Guest Post by PARVIN SULTANA
(Review of HINDUTVA: EXPLORING THE IDEA OF HINDU; NATIONALISM, Jyotirmaya Sharma ( Context 2019); M.S. GOLWALKAR, THE RSS AND INDIA, Jyotirmaya Sharma (Context, 2019) ; DECODING THE RSS: ITS TRADITIONS AND POLITICS Raosaheb Kasbe (Leftword Books, 2019) , RAJIV GANDHI TO NARENDRA MODI: BROKEN POLITY, FLICKERING REFORMS Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr. (Sage Select, 2019) ; MODINAMA: ISSUES THAT DID NOT MATTER Subhash Gatade (Leftword Books, 2019)
The 2014 general elections which saw the Bharatiya Janata Party return to power with an absolute majority is believed to have brought an important paradigmatic shift to Indian politics. Scholars commenting have termed it as a majoritarian shift. Post elections, there have been discussions which tried to understand the reasons behind this massive mandate that the Right Wing political party managed to get. This Right Wing shift in India’s electoral politics was further proven by the 2019 Parliament election results which gave the BJP a larger mandate. Scholars have written trying to understand the rise of BJP—is it an isolated event or a continuation of past developments? This becomes important because even at the international level, there is a shift towards conservative politics.
Indian academia has also taken an objective look at this shift. A number of books have been written on various aspects of present-day politics, the ideologies and icons that paved the way for this rise and continue to provide intellectual fodder for this politics, the liberal economic policies which have been taken to their logical conclusion by the present government, etc. And these books have provided us with important insights to make sense of the present-day political situation of the country.
( Read the full text here : https://thebookreviewindia.org/understanding-the-rise-of-the-bjp/)
PM Modi didn’t mention former RSS chief Golwalkar on his recent 114th birth anniversary. The idea is to implement his ‘essence’ in private while not mentioning him in public.
The 114th birth anniversary of Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar went unnoticed. Barring a stray article by a second-rung leader of the saffron party in a national daily, none from the top hierarchy deemed it even necessary to remember the second chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) who followed the organisation’s founder, KB Hedgewar.
Interestingly, while Twitter-savvy Prime Minister Narendra Modi found time to tweet about his litti chokha conquest at Hunar Haat in Delhi, there was not a single line about Golwalkar on his timeline that day. It appeared a bit strange because in his book titled ‘Jyotipunj’ on the “greatest social workers” who “burnt their lives to glow the Motherland”, Modi had devoted forty pages to Golwalkar. “The life of Golwalkar Guruji is a fine example of dedication. Guruji, possessed all those qualities which are expected of an individual who lives for his goal—patience, determination, perseverance,” he wrote.
Was Modi’s or his senior colleagues’ silence inadvertent, or deliberate?
( Read the full article here : https://www.newsclick.in/Modi-Sangh-Parivar-Want-Disremember-Golwalkar)
Guest Post by
Hindutva’s Second Coming by Subhash Gatade; published by Media House, Delhi; 2019; pages: 272; Rs 395 (US $ 18).
The return of Modi to power with a huge margin in this 2019 election is a clear verdict for the Hindutva plank. Why and how it happened leave us, the secular billions, to ponder about the reality and its aftermath. And at that juncture Subhas Gatade’s 272-page analysis titled ‘Hindutva’s Second Coming’ gives us something concrete to think over once again. This in-depth study with rich academic perception is a commendable work, bereft of jargons and convoluted expressions, often found in books written from a high pedestal which goes beyond the mental reach of lay readers. Precisely for this reason the author needs to be specially acclaimed for bringing out facts at one place based on notes and references which are so far scattered in divergent historical materials. It serves as a Reader for millions who are combating communalism and distortion of history at the grassroot level.
