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Having communalised us, the BJP unfolds its Hindutva agenda to the full

In the general election of 2019, endless sectarian issues are being thrown up by the ruling BJP. To top issues like the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Kabristan, Vande Mataram, pseudo-nationalism, now the BJP has put up Pragya Thakur as its candidate from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat.

Thakur is one of the key accused in acts of terror, particularly in cases related to the Malegaon, Ajmer, Makkah Masjid and Samjhauta Express bomb blasts, in which many innocents lost their lives and hundreds were injured.

Since joining the BJP a fortnight ago and being nominated as a Lok Sabha candidate Thakur has issued many statements, which are very disturbing at one level and at another show her mindset and the RSS-BJP’s.

After the Malegaon terror attack of 2008, in which six people died and over a hundred were injured, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief heading the investigation, Hemant Karkare, after painstaking investigation got a vital clue.

It related to the motorcycle used in the Malegaon blast. Based on the chassis number of the motorcycle he caught hold of Pragya Thakur, in whose name the vehicle was registered.

This led to a series of arrests in which Lt Col Purohit, Major Upadhyay, Swami Dayanand Pandey and Swami Aseemanand among others were found to have been involved. The laptops, the conversation and other meticulously collected evidence led to the unearthing of a deeper plot, in which many of the accused were related to the RSS in some way.

One of the crucial pieces of evidence was the confession of Swami Aseemanand. In a legally valid confession in front of a magistrate he revealed the whole plot.

After NDA II, comprised mostly of the BJP, came to power in 2014, the National Investigation Agency started pursuing the cases with a different approach. The biggest evidence of this was the statement of Rohini Salian, the public prosecutor concerned, who stated that she had been told to go softer on the cases. She refused to do so and was removed from her role as public prosecutor.

In Thakur’s case, the NIA in 2016 approached the courts with a chargesheet exonerating her of the crime. It also stated that she had breast cancer and was unable to walk even with support. The court in its wisdom framed the chargesheet against her and granted her bail purely on medical grounds, without exonerating her of the crime.

As matters stand, she is accused of terrorist activity and is on bail on medical grounds.

After her nomination from Bhopal Thakur announced that Hemant Karkare was killed due to her curse (shrap). Karkare along with two other police officers died in the 26/11/2008 terror attack sponsored from Pakistan. Karkare, a brave officer chose to fight the terror attack on the streets and died from terrorists’ bullets.

Now Pragya Thakur’s statement is the worst insult to a martyr who died while performing his duties, trying to save the nation from a terror attack. Later she retracted her statement saying she was doing so as it may benefit the enemies!

Some pointed out that if she has the mythical power of dealing curses, why didn’t she do so to the terror masterminds sitting in Pakistan?

Thakur also alleged that Karkare had tortured her, so she cursed him. But the National Human Rights Commission investigated this issue and found no evidence of torture whatsoever. Karkare’s investigation was based purely on the grounds of evidence collected by him and his team of professionals.

In the aftermath of this insult many wellknown names from the police force, known for their integrity and upright work like Julio Rebeiro, Prakash Singh and Meeran Borwankar among others, came forward through articles or TV interviews to share their opinion of Karkare. As per them, Karkare was an upright, honest officer with a professional approach to his work. During his lifetime he was called deshdrohi (traitor, anti-national) by many leaders of Hindutva.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi came forward to defend the BJP’s nomination of terror-accused Pragya Thakur, by saying that to accuse her of being involved in an act of terror is to insult the five thousand year old Hindu civilisation!

Does Pragya Thakur represent the civilisational values of this land? Far from it. India’s past is plural, interactive and accepting with open arms of traditions which prevail within and without. India’s civilisation is represented by likes of Gautam Buddh, Bhagwan Mahavir, Kabir, Guru Nanak, Nizamuddin Auliya and Gandhi among others – who talked of love, tolerance and peace – and not by the likes of Pragya Thakur.

Thakur’s suffering from breast cancer is another mystery. The medical board headed by the JJ Hospital dean found her not to be suffering from any cancer. She claims to have been cured by cow urine and panchgavya. Panch Gavya is a mixture of cow milk, urine, dung, curd and ghee.

Such preposterous claims are in line with the blind faith being promoted by sectarian nationalism, which is propounded by the ideology to which she belongs. Her illness, and its cure by panch gavya is a mystery in itself.

Thakur also claims to have been part of the Babri monument demolition squad. The Election Commission has given her a notice on this issue. So this is a self confessed crime! Apart from being the major accused in Malegaon blasts for which the case against her is still on, she is confessing to her crime in the Babri demolition. What type of signal is being given by the BJP in naming her as a candidate for Parliament?

Surely the BJP is unfolding its Hindutva agenda to the full by now. Earlier with people like Vajpayee at the helm, the moderate image was the electoral compulsion. Now with increased communalisation after 2002, Ram Temple and Holy Cow, the BJP is feeling emboldened enough to reveal its true colour: divisiveness, violence and sectarianism.

