The India Chapter


In 1992, Hindu extremists destroyed the Babri Mosque. They claimed that this was partly due to the 438 Hindu temples destroyed and the 50,000 closed during the Kashmir genocide in 1990, when approximately 4,000 Kashmiri Hindus were executed. The subsequent riots led to the loss of 2,000 lives, mainly Muslims.

Destruction of a Mosque, Creation of the “The Hindu Vatican”

Once the Muslim Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople in Turkey (now Istanbul) in 1453 and ousted the Christian Byzantine Empire, which had ruled for over 1,000 years, they then set their sights, minds, and gargantuan militaries on the Asian version of Turkey. In terms of land size, population, resources, and geopolitical significance: India.

The previous temple that had stood on the site of the mosque was destroyed 500 years ago by the barbaric colonial emperor Babur, who wanted to wipe out Hinduism after he invaded India from Uzbekistan in the 1500s. Babur was the emperor who started the Mughal (member of the Muslim dynasty of emperors) Empire in India. Babur was a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, the Mongol emperor who murdered 40 million people.

The term “Mughal” comes from a mispronunciation of the word “Mongol,” but the Mughals of India were mostly ethnic Turks, not Mongolians.

For 200 years, just as Jerusalem was the location of the Crusades, the holy wars between Muslims and Christians, the Babri Mosque became a site of conflict between Muslims and Hindus. For Hindus, the site in Ayodhya marks the birthplace of Lord Ram, one of the most revered deities in Hinduism. Due to this significance, this site has similar connotations to Mecca for Muslims and the Vatican for Catholics and is the equivalent religious epicentre for many Hindus.

In 2019, after a 70-year legal case, India’s highest court, although highly critical of the manner of the destruction, unanimously ruled that the most hotly contested piece of land in India’s history rightfully belongs to Hindus and granted permission for a temple to be built on the site in Ayodhya. The judges also declared that a separate “prominent” five-acre piece of land would be allocated to the Muslim community to build a mosque near the contested site.

Even though India is a Hindu-majority country, with 80% of its population following Hinduism and 14% following Islam, India is ranked second in terms of the number of mosques, with over 300,000. Only Indonesia, the largest Muslim population in the world, has more mosques.

Every other country in the top ten is a Muslim-majority country. Five of the top ten are Islamic states and two practice Sharia law. India has almost three times the mosques of the other countries in the top ten: Pakistan, Bangladesh (second and third largest Muslim populations), Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria. And almost double the mosques of Saudi Arabia, the religious centre of Islam and the location of Mecca, the pilgrimage site for Muslims. By comparison, Pakistan has 380 Hindu temples, 30 of which are active.


The illuminated Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. Image: Mint.

Many Indians, including those interviewed, believed that when a country is generous in building mosques, despite the anger over the Babri mosque, built over a temple and a cause of consternation for 200 years, the Muslim community could, as a gesture of goodwill, have allowed the building of a temple on the birthplace of a Hindu god.

This temple will be built on the site of a destroyed mosque, but previously, the mosque was built on the site of a temple that was destroyed. Al Jazeera states that in 2003, “Archaeologists begin a court-directed survey to determine whether a Hindu temple existed at the site. The survey says there is evidence of a temple beneath the mosque.”

Many mosques have been illegally destroyed since then. However, the feeling is that had the Muslim community allowed the temple to be built before tensions reached boiling point and overflowed, the subsequent destruction of mosques around the country would not have occurred.

How these mosques are being razed is undeniably wrong. It does not reflect the foundational non-violent ideals of Hinduism. Instead of being destroyed by mobs, India should follow the exemplary example of America, which passed a bill, S.573 – Confederate Monument Removal Act. This legally, without any violence, removes any monuments built by colonialists or persons that have committed treason or insurrection towards the home country, or because of invasions conducted by force, on the native or indigenous people.

Ironically, many of the countries that fund Iran‘s attacks or HAMAS, and are accused of indirectly financing terrorist attacks, as well as funding the Myanmar military or trading with China, two countries that carry out or are alleged to carry out ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of Muslims, are in shock over one mosque being destroyed and a temple being built over it. Even though it has been decided by the Indian Supreme Court after 70 years of legal cases and investigations.

Professor. Sayantan Ghosh hypothesises “The reclamation of sacred spaces stands as a potent symbol of this ideological ascendancy. These victories resonated deeply with the Hindutva base, affirming the BJP’s unwavering commitment to its core values. These triumphs transcended legal battles, echoing in the hearts and minds of millions who view them as a long-awaited restoration of historical injustices.”

