Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Savarkar teaches RSS, Hindutva

According to RSS, ATS is scripting Panchatantra stories since it’s unlikely according to the RSS that the alleged culprits of Malegaon blasts are the same people who tried to kill Mohanrao Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar. However the way ‘Abhinav Bharat’ is clinging to Hindutva and RSS is moving towards Hindutva it seems that both, the Abhinav Bharat and RSS hold the same views on the Malegaon blasts. And it means that Abhinav Bharat is unable to differentiate between the Hindutva of Malegaon and Hindutva of RSS.

Before even giving a thought over these circumstances it’s important to understand the pasts of both the organizations. The parent organization of Abhinav Bharat was managed by Savakar. He said, “In this Universe, Hindus should have a separate Nation of their own where they can prosper as a Hindu and as the ancestors of the powerful. Hence we should recognize and consider purity, which not only has a religious but also a political aspect.” Savarkar wanted to purify the Hedgewar community and hence wanted to promote his beliefs of a Hindu Nation.

Savarkar kept Hindu Mahasabha amidst Pune and the Konkanastha Brahmins and challenged the British in 1904 taking with him the Abhinav Bharat forward. After two decades, Hedgewar in order to make desirable conditions for Hindus among Telugu Brahmins, emphasized on chastising the Hindus. This was however against Congress. At that time RSS stood nowhere in front of Savarkar. Similarly, the present day Hindu Mahasabha stands nowhere in front of RSS. Savarkar’s daughter-in-law, Himani Savarkar stood for the Vidhan Sabha elections in 2004 talking about Hindu Mahasabha. At that time not only BJP but also RSS were keen in the issue. Himani used to campaign in an auto and the BJP/RSS supporters may have sarcastically commented, “Take the auto’s charge from us if Himani fails to pay.”

That was the same time when BJP had tensions regarding RSS. Hence when Mohanrao Bhagwat took up the responsibility of RSS, everyone looked upon him as Madhukar Rao Bhagwat. Madhukar Rao Bhagwat was not only Mohanrao Bhagwat’s father but also a supporter of Hedgewar and always stood with him. During that time, Madhukar Rao Bhagwat was Gujarat’s regional promoter of RSS and wanted to discard the political aspect and promote the chastising of society. When Mohanrao Bhagwat took over the headship of RSS, the Ayodhya Temple was made a dream. The issue of Swadeshi bowed in front of FDI.

Raising the issue of cow protection in the age of economic development seemed very ancient. The mention of Section 370 became a word of disgrace for some. RSS was totally enchanted with conversions. The issue of illegal Bangladeshi migration wasn’t paid any heed during the Atal Bihari Bajpai Government. In spite of the murder of four RSS workers in the North-East region, the then Home Minister Mr.L.K.Adavni seemed indifferent; which raised questions in RSS. The division of J&K into three and the proposal of reuniting it were declined by the Bajpai Govt. only. And amidst all this, on the terms of BJP the way Indresh Kumar was trying to bring in the Muslims together in the Sangh; created a tension in the Sangh itself. Clearly they did not only see this as a staunch Hindutva of RSS but also the Marathi community, which did not recognize RSS, was more than angry. From 2002 to 2006, a balance and understanding between Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh Swadeshi Jagran Manch and Kisan Sangh discontinued. RSS’ Sudarshan started attending Muslim conferences and functions which instigated these tensions.

The works/issues initiated by RSS in the Hinduvadi Movement in Maharashtra clearly denoted the disinterest of people towards RSS. BJP’s defeat in the 2004 elections weakened the Hindutva agenda of RSS; which they wanted to promote under the BJP Govt. The Marathi lobby that was sidelined in this whole process began to stand against the secular thinking of RSS.

During this time the new generation of Savarkar and Godse, who were initially dissatisfied with RSS, agreed to make Savarkar’s Abhinav Bharat active in the contemporary scenario. This wing blamed the RSS for being an ally of Muslims and an anti-Hindu secular. However, it is not that the Abhinav Bharat formed overnight and targeted RSS all of a sudden. When the question of starting Abhinav Bharat rose in 2006; the old issue of discarding RSS’ Hindutva was raised by the politicians, as usual.

