Friday, November 24, 2017
An Indian Roorback
There is an American political phenomenon called a “roorback” which is a false and damaging report circulated for political effect during an election campaign. In the American context it has been always about a certain candidate. In India, a larger democracy, it’s scope has been widened to hurt a political party, a false report about some alleged corruption based on no evidence and contrived statistics circulated in the final days of Gujarat election campaign, timed for climactic effect when in the heat of the campaign the victim will not be able to expose the fraud before the voters go to the polls. The current controversy cropped up suddenly from the “emergency purchase” of 36 French Rafale Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft. The Indian Air Force requires 42 fighter squadrons to achieve optimal capability, and was falling short of this. The proposal to buy 126 fighter aircraft was mooted during Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. During 2000-2012 the fleet had declined to 34 squadrons due to obsolescence. The RFP for procurement of 126 MMRCA was issued in 2007, but the final decision to order got delayed for another 10 years till the recent decision to buy 36 of them in a fly-away condition,
The Modi government insists that it got significantly better terms than those quoted in the original bid under UPA, with a total reported saving of more than 1600 million Euros (350 million Euros on the cost of aircraft with a further reported saving on weapons, allied maintenance and training package amounting to a around 1300 million Euros or Rs 12,600 crores). According to the Government, the present IGA was signed purely between two sovereign governments and no private individual, firm or entity was involved in the process from the Indian side. Under the current agreement, the 36 Rafale jets procurement offset proposal supports the 'Make In India' initiative of the Indian Government through Article 12 of the IGA. The Offset proposal also includes provisions for transfer of sophisticated design technology which is meaningfully superior to the licence manufacturing on offer in the earlier discussions by the UPA government. Dassault states that they will facilitate the implementation of 'Make In India' by the industrial supplier notably through offsets for 50% value of the supply protocol.
It is not financially prudent to negotiate for “transfer of technology” when the “emergency procurement” deal is only for 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition, and when the capability of the PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is highly suspect in the manufacture of sophisticated jets according to such a technology transfer. Technology transfer has been so far a mirage, resulting only in a huge fee for an agreement which so far has not initiated any serious manufacturing activity, except some “modification” for the MIG fighters, and none for the Dassault Mirage2000, the original deal for which when signed, the “intention to proceed” contract was for an initial order of 40 aircraft for outright purchase in fly-away condition and an option to produce another 110 aircraft in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited with total technology transfer. We dropped that MoU and proceeded to contract MIG 29, at the cost of Rs.91Cr per piece, much less than the Mirage 2000’s. In 2011,the UPA government had signed a Rs 10,947-crore contract to upgrade its entire fleet of 51 Mirage 2000 fighters to extend the life of ageing fighters - acquired in the late '70s and early '80s by another 15 years – nearly 215Cr a piece! Remember, the Cost of the new aircraft to IAF was about Rs.130Cr.
Those who sat on the Dassault Rafale deal for 13 long years and have also a record of kick-backs in every possible defence deal have no right to pick holes in the Raffale deal! The HDW submarines deal, the Bofors Howitzers deal, the Scorpene-class submarines deal worth US$ 6 billion with Thales, France, Choppergate involving purchase of AgustaWestland “VIP helicopters”(bribes to be paid out, divided as "AF" €6 million, "BUR" €8.4 million, "Pol" €6 million and "AP" €3 million”), and so on. Take the single largest procurement of an aircraft carrier for Indian Navy, considered also the biggest “military industrial nightmare”: Originally built as Baku and commissioned in 1987, the carrier served with the Soviet Navy and later with the Russian Navy as Admiral Gorshkov and was decommissioned in 1996, and was bought in 2004 by the NDA government, for free, but the refit to cost Rs 4,881.67Cr (USD 974). After several hikes under threat from Russia, the price was increased to USD 2.35 in 2010. The CAG criticised the fact that the ship rechristened as INS Vikramaditya was a second-hand warship with a limited life-span, 60% costlier than a new one! Retired Admiral Nadkarni noted that a Spanish yard could build such a ship for about Rs 3,000 crore, and the Koreans would modify a merchant ship to a utility carrier with a flattop for Rs 500 crore and deliver it in 18 months! As with all our defence contracts with Russia which had consistently suffered delays and cost overruns, the ship completed sea trials in July 2013 and aviation trials in September 2013 and joined the Indian Navy on 16 Nov 2013 at a total cost of Rs.19141Cr (USD3 billion) almost 4 times the original price at which it was contracted! Meanwhile, Commodore Sukhjinder Singh, a Naval Officer supervising the refit of the carrier as the principal director for the project was discharged from service for his “moments of indiscretion” on job!
A “national” newspaper with a Leftist agenda had published a report a couple of weeks back, in which it quotes “sources” telling it that India has already informed the French that “not a single” Rafale will be bought in flyaway mode they will be built in the Dhirubhai Ambani Aerospace Park, run by Reliance Aerospace Ltd and Dassault Aviation in the Mihan Special Economic Zone in Nagpur! If Dassault Aviation in their commercial wisdom sets up a joint venture with Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence, the Government of India has no business to mind it, because it is not a part of any offset contract which incidentally, is yet to be negotiated!
The Congress party tried to make a case against the Modi Government’s deal saying that there is no mention of “transfer of technology "USSR allowed India the manufacture of the MiG-21 under licence, but since 1963, all told, 205 MiG-21FL were built in India, of which only 196 were built entirely in India before obsolescence caught up with it! It was the delay in signing an agreement for the Rafale fighters during A K Antony’s tenure as MoD that forced the Indian Air Force to use its MiG-21 Bison with a high rate of crashes. (More than 170 IAF pilots were killed in MIG-21 crashes for which the Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin blamed use of spare parts bought from unauthorised sources!) Having realised the fallacy of local manufacture, the IAF opted for the expensive modifications and refitting of the old Russian fighter jets. The 1980s decision to purchase the French Mirage-2000 “state-of-the-art” 110-150 jets was done by IndiraG, who was also MoD then, under wraps reduced to just 50 units on account of its high cost. What happened to the deal involving “transfer of technology” clause under which the French would assist in setting up the props for the eventual, manufacture of 70 of the aircraft in HAL's Bangalore set-up could be easily guessed! One of the most virulent critics of Modi administration has pointed out that “A.K. Antony, our most risk-averse, most anti-US defence minister since 1991, ended up buying more from the US, and directly, on government-to-government basis and off-the-shelf (C-130s, C-17s, P-8Is) than in our entire independent history.” He blames the former rulers for painting the country into such a corner, weakening its strategic posture, and eventually leading the present government to make possibly a $5 billion purchase off-the-shelf in a wartime-like haste, while paying kind of backhanded compliment to Narendra Modi for his decision to order Rafale jets off-the-shelf as wise and brave, like a senior doctor risking immediate surgery to save a deteriorating patient.