Can the world’s oldest and third-largest religion have its sacred place on earth, a pilgrimage site that is the beating heart of Hinduism? Muslims and Christians have Mecca and the Vatican respectively, but Hindus were denied their religious centre for 500 years and had to fight for 200 years, just to finally see their spiritual epicentre realised.

The Modi Question: Was Modi wrong to build a temple over a destroyed mosque?

The Modi Answer:

Ironically, there’s been so much attention over one mosque that was destroyed, even though two years earlier, 438 Hindu temples were destroyed, and 50,000 were closed by Muslim separatists, just three states away, eliciting almost zero domestic or international media attention.

Although it was wrong for the mosque to be destroyed in the way that it was, a page should be taken out of the Americans’ book on removing monuments legally and non-violently. The decision to build the temple was not taken lightly and took 70 years in court. The dispute over the mosque lasted 200 years, disputes which became violent and led to the loss of 2,000 Indians, mainly Muslims. The original temple was destroyed and a mosque was built over it, denying Hindus their religious centrepiece for 500 years. The temple has finally been restored.

Indian Muslims can take comfort in the fact that, minus this one mosque, India still has over 300,000. Compare this to Pakistan, which has 380 Hindu temples, of which only 30 are thought to be active. If this intensely bloody chapter in Indian history can now be closed and no more Indians of either religion die, then Modi’s actions were justified.

Fear of a Hindu Nation

Groundbreaking, chart-topping American hip-hop group Public Enemy rose to prominence for their political messages and released their platinum-selling album, “Fear of a Black Planet” in 1990. It seems there is the same fear of a Hindu nation.

Al Jazeera in their video above entitled “What Risk is there of India Turning Into a Hindu Nation”, asks a great question. Another would be, why is Al Jazeera, a news channel partially funded by the Qatari government, an Islamic nation which practises Sharia law, that has links with terrorist organisations such as HAMAS, “So concerned about secularism in India?”.

There is unequivocal doubt amongst neutrals that a secular democracy is best. But doubt has been shed by some participants as to why it’s considered so taboo to discuss, considering there are 23 Islamic states that practice Sharia law and also, whether India has ever been secular. The same question doctors recommend mental health sufferers of Obsessional Compulsive Disorder, anxiety, or catastrophising could be asked here as a social experiment. “What is the worst that can happen?”

This series of articles takes an “Unconventional Perspective” on current affairs. What if there was a Hindu nation? What’s the worst that could happen? There are 32 Islamic states where you can’t practice your religion if it isn’t Islam. So why not one Hindu state, as long as every religion is still free to follow their religion and, for instance, don’t become second-class citizens that can’t buy property, which does happen in certain UAE countries?

Archana Venkatesh writing in “The Conversation” about independance from Britain, says, “Hindu nationalists had expected the creation of a single nation with Hindu majority rule. As such, they saw the creation of Pakistan – a homeland and nation-state for South Asian Muslims – as a massive failure of the Indian freedom movement and a loss for India.”

Whether due to the British or Mughal emperors from Central Asia or colonialism, 500 years of constant persecution, invasion, mass murder, and rape have resulted in a cultural subservience or slave mentality, and these hundreds of years of defending the majority Hindu faith from foreign religious incursions have taken a mighty toll.

As written by Peter DeSouza in “The Recolonisation of the Indian Mind,” “One of the most pernicious consequences of colonialism was what K. C. Bhattacharya described as the ‘enslavement of minds.” It produced a feeling of inferiority, an erasure of memory and cultures, an alien conceptual vocabulary, and a hegemonic perspective from which to view the world.”

His academic study describes these consequences in some detail, “To demonstrate the huge conceptual challenges that a decolonisation of the mind has to confront as it attempts to move the society, and public discourse, towards a truly emancipatory future.”

Despite the ultra-violent massacre and barbaric attempted removal of their religion for 500 years, unlike Islam or Christianity, Hindus have:

  • Never invaded another country (even though India is the most invaded country).
  • Never committed genocide (even though they have been victims of two genocides).
  • Never enslaved other races (even though Africa was the nearest continent just across the Indian Ocean, much closer than America or Europe).
  • Never oppressed Jews.
  • Never committed a terrorist attack.
  • India is the only country to beat the world’s largest Empire without weapons and by non-violence.

Many Indians interviewed, point out that there is criticism from the Muslim community regarding India becoming a Hindu nation and if running a nation based on religion is wrong, USCIRF asks, why are they accepting of the “Twenty three that declare Islam to be the state religion in their constitutions?”


Indian actress Payal Rohatgi has openly confessed to wanting India to be a Hindu nation.