( Read the full text here : http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article8847.html)
( This article would appear in the coming issue of ‘Think India Quarterly’)
(Photo Courtesy : jansatta)
..Kovind acknowledged that “the key to India’s success is its diversity” and “our diversity is the core that makes us so unique” and ended his speech with a call to build an egalitarian society as “envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Deendayal Upadhyayaji”… The Congress took umbrage at the way Kovind mentioned Upadhyaya in the same breath as the Mahatma. “The President should remember that he is not a BJP candidate any more. He is the President of India. He has to… rise above and think beyond party politics,” Congress veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
In Search of an Icon
Fighters for Hindu Rashtra who have reached topmost echleons of power in this part of South Asia and are expected to extend and deepen their influence in coming times – if secular and democratic and left forces do not act together now – find themselves in a typical quandary. Continue reading Deendayal Upadhyaya : BJP’s ‘Gandhi’ !
This is to let you know how the events presently unfolding in Dharmakshetra- kurukshetra (or at least its vicinity) are making even me, a lapsed sudrathy from Kerala, more and more creative about convincing your masters in Delhi that Hindutva fanatics in Kerala are no less worthy of kind consideration than their own home-grown fanatics. Actually, is this not the time you should be making a splash? Alas, despite your earnest efforts, these days, the Kerala police (and even your arch-enemies in Kerala, though they seem to be a bit less enthusiastic these days), take all the credit of minority-bashing and gender-criminalising. And the best you can do is go home to home telling Hindu women to cover up etc. and shout at Muslim groups doing the same, accusing them of nearly the same acts.
My ex-sudra blood boils perhaps when I notice how in the course of post-independence history, Kerala politicians in Delhi with the exception of a few of the likes of AK Gopalan, have performed mostly sudravritti especially after the 1980s even when they were in powerful posts (often clearing the shit your predecessors have made according to the instructions from above and to the extent to which they permit). Now is your chance, I think, to rise, or at least put your head above the ground. Continue reading A letter to Kummanam-ji, but also to all Pujya/Poojya/Poo Hindutva fanatics from Kerala, in the wake of revolution in the prasad-giving practices in Haryana
At some point during the Khalistan movement, I came across a brief news item about a constable of the Punjab Police killed by Delhi Police personnel. The two teams had completed their interrogation of a suspected militant. Whose job was it to clean up the blood? Disagreement, a scuffle, a killing.
Legitimized brutality; the stench of blood inflaming the senses; the knowledge of absolute power and absolute impunity.
All of India is that interrogation room now.
Hindu Rashtra is here.
Has there not been violence earlier in this land? Yes of course there has been. A full seven decades of an independent state’s violence against the people of the land declared to be India – against dispossessed peasants and tribal people, against industrial workers, against the people of Kashmir, and of the states of the North East; centuries of violence by savarna Hindu society against the Dalit-bahujan; misogynist, sexist violence against women, up to and including female foetuses in the womb; decades of coldly planned and executed communal violence by institutionalized systems of riot production coordinated by the organizations of the RSS – against Muslims, against Christians, and as a secondary force, against Sikhs in 1984.
What is unique about this conjuncture, then? Continue reading Eid in solidarity, united against Hindu Rashtra
(Photo courtesy : livehindustan.com, From left to right – Golwalkar, Deendayal Upadhyay and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, . Photo taken in Mathura during Goraksha/Cow Protection movement, 1965)
“DEENDAYAL UPADHYAYA is to the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] what Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was to Congress” opined R. Balashankar, former editor of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh’s (RSS) organ Organiser and now a member of the BJP’s central committee, on Prasikhshan Maha Abhiyan
(The Indian Express,; September 24, 2016).
Cows inhale, exhale oxygen, says Rajasthan education minister Vasudev Devnani
Rajaram (name changed) Principal of a school near Jaipur, Rajasthan is a worried man.
An honest teacher all his life, is not able to comprehend the rationale behind the recent order by the state education ministry asking every secondary and senior secondary school to purchase collected works of Deendayal Upadhyay Continue reading Deendayal in Government Schools : Neglecting Education, Indoctrinating Exclusion
Tree Wants to be Calm
But Wind Will Not Stop !