Since the historic 2014 elections that made the BJP the largest party capable of forming the Central Government on its own, shrank the Congress party to less than 50 seats in the Lok Sabha, and took away the CP(I)M’s status as a “national party”, decimated the once powerful caste combination in the north India, the Opposition parties have been running like headless chicken. Narendra Modi had won elections by removing the issues of religious and caste distinctions as well as the regional politics and replacing them an agenda of development, and corruption-free governance. In the last three and a half years, neither the Opposition nor a controversy-driven and hostile media were able to raise serious questions about any corruption by either the Union Government or the BJP-run State Governments. So they have been left with silly and concocted stories of a “hate speech” by a Sangh Parivar leader here, a skirmish involving Gourakshaks there, and generally about Fascist “intolerance” in the country without any substantial issue that concerned common people! In Kerala it was accusing the Prime Minister of defaming the people of Kerala; the last campaigns were closed with ineffectual propaganda full of wild allegations against the palpably transparent ant-corruption policy, the Demonetisation.
The Congress Vice President RahulG, who is yet to find something sensible to speak about anything or against the BJP and Modi government now alleges that he had information about "personal corruption" involving Modi! He had threatened earlier that he will present the “explosive” stuff in the Parliament, but didn’t speak about the Demonetisation about which he now finds corruption, ignoring that when Prashant Bushan went to the Supreme Court with the request for a probe, the Apex court threw it out of the window, saying it was all unsubstantiated allegations. The latest trick employed by the Congress and other Opposition parties is to plant kick-back stories in web magazines and insignificant players in the media about the purchase of Rafale fighter jets from France. The Wire, a Leftist magazine is in the forefront of the calumny against Narendra Modi and his government. It is already in a defamation case for spreading false news about BJP President Amit Shah’s son Jay. These people are trying to turn the table against BJP in the Gujarat election, trying to sabotage the Party’s and it’s leaders’ reputation as corruption-free. I am sure they will draw a blank again, and suspect this time around, it will be a very costly gambit for them!
Sunday, November 19, 2017
MOODY's HELPS MODI?An article in a web magazine called COUNTERVIEW today has an article that says the higher Sovereign rating given to India by the international credit rating agency Moody’s and the earlier good reports by the World Bank and IMF are as a result of Modi's top Gujarat babus in PMO lobbying with Washington institutes, quoting an un-namd “ Insider”. the ‘Counterview’ article is yet more proof that left-wingers who struggle with economics and basic analytics have to now rely on low-grade gossips and that facts are never an obstacle when they still try to advance a certain “required” narrative.
A credit rating is a measure of the credit worthiness of a borrowing entity, whether a sovereign or a company. It is a tag that tells a potential lender how likely it is that the borrower will default on payments. I am no financial expert but I suppose India’s credit rating going up by one notch to Baa2 from the earlier Baa3, simply indicates that the rating agency believes India’s credit worthiness has improved since it last conducted a review. (China’s rating was also downgraded earlier this year to A1 from Aa3, citing risks from soaring debts. Russia is at Ba1 among BRICS countries) It will mean a lowering of the risk premium that India will have to pay; and that means India can now command a lower interest rate for the debt that it issues. If you had watched the investment climate in the country during the last year, you would have seen FIIs making more investments in debts than equities thanks to the better interest rates following lower inflation. This trend will possibly be reversed now. That is no earth-shaking news, for the Opposition politicians to cry foul! When people are upset about someone says something nice about our country, it shows up the protestor’s complete alienation!
It is known that international monetary and financial systems like the World Bank and the IMF routinely monitor the economic and financial policies of member countries. This activity is known as surveillance and facilitates international co-operation. The responsibilities of IMF and World Bank had changed for many years from those of guardian to those of overseer of members’ policies. Their reports and the ratings help capital markets and credit risk management professionals worldwide to respond to an evolving global marketplace with confidence. There may be lobbying of sorts to project the policy perspectives of the countries to encourage better understanding by their Boards of Directors so that the image of the countries is not tarnished if not enhance. Indian (Modi) government too has the right to be heard with respect and minus the usual intellectual condescension. The writer thinks that some top bureaucrats from the Gujarat cadre, currently in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) must have lobbied with World Bank, Moody's and Pew, for ensuring a sharp image makeover of Modi ahead of the Gujarat elections because last year these bodies didn’t show India under Modi in good light is being irresponsible to the level of an unthinking rage and hatred for the Modi Government. Has the author heard Keynes’ comment “When facts change I change my opinions. What do you do?”
“An insider in Gujarat government told me” seems to be the ultimate political kryptonite this author could produce! It will be another damp squib, I assure you! Since the run-up to the general election of 2014, we are witnessing a growing gulf between what the electorate thinks and how a small intellectual elite in India as well as abroad perceive happenings in India! We saw how little the coloured reports by a small coterie of agenda-driven journalists influenced the outcome in UP or in the various municipal and local bodies elections in different States! I will not be surprised if the outcome of the Himachal and Gujarat elections aren’t different! Perhaps it is that fear which makes some Opposition leaders and journalists make a hue and cry about Moody’s higher Sovereign rating for India. Next in line will be better ratings for Indian Companies. Moody's have revised outlook for three Indian public sector banks to stable from negative, and appreciated the capital infusion plan for the PSU banks is a significant credit positive for them public Moody's. Outlook for Indian banking system was stable in August 2017.
I think the higher rating puts Modi Government in a “watched-pot situation” for making calculated and calibrated steps forward to implement fiscal, financial, land and labour market reforms in the days ahead. Moody’s one-notch rating upgrade is a bet that India will contain public debt. The upgrade is a recognition of the fact that India continues to follow a path of fiscal prudence. Moody’s acknowledge that many a Modi reform remain at the design phase, while believing that those implemented to date will advance the government’s objective of improving the business climate, enhancing productivity, stimulating foreign and domestic investment, and ultimately fostering strong and sustainable growth. Government alone cannot achieve much. The people, including those in the Opposition camps too have a role in development efforts of the regime. It is here that the expression “power paradox” comes to my mind: a situation where political dominance can, paradoxically, reduce the ruling party’s actual power to shape and guide society and economy! It is sad because here is a PM who inaugurated a great unburdening on issues of religious and caste differences and regional politics with an agenda for development of all, treated as an enemy of the people! There appears to be a new thought process and propagation of it in the Opposition ranks in which reason dies, ideas go unchallenged and become axiomatic and eventually beliefs!
The sure sign of the death of reason and even discretion and intelligence is the flood of obscenities flowing into the Facebook page of the hapless Australian Cricketer Tom Moody, for helping Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a higher credit rating for India!