In a meeting in Pune, in the presence Himani Savarkar, a question was raised that RSS never openly talks about issues relating to Hindus; says nothing and take the advantage of the situation. The agenda of the meeting was Shivaji and Lokmanya Tilak, linking it to Savarkar’s philosophy and Godse’s theory gave it recognition. In the meeting the followers of Dharma Samrat Swami Karpatri, Mahant Digvijay Nath and Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopananda were present. The ones who followed their ideology believed that there’s no use taking forward Hindutva in the name of RSS.

It’s also being speculated that keeping BJP in front, RSS is trying to hide its weakness. Hence if a new Hindu Nation is to be made then it’ll be important to overthrow RSS. However, it has been closer to Hindu Mahasabha than the Congress. Till 1937, the conventions of BJP and Hindu Mahasabha used to be held on the same venue. In fact Madan Mohan Malviya addressed both the meetings. That’s why RSS always thought differently from the Congress theory. However, Hindu Mahasabha thought that the Sangh has made itself more or less like congress, after having tasted the power through BJP. RSS has totally declined the theory of a Hindu Nation.

Importantly, the traditions of Brahmins have also raised issues. Like Hedgewar, Sudarshan is also a Telugu Brahmin and hence his capability to head RSS has been always questioned. Hence the Marathi lobby of RSS is apparently promoting Savarkar’s ideology. Its effect on RSS and the present political conditions of India were visible in Sudarshan’s behaviour on the 7th November meeting that took place in Jantar Mantar. Amidst the conditions that differentiated Savakar and Sangh there’s a tension inside RSS that may be they were not going on a right path.

The question is not about the conspiracy of Mohan Bhagwat’s or Indresh Kumar’s murder. Standing in the line of Gokhale-Sathe-Peshwa, the konkanastha Brahmins now want to enliven the structure of Indian economy. This is what Dattopant Thengdi said. However he died reiterating this and no one, neither Bajpai nor the head RSS paid heed. It’s clear that after independence if the supporters want the Abhinav Bharat back then it has a counter view attached to it; which is, the social and cultural theory of RSS promoted by BJP standing in the court of justice.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Terrorism, politics and society

6th December 1992, Nagpur, 2-3 PM; police gathered in the open adjacent to the RSS headquarters in Mahal. As the news of Babri Masjid demolition started disseminating from Ayodhya, the RSS headquarter seemed perplexed. Everyone from the Sangh workers to the ones holding even a mere position felt that finally they did what they said. A wave of happiness was felt by everyone for the first time in the streets of Mahal. It seemed that no one had ever felt something of this sort even once after independence.

Mahal has been mentioned here as almost every family is a member of RSS. This happiness was felt for the first time as during two instances; pre and post independence, RSS faced pain and hurt. Savarkar never agreed to the Sangh’s ideology of Hindutva and hence never visited RSS’ headquarters ever. However, he had no problems in meeting with the head of RSS. However, the swayam sevaks in Nagpur always felt that Hindutva was a mere ideology in front of Savarkar’s impactful and bold character.

At a meeting that happened in Nagpur’s cotton market, Savarkar said that Hindutva is not the path that the cultural organizations would be able to drive the nation on. The second time when RSS ached was when Gandhiji was assassinated and RSS was banned. In the afternoon of 6th December, when the police and others were gathering in the open near the headquarters; there was one man who was also there. He was the then head of RSS, Devras.

The place was surrounded by seemingly the whole police force. Journalists were present and all their questions were being answered by Devras. Police hinted Devras’ arrest but owing to his ill health a house arrest was seen as a solution. However during the action time, Devras was suddenly covered by girls and women. Later it was known that they belonged to Durgavahini. There was no woman in the police team hence the house arrest was stopped. The women force of Durgavahini stood there to confront the police.

All through Devras’ conversation with media he hinted that the Babri Masjid demolition was not their first and the last success, but was a part of the strategy. Even if it was looking like a cultural agitation it should be considered a political issue. Amidst this when I asked Devras that why the Durgavahini was used like this when it was supposed to be a house arrest eventually? He replied that Durgavahini will have to understand that tomorrow even they can face these circumstances. Moreover this is a planning in which each and every one will have to contribute. I then asked him that is all this planning being done to develop a political understanding? Devras said, “It’s a cultural struggle not untouched by politics. (Laughs) In order to talk to you people (journalists) Durgavahini has created a way and you should thank them for that.” The women police force reached the venue and after some resistance by Durgavahini, Devras was house arrested.