Western media speculate that with an Islamic nation, there would be restrictions on women’s rights, on freedoms, a move towards dictatorship and not being able to do recreational activities like drink or smoke. And pondered whether this would be the same situation for a Hindu nation.

But Hinduism is on the opposite ideological end to Islam on the religious spectrum. Drinking and smoking is permitted. Women are revered in Hindi culture, religion and society. In some geographical sects of Hinduism such as in the Bunts community, any property from inheritance has to go to the women in the family. Women are seen as powerful and creators of life, the traditional view of women in Hinduism, eroded after the Islamisation of India in the 1800’s due to concurrent Islamic invasions, women had to cover themselves and were marginalised. But with more championing of earlier, traditional Hinduism, it could return to its spiritual, bohemian origins and practices, such as Yoga, meditation and well being that have made it popular worldwide.


Image: Love Yoga, Love travel

There may be a hypocrisy of questioning a Hindu nation, when there are 23 Islamic nations practising their own Sharia law, or western secular countries where Christianity is the only religious holiday celebrated.


Meditating on the banks of the river Ganga, Rishikesh. Image: Love Yoga, Love travel

However, historically, Hinduism, with the exception of Buddhism and Jainism is the most peaceful religion. All religions spout peace in their respective bibles, but the tangible evidence is to independently analyse each religion’s historical track record. Which religion has produced the most empires? The most armies? The most colonialists? Conducted the most genocides? Enslaved the most people? Even if a Hindu nation IS built, if it’s built on the back of violence, deaths and persecution of other religious minorities, then it’s not a genuine Hindu nation anyway and there will be absolutely no merit in this achievement.

Secularism – “India, America and Britain aren’t secular and never have been.”


Renaissance art depicting Secularism: Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus (c. 1484–1486). Uffizi, Florence

Secularism or Favouritism?

The definition of secularism as per the Oxford Dictionary is the belief that religion should not be involved in the organisation of society or education. When India gained its freedom in 1947, the INC was the ruling party, and they put in place two different laws in a Hindu-majority country. There was one law, Sharia for Muslims and an Indian national law for all other religions, for many areas of life, but specifically on marriage, divorce and inheritance.

Criteria for Secularism (National Secular Society)

  • A secular state claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion and claims to avoid preferential treatment for a citizen based on their religious beliefs.

As every other religion has to go through Indian national, expensive, lengthy court proceedings for a divorce and can only have one wife, there is a case to be made that preferential treatment is being given to Muslims, or at least Muslim men.

  • Where no single religion dominates or influences the decisions and policies of the government.

In having one family and personal law for Muslims and one for all other Indians, a single religion has dominated and influenced government policies.

  • In a secular democracy, all citizens are equal before the law and parliament. No religious affiliation gives advantages or disadvantages, and religious believers are citizens with the same rights and obligations as anyone else.

Muslim women have fought in court since 1985 to ban Muslim instant divorce and polygamous marriage for men. Women aren’t allowed to use instant divorce, only the men are. Women aren’t allowed to have multiple spouses, only the men are. So, this law by INC gave advantages to the men and disadvantages to the women.

  • Secularism champions one law for all and universal human rights above religious demands.

There were two laws, one for Muslims, and one for all other religions. It upholds equality laws that protect women, LGBTQIA+ people and minorities from religious discrimination.

  • It upholds equality laws that protect women, LGBT people and minorities from religious discrimination.

It can be argued that under India’s one law for Muslims and one law for every other religion, that Muslim women weren’t equal and did receive religious discrimination.

  • These equality laws ensure that the non-religious and religiously unconcerned have the same rights as those who identify with a religious or philosophical belief.

Atheists and agnostics in India under this law didn’t have the same rights as Muslims.

If Muslim men can divorce women by saying Talaq three times or can have four wives, critics state that is “preferential treatment” for Muslim men based on their beliefs. Also, considering, that the majority of legal cases against Muslim instant divorce and polygamous marriages have been brought to court for forty years, were Muslim women equal?

  • The National Secular Society says “Equality so that our religious beliefs or lack of them doesn’t put any of us at an advantage or a disadvantage.”

Again, Muslim women have been put at a disadvantage and other religions can argue that Talaq or having multiple wives is an advantage or disadvantage. There are cases of men in India, who convert from Hinduism to Islam so that they can have multiple wives or utilise instant divorce.

  • Secularism safeguards freedom of religion or belief and ensures that the government does not favour any particular religion.

In having a different law for Muslims and all other religions, there is favouritism for Muslims.