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Intolerance debate: Reply to Soli Sorabji
Reading Mr.Sol Sorabji’s article “A duty to be tolerant”(The Indian Express, Nov.1, 2017) I was reminded of the “9 LEGAL METHODS LAWYERS COULD USE TO DEFEND DISNEY VILLAINS” on MTV website. Sorabji indeed is surrounded by a “mysterious halo” of supreme confidence as a former chief law officer of the Government of India and an eminently successful lawyer. For a while I suspected he was engaging in a repugnant, dishonourable scare tactic with an eye on the coming elections in Gujarat and HP, or rather engaged to do that; not worth our respect! No! He is not like any of the Chancery legal professionals in Bleak House, sinister villains, shysters, or “narrow, mean, ignorant pettifoggers.” Soli Sorabji is a Parsi, and a thorough gentleman, and a man of great erudition. He can’t be looked at as a avocat des crapules (“villain’s lawyer”) defending indefensible positions! I have always thought that like Dickens’ Tulkinghorn Soli has no life outside of the law; and “never converses when not professionally consulted”; and not politically allied!
Then what’s his case? Sorabji postulates that in contemporary India, the rise of intolerance is alarming. Dissent is smothered and self-censorship takes its place, endangering democracy itself. He pontificates on the duties of Indian citizens and connects immediately to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 (UDHR) that recognises a vital link between human rights and duties in its Article 29. (I must point out that the majority of the UNHRC member-states do not represent democracies!) From there it is a straight jump to the “the painful reality that one cannot effectively exercise fundamental rights nor perform fundamental duties unless tolerance is prevalent in society.” So his premise is the threat or practice of intolerance in India that is Bharat.
I am a seventy-year old living in India till date, a reasonably educated, “tolerant” citizen of India. I read newspapers and watch news and panel discussions on TV channels routinely. And my own, and also that of a group senior citizens like me who sit and discuss everything under the sun during the evenings, thought that while some atrocities are taking place in this vast country, and are mainly dissected and discussed for the benefit of television rating points for survival of the respective Channels in their business. At times we have felt that the Opposition parties, in their “existential crisis” in the “Modified” politics, economics and governance of the country since 2014, are creating a scare and "defaming" the country, deliberately creating a propaganda of intolerance. In this vast country, how many incidents of “intolerance” have been reported in the mainstream media which is largely hostile to the present regime? I would say they are statistically negligent considering the population as well.
The strange argument by the Opposition parties and the “intellectuals” backing them is that if a case is filed against an author for writing a book with views unacceptable to a majority of Indians, that is “intolerance” of “freedom of expression”! The judiciary or the police are approached when there are statutes that support the issue opposed; right? Although the right to peacefully protest is enshrined in the Constitution, there is no constitutional or other legal right to commit criminal acts to make a point.
The law imposes on government (through police) an affirmative obligation to take all reasonable steps to protect the speaker’s right to speak, the audience’s right to hear and the protesters’ right to protest. Has this “due process” ceased to exist in India or is it thriving?
COW PROTECTION comes from the Directive in the Article 48, Soli! If you go by the principles of democracy, if the tradition, the rituals, the faith and the religion of the majority (Hindus, 80% still!) should settle matters strongly! How come Islam, that came from Arabia, has cow-killing as a "religious" injunction? Xian/Muslim invaders-cum-proselytizers to killing and eating cow obviously to spite the Hindus who were conquered in their own land. Being a lawyer Mr.Sorabji is aware that there were anti-Cow slaughter laws in as many States before Modi government came. Congress spokesperson Digvijay Singh was heard labouring hard during Bihar Assembly elections to remind people that it was mostly Congress governments that had banned cow slaughter in about 24 states, including Bihar, way back in 1955 when the BJP was not even formed! So cow protection statutes are fine; but implementation is communal, and a mark of “intolerance”?
Hate Speech: The “liberal-Left” institutes speech codes to prevent what is generally called “hate speech” which is a perverse tactic to marginalize, and exclude, the speech and ideology of those with whom liberals and Leftists do not agree, those individuals who express ideas that offend their peculiar world-view and sensibility. I must remind Mr.Sorabji that the opposite of everything is truly not hate; but indifference; and it could be worse!
Do you remember Jyoti Basu, banning the exhibition of the movie Taurus in a Kolkatta film festival saying "such movies should not even be made"? That was PC to comrades! So was use of a bit of a Tagore poem in an ad, crying out sacrilege! Can you publish anything against Communist icons, living or long-dead, in Kerala? So the elite progressives give respectable cover to the worst prejudices of the era, not that they believed in them, but to rabble-rouse!
Do you think demonetisation was an example of Modi’s intolerance; intolerance towards the rich, Soli? Many cried that it was “looting” people’s money! Even a Supreme Court judge predicted “riots’ in the wake of demonetisation, but nothing happened even when a third of the currencies in circulation evaporated and cash for daily transaction was not available. People did experience some pain for a few months. Wasn’t it unbelievable the way people had extended support to the government? That showed Indians “tolerate” anything reasonable!
Didn’t we “tolerate” 10-15000 participating in the funeral prayers for Yakub Memon, supporters of certain ‘cause’, a belief that Yakub was a holy warrior of sorts, who was unjustly hanged by Hindu India? Don’t we tolerate who burst crackers and distribute sweets to celebrate Pakistan’s victory over India in Cricket, amid chanting of “Pakistan Zindabad”? Haven’t we tolerated the Maoists, Naxalites, Jamaat-e-Islami, various militant and violence prone Muslim fundamental outfits and Communists of all hues misuse of the tools of democracy to destroy democracy?
What I see at work in these situations is the long established “secular” narrative in which endemic Hindu communalism accounts for all the ills that afflicts religious minorities in India. Let me ask you, Soli, does the miniscule community of Parsis, with their disproportionate wealth, positions, and glory in comparison with others, feel “intolerance” too? Success being a sin against fellow beings, Parsis should have certainly faced persecution from less successful and poor Hindus!
After promoting "secularism" for over six decades why do we have more frictions in the Indian society than even before Independence? If credit must go to the Congress governments for keeping Muslims an unsuccessful and inassimilable minority and almost automatic electoral fodder for 6 decades, remember they were able to accomplish only with the help of their butterboys/girls in the media. Majority’s voices are marginalized, disregarded, denounced as hate speech, unworthy of being part of an ongoing, vigorous debate in the nation's ‘marketplace of ideas’. Mainstream media, some of them proven “paid media”, defame, demean, and libel “Hindutva forces”. In the midst of the saturation coverage of the intolerant Gowrakshak’s (because it involved Sangh Parivar!) few seem to pay attention to the fact that in Kerala s many as 120 BJP-RSS workers were murdered by CPIM activists for just being Sangh Parivar members, and that Kerala is ruled by LDF!
