The fragmented opposition in the country shares one thing in common: All of them seem united in calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a fascist, a dictator, autocrat and what not. He, they allege, refuses to hark the voice of those who do not see eye to eye with him. They hurl unlimited abuses at him, the abuses one feels shy of repeating here. Country’s election was fought in the past on principles, performance and promises made to the electorate. This time political leaders seem to be in a hurry to be the first to conquer the Mount Everest of filthy abuses to gain an edge over their opponents to spit foul language against the PM.
They further accuse the BJP-led NDA government of undermining the constitutional institutions like the Supreme Court (SC) and Election Commission (EC). Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are some of the other important arms of the Government. National Investigation Agency (NIA) was constituted through an act of Parliament in 2008.
As a matter of course, every institution whether a product of the Constitution or an arm of the government as a department is expected to function in a free, fair and impartial manner to fetch justice to all without fear and favour. And, above all, these should not discriminate against anybody on grounds of caste, creed, sex and region.
The record of those who now accuse Mr. Narendra Modi of being a fascist, autocrat, a dictator who cares for none, not even his party, do not stand vindicated by their own record when they were in power. Recall UPA’s stubborn arrogance under Dr. Manmohan Singh to get the nuclear deal with USA approved by Parliament. Allegations of money having been exchanged to buy support for the move were not proved to be false.
It was during the UPA regime that the Supreme Court of India was constrained to dub the CBI a “caged parrot”. No need to say any further.
It is on record that an IT team raided in January 2011 business houses with which the then BJP President Nitin Gadkari was connected — a day before he was to file his nomination papers for election to the office of BJP national President for another term. Feeling so much hurt, Mr. Gadkari decided not to seek re-election. Congress-led UPA did succeed in its design to frustrate Gadkari’s bid for re-election. The then government failed to justify the raids because nothing came out of this raid during the next three years it remained in power.
When the same IT did the same with Congress and other party leaders after the hue of the Union Government had changed, the Congress calls it a political vendetta to defame the party and its leaders.
During the Congress regime when campaign to UP state assembly elections was in full swing and Model Code of Conduct had been enforced by the EC, two Union Ministers Salman Khurshid and Beni Prasad Verma openly defied the EC by promising reservation to Muslims on religion basis during the election campaign. Mr. Khurshid was censured by EC but he still continued unabashedly defy the EC till polling was over in his wife’s constituency. Afterwards, Verma took the thread from where Khurshid had left and repeated the same promise. UPA PM Dr. Manmohan Singh kept silent, as was his font. That speaks volumes for Congress respect for the institutions of the Constitution.
The ‘secular liberal’ media and intelligentsia — some political parties also included — who accuse others as communal and fascists are themselves no less guilty of this very crime. They continue to treat Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the world’s largest social voluntary organization, as ‘communal’ and dreadful although it or its members have never been charged and convicted by any court of law for indulging in subversive or anti-national activities. They are seen, at many occasions, on the side of people indulging in anti-national, terrorist, and subversive activities.
Recall the JNU incident where some student leaders celebrated the death anniversary of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru and raised slogans like “Bharat tere tukde honge, insha allah, insha allah”. Mr. Rahul Gandhi was the first politician to rush to JNU to express their solidarity for the attack on the right of students’ freedom of expression. These politicians feel honoured to share space with terrorist and anti-national leaders but not with RSS leaders.
Courts have framed criminal charges of cheating, breach of trust, illegal use of funds, even rape and murder against many in the top echelons of some political parties. They are on bail. Many Congress leaders were named for their involvement in 1984 anti-Sikh riots by various commissions of inquiry into these riots. Still Congress nominated them to fight Lok Sabha elections and some of them were made ministers even.
Dr. Vinayak Sen who was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Chhattisgarh High Court on charges of treason and contacts with Naxalites, to cite just one instance, was appointed by Congress-led UPA government to Planning Commission’s committee on health, the very next day he was granted bail by the Supreme Court.
On the other hand, Congress party is protesting against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur who is contesting Lok Sabha poll against Mr. Digvijay Singh from Bhopal. She has, as yet, not been found guilty by courts for any criminal act.
