Modifesto: A Close Look

mod maInterestingly, even as the first votes are going to be cast in next couple of days, BJP, which ‘officially’ declared its PM candidate almost a year back, could not manage time yet to release its ‘manifesto’. All we have is a daily stream of live telecasts, almost round the clock, of vituperative rally addresses by Modi! One single Manifesto substituted by a daily Modifesto.

The most unprecedented phenomenon of the 2014 elections has been the NaMo PR exercise. It has been running for years now- powered by hired desi-videshi PR agencies , big corporates and complicit media houses. One of the tag lines of this unusually extended exercise was “Forget 2002! See the ‘growth’ and ‘governance’ of Modi regime”.

But can a tiger ever change its stripes? With every passing day, Modi and his team has affirmed that contempt, hatred, and violence towards the minorities and denigration of the oppressed sections is embedded in his imagery, his 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.

Refusal to Implement minority scholarship scheme in Gujarat:

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.”

‘Burqua of Secularism’:

On 15 July 2013 Pune Modi jeeringly referred to the ” ‘burqa’ of secularism”- Isn’t it obvious Why he chose to use the word ‘burqa’ used by the Muslim women, instead of the word ‘purdah’ which is used by Hindus and Muslims alike.

I’m a Hindu Nationalist:

On 12 July 2013, in his infamous Reuter interview, Modi called himself a ‘Hindu nationalist’.

Calling the victims of the Gujarat genocide as “puppies crushed under the wheels of a car.” said Modi in the same Reuters interview.

Communalising meat Export:

Modi16At a Khandwa rally on 22 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.”  Subsequently, he repeated the same theme in Nawada Bihar on 2 April, 2014 and at Ghaziabad on 2 April 2014. The Nawada and Ghaziabad versions of the speech were more vitriolic. In Nawada he added, “This is the land of people who worship cows. How can you support those who support cow slaughter?”, with the clear intent to use communal provocation as a means to woo votes.

This is directly in line with the Sangh’s communal propaganda on ‘cow slaughter,’ demonising the minority communities by associating them with ‘slaughtering cows and other animals.’ It is also well known how the alleged stealing of cows by Muslims has often been cited as a pretext for communal riots in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. No wonder, after these speeches on 4 April there was a similar flare-up in Pilibhit, UP. Farmers’ groups demand subsidies for their products without pitting this against subsidies for meat producers. But Modi insists on giving farmers’ demands a communal twist.

Politics of 75% vs. 25%:

At the Agra rally of 22 Nov 2013, he talked of the UPA Government of “neglecting and doing injustice to 75 percent of the people and playing games for 25 percent of the people.”  It is the same rally, where the two UP MLAs, Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana, accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, were felicitated.

Isolating ONLY the Muslim refugees from Bangladesh:

In the 22 Feb Assam 2014 rally he talked of accommodating Hindu migrants from Bangladesh in India while distinguishing those who are brought for ‘vote bank’- an explicit call to isolate only those Bangladeshi migrants who are Muslims!

Amit Shah’s call for “revenge to insult” in Muzaffarnagar:

At a meeting with Jat community leaders in Muzaffarnagar on 3 April, 2014 Amit Shah said, “This election is about voting out the government that protects and gives compensation to those who killed Jats. It is about badla (revenge) and protecting izzat (honour)…  A man can live without food or sleep. He can live when he is thirsty and hungry but when he is insulted, he cannot live. Apmaan ka badla to lena hoga, an insult has to be avenged.” The BJP backed Amit Shah for these remarks.

So, politics of hate and provoking communal frenzy is the basic staple of Modi-BJP strategy of election and governance. It can never cut its umbilical cord from the RSS which remains the fountain -head of this hate ideology and politics.

Recently, in an ETV interview of 1 April 2014 Modi reaffirmed: “Foundation plays a vital role in the formation of an individual. … I owe it all to the RSS.”

It is little known that Modi has written a book in GujaratiShree Guruji: Ek Swayamsevak” which is publicised as “Shri Narendra Modi’s dedication to Shri Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar, popularly known as ‘Guruji’.”

