Monday, February 24, 2014

RSS/BJP Unleashes a Charade on the Indian People

THE RSS/BJP and its PM aspirant’s desperation at the possible emergence of a combination of secular opposition parties – non-Congress, non-BJP – in the run up to the 2014 general elections has reached a new crescendo.  A litany of epithets have been unleashed which should be considered unbecoming by anybody, particularly by somebody who is self-proclaimed by the RSS/BJP as India’s future prime minister.  Some of his comments denouncing the `third front’ as `third rate’ have drawn a spontaneous response that such comments can come only from a `third rate’ mindset!

Sections of India Inc. and their mentors, the international finance capital, appear equally worried at the prospect of their apple cart being upset.  This is because they see in the RSS/BJP’s PM nominee the best hope, a la Hitlerite fascism in post-1939 Great Depression Germany, for maximising profits at the expense of heaping increased economic exploitation on the people and the complete abrogation of freedoms by unleashing fascistic repression. They were hoping for unhindered imposition of neo-liberal reforms imposing greater economic burdens on the people. The fears that such a process may face roadblocks has now prompted an international credit rating agency, whose name sounds chillingly similar to the RSS/BJP PM hopeful, Moody’s, to predict such an alternative possibility as a disaster.  This the Indian media has widely reported, “Third front government may delay economic reforms: Moody’s” (Times of India, February 12, 2014).  The agency spokesman in India said so in a comment titled, “Post-election India: A fragmented coalition will be the biggest threat to credit quality”. Need anything further be said?  What is in store for India and its people, in the case of such an eventuality of the RSS/BJP triumphing in 2014 elections, thus, is not only the sharpening of communal polarisation but the heaping of economic miseries on the vast mass of our people.

In tune with this, the RSS has unleashed a charade on the Indian people trying to camouflage this eventuality. Its public campaign is ostensibly pitched on the issues of development and prosperity. The real target remains advancing the RSS vision of a rabidly intolerant fascistic `Hindu Rashtra’ agenda by sharpening communal polarisation.

Such duplicity is in evidence all around. The first day of the current parliament session saw the BJP successfully stall the introduction of the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill (PCVB) on the grounds that this violated federalism – a basic feature of our constitution. Last week, in this column, we had detailed the BJP’s diabolic efforts and the Left parties fundamental position on this issue.  Hence, we are not repeating these arguments.  However, the BJP’s championing of our federal structure today  is an eyewash given the fundamental RSS positions on the Indian constitution.

The RSS/BJP's self-declared Guruji, MS Golwalkar, who provided both the ideological construct of the 'Hindu Rashtra' (We, Or Our Nationhood Defined, 1939, Fourth Edition, 1947) and the organisational structure of the 'sangh parivar' to achieve this objective, had decades ago spoken of the need “to bury deep for good, all talk of a federal structure of our country's Constitution, to sweep away the existence of all 'autonomous' or 'semi-autonomous states' with one State, viz., Bharat and proclaim 'one country, one State, one legislature, one executive'... Let the Constitution be re-examined and re-drafted, so as to establish this unitary form of government...” (Bunch of Thoughts, Third Edition, 1966, Page 227)

On the one hand, the BJP claims credit for the creation of the states of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, and Uttarakhand, while on the other, they engage in double-speak over the Telangana state. Unlike the CPI(M), which unequivocally favours the non-division of linguistic states, the RSS/BJP continue to speak of 'one country, one people, one nation'. For the RSS/BJP, therefore, federalism does not mean the recognition of India’s vast diversity and plurality. It means the division of the country into small administrative units devoid of any character or unity based on language, ethnicity etc of the people. In the process, it seeks to place all such states at the mercy of the central government for their survival.  This is, unfortunately, the experience many a small state in our country, particularly in the North-East. For instance, if the current 80 MPs from the Uttar Pradesh stand in unison in the Lok Sabha, no government can ignore their legitimate demands.  Imagine, if this state is divided into four or more parts, each would lose its capacity and be reduced to be at the mercy of the central government.

Similar is their subterfuge regarding their campaign focussing on development and the 'Gujarat model'. Planning Commission data substantiates that in terms of Net State Domestic Product and FDI inflows, Gujarat ranks behind backward industrial states like Odisha and Chattisgarh. In terms of per capita income, it remains sixth among major Indian states, fifth in terms of poverty levels, eighth in terms of life expectancy. With regard to human development indices, it has a dismal record of ranking tenth among all major Indian states. In terms of the peoples’ health index and education index, it ranks sixth. Over 80 percent of its children and 55 percent of women suffer from anaemia. This is its 'growth model'.  Notwithstanding this reality, the 'Gujarat growth story' is seducing sections of India Inc. into applause.