There is no “Islamophobic” political culture in India and except a lunatic fringe everybody feels embarrassed and ashamed to blame Muslim community for terror! Some of us are ‘sorry-for-being Hindu’ apologists to be “secular”! India is not just Babari Masjid .It was a Shia Mosque, and Sunnis who burn Holy Koran in Shia mosques are at the forefront of war on Hindutva vaadis who want to have Ram Temple restored where they believe, with concrete evidence backing that belief, a Ram Temple existed! Heaven is not going to fall if the vast majority of Indians who feel for it are given their temple and have them build a grand mosque nearby! The acid test of secularism that Muslims and Christians have to take in ‘Hindu India’ is just this: will they be tolerant to the extent they accept Hindu religious beliefs on an equal footing with their own! Pundits were J&K’s litmus test concerning religious freedom; and Kashmiri Muslims who have a long history of inciting violence and hate against Hindus and Sikhs failed that! Terrorist groups are tangled up with dubious IUML and Muslim interests in Kerala and elsewhere in the country. Terrorism isn't always about blowing up buildings or killing people. It can also consist of activity intended to frighten, demoralize, or neutralize the nation’s defences, destroy communal harmony—in other words, a variety of psychological warfare against “others”.
Hindus have been happy to live their lives without bothering about Faiths of others. Their scriptures accommodate other faiths are different paths to the God! We are not talking about “monopoly of truth and wisdom”! The erudite Sorabji isn’t ignorant not to know of the Christian “REPLACEMENT THEORY/SUPERCESSIONISM” which has been a significant concern of interfaith relations activists; he is being deliberately naive! Why are Christians, Muslims (and atheists too) waging war on beliefs that mean nothing to them? Life in India showcases the magnanimity and largesse of an Indian (Hindu) society that doesn’t riot every time Jihadis and their local supporters cause terror; or when proselytising pastors and moulvis distribute pamphlets calling Hindu deities demons, or speaking in public conventions to that effect. Please go to Kerala, Soli, the entire stretch of the road to the Hindu pilgrim route to Sabarimala temple are plastered on either side with the terrible punishments in Hell for those who do not believe in Christ! Hindus tolerate it! It is in this context I think the precondition for getting protection under the Freedom of Religion clause of the Constitution should be whether the objectionable order/situations amounted to a substantial burden on the exercise of their faith.
To those who cry hoarse for an “inclusive society”, yes indeed. But remember, the next phase is integration. Let the thieves, thugs, mountebanks, and experts in manipulation, often described as “political technologists” and “social engineers”, understand that integration has to be based on what unites us, rather than what drives us apart; drawing on culturally centripetal national loyalties too. The country can survive policy and personality disputes. It cannot thrive in the corrosive atmosphere of rigid judgment about character and motives of a ruling party or an elected leader, Modi.
Lawyers who defend notorious criminals/terrorists require a mental leap to overcome the near-universal presumption of guilt for the defendant. Does Mr.Sorabji imply that violent activities, call to destroy the country, for its vivisection, dishonouring national symbols, denigrating faith of nearly 80% of the population of the nation, etc. constitute legitimate contributions to public discourse? Brother, I wonder how tolerance becomes a virtue and peace is possible when others are belligerent, also believe that tolerance, justice, diversity etc only apply to positions and people whose views are consistent with their own, or other than Hindus? What are we expected to teach enemies of our system, enemies of our Country? That they can do anything to us and we’ll turn the other cheek?
I am anguished and astonished about Mr.Sorabji’s call to the media to “preach” messages considering the reality that in the current television debates outrage matters more than reason! They are also busy to cultivate a curious kind of identity politics which is deliberately structured and restricted to delegitimize and silence Hindus, Hindutva and the NDA government. If social justice and progress is in the perpetual conflict of identity politics with an intangible, exaggerated Hindu supremacy, then social progress will depend on the minorities decimating Hindus. That would be political condemnable repression, impossible in the free political marketplace of democracy.
Mr.Sorabji is borrowing from the second part of American jurist, SC Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr’ s judgement the sombre view that “the principle of free thought - not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate - was sacred!” I prefer his earlier judgement that defined in 1919 the limits of free speech by noting that the law did not protect someone “falsely shouting fire in a theatre” because Soli is doing precisely that for reasons best known to him. Soli could have eschewed the thinly disguised polarizing vernacular of a political opponent of the present government and taken the role of a transcendent representative of Indian intellectuals whose case he seems to be arguing. Mr.Sorabji’s article in the Indian Express, for me shows the perils of intellectual arrogance in dealing with explosive social issues. The heap of jargon-filled abuse of people on the “other side” who happen to be in the majority now is unfortunately trite and untrue, though written by one of the powerful judicial minds in the country. As a lawyer, Soli must be aware that "misrepresentation of facts is an ingredient in the constitution of cheating" according to an Indian High Court! So he is cheating a whole people and Mother India, besides cheating those who choose to read what you wrote!
Though I personally feel, under the current Indian conditions, Aristotle was right to say that “tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society” and we Hindus may have to conduct an “agonizing reappraisal” about the kind of secularism Mr.Soli Sorabji supports. However, whatever intolerant ‘secularists’, sanctimonious leftists and self-righteous liberals think of Modi-led India, freedom of thought, expression and speech, though circumscribed by restrictive laws, cannot be and shall not be removed from public domain in India: mainly because they are consistent or aligned to the values in our cultural template which is essentially Hindu!
Sunday, October 15, 2017
RahulG and his Congress Vice-Presidency
Leftist leaders and their propagandists in the media were seen going gaga over the supposedly successful tour of Gujarat by the heir apparent of the lost kingdom of Congress party. One of them sent me a news item in the Firstpost, touted to be “one of India’s largest digital platform for news, analysis and opinions”, funded again (like the Wire, by tycoons) by Mukesh Ambani (RIL to be precise) considered for the purpose of criticising Narendra Modi, a “crony capitalist” in NDA regime! With a blaring headline “Gujarat seems to be viewing Rahul Gandhi differently” the report writes about the “rousing welcome” RahulG received in Vadodara where “Roads were full of cheering and whistling crowds....walking in the sweltering heat and then waiting hours amid beating of drums and screams.” Remember Vadodara was from where Narendra Modi won the election by a resounding 845464 votes, defeating Madhusudan Mistry of the Congress by a margin of 570128 votes. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections Balkrishna Khanderao Shukla (BJP) had won with a the majority of 4,28,833 votes out of the total votes 7,47,129 and a whopping vote share of 57.40%! Before Mr. Shukla, BJP's candidate Jayaben Thakkar had been contesting and winning in the constituency since 1998. When Modiji chose to represent Varanasi from where also he had won, in the by-election held later BJP’s Ranjanaben Bhat won the seat by a margin of 329507 votes, under a lower voting percentage! BJP has been in power in Gujarat since 1995, and during the last assembly elections in 2012, with the highest voting percentage since 1980, BJP won 116 seats out of 182 (the Congress won the remaining). That was when UPA government was going for the scalps of BJP leaders including its Chief Minister, Narendra Modi; and milk and honey was flowing in the rest of India!
