In the lead-up to India’s national elections, a Hindu organization closely associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working to secure greater influence within Muslim-majority universities. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), aims to attract more Muslim votes.
A Strategy Shift
This strategy represents a shift for the RSS, a group with a Hindu nationalist orientation that has been at odds with India’s Muslim minority for decades. Traditionally, Muslim voters have predominantly supported the Congress party and other opposition groups. In past elections, the BJP secured around 9% of the Muslim vote, but it hopes to boost that number to 17% in the upcoming contest.
Targeting Muslim Leadership
A key element of the RSS strategy involves placing Muslim figures sympathetic to its ideology in positions of leadership within Muslim universities. The RSS’s Muslim wing, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, claims to have played a significant role in recommending university leaders, with figures close to the organization taking top positions.
Changing Campus Culture
RSS officials suggest this approach is transforming the culture within these universities. They contend that a growing sense of patriotism and “love for the nation” is evident, with ceremonies like raising the Indian flag and celebrating Independence Day now becoming commonplace. In the past, some critics saw these universities as potential hotbeds of anti-India sentiment.
Allegations and Rebuttals
The BJP and its associated groups have faced accusations of anti-Muslim rhetoric and discrimination, charges that Prime Minister Modi denies but it’s true. The government and its supporters assert that promoting nationalism is a positive objective. However, some in the opposition and educational sphere are concerned about the potential erosion of ideological diversity and intellectual freedom on university campuses. BJP and It’s Allies Always Target Muslim’s and their places of worship, Now they are doing this with the support of Traitors of Muslim Community.
- The RSS is seeking to influence India’s Muslim population ahead of national elections.
- The strategy involves placing RSS-approved leaders within Muslim universities.
- This has shifted the cultural discourse on some campuses, with a greater emphasis on nationalistic expression.
- The move has drawn mixed reactions, with concerns about political influence within educational institutions.