Published in May 1924, Rangeela Rasul (the playboy Prophet) was the title of a highly controversial book penned by Pandit Chamupati, a member of the Hindu reformist Araya Samaja to ridicule and malign Islam by projecting its Prophet as a playboy and sex offender. Even though banned in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the Hindu fascists consider it a source to counter Islam. The BJP and RSS leaders repeat its contents to their congregants in India's villages and towns, where they expose millions of Hindus against Muslims and Islam.
In the last week of May 2022, the ruling BJP party's spokesperson, a London School of Economics graduate, N. Sharma, repeated the book's contents without referring to it while attacking Islam and its Prophet. It was a deliberate attempt to show aggressiveness towards Muslims to make them realize that they lived in a Hindu Rashtra where Hindu fascists were free to ridicule other religions.
Her defense was ridiculous. When Muslims described a cemented piece found in Shahi Masjid in the Gayanapi area of Varanasi as a fountain and not a Shivling, I felt offended as a devoted Hindu and, in a spate of rash, said what I said about Islam.
The centuries-old mosque with its fountain has served thousands of Muslim devotees who never thought that some Hindus, at the instigation of the RSS and BJP, would call it a Shivling. No human being has ever seen a Shivling. No one knows what its size and shape are. The original meaning of lingam as "sign" is in Shvetashvatara Upanishad, which says, "Shiva, the Supreme Lord, has no liūga," linga, meaning transcendental, beyond any characteristic and, precisely, the sign of gender.
The Linga Purana states, "Shiva is signless, without color, taste, smell, beyond word or touch, without quality, motionless and changeless".
The word lingam is not in the Rigveda or the other Vedas. However, Rudra (proto-Shiva) is in Vedic literature. Worship of the lingam was not a part of the Vedic religion. The lingam worship originated from the famous hymn in the Atharva Veda Samhita sung in praise of the Yupa-Stambha, the sacrificial post. In that hymn, a description exists of the beginningless and endless Stambha or Skambha.
A hymn in the Atharvaveda that praises a pillar (stambha) is one possible origin of linga worship. According to Swami Vivekananda, the Shiva-linga had roots in the idea of Yupa-Stambha or Skambha of the Vedic rituals. The term meant the sacrificial post, known as the eternal Brahman.
Muslims stated what they knew of the cemented piece found in the ablution tank of the Masjid. Offended by the term fountain, Sharma became wild and maligned the Prophet live in a national television debate. She doubled down on his attack and boasted that her views reflected that of her leadership and party. Another BJP journalist, Jindal, echoed her description of the Prophet and issued a tweet in her support. The inner-party circles applauded both for their views.
Muslims reacted strongly in India and worldwide. It took the BJP and RSS 9 days to distance them away from the statements of their spokesperson. The decision to suspend Sharma from the party and expel Jindal came when Iran, Kuwait, and Qatar called India's diplomatic heads to condemn the statements and when people issued the call to boycott Indian products.
Oman's Mufti issued an appeal to Muslims to rise and challenge the extremist Hindu government of India. Ahmed bin Hamad al-Khalili tweeted, "The brazen and obscene rudeness of the official spokesman of the ruling extremist party in India against the Messenger of Islam, (PBUH), and his noble wife, Mother of the Believers, Aisha, is a war against every Muslim in the east and west of the earth. It is a matter that calls for all Muslims to rise as one nation."
The BJP held an emergency meeting and decided to distance itself from the statements. However, before making the statements, the leadership assured the two of securing their interests in the Hindutva-affiliated bodies. The party also signaled its IT cell to launch a campaign against Arabs and Islam on social networks. As a result, RSS and BJP operatives worldwide became active and flooded the media with statements: "Islam is an evil, The Prophet is a child molester, Arabs are uncivilized. India does not need their oil.
The campaign against Islam and its messenger is not new and would not end by removing a few spokespeople from their position. It is in hatred toward Islam, and the belief that Muslims were invaders and Islam was a foreign faith with no place in India. It is what the BJP and RSS have been preaching since their inception.