Does a Large Segment of Gujarati Hindus Hate Islam and Christianity?
India's home minister, Amit Shah, openly admits his party and government's role in the anti-Muslim violence of 2002 that killed over 1,000 people.
Stereotyping ethnicity, religion, community, or nation is wrong. However, when the majority of an ethnic group act in a particular manner ignoring all norms of fairness, justice, and decency, questions arise about its character and integrity. One such ethnic group consists of people of Gujarati origin who identify with either Hinduism or Jainism. During the last 22 years, this group has outpaced the world's most-known hate groups in India and abroad.
Gujaratis are an Indo-Aryan ethnolinguistic group. Hindus among them include agriculturalists (such as Patel, Koli), traders (such as Bania, Bhatia, Soni), sailors, and seafood exporters Kharwa, Brahmin communities (such as Joshi, Anavil, Nagar, Modh, Shrimali).
There are other communities (such as Charan, Rabari, Bharvad), Genealogist communities (such as Barot's), Kshatriya communities (such as Koli Thakor, Bhanushali, Choudhary jats, Rajput, Kathi Darbars, Karadia, Nadoda, Dabhi, Chudasama, (Ahir, Gurjar), Lohana, Maher). In addition, several tribal communities (such as Bhils, Meghwal, Kolis, Gamit, Konkani, and Varli) and Devipujak (such as Dataniya, Dani, Chunara, and Patni) also exist.
Since 2002, when the Hindu nationalist party, the Bhartiya Janata Party, a political wing of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) led by India's present Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, reportedly orchestrated violence and terror against Muslims, numerous Gujarati Hindus worldwide served as supporters and proponents of anti-Islam and anti-Christian campaigns.
Many Hindu Gujaratis in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas are at the forefront of organized anti-Islam and anti-Christian movements. Sixty-five million of the eight billion world's population are Gujaratis. India has 63.8 million, and the remaining are in 190 other countries. Most live in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Kenya, Australia, Oman, South Africa, Portugal, and New Zealand.
In the United States, the highest concentration of the population of over 200,000 is in the New York City Metropolitan Area, notably in the growing Gujarati Diaspora center of India Square in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Edison in Middlesex County in Central New Jersey. While they may make up only around 0.1% of the population in the United States, Gujaratis control over 40% of the hospitality market in the country, for a combined net worth of over US$40 billion and employing over one million employees. Gujaratis, especially the Patidar samaj, also dominate as franchisees of fast food restaurant chains such as Subway and Dunkin' Donuts.
Writing about the hatred against Islam and Muslims, a Gujarati Hindu summed up the feelings of hate mongers in these words;
Sanal Kumar wrote that hatred exists "because of thousands of years of barbarian rule by Muslim invaders! They destroyed the temples, forcefully converted millions of Hindus, and raped their children and women! It continues in Hindu minority areas like Kashmir, West Bengal, UP, and India. Not only that, but through love jihad, they tactically convert innocent Hindu girls and send them to Syria. Many girls are still in Afghan and under captivity by the Taliban. So it's impossible to trust Muslims."
Targeting Christians, another Hindu Gujarati, Jainendra Prakash, who called him an RSS worker since childhood, wrote the following
"Christian Missionaries are converting more than 10,000 Indian Hindus into the fold of Christianity daily (3.6 million per year). The converts who belonged to S.C., OBC communities didn't declare it official so that they could enjoy reservation benefits. Muslims are approximately 25% of India's population (30 Crores).
Christian missionaries & Muslim clergy are working on the conversion agenda at full throttle, and they target all sections of Hindus for conversion. Still, their focus is on two areas: 1. Poor & Tribal 2. School Children in Missionary schools 3. Influential persons in society (Celebrities, Politicians, Cricketers)
It is the 3rd category which brings fashion, appeal & power to the conversion factories. Some examples: Jaya Prada, A R Rahman, Y S RajSekhar Reddy, Kamal Haasan, Prakash Raj, Kareena Kapoor, Vinod Kambli, Yuvan_Shankar_Raja (Music Composer in the Tamil Industry, Son of famous Musician Illaya Raja), Rakhi Sawant, Tanushree Dutta Long List continues."
Confirming the above statement, Amit Shah, India's Home Minister and former President of the BJP, said the following during an election rally in Gujarat.
"They (Muslims) were "taught such a lesson" that the state has been peaceful for 22 years." Gangs of Gujarati mobs killed more than 1,000 Muslims under the watchful eyes of The BJP chief Minister Modi.
He further said, "we taught them such a lesson, we put them in jail. It's been 22 years, and we have not even put a curfew. BJP has done the work to bring peace to the land."
Former Gujarat chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela recently alleged that the Pulwama terror attack in, which killed 40 CRPF soldiers, was a BJP conspiracy like the Godhra riots in 2002. "The vehicle with RDX used in the Pulwama attack was bearing the registration initial of Gujarat — GJ. So Godhra was a conspiracy," Vaghela said. He further alleged that the BJP government was using terrorism to win elections.
Many Gujarati Hindus in India and abroad endorse the positions taken by Modi and Amit Shah, the two Gujarati leaders, against Islam and Muslims. They have organized campaigns in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and the Middle East to target Muslims and Christians. Through their secret meetings, military-like training camps, and religious institutions, they teach hatred and animosity against Islam. As confessed by a young Hindu, "They use the sacred pulpit to poison the young minds against Islam and Christians and incite them to boycott non-Hindus and project Muslims as terrorists."
One hopes that most Gujarati Hindus do not subscribe to this ideology of hatred. However, one does not find credible voices in the community to challenge the BJP and RSS narrative that is spreading worldwide. Such hate-mongering groups will impact the pluralistic nature of the societies where they exist as immigrants. The interfaith community should be aware of the politics of hatred.