-Jose Maria Sison
( Filipino Revolutionary and Poet)
Whether all the leading public intellectuals of our times have suddenly decided to go for a break – now that Kanhaiya Kumar is out of jail – or are thinking that the impending storm would peter away on its own. Anyone who has closely followed the public hounding of two of the finest human beings of our times – Prof Nivedita Menon and Gauhar Raza – and the silence which has followed with it ( barring a statement signed by many and few articles here and there on some webmagazines ) would understand what does that mean. While Prof Menon is being targetted because of airing of selective quotes from one of her lectures, Gauhar has been put under the scanner because of his participation in Indo-Pak mushaira. It is clear that one of his poems – focussing on the dangerous cocktail of religion and politics – which he recited there, has infuriated them. Continue reading Then They Came For ..
Guest Post by Karthik Venkatesh
Freedom at midnight put some people in a spot – those Muslims who chose to stay back in India and did not opt for Pakistan. Pakistan was always conceived as a nation that would be created in areas where Muslims were in a majority in undivided India i.e., the north-western portion and a part of the eastern portion. It was difficult to visualize how all of India’s Muslims would be accommodated there because the reality was that Muslims were and are found in every nook and corner in this country. How then was Pakistan going to fulfill its purpose? It clearly could not. Recognizing this and recognizing the danger to those Muslims who could not go to the ‘promised land’, many Muslim leaders opposed the creation of Pakistan. Muslims against Partition by Shamsul Islam (Pharos Media, 2015) is their story. It details how such leaders were in effect betrayed after having striving unreservedly for a united India. Continue reading Betrayal at Midnight – Review of ‘Muslims against Partition’ : Guest Post by Karthik Venkatesh
Mujadpur, a village in Haryana’s Hisar district, which has been in the news recently for what the government lexicon calls ‘dalit atrocities’, involving murders and ‘suicides’.
Recently, it was hit by another such incident, albeit of a less fatal nature: Members of the Jat community thrashed a dalit man called Ramdhari and his family members and stuffed cow dung in his mouth. Reportedly, Ramdhari installed a statue of BR Ambedkar in his house and that provoked the upper caste Jats.
The irony of this cannot be emphasised enough.
One does not know whether in an area dominated by the Jats, Ramdhari’s perpetrators have been arrested under provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act (1989) or not.
Or has the incident been explained away in the light of some vague personal animosity, which is what happened when two children in Sunped were recently killed by throwing of inflammable material in their house by dominant castes.
As the nation begins another series of grand celebrations, this time to celebrate the contributions of BR Ambedkar, the plight of a dalit family for merely installing his statue stares at us in our eyes. It is symptomatic of the gap between the principles and values on which the Constitution is based and the situation on the ground.
Read the full text of the article here.
Dear great-great granddaughter Sumathikutty
I am sure you never expected this missive. Yes, you may even think it impossible. But here am I, writing to you, from the other side of J Devika’s computer screen at which she is staring now, mouth open and goggle-eyed, right now. I don’t have to introduce myself – most Malayalees know me as Chandu Menon’s Soul-Daughter, and the Grand (Old) Lady of Modern Kerala (alas, some of the youngest know of Indulekha hair oil only!). Continue reading Girl, Get Back your Dignity NOW: Indulekha Writes to Sumathikkuttyamma
Guest post by Aman Verma
It is disheartening to see amongst supporters of Hindutva these days a silent acquiescence and at times even active support for extra-constitutional techniques being adopted by organizations like the RSS and its offshoots towards attaining the goal of Ram Rajya. An assessment is necessary of what would ultimately entail on the social, political and economic fronts if such a policy that envisages a supposedly ‘Hindu’ cultural and linguistic hegemony over cultures and languages represented by minority communities becomes reality. However, being a student of law what disturbs me more is the absence of any socio-political entity or civil society movement rooted in values of democracy that can effectively counter the impact of Hindutva organizations on the Indian social fabric. While the BJP has its RSS, every other political party claiming to be the upholder of secularism lacks its equivalent, or at the very least an effective social protégé.
Further, my personal interactions with supporters of BJP reveals that there is some deep sense of hurt and helplessness, part valid for the sake of argument, but for the most part carefully manufactured by Hindutva propaganda, which manifests itself in questions a friend recently put to me, “What are the other ways in which the Hindus can also claim their rights and send out a message that they have been too tolerant for too long?” and another which sounded like “How else to keep our dignity and identity alive in our land?”. These questions, based upon presumptions like those of “Hindu tolerance” of acts perpetrated by other communities supposedly only against Hindus and, protection of a completely vague concept of “Hindu identity” are clearly an outcome of a campaign strategy that relies upon upping the antics on the romantic-nationalist front.