As a repercussion of the Masjid demolition, people from a Muslim majority area Mominpura decided to hold a protest march. The information of this upcoming rally reached the police as well. After a clash between the police and the rally supporters it was decided that the rally won’t be taken out in the city. It would be confined to Mominpura and half a km from there; also the protest meeting would happen in Mominpura itself. The protest march was taken out in the afternoon, black flags were hoisted and banners were raised.

The moment it reached Mominpura the police ordered the procession to stop there and then and carry on with the meeting there itself. On this the youth reacted violently contending that the police was curbing there freedom to protest against the demolition. The crowd turned violent and broke the barricades. However later they faced lathi charge by the police. In a momentary decision by the then Police Commissioner of Nagpur the police shot the innocents. More that 22 rounds of bullets were fired. 13 died and more than 20 were injured. The ones, who died, died within the premises of Mominpura.

Both the ends of Mominpura were covered with corpses. The police not only stopped the mob on the main road but also in order to suppress the rage intruded the houses of people and mercilessly beat them. The ones who came out were shot dead. It was one of its kind situations for Nagpur as something like this only happened during the weavers’ agitation and once during the dalit movement.

However it was the first occasion when the distance between Mahal and Mominpura seemed as if it were a distance between the borders. This incident at that time got suppressed so that the law and order could be retained. But since that time a tendency of venting out rage over the issue of terrorism and thinking a solution has been very much become visible.

After witnessing what all happened in Ayodhya, the way the Nation and its politics camouflaged itself in saffron; the results can be well seen. Not only this but the Bhagwa become so prominent that country’s majority is finding itself burgled. The Muslims throughout the country fear coming out of their houses. And their way of expression is being used by either Congress or BJP as a tool for their politics.

RSS felt the same hurt within its circle. After Devras they had no head to speak for them under the sun. Devras very well knew the mantra to camouflage a cultural agitation in a political colour. The strategy formulation began happening in closure and the foundation of Democracy began collapsing. All this and more was assumed to be a success and hence a political terror was created.

Amidst this there is a new debate between Sadhus regarding Hindutva. The debate is that Savarkar was big time better than present day RSS; he talked straightly about a big aggression. Savarkar’s ideology is all of a sudden overpowering those organizations which recognize BJP through RSS. It’s obvious that under Savarkar’s theory initially RSS was discarded and now BJP’s facing a similar fate. That’s a reason why Sadhvi Pragya is being made an icon so that a new theory of Hindutva can come up amidst this shattering system. Hence BJP’s Chairman Rajnath Singh and RSS’ Mohanrao Bhagwat are reiterating that a person linked in any way by Indian culture cannot be a terrorist. Similarly Congress is trying to hint the Muslims that even the Hindutva is furthering towards terrorism.

However it’s evident by the sadhu-sadhvi phenomenon that terrorism has nothing to do with the religion. At a political level, if at all terrorism has a religion then a terrorist act carried on the name of religion is not terrorism but something else. After the Babri Masjid demolition on 6th December, Devras hinted the same, saying that Ayodhya is not only synonymous to erecting a temple but also to Hindutva. Discontinuing the rally in Mominpura concluded Devras’ hint. The nation is waving to and fro between this political hint and its result. Save yourself if you can!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saints, Soldiers and Terrorism…

The moment sadhus and soldiers came into the entrapment of terrorism; Muslim terrorism has discontinued. The debate which always started after any terrorist attack keeping in mind the nuances of a “soft State” and the conclusions built upon around Bangladesh, Al Qaeda and ISI; have slowed down now.

Sadhvi Pragya and Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit’s involvement in the blasts has instilled restlessness which gives a message that every Muslim is not importantly a terrorist but every terrorist is definitely a Muslim. There’s no confusion regarding the ongoing debate about the Muslim community and terrorism. The BJP’s and Congress’ view have connected it to the country’s socio-political condition.