It stands for something which is totally against the values of the Indian Constitution.

https://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/NewsDetail/index/4/16839/Pragya-Thakur-for-Parliament-Her-Past-and-Portents-for-the-Future

Category :- English Bazaar Patrika / OPED

Gandhi and RSS: Diverse Nationalisms

Ram Puniyani
22-04-2019

There are continuous attempts from RSS camp to show that Mahatma Gandhi looked up to RSS with respect. The latest in this direction is the piece by RSS joint General Secretary Shri Man Mohan Vaidya. (The Mahatma and the Sangh, IE, 12 April 2019). Vaidya first tries to dissociate from Godse by stating that in the many discussions which he has attended on Gandhi within Sangh, Godse is not mentioned. Does that mean Godse had nothing to do with RSS? He was a Pracharak of RSS who later joined Hindu Mahasabha as its Secretary of Pune Branch. His brother Gopal Godse, Nathuram’s younger sibling and a co-conspirator in the assassination plot, in 1994, disclosed that his elder brother was anxious to protect the RSS, which had been "like a family to us" "[Nathuram] said in his statement that he left the RSS", Gopal continued. "He said it because... the RSS were in a lot of trouble after the murder of Gandhi. But he did not leave the RSS". Gopal denounced the "cowardice" of those disputing his brother's unbroken membership of the RSS. Corroborating Gopal's statement is the influential pro-RSS scholar Dr Koenrad Elst who, in his 2001 book Gandhi and Godse, wrote that "Nathuram contrived to create the impression that the RSS had little to do with him, simply to avoid creating more trouble for the RSS in the difficult post-assassination months."

Right in the beginning of the article Mr. Vaidya is forthright to point out his opposition to Gandhi, “…despite disagreeing with him and his surrender to the extremist and jihadi elements among Muslim community RSS had admired… (Gandhi)” This distortion of history is deliberate in keeping with Hindu nationalism espoused by Vaidya and his RSS While from within Muslims there were Muslim Nationalists, whom Gandhi abhorred, he wooed over large section of Muslims to Indian Nationalism. To call the Muslims who participated in freedom movement under the leadership of Gandhi extremist or jihadi is not only a travesty of truth; it is more a revelation of RSS worldview where Muslim is seen as alien, foreigner, aggressor and terrorist. It is this root of RSS ideology which prompted Godse to put three bullets in the chest of Mahatma.

Viadya does try to present as if RSS was part of freedom movement, by showing that RSS founder Dr. K. B. Hedgewar participated in 1921 non cooperation and 1930 civil disobedience movement.  On one side Hedgewar participated in Non cooperation movement on the other he is critical of the impact of the same,  ‘As a result of non cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi, the enthusiasm in the country was cooling down and the evils of social life, which that movement generated, were menacingly raising their head. ‘As per him ‘it is due to this movement that Brahmin–non Brahmin conflict was nakedly on view’. (C.P.Bhishikar in Keshav Sangh Nirmata, Pune 1979, p 7) Surely these participations by the RSS founder were purely in personal capacity and RSS never participated in any anti British movement as an organization. In 1930, (RSS was formed in 1925) Hedgewar discouraged those who wanted to participate in anti British Movement. And in 1942, his successor also forbade RSS volunteers to take part in 1942 Quit India movement. Golwalkar reminded the RSS that fighting against British is not a part of their agenda. This RSS ideologue clearly spells out that fighting against the British has not been part of their agenda, “We should remember that in our pledge we have talked of freedom of the country through defending religion and culture, there is no mention of departure of British from here.” (taken from Shri Guruji Samagra Darshan, vol. IV, page 40)

As far as Gandhi’s views on RSS are concerned there are some scattered observations, but these give an apt understanding of what he thought of about RSS. As far as Gandhi’s understandings about RSS is concerned there are authentic sources to tell us the real story. In Harijan on 9th August 1942, Gandhi writes, “I had heard of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its activities; and also know that it was a communal organization”, this was in response to the slogans and some speech against ‘other’ community, about which a complaint was made. In this Gandhi is referring to the drill of RSS volunteers, who shouted that this Nation belongs to Hindus alone and once the British leave we will subjugate the non Hindus. In response to the rowdyism indulged by communal organizations he writes, “I hear many things about RSS. I have heard it said the Sangh is at the root of all this mischief.”(Gandhi, xcviii, 320-322)

Amongst the recorded opinions about Gandhi’s evaluation of RSS, the most authentic is the one of his secretary Pyarelal. Pyarelal narrates an event in the wake of 1946 riots. A member of Gandhi’s entourage had praised the efficiency, discipline, courage and capacity for hard work shown by RSS cadres at Wagah, a major transit camp for Punjab refugees. Gandhi quipped back, ‘but don’t forget, even so had Hitler’s Nazis and Fascists under Mussolini’ Gandhi characterized RSS as a communal body with a totalitarian outlook’ (Pyarelal, Mahatma Gandhi: The Last Phase, Ahmadabad, page 440)

After independence, in the context of Delhi violence (Rajmohan Gandhi, Mohandas, page 642), Gandhi confronted the RSS chief Golwalkar, with reports of the RSS hand in Delhi violence, Denying the allegations Golwalkar also said that RSS did not stand for killing the Muslims. Gandhi asked him to say so publically. Golwalkar said Gandhi could quote him on this. Gandhi did this in his prayer talk that evening, but he told Golwalkar that statement ought to come from him. Later he told Nehru that he did not find Golwalkar convincing.’

So today when point is being made about choice between Gandhi and Godse, what is being pleaded is that the choice is between inclusive Indian nationalism of Gandhi and exclusive Hindu nationalism being propounded by RSS progeny BJP, Godse is synonym of Hindu nationalism, the agenda of RSS Combine!

Category :- English Bazaar Patrika / OPED