Gandhiji’s words proved prophetic
“Addressing about 500 members of the Rashtriya Sewak Sangha at the Scheduled Caste Colony, Gandhiji said that he had visited the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh Camp years ago at Wardha, when its founder Shri Hedgewar was alive. The late Shri Jamnalal Bajaj had taken him to the camp and he (Gandhiji) had been very impressed by their discipline, complete absence of untouchability and rigorous simplicity. Since then this Sangh had grown. Gandhiji was convinced that any organization which was inspired by the ideal of service and self-sacrifice was bound to grow in strength. But in order to be truly useful, self-sacrifice had to be combined with purity of motive and true knowledge. Sacrifice without these two had been known to prove ruinous to society.( “Mahatma Gandhi’s writings, philosophy, audio, video and photographs” available at Gandhian Institutions — Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal & Gandhi Research Foundation )
These views should open the eyes of those who otherwise swear by Gandhiji in every election and important political forums.
The myth RSS was ‘pro-British’
A myth has been created and spread that RSS before Partition was a pro-British organisation and it played no role at all in the fight for India’s freedom. This stands falsified in an article “Gandhi’s relations with RSS need open-minded acceptance, not suspicion” (Indian Express, April 25, 2019) by Divyansh Dev, a practicing advocate at Delhi High Court and also United Nations Global School Ambassador from India. He states: “As for the Quit India Movement, the report of the CID, Home Department and British intelligence describes the Sangh’s members as “anti-British volunteers who were ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause of the country”. Another British intelligence report in 1943 states that “the ulterior objective of the RSS is to drive the British away from India and free the country”. Further, Swayamsevak Hemu Kalani and RSS leader Dada Naik were hanged in 1943 by the British. It was during Quit India Movement that RSS provided shelter to Aruna Asif Ali, Achyutrao Patwardhan and Nana Patil, to protect them from the ire of the British.
Not in the words of his associate Pyarelal, but of Mahatma himself, who paid a visit to RSS in 1934, and commented: “When I visited the RSS Camp, I was very much surprised by your discipline and absence of untouchability.” In one of his documented interactions with RSS workers in 1947, Gandhiji recounted that visit by saying, “Years ago, I went to a camp of the RSS in Wardha. At the time, its founder, Mr Hedgewar was alive. Mr. Jamnalal Bajaj took me to the camp and I was very impressed by the strict discipline, the simplicity of those people.” (https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/mahatma-gandhi-m-s-golwalkar-rss-hindutva-nathuram-godse-5693117/)
THE TWO RIOTS
There were two big riots in the country — one anti-sikh riots in 1984 and riots in Gujarat riots in 2002.
Over 2800 Sikhs lost their lives in Delhi in a brutal reprisal to the assassination of India’s Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 at the hands of two of her Sikh policemen on security duty at her residence. More people died in attacks in various parts of the country but confined to States which had Congress governments, nowhere else. Unconfirmed reports put the figure of deaths in Delhi at 5000 and about 1000 at different places in the country.
Further, while nobody justified the riots in Gujarat, the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is on record having said: “When a big tree falls, the earth shakes.”
Even after about 35 years justice has deluded to the bereaved families of Sikhs. Only 2-3 cases have been taken to their logical conclusion. Last year, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, ex-MP of Congress was awarded imprisonment for life.
On the other hand, in riots triggered by the burning alive of 59 karsewaks in a stationary train at Godhara railway station on February 27, 2002, as per the figures given by the Union Minister of State for Home Shriprakash Jaiswal, who belonged to the Congress Party, in Parliament on 11 May 2005, 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed in the riots, 2548 people were injured and 223 people were missing. A report placed the number of riot-affected widows at 919 and the number of children orphaned at 606.
In Gujarat riots numerous cases have been taken to their logical conclusion and a number of political leaders awarded jail sentences. Many more such cases are still under trial in various courts.
The same is not true of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
For the ‘secular-liberal’ intelligentsia and media as also many politicians, it appears, the anti-Sikh riots were ‘secular’ and, therefore, pardonable and those in Gujarat were ‘communal’ and therefore, deserve model punishment. That is why they always cry hoarse for justice to those affected by Gujarat riots and not against anti-Sikh riots.