A recent cover story (The Caravan) on Aseemanand, one of the protagonists of the alleged Hindutva terror network, now in custody as the main accused in the Samjautha Express train blast (February 2007), Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blasts (May 2007) and at the Ajmer Dargah blasts (October 2007), also named but not yet charged in two other terrorist attacks in Malegaon, Maharashtra (September 2006, 2008) says, “his terrorist attacks were sanctioned at the highest levels of the RSS – all the way up to Mohan Bhagawat, the current chief of the RSS, who was the organisation's general secretary at that time”. The latter, in turn, is alleged to have told Aseemanand that, “it is very important that it be done. But you should not link it with the Sangh”. This expose goes on to detail that Aseemanand's accomplice, RSS’s Sunil Joshi, “who was allegedly the connecting thread between several different parts of the conspiracy – including those who assembled and those who planted the bombs – was killed in mysterious circumstances in December 2007”.

The RSS’s record on the issue of imparting militant training to the Hindus has a long history.  It was V D Savarkar who gave the slogan “Hinduise all politics and militarise Hindudom”.  Inspired by this, Dr B S Moonje, mentor to RSS founder Dr Hegdewar, traveled to Italy to meet the fascist dictator, Mussolini.  The meeting took place on March 19, 1931. His personal diary notes of March 20 reveal his fascination and admiration of the manner in which  Italian fascism was training its youth  (read storm-troopers) militarily.  Upon return to India, Dr Moonje established the Central Hindu Military Education Society at Nasik in 1935, the precursor to the Bhonsala Military School  established in 1937.  Investigations have now put this on the terror radar. Golwalkar, in 1939, exults Hitler’s purging of the Jews under Nazi fascism saying that it is “a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by”. Much later in 1970, he says “Generally speaking, it is a matter of common experience that evil forces (read non-Hindus) do not understand the language of logic and sweet nature. They can be controlled by force”.

The RSS, forever, continues to deny any links with such people when they are caught or their terror activities exposed. For instance, the RSS always claimed that Nathuram Godse was not with the RSS when he shot dead Mahatma Gandhi – a claim strongly contested by Nathuram’s brother.  Here is what Nathuram’s brother Gopal Godse had to say in a media interview, “All the brothers were in the RSS. Nathuram, Dattatreya, myself and Govind. You can say we grew up in the RSS rather than in our home. It was like a family to us. Nathuram had become a baudhik karyavah (intellectual worker) in the RSS. He has said in his statement that he left the RSS. He said it because Golwalkar and the RSS were in a lot of trouble after the murder of Gandhi. But he did not leave the RSS.” (Frontline, January 28, 1994).  The point, here, is not the technicality of somebody being a current member. The point is the venomous ideological indoctrination that the RSS and its affiliates undertake which nurtures and promotes such violent militancy.

In this context, it is necessary to recollect that Sardar Patel, who is today sought to be (mis)appropriated by the self-appointed future prime minister of India, had banned the RSS following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.  A government communiqué dated February 4, 1948, drafted by Sardar Patel,  announcing the ban on the RSS says: “The objectionable and harmful activities of the Sangh have, however, continued unabated and the cult of violence sponsored and inspired by the activities of the Sangh has claimed many victims. The latest and the most precious to fall was Gandhiji himself”.

Further, the RSS/BJP is now working overtime to claim a judicial `clean chit’ to the Gujarat CM for his role in leading the state administration during the 2002 post-Godhra communal carnage. A closure report filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in February 2012 is cited as evidence. This is far from the truth. The SIT has held that while there is evidence in many of the allegations made in the Zakia Jaffery complaint of June 2006 regarding the attacks at Gulberg society, Ahmedabad during the riots are true and correct, but in its (SITs) own assessment, this evidence is not prosecutable. Further, the Amicus Curaie's report to the Supreme Court clearly stated that the Gujarat CM should stand trial for offences under sections 153(a), 153(b) and 166 of the Indian Penal Code. As far as the final verdict on 2002 communal pogrom is concerned, literally 'the jury is out', with review petitions pending in the higher courts. There is, thus, no `clean chit’, whatsoever.

All these apart, we are now being told by the RSS/BJP to forget 2002 and move ahead towards a prosperous future under their prime ministerial aspirant. To our secular, democratic, republic and our people, justice continues to be denied since the 2002 Gujarat carnage, cancerously festering the wounds. Our republic can be cleansed and strengthened only when justice is delivered in all cases of this communal pogrom and in all others, where justice continues to be delayed, hence denied. What the country needs in 2014 is an alternative political dispensation to both the Congress and the BJP which is committed to deliver justice and, thus, strengthen our republic as well as work towards providing a better livelihood for the vast mass of our people.

Editorial, People's Democracy

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