With the 2014 Lok Sabha at the doorstep, the carefully orchestrated campaign for past few years to project Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister of the country has crossed all limits. PR managers and media blitzkrieg are trying to paint Modi, who presided over a horrific communal genocide in 2002, as the messiah of ‘good governance’ and ‘economic growth,’ now far removed from any communal politics. We are being told: Forget 2002, Forget the rapes, murders and fake encounters, Forget the state machinery’s role in 2002, and Parade Modi model of ‘growth’, ‘development’ and ‘good governance.’
But Modi himself has brazenly affirmed time and again that contempt, hatred, and violence towards the minorities and denigration of the oppressed sections is embedded in his imagery, is metaphors, and his politics. His own speeches make it very clear that Modi’s communal plank isn’t a thing of the past – it’s very much his recipe for power in the present and near future. We have already seen him refer to the victims of the Gujarat genocide as ‘puppies crushed under a car,’ and his jeering reference to the ‘burqa’ of secularism (rather than the word ‘purdah’ which is used by Hindus and Muslims alike)!
Here is a sample of the calculated communal colour of Modi’s RECENT speeches:
At Khandwa in November 2013 he said, “Lal Bahadur Shastri used to talk of ‘green revolution’ but the UPA Government is encouraging ‘pink revolution’ by promoting meat exports. They are giving subsidy to set up slaughterhouses… cows and other animals are getting slaughtered…Export cotton and pay tax, export mutton and get subsidy.” This is directly in line with the Sangh’s communal propaganda against ‘cow slaughter,’ demonising the minority communities by associating them with ‘slaughtering cows and other animals.’ Farmers’ groups demand subsidies for their products without pitting this against subsidies for meat producers, but Modi gives farmers’ demands a communal twist.
At Agra in November 2013, he accused the UPA Government of “neglecting and doing injustice to 75 percent of the people and playing games for 25 percent of the people.”
And his latest call at an Assam rally (22 Feb) of accommodating Hindu migrants from Bangladesh in India while distinguishing those who are brought for ‘vote bank’!
The Modi Government has refused to abide by the Gujarat High Court verdict of February 2013 to implement minority scholarships in Gujarat. In its affidavit, the Gujarat Government has attacked the Sachar Committee, saying “The Sachar Committee is neither constitutional nor statutory. …The Committee’s target was to help the Muslims only.”
The style of Modi’s campaign for the ‘Statue of Unity’ (the statue of Sardar Patel) is another example of his fascist political imagination. He asked people to join the campaign for ‘one resolution, one goal, one direction, one voice and one determination’. In deed for Modi, it is not “unity in diversity” but “unity in uniformity”! Modi made it very clear what this ‘oneness’ was all about: India has been a witness to such disciplined joint participation on religious occasions and joint celebrations of an entire neighbourhood when India wins a cricket match, he said. His slogan of ‘one emotion, one nation, one culture, one resolution, one goal, one smile’ smacks of a regimented and guided ‘democracy’, where any dissent or difference, and any protection for minorities will be viewed as ‘anti national’ and ruthlessly crushed.
The recent Muzaffarnagar riots showed how the Sangh brigade in UP, under the leadership of Modi’s right-hand man Amit Shah, carefully engineered a communal hate campaign and carnage to reap votes through communal polarisation. It was typical Shah, carefully engineered a communal Moditva bred in RSS school in action UP. The patriarchal institutions of Khap were mobilised and vicious rumor campaign was engineered in the name of combating “love j ihad” leading to the killing of scores of Muslims and displacements of several thousands.
Clearly, BJP’s model of imagining India is based on an ideology which is against our secular democratic constitution and divisive. Modi himself has claimed that he is a ‘Hindu-Nationalist.’ What about the rights of the minorities if the country is constituted on the idea of ‘Hindu nationalism?’ Can the struggle of the dalits and women against the history of oppression legitimised in practice and scriptures of ‘sanatana dharma’, be a part of this nationhood? One example of the perverted vision of “Hindu Nationalism” is Modi’s own statement about the Dalits who are forced to perform manual scavenging, contained in pages 48-49 of Karmayog, a collection of Narendra Modi’s speeches to IAS officials at various points, published by the Gujarat govt in 2007: “I do not believe that they have been doing this job just to sustain their livelihood. Had this been so, they would not have continued with this type of job generation after generation….At some point of time, somebody must have got the enlightenment that it is their (Valmikis’) duty to work for the happiness of the entire society and the Gods; that they have to do this job bestowed upon them by Gods; and that this job of cleaning up should continue as an internal spiritual activity for centuries. This should have continued generation after generation. It is impossible to believe that their ancestors did not have the choice of adopting any other work or business.” (http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/true-lies/entry/modi-s-spiritual-potion-to-woo-karmauogis) After the embarrassing exposure, Modi withdrew all the copies of the book, but he did not change his ideas. In 2009, addressing 9,000-odd safai karmacharis, (sanitation workers) he likened the safai karmacharis’ job of cleaning up others dirt’ to that of a temple priest. He told them, “A priest cleans a temple every day before prayers, you also clean the city like a temple. You and the temple priest work alike”!!! And in 2013 Gujarat budget, allocated a sum of Rs 22.5 lakhs for giving training in Karmkand (rituals) to Safai Kamdars !