The Intelligence Agencies have also agreed that the face of economy has been liked with the Indian society on the name of luxury and this has put the majority section at stake. Importantly, when in the society, money is deciding the values and the Governmental policies, in spite of taking the masses together is going after a section’s profit; the majority is angry. The masses are venting out this anguish in some or the other forms. The Muslim community is the first one to be trapped in this politics, the first reason being their deprived status. The community has its own limitations which the Sachchar Committee report has earlier stated. However the other larger reason is the political situation which has become a profit for the ones in power. The issue isn’t just limited to the vote bank politics where Congress needs to be pampered and BJP needs to be threatened on the name of Muslims. A diminishing line of development and a will to complete it is something that can also be linked with the Muslim community. The Human Resource Department and the UN too understand the nuances in the Indian context.

Coincidently in the last one and a half decade whenever the economy has ascended, the system has apparently weakened. Not only a religion has been hurt but the whole society has got hurt and the sadhus and soldiers have faced suspicion. Also, no one has ever shown the courage to expose and understand whether or not a discussion regarding the same has happened in the Army. However, during A.B. Vajpai’s term the Army’s voice seemed to be so eager to come out in Kargil. The Army has no face. This face didn’t even come up against the recommendations of the salary commission. The economy has dissolved the value of rupee and dollar. Moreover the country didn’t even realize the diminishing sense of patriotism and a soldier’s state of inner conflict. A soldier secures the border and when he confronts the masses he senses the actual state of the country which is apparently in the hands of FDI or foreign investment.

The Bhonsle military school under investigation is one of the first schools which thought about working privately. It was established in Nasik in 1937. A conference of top 7 public schools was conducted on 16th June 1939 in Shimla’s Gorten Castle Committee room. Bhonsle Military School along with schools like Scindhia School, Gwalior; Dally College, Indore; Doon School, Dehradun; Rajkumar College, Raipur and Rajkumar College, Rajkot participated in the conference. The outline of the conference was to promote the functioning of public schools according to the cultural practices in India.

Till now there have been 68 conferences. Every year there are inclusions but the question is that, are the schools established pre-independence have changed after independence? The Bhonsle Military School is from class 5th to 12th and is affiliated to the Maharashtra Board but the way of teaching is still the old Central Hindu Military Education Society’s; which was formed in 1935. It’s hence apparent that the type of foundation laid by these schools has become questionable.

Bhonsle Military School’s students in their debate competitions have been raising questions about the problems the Nation is facing and the solutions for the same. The scenario would have been like that of RSS’ own perspective of a Hindu Nation which is dangerous politically. Sangh and organizations also questioned the nature of Nationalism and Hindutva which were discarded even during Vajpai’s term. So what’s the solution? Even if the Muslim community is completely abandoned, the Hindutva is still so strong that the nation will have to face the consequences.

The Sadhu samaj has so far not believed that RSS has forgiven Advani for supporting Jinnah’s views on Democracy. Regarding Hindutva they have an ongoing debate that Savarkar was all time better than RSS. RSS has always dreamt of a Hindu Nation. At least Savarkar spoke about a straight agitation and struggle and his ideology was even adopted by organizations which recognized BJP through RSS. Under Savarkar’s theory earlier the Jansangh and now the BJP seem to face rejection. That’s the reason why Sadhvi Pragya is being made an idol among the other sadhus; so that a new theory of Hindutva can be created amidst the weakening system of the country. BJP’s Rajnath Singh or RSS’ Mohanrao Bhagwat, both are denying the possibility of any sort of linkage between India’s culture-tradition and terrorism. Congress is using their language to entice the Muslims and projecting that Hindutva is heading towards terrorism. However everyone is indifferent which is creating tension and instigating a feeling of distrust towards the Nation. Hence, in the Jaipur-Ahmedabad-Delhi blasts Muslims and likewise in the Malegaon blasts Hindus are being considered as terrorists. Amidst all this everyone has forgotten that both are in the end, Indian citizens.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chasing Dreams: From Ambedkar to Mayawati and Luther King to Obama