Continue reading Hindutva: A Political Theory of Nationhood?: Aman Verma
A couple of weeks ago, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan was invited by the Editors’ Guild to deliver its annual lecture. Patwardhan’s speech, titled We or our Nationhood Redefined, was marked by his characteristically cool tone, systematically reassembling facts that have a tricky habit of leaking from national memory. Facts like the twentieth century’s worst genocidal dictator Adolf Hitler and his programme of racial cleansing has a respectable and massive following in India in the form of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh. That the RSS has at least 50,000 branches across the country with over 40 million members, and runs a network of 18,000 schools across India. That one such child, recruited from the age of 8 from a relatively poor family, is Prime Minister Modi; and another is Party Chief Amit Shah. That just before the recent reshuffle, 5 Chief Ministers and 17 of the 23 Cabinet-level senior ministers were current or former RSS members. That the assassins of Gandhi are really the RSS, not the lone lunatic Godse who merely carried out what others dreamed about. That RSS’s poisonous communal agenda was roundly condemned by Sardar Patel, of whom PM Modi has promised to build the world’s tallest statue. Or more obscure but equally revealing facts, like the letter written by RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras from jail during Emergency, praising Indira Gandhi and especially her programme of sterilisation of Muslims. And those truly mind-boggling-in-their-irony facts, like the widespread involvement of the RSS in the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom, when the BJP cynically says “1984” every time somebody says “2002”.
On a day when the Nanavati Commission has termed the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat as a purely communal reaction to Godhra, and cleared then Chief Minister Modi’s government of any wrongdoing, or even inaction, it is critical we re-read Patwardhan’s speech, to remind ourselves exactly what we are up against if we believe in a non-communal, non-divided, heterogenous India. As Patwardhan put it, given the history of the RSS in this subcontinent, if a Modi didn’t exist, he would have to be invented. Read more.
Image Courtesy : http://www.truthofgujarat.com
It is now time for NaMo NaMo in BJP.
To quote a newspaper, Hindutva poster boy Narendra Modi has been declared candidate for Prime Minister’s post by the highest body of the Party.
As planned earlier there were celebrations at different party offices of the BJP spread over the country. It is a different matter that the party could not hide the fact that it was not a unanimous decision rather a majority decision. The ‘tallest leader’ or ‘mentor’ of the party L K Advani made his displeasure clear in a letter the very same day. And not only Advani till a day ago three members of the highest body – whose strength is 12 only – were vehemently opposing the proposal that the candidature be announced immediately and wanted it to be deferred till the assembly elections to five states were over. Two amongst them – Ms Sushma Swaraj and Murli Manohar Joshi – could be persuaded to join the anointment at the last moment only.
The comical part of the whole anointment has been the gentleman who had only a week ago declared that he would like to serve the state – where he was elected CM for the third time – till 2017, had no qualms in dropping all pretensions and rush to Delhi for the coronation. Continue reading NaMo NaMo or Namaste Sada Vatsale ..
(Politics is a game of the impossible. The Sangh Parivar, which never enjoyed a smooth relationship with Vinayak Damodar Savarkar when alive, now wants us to believe that it is the true and the only heir to his legacy. It is a different matter that even Savarkar’s diehard followers do not seem amused with all their rope-tricks. The manner in which RSS-BJP handled the issue of memorial for Savarkar in faraway France indicates once again the floundering of their strategy.)
Gopinath Munde, senior leader of BJP, was in for a great shock the other day when he realised that his move to corner the ruling dispensation at the centre on the issue of Savarkar memorial had boomranged on himself and the party as well. In fact he had discussed the issue with his close associates and had informed senior leaders of the party about his plans. He had expected that by raising an emotive issue around ‘Swatantryaveer’ Savarkar on the eve of elections to the Maharashtra assembly, he would be able to score a point vis-a-vis the Cong-NCP coalition. Continue reading Savarkar’s Phoney Followers