A thousand-year-old legacy of bigotry and sense of entitlement is getting increasingly restless in today's India. The frustration is spilling over in academia, media, and social media.
Take for instance the webinar organised by JNU's Centre for Women's Studies. Titled, 'Gendered Resistance and Fresh Challenges in Post-2019 Kashmir', the webinar notice read, "This talk will draw and build upon the ethnography of gendered resistance to Indian occupation in Kashmir."
Known India-basher Ather Zia, professor at the university of Northern Colorado, was invited to speak. The JNU administration belatedly got wind of the event and cancelled it.
The second instance is that of professor of political Islam Hilal Ahmed writing an article in The Print on why Hindus must defend namaz, even when it takes over public spaces.
"Even unknown people, mostly Hindus, pay respect to my Namaz. This was so heartening that I was able to offer Namaz in moving trains, on busy streets, in the corridors of hospitals, and even inside the functional Hindu temples," Ahmed writes.
The webinar on Kashmir sought to replay the trope that Islamism has successfully established over centuries: Any land where Muslims establish a majority becomes Dar-ul-Islam and a secular state must cease claim on it.
But to Islamists, the reverse must not hold. 'Secularism' must be alive, covering up for Islam's excesses, till the land is Dar-ul-Harb, which is when Muslims are in a minority.
This proves right Hindutva fears that parts of Bengal like Murshidabad and Malda, or several districts of Assam like Barpeta, Dhubri, Darrand or Goalpara could any day be called land under 'Indian occupation'.
Kashmir was the seat of the Shaivaite Hindu tradition. It is named after sage Kashyap. Adi Shankarcharya visited the place.
The name of capital Srinagar is first found in the epic Rajatarangini by Kalhana. Ancient Kashmir has had a number of capitals but the most important was 'Srinagari' — Sri means the Sun and nagri means city — or the City of the Sun.
Kashmir has been umbilically connected to the Hindu and Indian civilisation. Demographic change and the tyrannies of history cannot suddenly make it a land under "Indian occupation".
Similarly, Ahmed's seemingly innocent prayer for Hindu tolerance of indiscriminate public space takeover for namaz reeks of entitlement and a mindset that destroyed more than 40,000 temples and supplanted many of them with mosques in the last 1,000 years of so.
Why should Hindus surrender even their sacred spaces and temples for namaz? Will Muslims return the favour by allowing aarti at mosques?
Are citizens from Gurugram to Uttarakhand wrong to protest against public spaces and roads being regularly taken over for namaz?
Can you occupy roads in even Muslim nations like UAE for namaz?
The answer to all that is a resounding 'no'.
Islamism must curb its imperialist, usurping instincts. Today's India, or for that matter any civilised nation, will not oblige.