Let us see some samples of RSS and Golwalkar ‘s ideas – in their own words – to which Modi claims to “owe all”:

Ridiculing 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)

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)

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)

Advocating Hate and Witch-hunt of Minorities:

Golwalkar’s other book “Bunch of Thoughts” has a long chapter titled Internal Threats” (Part Two – The Nation And Its Problems Section XVI). It starts with the following sentence: “It has been the tragic lesson of the history of many a country in the world that the hostile elements within the country pose a far greater menace to national security than aggressors from outside”   And he identifies three major “Internal Threats: I: The Muslims; II: The Christians; III: The Communists”. This long chapter impugns the patriotism of these groups, speaking darkly of their “future aggressive designs on our country”.

Advocating Manusmriti in the place of India’s Constitution:

When the Constituent Assembly of India had finalized the Constitution of India the RSS mouthpiece, Organizer, in an editorial on November 30, 1949, complained“But in our constitution there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing.”

According to Savarkar, another Hindutva hero:

” Manusmriti is that scripture which is most worshipable after Vedas for our Hindu Nation and which from ancient times has become the basis of our culture-customs, thought and practice. This book for centuries has codified the spiritual and divine march of our nation. Even today the rules which are followed by crores of Hindus in their lives and practice are based on Manusmriti. Today Manusmriti is Hindu Law.” (Savarkar, V. D., ‘Women in Manusmriti’ in Savarkar Samagar, Vol. 4 (Collection of Savarkar’s Writings in Hindi) New Delhi: Prabhat, P. 416.)

And we all know, what Manusmriti had to say about the Dalits and women and why did Baba Saheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who drafted our secular, democratic Constitution, start his journey by burning Manusmriti!

But since self-admittedly, Modi “owes all to RSS,” his views towards dalits is too is no different from Manusmriti which RSS’ Guruji hails. One such example is his own statement about the Dalits who are forced to perform manual scavenging. The statement is 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-karmayogis).

So according to Modi, manual scavenging which the dalits are forced to perform, is a ‘spiritual activity,’ ‘bestowed upon them by Gods‘!!! After this shocking statement got exposed and reported, 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 nothing but the RSS model of Manu inspired “samajik samrasta”a clear an attempt to reverse the pioneering role of Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar against untouchability and the formulation of Indian constitution.

Against Women’s Rights:

Golwalkar led the RSS in opposing the Hindu Code Bill (which was the first but incomplete step towards giving Hindu women equal rights to men), claiming that granting of rights to women would “cause great psychological upheaval” to men and “lead to mental disease and distress” (see Paula Bacchetta, Gender in the Hindu Nation: RSS Women as Ideologues, p.124).

Endorsing Wife-Beating:

In the women’s -wing of RSS, called Rashtra Sevika Samiti (founded in 1936), continues in the same manner. During the surging protests post -Dec 16 Delhi gang rape, we all heard how RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said that rapes do not happen only in  India and not in ‘Bharat’. Additionally, he also said: “We are not feminists, we are family-ists. We believe in ‘dampatya’ (conjugality) where a man and a woman together need to bring up a family.” The Outlook magazine, in its much acclaimed story “Holier than Cow” (28 Jan 2013), documents how, this women’s wing of RSS rationalises domestic violence:  The story, interviewing one sevika (Sharda from Jabalpur) writes ” the shakhas, the Samiti also counsels women in their respective areas. There is a manual that is followed. When I ask her, “What advice would you give to a victim of wife beating?” she answers, “Don’t parents admonish their children for misbehaviour? Just as a child must adjust to his/her parents, so must a wife act keeping in mind her husband’s moods and must avoid irritating him. Only this can keep the family together.” Similarly, divorce is also a non option for women. She says, “Our task is to keep the family together, not break it. We tell the women to adjust. Sometimes, we try counsel the husband too.

This the essence of RSS ideology and practice, to which ‘Hindu Nationalist’ Modi claims to “owe all.” So no matter how much the PR mangers may try, essential Modi cannot be image-managed!  This is the BJP’s real Modifesto – the blue-print of hate, violence, co-option and subjugation of all oppressed sections!

Defeat the RSS-BJP’s communal fascist, anti-dalit and anti-women politics! 

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