Forwarding the Firstpost report glorifying the leadership qualities of RahulG in the above background astonished me by the obvious desperation on the Opposition’s side to go fishing for material giving boost to anti-BJP politics! I mentioned to the Comrade that reports of RahulG “reaching out to the people across central Gujarat” with “measured aggression” in his speeches made me only laugh because I too found, like many important people that “no decent/real debate possible on Rahul’s talents in a context they simply don’t exist!” It is noteworthy however that Rahul followed some strategic guidance and visited four temples as he launched the Congress campaign for the state election due by the end of this year, in a desperate attempt to appeal to the larger Hindu votebank, and assure people that “Congress is no longer a Muslim-alone-party"(though a far-cry from the old KHAM - Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim strategy) as Ashutosh bewails. Then our darling goes talking inanities such as the women in RSS weren’t allowed to wear shorts, showing clear lack of poor women-empowerment according to his understanding! From those high places in “political oratory” he walks straight into a lady’s toilet to the merriment of media who had to be cleared from the scene of extreme embarrassment by his SGP guards!
It is appalling however, to see die-hard Leftings admiring Congress party simply locked into the idea that they must reassure the country of the family’s lineage as Gandhis, though distinguished only by the surname they have assumed to con the Indian public. For Congress party given to highlighting even the smallest of things the members of this family claim to have done for the country or to keep the family name alive, is the only stock in trade for almost seven decades now. To have two dull people leading it since 1998 was of course the Indian GoP’s call indeed. The party however doesn’t lack talent to operate scams to the tune of billions and billions of rupees though!
For a student of political science, it is obvious that, for whatever strange reasons. the Congress party made Nehru family an impresario of India’s freedom struggle. The freedom movement anchored them as they swiftly usurped the surname Gandhi after Nehru’s death; it became their livelihood as none of his progeny could have made a different livelihood unassisted! Rajiv’s career as a pilot was a joke. Nobody knows what Rahul was doing “14hrs a day” in the US as he claimed, before coming to India to “practice leadership”!
Now RahulG is chosen as future (!) leader, the real question is indeed “how can a person who does not possess the knowledge, skills or presence of mind to face a television anchor, ever face the nation?” RahulG is 47 plus, but his learning curve is flat. I believe whoever wrote that “RajivG had left two vain, malicious, noisy and stupid children, as ever disgraced God’s creation; without a virtue to compensate for their vices and without a spark of genius to justify their arrogance” was a genius!
RahulG is a person I consider not only unqualified for the office, but also mean-spirited, vulgar, incredibly stupid and psychologically erratic. So for me under Pappoo’s shameful and appalling vice presidency with measured or all-out aggression, the Congress party could be expected to roll headless in coming Gujarat elections! With the Leftist Opposition also anxious to find a glimmer of hope in the guy’s assumed “leadership qualities” I find it terrifying that the entire family’s, and Rahul’s in particular, legitimacy at this level of India’s political life is going outrageously unquestioned, despite the guy’s obvious suboptimal personal characteristics!
When I responded to my Comrade friend with the above observations, he shocked me saying that first, he was happy to see how Pappu gets me “riled into blind illogical rage” because he thought I was worried about the future of BJP in Gujarat as well as nationally; for, Pappu was eventually going to pip “the pop star politician” Modi! To save his intellectual airs he added as an after-thought that he had “no love lost for either and would like to see them fight each other to the finish”. For him it “looks like age is on Pappu’s side and with little else to commend the one over the other, that might price decisive!” How cleverly the guy is hoping against hope! This attitude is an essential part of the “interesting saga of Indian Communists' serial pitches for covert or overt tactical tango with Congress when they come under mounting heat of larger political challenge!”
Saturday, October 14, 2017
SAVARKAR STORY REVISITED
The Wire, a media venture supposed to be a “joint venture in the public sphere between journalists, readers and a concerned citizenry” relying principally on contributions from readers and concerned citizens. For me it is a Leftist scumbag producing and circulating nasty things about Hindus, India ruled by the NDA, Narendra Modi, BJP RSS, and the so-called Sangh Parivar.
So when the wo/men holding poison pens published an article “How Did Savarkar, a Staunch Supporter of British Colonialism, Come to Be Known as ‘Veer’?”I was not worried. What got my goat was a respectable media person I thought had good reading and some sense of proportion in spite of being a “millionaire Marxist” type, forwarded the piece to me. I wrote a reply which I reproduce here as it is important to know how certain associations can destroy anybody’s credibility. I quote:
I hope you know there is a portrait Of Veer Savarkar (just V D Savarkar if you wish) a Hindu Mahasabha leader, in the Central Hall of the Parliament House, right across the alcove which bears the picture of Mahatma Gandhi unveiled by President Abdul Kalam in February, 2003. Pranab Mukherjee and Shivraj Patil, were part of the panel that had cleared the portrait proposal along with former CPM veteran Somnath Chatterjee.
The man was arrested in London in 1910 on charges of sedition for writing a book called The First War of Independence, 1857, shipped to India, sentenced to life imprisonment and transported to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands where he spent 11 years in solitary confinement. In 1937, he was elected president of the Hindu Mahasabha and remained so till his death in 1966. Although not a member of the RSS, the Sangh and later the BJP adopted Savarkar as an ideological icon. I should remind you that in 1966 when Savarkar passed away, Indira Gandhi and Zakir Hussain, then the Vice-President, had eulogised him as a “classic and inspirational revolutionary” in separate tributes.
Some of the observations in the Wire article are absolute lies. For example, while Savarkar believed that the original system of the four varnas was based on the qualities (guna) and actions (karma) of individuals, the categories were not supposed to be hereditary. He therefore propagated that the then existing caste system was a mockery of the original system of four varnas (chaturvarnya) and should be abolished. It is therefore said that while many freedom fighters had invited only the wrath of the British, Savarkar had to face hostility of the society as well as that of the Government. Those who have read Savrkar’s social philosophy, know that he had identified that the Hindu society was bound by seven shackles ( bandi ): 1) Restrictions on touch (sparshabandi) of certain castes.2) Restrictions on inter-dining. (rotibandi) 3) Restrictions on inter-marriages (betibandi) 4) Restrictions on pursuing certain occupations (vyavasayabandi) 5) Restrictions on crossing the sea (sindhubandi) 6) Restrictions on rites sanctioned by the Vedas (vedoktabandi) 7) Restrictions on re-conversion (shuddhibandi)! The last would pinch “secular” people who support conversions and oppose “ghar vaapasi”!