  • Religious people have the right to express their beliefs publicly but so do those who oppose or question those beliefs. Religious beliefs, ideas and organisations must not enjoy privileged protection from the right to freedom of expression.

The fact that it took 40 years of campaigning by Muslim women and women’s rights organisations to ban instant divorce and Polygamy is still allowed in India except state, it can be debated that those specific religious beliefs did enjoy privileged protection from the freedom of expression.

  • In a democracy, all ideas and beliefs must be open to discussion.

There is a belief currently trending, especially with the global protests regarding Israel-Palestine that criticism of Islam is regarded as hate speech and Indians in India and the interviewees were very wary of criticising Islam.

  • Separation of religious institutions from state institutions

The INC defeated the BJP in Karnataka state elections last year. A recent controversy was brewing during the election. In their budget for 2023/24, £50 million was taken from Hindu temples and £39.3 million was given to mosques and churches and other religious places of worship. There was outrage as it was perceived that Hindu temples were being taxed to pay mosques and other religious institutions. However, the budget stated that it has been given via “The Minorities Development Corporation.”

And that money from the Hindu Religious Act can only be given to “Religious purposes connected to the Hindu religion.” Cynics have questioned that this is quite vague, connected to the Hindu religion could mean anything and the budget doesn’t specify where the £39.3 million actually originates.

The above can be deemed trivial, as the main point is: In a secular country, why are temples being taxed? And why is money given to other religious places of worship from the government?

The Modi Question: Is India secular?

The Modi Answer:

Considering India has contradicted the fundamental tenets of secularism, listed above, a better answer and question would be, has India ever been secular?

“America First” – Is America secular? Is the USA still a democracy?

In the USA, Christian nationalism is on the rise and changing politics. Has the USA ever been secular? One of the criteria of secularism is that all religions should be equal. Are Western countries as secular as they claim? Globally, Christmas is easily the most famous, popular and most loved of all religious holidays, with enormous amounts of films and songs dedicated to it, more than all the other religions combined.

However, America, the UK, or none of the Christian-majority countries have religious national holidays for any religion except Christianity. India has them for Islam and Christianity. America has never had a non-Christian president or head of state, such as a senator or governor, and to win votes they have to wear their Christian heart on their sleeve.

There have been two Indian-origin governors, Nikki Haley, who earlier this year ran for president, to be beaten by Trump and Bobby Jindal, both Christian converts. Vivek Ramaswamy, another presidential hopeful, was the first person to run for president who identified as Hindu, and that was the main reason given by voters, (not the only one) as the largest obstacle to him winning the candidacy.

“The Bible-quoting first-time candidate is getting asked about his Hindu faith repeatedly on the campaign trail,” said ABC News. Voters even told him “You cannot be our president because your religion is not what our founding fathers based our country on,” reported Livemint.

American media has criticised India for moving from a democracy to an autocracy. But is America still a democracy? In 2016, the majority of American voters voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. In every democracy in the world, Hillary Clinton would be the president. However, America is the only country in the world that uses the Electoral College system to determine its presidents. A system that was initiated to reduce the voting power of black slaves and which only gives minorities 3/5 of the vote.


In happier times: Donald and Melania Trump with Hillary and Bill Clinton in 2005, Palm Beach, Florida.
Photographer: Maring Photography/Getty Images/Contour by Getty Images

Due to this system, even though Clinton received more votes, Trump became president. One of the biggest demographics to vote for Hillary Clinton were female voters who wanted to preserve abortion laws. In any other democracy, Clinton would have been president and would have protected abortion. However, even though a minority of Americans voted for Trump, he became president and banned abortion. So, the minority of the country in a democratic election ended up getting what they wanted and the majority didn’t.

Due to the American president being able to pick the US Supreme Court judges, regardless of experience or knowledge, Trump chose three anti-abortion judges, who have lifetime positions, regardless of age until they die. This put the Supreme Court vote for banning abortion in their favour and the judges with a new majority were now able to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion case in 1973 that allowed for abortion. Abortion is now banned in 21 states. So, the majority voted for abortion and the minority voted against abortion. And the minority won. This is, in effect, the opposite of democracy.

The Modi Question: Is America still a democracy?

The Modi Answer: As long as abortion is still banned in the USA, America is still a theoretical democracy, but is it still a functioning one?

Is Britain Secular? – Separation of Church and State

According to the National Secular Society, “The separation of religion and state is a key principle of secularism. It ensures the independence and autonomy of religious institutions from government influence. It removes any formal connection between religious organisations and the state’s political affairs, preventing the establishment of an official state religion.”