No ‘secular-liberal’ scholar, media and some political parties sheds tears for justice to 59 kar sewaks burnt alive in Godhra which triggered riots in other parts of the State. On the contrary, these gentlemen try to explain away the killings by advancing various excuses. Courts have convicted a number of persons for this crime. For these gentlemen convictions of those responsible for Godhra riots are an “injustice” to the minority community.
In his article “15 years after Godhra, we still don’t know who lit the fire” in the Hindustan Times (May 10, 2019) Mohan Guruswamy, in a way, questioned the court judgement which convicted the persons accused of the crime.
“According to official sources”, Guruswamy quotes, “790 Muslims and 254 Hindus were killed, and as many as 100,000 Muslims and 40,000 Hindus were rendered homeless. About 130 are still reported missing. But we know that official estimates are always low and in this case the estimates are from the Gujarat government.” This clearly smashes the impression created in the country, and the world over, that it was an “anti-Muslim” pogrom. The facts show that was a strife between two communities as both sides suffered losses.
“Civil rights and Muslim groups report that more than 2,000 Muslims were killed by Hindu mobs. Muslim mobs too were active and exacted retribution wherever possible. But it is clearly evident that the Gujarat Police acted more firmly on Muslim mobs as 24 Muslims and 13 Hindus were killed in police firings.” If Civil Rights and Muslim groups report was genuine, why were they shy and silent to report the number of Hindus who were killed? If Gujarat police “acted more firmly on Muslim mobs (alone) how come that they killed 13 Hindus?
Hinduism a way of life, not religion
The case dates back to 1995, when a three-judge SC bench led by Justice JS Verma overturned a Bombay high court order that scrapped the elections of nine BJP candidates because they had sought votes to create a “Hindu state”.
The SC said that “Hindutva/Hinduism is a way of life of the people in the subcontinent and is a state of mind” – not a religion – and therefore seeking votes was not illegal under the Representation of the People Act, which outlaws poll campaign on religious grounds.
The court declared Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi’s statement “First Hindu state will be established in Maharashtra” as not illegal under electoral law. “It may well be that these words (Hindutva/Hinduism) are used in the speech to promote secularism and to emphasise the way of life of the Indian people and the Indian culture or ethos,” Verma ruled.
Courts wrong, they right
But for the superior intelligence of our secular-liberal intelligentsia and a section of media court judgements on any issue are of no consequence and meaning. For them Hindu, Hinduism and Hindutva remain something obnoxious. Court verdicts are laudable for them only if they satisfy their whims.
For them, RSS (as also the Bhartiya Janata Party, Shiv Sena, Shiromani Akali Dal and the like) continues to be a hateful organisation despite the fact that no court in the country has ever described it as a spiteful organisation, ‘communal’ in words and deeds. It has a membership composed of all other faiths.
On the other hand, Muslim League and other such political organisations whose membership is restricted to one religion, continues to be ‘secular’ in their estimation. Nobody can challenge it.
They subscribe to another strange philosophy. If a political party which they dub as ‘communal’ enters into an alliance with these ‘secular’ political associations, it instantly turns ‘secular’.
Opposition criticises calling it a Modi government. But if Mr. Modi calls it “my government” and on the same analogy “my army” or police, it hurts the opposition. In various addresses at various occasions, the Presidents of India have been calling it “my government”. What is objectionable?
Mr. Narendra Modi is holding an office of the Constitution. He is the prime minister for the country as a whole. He represents the whole nation. If he has raised the esteem of the country in the world, it is a matter of pride for the whole nation, including his detractors.
If Mr. Modi has been honoured with six international awards by various countries, it is an honour not for Mr. Modi individually; it is for the whole nation. This is something unique. This is the result of what he did for the country and the world. This has never happened earlier.
Contrast it with what other countries do and what our opposition does. For the world Mr. Narendra Modi is a person to be honoured. But what language is our opposition using for him? Never, perhaps never, in any democracy, such words have been used against a PM. It is not in our culture even.
In spite of all this, our ‘secular-liberal intelligentsia continues with its main na maanoon (I don’t agree) stubborn stance. Let the people decide who is a fascist, dictator and autocrat? Who is denigrating the institutions of the Constitution — PM Modi or his detractors?
By Amba Charan Vashishth