Savarkar who founded the Free India Society to organise Indian students studying in England to fight for independence, and maintained that “Our movement must not be limited to being against any particular law, but it must be for acquiring the authority to make laws itself. In other words, we want absolute independence”! The article mentions “Savarkar helped the colonial government recruit lakhs of Indians into its armed forces” an unpardonable inversion of truth. In an earlier post to you, I had mentioned that while Hedgewar agreed with Gandhiji that Indians should not cooperate with British in their recruitment to Brtish army, Savarkar proposed that the Hindu nationalist youth stood to gain by the military training to fight the British in the evnet they wnet back on their promise to free India after the war!
Even assuming that Savarkar pleaded for mercy to be removed from the Cellular Prison in Andamans (I would have pleaded every day, had I been in one of those cells in solitary confinement and other tortures!) Savarkar was sentenced in 1911 to Transportaton for Life twice and confiscation of property. He was released from the Yerawada Jail, Pune in 1924, on the following conditions: 1) He should live within the Ratnagiri District and 2) He should not participate in political activities. The restrictions initially stipulated for five years were extended from time to time to 13 years. In 1937, the Congress won the elections to the Bombay Legislative Assembly but declined to form a government. To resolve this constitutional deadlock, Governor Sir George Lloyd, invited Sir Dhanjishah Cooper, to form the ministry. Barrister Jamnadas Mehta, of Lokashahi Swarajya Paksha, a Tilakite Party, too had been elected as member of the Bombay legislative Assembly. He agreed to join the Cooper Ministry, provided all restrictions on Savarkar were revoked. The Governor accepted this proposal and hence Savarkar was freed from all restrictions in May 1937.
The article agrees that he was more against Christianity (obviously because the British came here with “a Bible in pocket and a gun in the other”) and wanted Hindus and Muslims to join the fight against the British. The founding of the All India Muslim League in 1906 and the British India government's creation of separate Muslim electorate under the Morley-Minto reforms of 1909 was a catalyst for Hindu leaders coming together to create an organisation to protect the rights of the Hindu community members to form a political entity called the Hindu Mahasabha. It is true that the Hindu Mahasabha didn’t participate in the Quit India Movement, so did the Communist Party of India!
The Hindu Mahasabha joined hands with the Muslim League and other parties to form governments, in certain provinces after the 1937 elections. Such coalition governments were formed in Sindh, NWFP, and Bengal. He was dissuaded from trying to continue this alliance because the Muslim League started showing its fangs by then. They went closer to the British, unlike sections of the Hindu Community. Gandhiji tried to forge a Hindu-Muslim alliance against the British later, even supporting the Khilafat movement and failed! Though the Hindu Mahasabha identified India as "Hindu Rashtra" (Hindu Nation), it broadly supported the Indian National Congress in its efforts to attain national independence. But HM criticised the Congress commitment to non-violence and secularism, as well as its efforts to integrate Muslims and engage in dialogue with the separatist All India Muslim League,(having tried it earlier and failed!) which the Mahasabha thought as appeasement. So, as a Hindu Mahasabha leader, Savarkar was in politics, and Somnath Chatterjee’s father Nirmal Chandra Chatterjee, a jurist served as president of the All-India Hindu Mahasabha and was Burdwan MP of the party which Somnath won when his father expired in 1971! As I mentioned in the case of RSS, Hindu Mahasabha was not a watertight compartment in India politics; many of its leaders joined Congress. Shyamaprasad Mukherjee started the Jan Sangh!
Savarkar wrote an autobiography as a biography? I really don’t know. I suppose that is a level higher than Nehru writing article using a pen-name, sometimes criticising himself! However, I don't believe it because a Communist author wrote so in a book. They are capable of writing anything to buttress their views and such observations only reveal what is called "confirmation bias"!
I was watching a television debate in the Leftists-ruled State of Kerala which took up the controversy around the CPM minister for Devaswoms (Temple Boards), Mr.Kadakampilly Surendran, visiting the famous Guruvayur Sreekrishna Temple in Kerala, making traditional floral offerings like 'pushpanjali' to the presiding deity in the name of his family members and contributing an amount for annadaanam (offering of food to devotees)! The anchor of the debate went on asking the CPM member on the panel, a senior functionary of the party, what prompted the party to seek clarifications from the Minister belonging to the Hindu Community with respect to the temple-visit when Christian functionaries and ministers of the party could attend religious functions in Churches, and even conduct marriages of their children according to the Xian tradition; Muslim ministers, MLAs and leaders of CPM could be good Muslims and even do Hajj pilgrimage? The CPM leader wouldn’t give a straight-forward answer though the clever, though polite girl phrased the question is half a dozen ways! It was too embarrassing for the Marxist leader to admit that they have one policy towards the majority community, and another for the powerful minority communities in Kerala. But a former Naxalite and now an ideologue of the party, sitting on the panel blurted out that in a democracy, minorities have to be protected and they are unconcerned about the majority community’s religious faith!
For the Communists everywhere, especially in Kerala, being “progressive” is being anti-Hindu! These ‘secular’ people are willing to accept the Protestant Church’s defence of Luther’s intolerance that, after all, he was a child of the 16th Century and his thoughts should be viewed in that perspective. But Manu who belonged to 200BC and is still denied his due for his insistence on earning wealth and enjoying life only by observing ‘dharma’ and giving women protection under all circumstances! Kerala society is historically notable for the rise of secular movements and doctrines founded by self-hating Hindus. What began as a backlash against the caste system and other oppressive social conditions when joined with Communism became a socio-pathology leading to a self-consciously partisan and highly coordinated strategy of minority vote bank politics and Hindu vote suppression using muscle power in CPM strongholds! Communists support religious, caste and communal identities, even arguing against "assimilating away" “cultural differences” that "contributed to Malayalee/Indian identity” while rejecting the all-inclusive Indianness per se!
It is fashionable in Kerala society to cast proponents of Hindutva to increase as bigots and efforts to rule their perspective altogether out of the realm of acceptable public discourse. The Convent education, education given by the Muslim Education society and the text books written by the Leftist authors for the educational system have been effectively disinheriting students in Kerala schools and colleges by either failing to give them enough knowledge of their culture or by giving them a guilt-complex about a certain pagan faith called Hinduism! Things have come to such a pass now that in Kerala, both CPM-led front and the Congress-led political coalitions, whether in or out of power, benevolently bless Islamic fundamentalists and hate Hindu nationalist patriots! They introduce laws and public policies that are "purposefully discriminatory” to favour Muslims and Christians, the two politically powerful communities which technically do not qualify to be given such minority privilegs!
