions from the western democracies. He also quoted the Russian aggression on Ukraine and mindless destruction of city after city, which has invited worldwide sanctions on Russia, and prompted military and financial help from big powers and unlimited support and sympathy from the whole mankind.

Mr. Rajan said that if we maintain peace and treat our weaker sections fairly, it will create a favourable image of us. The world will think that though India is a bit poor but it is a democratic country. Therefore the citizens of the world feel that by purchasing Indian products they are helping a poor but respectable and democratic country. And their governments also will be inclined to help us.

It is not only a question of our material and financial progress. It is a moral and ethical question also. The recent violent incidents in state after state and the hooliganism by pseudo-religious gangs in Jahangirpuri, Delhi has very badly tarnished our image in the whole world. Immediately after the violence, on the advice of a BJP functionary, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation started its demolition drive of the so-called illegal shops and dwellings of poor residents. Delhi has more than 730 unauthorised colonies housing more than 50 lakh citizens. Should they also be mercilessly demolished? Delhi Police has started a spree of arrests and tortures. In this one-sided action against the victim community, they have inflicted their atrocities even on teenage girls and women. Pure political terrorism.

Is India a democracy of equal citizens or a dictatorship of Hindutvawadis? A country of Gandhi or Godse? It is extremely dangerous that unemployed and semi-educated youth are being radicalised to indulge in violence in the name of religion. Religion has been hijacked and weaponised to wreak atrocities on fellow Indians. India is being equated with violence and bulldozers. Bulldozer babas and mamas are ruling over states. The Big Babas in Delhi are maintaining a calculated silence. Let us hope that the third pillar of democracy, the Judiciary will come out to safeguard the two other pillars of democracy.

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