Behind the `secular' facade Is Bhagwat proving Jinnah right?

Addressing RSS volunteers and BJP leaders including its ministers and MLAs in Jammu on November 13, 2016, Mohan Bhagwat said, ‘ Our country is Hindu Rashtra and our ancestors are Hindus…We are all sons of Bharat Mata…’

The RSS and its entire hydra-headed, many-armed Sangh Parivar (the ‘ joint family’) of Hindu political and cultural organizations deserve appreciation, at least for one thing. They don’t mask their intent, speak their heart out—plainly, unmistakably. Their dragger is always brandishing in open, unlike ‘secular’ Congress that hides it in floral wreaths.

Many eye-brows were raised from ‘secular’ leaders on Bhagwat’s remarks. But the fact of the matter is that after independence the ‘secular’ Congress did covertly and shamefacedly what the BJP does overtly and with pride. There have been thousands of communal riots and discrimination with minorities, in particular Muslims, tellingly brought to the fore by the Sacher Committee, whose recommendations Congress slept over. Babri masjid demolition, massacre of Sikhs and Gujarat Muslim genocide all happened when Congress was in power in Delhi.

BJP is allergic of ‘night veils’, it makes blazing sunlight stand witness to the hideous and the ugliest it keeps on improvising. One has but to admire the Parivar for such transparency and boldness.

It is not for the first time RSS chief has identified ‘Mahan Desh’ with Hindu nation (rashtra). Addressing RSS gathering in Meerut and Gaziabad on February 9, 2015, Bhagwat asked all Hindus to ‘ organize’ at this ‘ favorable time’. He underlined the ‘fact’ that ‘ Hindustan is a Hindu Rashtra’.

To extract maximum dividends of this ‘ favorable time’ under BJP in power, RSS launched all-assimilating ‘Ghar-wapsi’ campaign. Islam was demeaned to the level of ‘thief’ and Hindus were egged on to get back the ‘stolen property’ (Muslims) from the ‘robber’( Bhagwat’s December 14,2014 Kolkata address). A year later he urged his ‘ volunteers’ to have a ‘ good mix of josh (passion) and hosh sanity) as this is ‘ needed’ in building Ram temple on the ruins of Babri masjid which, Bhagwat said, ‘will be built in my life time’. The events that followed cast the dreadful shadow of country caught in the crushing molars of the communal forces. Akhlak’s murder for alleged violating Hindu culinary code wrote the preamble of this intolerance mindset. The wave of saffron terrorism defined the fate of Muslims in ‘We, the Hindu Rashtra’ and in equal proportion smeared the secular face of India. The Hindutva forces were in frightening rage and haste. Jinnah could not have wished more to have him honored posthumously for what he was derided most by his political rivals in India.

So vicious the communal polarization set in that some communal organizations like Shiv Sena openly demanded that ‘voting rights of Muslims be revoked’ (Indian Express, April 13, 2015). Some fanatic Hindu leaders demanded that Muslims and Christian should be’ forced to undergo sterilization’ and ‘idols of Hindu gods and goddesses should be placed in mosques and churches’(Indian Express, April 12, 2015). Gau-rakshak (cow protection) groups in Faridabad, Haryana forced two men, they suspected of beef transporters, to eat a concoction containing cow dung and urine. In many states cow slaughter was banned and those violating the ban were to serve imprisonment up to five years and Rs 10,000 as fine. But as Akhlak’s and many other incidents did show, lynching people on mere suspicion created shudder in Muslim and other religious minorities. The cow-mania so much engulfed the people (and also police) that even sharing a post became a crime unpardonable. 22-year Minhaj Ansari from Jarkhand was arrested by police and tortured to death for the ‘crime’ of sharing image of a slaughtered cow on Whatsapp.

Earlier police slapped sedition charge on a Kashmiri student (Tausif Ahmad from Sopore) for sharing a comment on the Facebook. Another Kashmiri student was expelled from the Aligarh Muslim University for the comment on Facebook. The remarks of BJP leaders like Sakshi Maharaj (religious madrassas are source of terrorism and Muslim women are not better than foot wear), Adhatyanath (take Muslim women out from the graves and …them), Sadhvi Niranjan (we should make a difference between Ram Zadey and Haram.. Zadey), are not only provocative and obnoxious, they are brutal in tone as well. But still no action was taken against them. Recently attempts on government level have been made to impose a uniform civil code in the name of social reform and gender justice. Add to it the banning of Dr. Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (established in 1969). This reflects shrinking space for an independent Muslim thought in India emerging under Modi. The contours of Bhagwat’s Hindu Rashtra are being unfolded with all these actions.

Delivering his presidential address to the 19th Hindu Mahasabha session at Ahmedabad, Veer Savarkar declared: ‘As it is there are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India….. India cannot be assumed today to be a Unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary, there are two nations in the main: the Hindus and the Moslems in India.’ From the ideological gurus like Monje, to Savarker to Goal Walker to Advani and Vajpayee and to Mohan Bhagwat, all consider and believe in a Hindu Rashtra and earnestly work to make it that. The ‘ambassador of Muslim-Hindu unity’( Sarojni Naidos tribute to Jinnah) will be enjoying a sound sleep in his grave. His foresight and forewarning penetrated deep through the camouflage secular Congress draped. RSS was always there to negate Nehru to prove Jinnah right.