Marxian/anti-Hindu bias is being spoon-fed to Kerala’s college students and sold to them as scholarship which resultantly masquerades as solid erudition by our youngsters. On the campus, this pseudo-scholarship has given an intellectual patina for the hatred of Hinduism and nationalism. Leftists toss out some references and a study or two/a book here an article there, and then pretend that they've disproven reality. Not to mention ethics, law and common sense. Offensive comments by SFI/Maoist students, are publicly broadcast across the schools and colleges in Kerala, both threatening and disruptive to the learning environment a la JNU/AMU/Jadavpur campuses. Fascists-style Leftist violence on those who disagree is rising on campuses and in the streets of towns and villages where Communists are strong. In this situation, the Left-liberal “intellectuals” have been successful even in forcing Congress and other so-called liberal-socialist elements into leftward genuflections on everything from communalism to history and economics!
Christians in Kerala who were moderates except in grabbing forest lands for cultivation and revenue land for establishing churches and educational institutions have in the recent years started being abrasive themselves. SoniaG being the Chief of the Conress party ruling at the Centre and most states prior to 2014, had led to this arrogant behaviour. Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Conference had the temerity to write the “secular” political parties to make sure that they put up Christian candidates in the Assembly constituencies that had 25 percent Christian voters or more!
1. Sections of Muslims were radicalised into rebel for a “Moplastan” in 1929 and those elements who kept the sentiment alive wre rewarded with a Muslim-majority district by the E M S Namboothirippad-led Left-front government in 1969. That appears to have whet their appetite for more and more power and privileges ever since. Politically Muslims are more or less clung to the Muslim League, though there are more radical and exteremely militant splinter groups clamouring for representation and power. Socially, Muslim youth in the recent years tend to avoid certain attitudes, standard language, clothes and some behaviours because they consider them part of Hindu way of life. They fear that adopting Hindu ways would be detrimental to their collective racial identity and solidarity. They wear clothes to identify themselves different, and avoid hanging around with too many Hindu friends even as students, and participating in extracurricular activities. Hindu parents tend to have higher academic expectations for their kids. Some teachers and education administrators expect less of the Muslim students in terms of performance, even going so far as to de-emphasize the importance of academic achievements. Eventually there is a “learning gap” which in the classic conveyor-belt fashion, communal politicians and civil rights leaders encourages Muslims to see as victimhood! Mullas, moulvis and even “Islamic scholars” are seen openly preaching in Kerala Mosques and in public places the imperative of Muslims in hating and waging jihad on all “infidels”(the meaning is interpreted as non-Mulims more often than not!)until they come under Islamic authority, according to the worldview of Sharia, or Islamic law.
Leftists have incredible compassion for war victims in Syria, for kids who have been trafficked, Palestinians, but no obvious empathy for RSS men getting killed in parts of Kerala and particularly in Kannur for just being members of the RSS. They are all sympathy for the Rohingyans illegally entering and settling many parts of India including Kashmir, but no tears for the lakhs of Pundits who were driven away for just being Hindus in the Muslim-majority State? The Indian secularists are seen keen to fight for the right of Christians and Muslims to be communal and refuse to integrate into the Indian society, and cleverly use the separate identity to serve as vote banks.
Why the intolerant ‘secularists’ who admonish Hindus for being “communal”, sanctimonious leftists and self-righteous liberals, politicians or sociologists among them are unwilling to spell out in the context that the acid test of secularism Muslims/Christians have to take is this: will they be tolerant to the extent they accept other religious beliefs on an equal footing with their own?
The Left, with assistance from the mainstream media, has always been peddling a narrative of supposed widespread hate crimes against Muslims and, Dalits in order to malign Hindutva and stop Hindu consolidation, and now fuelled by the election of BJP-NDA, as part of a continuing effort to delegitimize Modi government. The truth is that of about 20,000 events between 2005 and 2016 Maoist/Left-wing extremism is 35%, Northeast incidents 30%, incidents in Jammu and Kashmir 29% Islamist outside these regions 4.1% and the so-called Saffron terror 0.6% (Rupa Subramanya). There has been nothing fanatical about India’s Hindu heritage. To the contrary, being loyal to that heritage means not only that Indians of all walks of life, all religious creeds can feel at home in India, and all non-Hindu citizens can integrate into the mother society without having to surrender their unique cultural and religious identities. This is the essence of a new national identity called Hindutva.
There seems to be an intention behind the negative portrayal of Hinduism: Christianity and Islam are meant to look good in comparison. Hindu Dharma, (its off- springs Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism included) is the only religion that is inclusive and not divisive, Christianity and Islam divide humanity into those chosen by God and those eternally damned. Hindu dharma requires regarding all as brothers and sisters. Jews were severely discriminated and persecuted in the Christendom all through history for being the killers of Jesus. The blasphemy laws kept the flock inside the fence. Heresy was punished severely. It was only in the mid-19th Century that Christians were granted ‘negative religious freedom’, which meant, by which Germans could leave the Catholic Church for the Protestant Church. The Churches are losing sheep from their flock, and a recent Pope had criticised the Protestant Church in Brazil as rapacious rascals thieving his flock! Christianity grew not because its dogmas were convincing, but because those born into it could not leave. The blasphemy laws propped up Christianity as well as Islam. In Islam, the Mullahs, Moulvis and Ayatollas have a hold on the faithful and in several Muslim countries leaving Islam is officially punishable by death; and in liberal democracies like India, leaving Islam invites extreme physical danger. As the Quran itself forbids the followers to leave the faith, it is difficult to forego the blasphemy laws.
The Indian Communists and secularists are seen keen to fight for the right of Christians and Muslims to be communal and refuse to integrate into the Indian society, and cleverly use the separate identity to serve as vote banks. They not only argue passionately for the right of Muslims and Christians to convert Hindus to their faiths, but also oppose converts coming back to their mother society (ghar vaapasi)! So it has to be said that the name “Communist” is seared into the Nationalist consciousness as an organization hostile to everything we stand for!
Shaming the Hindus in the name of communalism, casteism, untouchability, intolerance and even violence has been a strategy using shame for a political shakedown. It worked for almost six decades, but no more! After six decades of Independence the Hindus have now found a voice to speak, without any of the hypocrisy of simulated or engineered secularism, or any of the sham of vote banks. We have a Prime Minister who breathes and works for India, tough, tenacious, resolute and resourceful; with enormous personal charm and astute political instincts to achieve national objectives. Hindu grievances and victimhood would be converted into a wholesome energy for Indian prosperity, nor for Hindus who have of course their deep emotional investments in their Gods, mythological heroes, and even places, rivers, mountains, lakes, and even trees and flowers; but also for all Indians who are proud of being sons of Mother India! Together , we shall make her “Rich with thy hurrying streams, bright with orchard gleams, Cool with thy winds of delight, Green fields waving Mother of might, Mother free...!”