In the United Kingdom, there are two state-recognised Christian denominations – the Church of England and the Church of Scotland. King Charles is head of state and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. But the 26 un-elected bishops of the Church of England who sit in the House of Lords, influence laws that affect the whole UK.


The first official portrait of King Charles. © His Majesty King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo 2024. Photo by Handout via Getty Images.

Christianity is one major influence among many that shaped British ways of life. The UK today is a nation of many denominations and religions. Large sectors of the population do not hold or practise religious beliefs. If Britain were to become “A truly secular democracy, political structures would reflect the reality of modern Britain, by separating religion from the state.”

What is Secularism?

In its history, Rishi Sunak is the first non-Christian British prime minister, but he wasn’t elected by the people. Even though popular among his party members, when running for Conservative party leadership, the 300,000 vote-registered Tory members (0.18% of the UK population) chose Liz Truss over him. She ultimately lasted three months and turned out to be arguably the worst prime minister since WW1. Although a self made man, with a GP father and pharmacist mother, much was made of Sunak’s family history, with broadsheet newspapers even publishing his family tree and commenting on the wealth of his wife and in-laws. David Cameron didn’t receive the same publicity even though his wife is a heiress and it could be debated whether a single Briton knows the occupations or wealth of the in-laws of any previous prime minister. Sunak isn’t predicted to win the UK general election on July 4th this year.

In theory, if countries like Britain and America were secular, it would mean that every faith could practise its religious laws. An example of this is that Muslim men in the USA and UK can have multiple wives, and if they want to divorce any of them, they only need to say the word Talaq (Arabic for “freeing” or “undoing the knot”) three times. But they can’t.

This was the case for Muslim instant divorce, however, for Muslims in India until Modi changed the law in 2018, due to protests. Thus, two countries allowed a different law for Muslims and one didn’t, they can’t all be secular. So, which of these three countries is secular and which isn’t?

Although technically secular, anyone who has grown up in a Christian country such as the UK, would probably admit that although very politically correct, some religions are “more equal than others.”

In America, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in 2020 made substantial headway. Although the vast majority of the black community is Christian, they still feel unequal, even though they were originally free Africans abducted and kidnapped and brought to a democracy as slaves 400 years ago. But a large section still feel oppressed.


Actions speak louder than words: Colin Kaepernick and the non-violent protest that got all of America talking. Image: TMZ

The same question can be asked of Native Americans, victims of the largest genocide in history, to determine whether they feel equal. When the first Europeans landed in America, mistaking it for India, it’s understandable that months later, they would still refer to them as “Indians.” But 400 years later, now realising that they didn’t land in India, a large majority of Americans still refer to them as Indians. To put this into perspective, this is similar to China invading America, feeling that Americans resemble Germans because they are both white and then referring to Americans as Germans for the next 400 years. Therefore their persecution still continues and far from being secular or equal, an indigenous people that numbered almost 100 million, have completely lost their identity.


The Washington Redskins NFL team logo, that was dropped due to accusation of it being racist.

A balance, however, would be like the USA, where in theory it’s secular, but in reality, you can’t obtain the top job without being Christian and there are no national religious holidays except for Christianity. Many Indians interviewed, point out that there is criticism from the Muslim community regarding India becoming a Hindu nation and if running a Nation based on religion is wrong, USCIRF asks, why are they accepting of the “Twenty-three that declare Islam to be the state religion in their constitutions?” Did You Know? Muslim Constitutions

The Modi Question: Is Modi trying to build a Hindu nation?

The Modi Answer:

As Modi himself has refuted this, it’s highly improbable. It could occur if the BJP win over 400 seats, which at the time of writing is also highly improbable. What is clear is that Modi has brought more national and religious pride to Hindus specifically and Indians in general than any other prime minister (except the early post-independence days of Nehru). This includes the other Indic or Dharmic religions (Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism) that originated in the Indian subcontinent and have been persecuted in their own country by other religious minorities for over 500 years.

The concept of a Hindu nation would not exist or be discussed if there were 23 Islamic states in the world. BJP politicians interviewed stated that the philosophy of Hindutva was only born out of ideas from the pre-independence political party, the Muslim League established in 1906. This aimed to create an independent state based on religion. They began to demand a separate country for Muslims in the 1930’s, culminating in Pakistan.

Secularism would still be the best option, but the majority of Indians interviewed said that a Hindu nation, like any of the 23 Islamic states, would be incorrect and too extreme. If India were to be a Hindu nation, the model could be similar to the USA, where it is secular in theory and it’s acceptable to practise any religion. However, the only religious holidays and the only men who are the commanders of the world’s most powerful army are Christian, and where some religions are “more equal than others.”