Mokokchung, 01 October (MTNews): Raising concerns over the Modi-BJP government’s alleged Hindu-Hindi nationalist agenda, The Naga Rising (TNR) has in a press release issued on 1 October cited the recent controversy over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a ‘Nationwide Cleanliness Drive’ on a Sunday as an example of the BJP’s subtle moves to advance its agenda.
“The recent controversy over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a ‘Nationwide Cleanliness Drive’ on a Sunday (1st October) is the latest instance in a series of the BJP’s subtle moves to advance its Hindu-Hindi nationalist expansionism,” TNR stated.
TNR also said that the “deliberate attempt” to downplay the significance of sacred days of Christians is in complete disregard for people’s sentiments in Nagaland and only creates suspicion and distrust of the Modi government.
TNR pointed out that the BJP government has been increasingly holding official events on Sundays, which is a sacred day for Christians. This is seen as a disregard for the sentiments of the people of Nagaland, who are predominantly Christian.
“Only recently, the Government of Nagaland hosted a Union Minister to launch the “PM Viswakarma Yojana” in an event held in Kohima on a Sunday,” TNR pointed out. “One cannot and should not be blind to the multipronged strategy of the Hindutva forces within the BJP who are trying to establish a Hindu cultural hegemony,” it added.
The press release also highlighted the BJP’s push for laws and policies that support its “cultural expansionist agenda.”
TNR said that these actions are part of a broader strategy by Hindutva forces within the BJP to establish Hindu cultural hegemony. One facet of this strategy, according to TNR, is reflected in the use of the Hindi language in official documents, laws, and government policies and programs since Modi-BJP came to power in 2014.
Citing an example, TNR said that in August this year, the BJP-led government introduced three bills in the parliament to overhaul the criminal justice system in the country and all the bills were given Hindi names.
TNR said that the Indian Penal Code, 1860 was replaced by the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita Bill, 2023; the Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 was replaced by the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita Bill, 2023; and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 was replaced by the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill, 2023.
Similarly, TNR said the names of all the Prime Minister schemes are in Hindi including Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), PM Yasasvi Yojano, PM SVANidhi Yojano.
“One even wonders how many people in Nagaland, including the cabinet ministers, know the meaning of the word Viswakarma in the PM Viswakarma Yojana that was recently launched in Nagaland,” TNR remarked.
TNR said that assigning Hindi names for government laws and schemes is a form of Hindi imposition on those who do not know the language. “By raising this issue, it is not to say that we are anti-Hindi as a language. However, learning Hindi language should be a matter of choice, not an imposition,” TNR stated.
The Naga Rising further said in its press statement that the government of Nagaland must object to moves of the BJP-led government that disrespect “our faith and way of life.”
“Official documents should be in languages that we can read and understand. The Neiphiü Rio-led government should insist that all laws, policies, central schemes or programmes must be provided with alternate English names,” TNR said, adding that silence on this matter may be construed as acceptance of the legitimization of Hindutva forces.
“It is high time to voice out against all such attempts to establish a Hindu cultural hegemony in the guise of politics and development,” TNR cautioned.