Obama’s victory in the US Presidential elections has created a history in America. It was a dream envisioned by Martin Luther King when in April 1963, Obama would have been 2. Martin Luther King demanded rights and equality in the presence of two and a half lakh people. In his 16 minute long speech, Martin Luther King tried to erase the line of difference between the blacks and white and gave such a voice to world’s human rights struggle that the whole of America realized it. But this is just a dream, as the country that has raised its voice, has itself designed the world.
However, no one including Luther King ever envisaged that such a dream could be made possible in the mainstream one day. After 45 years of giving the Americans a dream, Obama is now ready to create a history. King’s contemporary, B.R. Ambedkar had a similar dream. Seven years before King’s historic speech in 1956, Ambedkar at Nagpur enlightened the masses about Dhammachakra. His goal was to make them ready for a struggle in pursuit of their dreams. A Hindu who proudly considered himself a part of this caste based divided society was questioned by Ambedkar. Not only was he challenging but also he made the then Dalit Samaj strong so that they can stand up for themselves and their self respect. He initiated something which has had effects on the political parties.

The awful struggle between blacks and whites around 1969 in America, around Luther King’s death completely changed the American society. But no one knew that Obama would bring Luther King’s dream to reality. This dream enabled America to register its victory over many decades. Keeping luxury in mind America has implemented the basic policies of food, water and shelter; no body thought so. Just like Bush, Republican McCain’s dream has been first Nation, a Nation with prosperity and peace. This quote however is being raised when America is on a verge of retardation. To raise up the falling markets, the Govt. is depending on people’s money. America’s measures against terrorism have ironically played with its own peace.

Similarly when Ambedkar had dreams of equality and rights and was giving out messages of Dhamma in Nagpur, Mayawati would have been 9 months old. Ambedkar throughout made the dalits realize that they should be in power some day some time. Ambedkar linked education and employment with the self respect of Dalits and inspired them to break the walls of caste and religion which was killing them. Ambedkar wanted dalits to be in the mainstream. He wanted to change the concept and parameters of equality as he could better relate to the agonies of dalits considering the fact that he himself was a dalit. That’s the reason why a clause on reservation was incorporated in the Constitution of India; so that a balance could be achieved between the two circumstances prevailing in the two existing societies.

Like Martin Luther King, Ambedkar never thought that his 20th century dream would ever come true in the 21st century. The base on which a Nation stood began to fall. It’s happened for the first time in American history that a President is starting his politics on an international platform. Till now the stature of the President was considered as the ultimate one. That’s why considering Obama, not only America but the whole world is creating a new dream for itself. Coincidentally, America is on the threshold where its own existence is in trouble. And the ideology which every American was proud of is disintegrating. America ruled the capitalist ideology. Hence, at this point and time, Obama has a larger responsibility than just fulfilling Luther King’s dream. Obama has to create something that no one has ever thought before. However, after 80 years in America’s history has this happened that candidates standing for posts of President and Vice-President are all new.

The world is waiting for something through Obama, however that script is more than just the black-white tension. After Ambedkar’s death there has always been a question that when and how will his dreams come into the mainstream of Indian politics? Through Ambedkar’s ideology and Kashiram’s collective thinking, Mayawati successfully brought the issue into mainstream but when that dream was considered, the politics shattered. When the dream was about to come into reality mode, it became a prerequisite to protect the integrity of Indian politics.

America for the first time in their history had a black President. Similarly, for the first time in India someone like Mayawati came into power and headed a party, being a dalit. Earlier in America, policies were implemented regarding the blacks. Every aspiring President used to bring in some ideas regarding equality in society and others. Politically, division of votes based on racist parameters is being considered as backward. Not only society, but Obama is also being considered as a liaison of Nation. Obama is considered someone who’ll take everyone along with him. Nobody ever thought of breaking into the Obama’s vote bank; not even the Republican candidate McCain. Similarly in India, no one thought of interfering with Mayawati’s politics after she entered politics, rather every political party supported her at every point. Congress- BJP-SP at some time or the other always looked up to Mayawati for help.