This is the RSS model of “samajik samrasta” and clear an attempt to reverse the pioneering role of Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar against untouchability and the formulation of Indian constitution. If anything has to be termed anti-national, then that is nothing but BJP’s perverted notion of nationalism and reversal of struggle against casteism, communalism and gender- violence.
Modi’s contempt for the facts of history – no doubt a result of his saffronised education in the Sangh – has been amply demonstrated many times, with him even getting Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s name wrong and confusing freedom fighter Shyamaji Krishna Varma with Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookherjee.
BJP’s Systematic Project of Distorting History and Knowledge:
Apart from such endless distortions in Modi’s speeches, every BJP government routinely indulges in institutionalised distortion of textbooks as a part of its fascist to rewrite history according to its own goal. The fiasco of saffronisation of textbooks negating scientific method, historical facts under the last NDA government at centre has not been forgotten by the country. The MHRD minister of that NDA government, Murli Manohar Joshi even proposed to introduce Karamkand to be taught in universities. The same has been repeated and is continuing in Modi’s Gujarat. The social science text book in Gujarat devoted a chapter praising the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler! Under national and international pressure the NaMo government had to withdraw the chapter later. But several such distortions remain in the social science text book of class 6, 7 and 8 even today. Some of the gems are : Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on October 30, 1948. Japan mounted a nuclear attack on the United States during World War II. After Partition, a new country called ‘Islamic Islamabad’ came into being with its capital Khyber Ghat in the Hindukush mountains. All south Indians are “Madrasis” ( The Hindu, Feb 27, 2013). These factual misinformations are not merely errors, but are driven by ideological intention of the Gujarat government to paint history in their own communal, racist and xenophobic ideas. It is nothing surprising to expect a party with a history of betrayal with anti-colonial struggle and an ideology based on perverted notion of nationalism to be afraid of history, to be afraid of truth and facts. The Hindutva was always a figment of the fascist imagination of the RSS, of which Modi is a proud product. Modi’s politics of hate and fascist tactics in the laboratory of Gujarat can be explicitly traced in the writings of the entire range of Hindutva ideologues-Golwalkar, Savarkar, Shyama prasd Mukherjee etc and the pages of RSS organ Organiser. Let us see some samples:
On Hindu rashtra: ”… the foreign races in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment not even citizen’s rights.” M. S. Golwalkar, We or Our Nationhood Defined, 1938, p. 47-48
Opposing the National Flag at the dawn of Independence: “The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour but it never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.” Organiser, August 14, 1947
Hailing fascism: “There is no reason to suppose that Hitler must be a human monster because he passes off as a Nazi.. The very fact that Germany and Italy has so wonderfully recovered and grown so powerful as never before at the touch of Nazi or Fascist magical wand is enough to prove that those political ‘isms’ were the most congenial tonics their health demanded.” Savarkar in his Presidential address to the 22nd Session of the Hindu Mahasabha at Madura in 1940.
Rejecting the Freedom Struggle: “Anti-Britishism was equated with patriotism and nationalism. This reactionary view has had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the freedom movement, its leaders and the common people” M. S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Bangalore, 1996, p. 138
Betraying the 1942 Quit India Movement: “In 1942 also there was a strong sentiment in the hearts of many. At that time too the routine work of Sangh continued. Sangh decided not to do anything directly.” -Shri Guruji Samagra Darshan, Vol. IV, Nagpur, n.d., p.41 henceforth S.G.S.D.)
“The Hindu Mahasabha holds that the leading principle politics is the policy of responsive co-operation. And in virtue of it, it believes that all those Hindu Sanghatanists who are orking as councillors, ministers, legislators and conducting any municipal or any public bodies with a view to utilise those centres of government power to safeguard and even promote the legitimate interests of the Hindus without, of course, encroaching on the legitimate interests of the others are rendering a highly patriotic service to our nation.” Cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol.6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p.474.
Another Sangh hero – Shyama Prasad Mukherjee – refused to resign from the Ministry in Bengal during the Quit India Movement. Not only that, as a Minister in the Bengal Government in 1942, he actively offered help and advice to the British administrators to crush the Quit India Movement. In 1942, he wrote: “The question is how to combat this movement in Bengal? The administration of the province should be carried out in such a manner that in spite of the best efforts … this movement will fail to take root in the province.”
“As regards India’s attitude towards England, the struggle between them, if any, should not take place at this juncture. …Anybody who plans to stir up mass feelings resulting in internal disturbances or insecurity, must be resisted by any Government...” (Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Leaves from a Diary, OUP, 1993, pp 175-190)
Propagating Two Nation Theory: “ There are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India, several infantile politicians commit the serious mistake in supposing that India is already welded into a harmonious nation, or that it could be welded thus for the mere wish to do so. These were well meaning but unthinking friends take their dreams for realities. …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.” – Savarkar cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya : Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol.6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p.296.
It is obvious, that Modi has put these words into action in his laboratory of Gujarat and now planning to apply pan-India! When the Sangh Brigade and Modi consider secularism to be a dispensable veil, democracy loving people of India must assert it as an essential ingredient for survival and progress.