REMARKS – Book Launch on “Rising Hindutva and its impact on the region”

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Book Launch
Rising Hindutva and its impact on the region
Book by S.M. Hali
20 February, 2018

Remarks of the Director General

General Ehsan ul Haq,

Senator Nisar Memon,

Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi,

Author of the book, Group Captain S.M. Hali.

Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BoG.

Worthy guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I extend to you all, a warm welcome to the Institute of Strategic Studies.

Hali sahib has written several books. However, this book on Hindutva is special. It comes at a time when India is going through an internal transformation. A societal march towards a narrow, extreme, and hate-filled ideology. Hindutva. It seeks primacy of Hinduism, and exclusion of minorities in India.

Hali sahib elaborates how a radical Hindu right would exacerbate existing fault lines within India. He cautions that this would lead to increased violence and hatred against all other religious minorities, especially Muslims.

There are huge regional implications of this phenomenon. It is, therefore, important to understand the genesis, evolution, and impact of Hindutva within India, Pakistan, and the broader region. That’s what this book by Mr. Hali does. The author also offers valuable suggestions for both India and Pakistan to counter the phenomenon of Hindutva, and its dangerous implications for the region.

May I extend my commendation to the author for writing such a topical and relevant book. Hali sahib and I became friends when he was an anchor person in PTV World. I sat through several interviews with him when I was serving as foreign secretary. This friendship has endured. I am pleased to see that he continues to serve his country with such dedication and commitment.

May I also welcome the chief guest of today’s function, General Ehsan ul Haq, who has distinguished himself as a scholar general. He is well recognized, at home and abroad, for his incisive analyses and sharp intellect. Thank you General sahib for accepting our invitation. You have always been kind and responsive to the Institute and make us proud.

I would also like to welcome Senator Nisar Memon, who has had an illustrious career in and out of government. He brings to the table keen observations and treasured advice, based on his varied experience. Mr. Memon, thank you for being with us today.

May I also express our happiness in welcoming Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, who is not only an illustrious senior to me in the foreign service of Pakistan but also here in the Institute, which he served with great distinction as its Director General.

While the author, the speakers and the chief guest would comment on the contents of the book, I am sure the audience would also like to hear from them how they see what’s happening in India post Pulwama incident. The war mongering and hysteria being whipped by Indian leadership and Indian media is touching dangerous levels. Our Prime Minister has given a highly mature and measured response yesterday. It would be our hope that instead of levelling baseless and knee-jerk allegations, Indian leadership would reflect and introspect on what its policies are doing to India and endangering the entire region: the policies of hatred borne out of a flawed philosophy of Hindutva; the use of ruthless force against hapless Kashmiris; and persecution of the Muslims and other minorities in India.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you all once again for gracing this important event, and hope that this session would enrich us all with a deeper understanding of an important though extremely dangerous phenomenon of Hindutva gripping our eastern neighbor.