At the time when not only the centre but also the states are getting into coalition politics; getting power in UP is not Ambedkar’s dream but is breaking into people’s democracy and trust. Hence, in Indian politics a question regarding Mayawati is reiterated that if at all she comes into power in the centre, she’ll have a goal and a dream to follow; which is unlikely for any other politician. It’s the same as considering the fact that Bush and McCain have no dreams for America, but Obama definitely has. And may be in today’s world the time has come when the dying dreams need to be animated and enlivened.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Student unions united against division politics

It dates back to 1955 when there was a conflict between Bihar Road Transport and the students of Patna University’s B.N. College. The State Govt.’s attitude provoked the students and resultantly the students united and revolted collectively. They formed an eleven member committee against the Govt. This movement was headed by Shahbuddin and every department of the committee had a topper as the head.

The aggression was so strong that when amidst the movement in July, the occasion 15th August arrived; the students didn’t allow the hoisting of National Flag. During the same time Nehru gave a speech in Gandhi Maidan, Patna threatening the action committee formed by the students. He said that this whole committee won’t work in India and that the students should rather go to Germany if they wanted to continue with the same. However, the students were indifferent towards his attitude. Eventually the Govt. had to give up its firmness. Elections happened; the Transport Minister Mahesh Prasad along with three other ministers lost.

Another incident happened in the 60s when Lohiya continuously trapped Nehru in the parliament. He pointed out Nehru’s richness and Nation’s poor state statistically. When in the Parliament Lohiya put forth the facts related to income per person, the Govt. didn’t agree to what he said. According to Nehru the income per person was 16 Anna which on the contrary was 6 Anna according to Lohiya. Lohiya presented the facts about Nehru’s luxurious lifestyle; his dogs being fed meat and his horses, imported food. Only then Nehru agreed on 11 Anna. Lohiya assimilated those facts through a team of BHU students.

Third instance dates back to the 70s when Jayprakash Narayan joined students of Gujarat. Consequentially students from Bihar also joined him. They left college to challenge the Govt. and even Indira Gandhi faced tensions due to the same. In the Bofors Scandal of late 80s when V.P. Singh exposed the nuances of corruption; the students of UP-Bihar united and confronted. This broke Congress and VP Singh became the PM. After that, the whole nation witnessed the aggression caused by the Mandal Commission report. That had confrontational student politics.

However, the biggest movement of all times that the nation ever witnessed was that of the Marathwada University. This happened when there was a huge tension regarding rechristening Maharashtra. The students of Maharashtra still remember the long march conducted from Aurangabad. But since 90s it has become clear that the student movements are no more in vogue among students. In 1991, when Manmohan Singh as the then Finance Minister formulated some economic policies, no one took actions regarding the same. All of a sudden the country began to be addressed as developed and the section that was immediately affected was that of the students. Most of the colleges and universities based themselves on profit. On one hand, the education system became money oriented and on the other objective exams became a new parameter for gauging knowledge. There was no room left for analysis and logics.

The Principal or a VC of some university was considered successful only if he/she could bring some financial profit to the institution. This was when the students were considered as an effective tool of politics. This arena made a student to confront another student and threatened the students of back lagging in case they fail to achieve. The definition of a state changed completely during this period. The then Nation of 1950 now was profit driven. Its meaning was no more than making a
ration card for poor or passports for the rich.

In recent times when the question of Marathi Manus has come up and a threat to Nation’s integrity is visible; can politics be a medium to understand this? Or will politics find a way out of this? This issue needs to be dealt straightly as in a country where due to some politicians world’s largest Democracy gets threatened, it becomes important to know that is politics a solution or is entirely self centered and motive driven?

In 1948, Sardar Patel, the then Home Minister was the first one to take army actions in Junagarh district of Gujarat; when it refused to be a part of India. He even protested against the Nizam of Hyderabad for the same. Ironically, the present Home Minister, Mr. Shivraj Patil belongs to the same state where the North Indians are being traumatized. The question isn’t about the failure of Patil nor is it about him alerting Lalu-Mulayam or Paswan to do something. If one needs to understand the nuances of politics one would see the same pain in the eyes of Deshmukh-Sharad Pawar-Uddhav Thackeray-R.R. Patil as prevalent in the eyes of Lalu-Paswan-Mulayam-Mayawati. In the politics for power either both side are right or wrong. Playing a blame game would only strengthen their political calculations. The students only will have to stand up and that too with complete unity. If at all the student movement decides to come into politics, the politicians will retire for sure. Let’s see where the maiden voice comes from.