Thursday, October 12, 2017
I happened to listen to a video-talk/lecture by a well-known media personality and Communist, going viral in the YouTube-Facebook circuit – virulent, frothing-at-the-mouth, bay-for-blood attack of Indian nationalism pejoratively described these days as “Hindu Nationalism”. His breathtaking ignorance of Hindutva did not prevent him from publicly loathing it. I was astonished and anguished not by the banality of his arguments that anyway defy reality, but by the lies spoken. Because, lies’ imply much more than just saying things that are false; they imply a deliberate intent to mislead. That was dangerous, coming from someone supposedly discharging “responsibilities” of media priesthood!
He was attacking a fundamental premise of the “Sangh Pariwar’s” socio-political philosophy – nationalism. He was against saluting the National Flag, against persuading citizens to stand up while the National Anthem was sung or played. After some gibberish about the irrelevance of Nationalism in modern times he went on to such replacing it with simple patriotism. I was reminded of Kim Philby (“father, husband, traitor, spy”) and other British Communists who shifted their socialist patriotism involving cultural attachment to the Soviet Union!
“Patriotism” which some people, mostly Communists, want to replace nationalism simply pertains to the individual citizen’s love for his/her nation. I know why they differentiate- because they incorrectly regard nationalism as a permanent factor in political behaviour. Their reading is perhaps that the French nationalism while promoting the cultural unity of the French nation, also encouraged a rivalry with Germany; German cultural nationalism of the Aryan type under Hitler took yet another more aggressive form, Russian nationalism under Communism in its unification mode suppressed several other older cultures in the Soviet Union and ended up in the destruction of Communism itself in its “Fatherland”! Communist leaders thought better not to recognise India as a nation but a conglomeration of several sub-nationalities, only upon realising their own incapability to grow to the national scale! That was some farsight!
Nationalism is just an ideology based on the premise that the individual’s loyalty and devotion to the nation surpasses other individual or group interests, giving more importance to cultural unity including language and heritage, a generally recognized sentiment moulding public and private life and one of the great, if not the greatest, single determining factors of modern history.
Most of these Communists, and fellow-travellers had the pure Macaulay system of modern education and therefore are predictably unfamiliar with India’s cultural legacy, which was systematically made to stand aside to make way for their generation that was skilfully taught to either deny its existence or to forget it.
Hindu society has an unquestionable and proud history of tolerance for other faiths and respect for diversity of spiritual experiences. This is reflected in the many different philosophies, religious sects, and religious leaders. The very foundation of this lies in the great Hindu heritage that is not based on any one book, teacher, or doctrine. In fact the pedestal of Hindu society stems from the great Vedic teachings Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti -- Truth is One, Sages Call it by Many Names, and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam -- The Whole Universe is one Family. It is this philosophy which allowed the people of Aryavarta/Hindusthan (land of the Hindus) to shelter the Jews who faced Roman persecution, the Zoroastrians who fled the Islamic sword and who are the proud Parsi community today, and the Tibetan Buddhists who today face the communist secularism: persecution of religion. The Hindus survived the onslaught by Muslim invaders and rule by them for some 800 years of economic discrimination via the jaziya tax on non- Muslims, forced conversion, physical torture and death, which Will Durant called “the bloodiest period in the history of mankind”. The division of India by the Islamic two-nation theory, the after-effects of the partition, all I admit created a deep wound in the minds of Hindus who however, agreed to give their new nation a secular Constitution and equal legal status for all citizens. Which other country in the world has the majority given itself a situation in which their faith is still ridiculed, and where the others wield more political power than they do? I have felt that all the noise over Ayodhya didn’t testify to an atrocity, but to the enormous power of the pro-Muslim lobby to control not only our politicians, but our national narratives!
Please note, the community now considered to be in overwhelming “majority” was not a product of RSS or “Hindutva forces”; there was no “institutional Hindu supremacy” anywhere in India anytime during the civilisation’s long history. The concept of a “majority” alien to the sub-continent before the Indian Republic was formed. It is an outcome of the new Republic’s laws and certainly did not predate them. The “majority”, in other words, is a creation of liberal democracy under the watchful eye of the Constitution; just as the minorities were. There are sociologists who give credit to the Nehru government for creating a majority, and also for taming it!
In the first 15 centuries of the Christian Era, the ideal was the universal world-state, not loyalty to any separate political entity. Even now the Pope would love to harvest souls all over the world so that all the people are “saved”. Islam similarly has pan-Islamic ambitions and they don’t make any bones about it. The third “religion” in the category, Communism didn’t recognise the national boundaries as permanent and sand “Communist Internationale”- ’Tis the final conflict/Let each stand in his place/The International Union/Shall be the human race! The “Hindu Nationalists” have no such high ambitions or aggression in their program.
Hindus continued to suffer forced negation of Hindu history and factors that gave pride to Hindus even during what is called the “Brown Raj” by Congress. Hindu customs and traditions are mocked as remnants of a non-modern society, things that would have to go if India had to modernize like the West. The self proclaimed guardians of India, Communists and Congress wo/men who call themselves secularists, forget that it was the Hindu psyche that believed in secularism, the Hindu thought that had inspired the great intellectuals of the world like Thoreau, Emerson, Tolstoy, Einstein, and many others! Hindu Citizens of India, because there is no other nations where Hindus are in any significant numbers to stand up in defence of Hindu society, are forced to be nationalists.
Let us realise that our real Opposition are Commies who are, in utter disregard of the appeal of Islamism which led to the creation of Pakistan, and has fuelled the growth of separatist consciousness and fundamentalism, indulge Muslim communalism in independent India on the ground that this is the consequence of fear psychosis among minorities. There is universal resentment among non-Left circles over the superciliousness of the way comrades-controlled campuses and media are pinning communal problem on Hindus, stifling dissent by branding as communal those who don’t acquiesce into their agenda of mind control. Meanwhile, Commie leadership is undergoing extreme intellectual and political contortions for sheer survival, defending alliance with even the Congress party!
I go back once again to the lecture, recommending patriotism (something Communist party ideologues considered all along as a “base sentiment”!) to replace OUR nationalism. Almost as if it is a nose-pinching exercise - or a choice between two evils! Essentially, the divisive, polarizing tone of such rhetoric is cleaving a widening gulf, at this point between those who consider this land sacred and those who consider it just their transient abode, a lodging house! Communists consistently seek to undermine free speech by painting it as bullying or hate speech! I regard this as perhaps the one of the bigger hate speeches that had come from within their party! Communists quite literally regard the values that sit at the very heart of Indianness/Hindutva/Modi government – the rule of law applied equally to all, limited government, respect for all religions, and the free and open exchange of ideas – as “oppressive.” Contempt for these values is precisely what defines the Left generally. Such efforts to undermine our nationhood are a sign that the Communists are on the wrong side of history! Hence these “liberal-secular-Left” aren’t “liberal” – or concerned with liberty in any form at all. They are the very opposite of real liberals; they are the real FASCISTS!