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Sangh Mukth Bharat?

India, May 23 -- Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, during his recent visit to Varanasi, the Parliamentary constituency represented by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, called for an India free from Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS). It may appear to be a tit for tat for Narendra Modi's avowed goal of realizing a "Congress Free India".

Modi roared from the pulpits during the electioneering in 2014 that one of his goals is to create a 'congress free India'. After coming to power he may not be proclaiming from the rooftops about "Congress free India", but definitely the strategy of the PM and of BJP- RSS combine is moving towards this goal.

The dismissal of the state governments in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and declaration of President's rule in these states could be viewed as a part of this strategy.

Expanding the footprints of BJP in the Southern states, particularly in Kerala and increasing the branches of RSS all over India with special focus on the youth are other components of the well planned strategy. The expansion of BJP to the North Eastern states by capturing power in Assam and opening its account in Kerala which so far has resisted the entry of the saffron party to the legislature is a step closer to their dream.

Presently, the Congress is the only political party with a pan Indian presence besides the BJP, and there is no sign of any other political party rising to the level of a national party which can challenge the BJP. If the Congress is wiped out from the political landscape of India it would be easy for BJP-RSS combine to realize its dream of establishing a Hindu Rashtra.

The regional parties with their narrow political interests could be dealt with a carrot and stick policy. Absence of a strong opposition will lead to the death of democracy. The implication of the slogan of "Congress Mukth Bharat" is the end of secular democracy in India.

Are the people of India and the so called secular parties aware of the danger lurking behind the slogan and strategy of RSS-BJP combine? Unfortunately, the Congress party itself is responsible for this pathetic situation through its acts of omission and commission and the failure to resolve its leadership crisis.

The party is becoming moribund after its debacle in 2014 Lok Sabha election. The party that played a crucial role in gaining independence for India is failing miserably to play the role of a responsible and vibrant opposition and indirectly helping the BJP to realize it goal of a "Congress Free India".

Nitish Kumar may be the only one political leader in the country who can foresee such a dangerous scenario in the future. There is nothing wrong if Nitish has the ambition of becoming the Prime Minister of India. The constitution of India has given the right to every citizen to become the Prime Minister of India. Narendra Modi too had national ambition when he was the CM of Gujarat and practically for one year he was crisscrossing the country to fulfil his national ambition while remaining the CM of Gujarat. Why is the media wary of the national ambition of Nitish Kumar?

During the election to Bihar Assembly the BJP and Narendra Modi had made calumnious propaganda that if JDU-RJD-Congress alliance were elected Jangal Raj would return to Bihar. The people of Bihar could not be hoodwinked by the malicious propaganda of BJP and the JDU headed alliance was elected with thumping majority. BJP could not digest the victory of Nitish Kumar who has the guts to challenge Narendra Modi.

As a result the media, which is under the control of the BJP to a great extent, tries to exaggerate any crime happening in Bihar and project it as a return to lawlessness. Recent killing of a college student by the son of a suspended MLC, Manorama Devi and murder of two journalists were projected by the media as signs of returning to Jangal Raj.

These killings are a matter of serious concern and the Bihar government has to take immediate measures to nab the culprits and bring justice to the victims. Quick action is called for safeguarding the credibility of the Chief Minister and the success of Bihar model of development, different from the Gujarat Model. The RSS-BJP combine is looking for any opportunity to tarnish the image of Nithish Kumar who has the potency to thwart their dream of establishing a Hindu Rashtra.

There is no gainsaying that the BJP is under the total grip of RSS. Almost all the leaders of BJP, except those opportunistic Congress men who ditched the party and joined the BJP, are all groomed in the RSS ideology. Neither the BJP nor Narendra Modi can take any major policy without the endorsement from Nagpur.

The total failure of the PM to reprimand publically the motor mouths who indulge in hate speech and minority bashing, appointment of RSS men at the helm of educational and cultural institutions and organizations under the central government, enactment of laws banning beef, spending crores of rupees by the BJP governments on Hindu religious festivals, the PM and his council of ministers presenting their report card of one year to RSS leaders and the lenient approach of the investigating agencies towards the right wing activists accused of terror attacks are some examples how the BJP government is controlled by an extra-constitutional body like RSS. The policies and actions of this government clearly indicate that it is bent upon implementing the ideology of RSS.

The absence of a strong opposition during the uninterrupted rule of the Congress party for many years at the centre not only weakened the Congress but also the democratic system in the country. A vibrant and strong democracy requires change of parties in power, as it is happening in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the presence of a strong and dynamic opposition. Neither a Congress mukth nor a BJP mukth India augur well for the health of Indian democracy.

The country needs two or three strong pan Indian political parties who are committed to the core values enshrined in the Indian Constitution, especially secular democracy. BJP has to shed its allergy towards secularism or pluralism which is our national heritage. What it practices today is pseudo nationalism. Genuine nationalism focuses on the well-being of its citizens irrespective of caste, religion, language etc. Dividing people on the basis of symbols is fake nationalism.

A strong and independent judiciary, an alert and impartial media and a vigilant civil society are other requirements for the effective functioning of democracy. Non-Governmental Organizations and Civil Society Organizations also play an important role in ensuring human rights and individual freedoms of the citizens and improving governance. From this perspective RSS has immense capacity to build a prosperous and peaceful India, provided it makes its ideology inclusive and give up hatred and revenge towards the minorities. RSS taking strict disciplinary action against the hate mongers within its fold will send positive signals to the minorities in India. What the people of India needs not a Sangh mukth Bharat, but an ideologically transformed RSS.

India is a part of a globalized and globalizing world. Crores of Indians live in different countries of the world. The national boundaries do not prevent the movement of people from one country to the other. Every nation is proud of its culture and history. At the same time the nation has its strengths and weakness. Claiming only strengths and denying weaknesses is sheer hypocrisy.

Taking revenge for the mistakes committed by the previous generations is animal instinct and not humanness and civilized behaviour. The nations of the world have to learn from each other through commercial, educational and cultural exchanges.

The desire to dominate the world or to become Vishwa Guru by any nation is nothing but supremacist tendency and it will not usher in world peace. India with its ancient and rich culture, young and diverse population can make a significant contribution to humanity.

In the present scenario if the RSS wants to contribute to build a prosperous and peaceful India it has to desist from imposing its ideology on the BJP and the people of it.

On the other hand it has to transform its ideology into an inclusive one, saying goodbye to the vision of M S Golwalkar: "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". The enormous resources at the command of the Sangh Parivar can be used for solving the problems of the country like illiteracy, corruption, unemployment etc.

No parents want their child to permanently depend on them. Time has come for RSS to allow the BJP to grow as a secular, democratic political party with its own policies and priorities and for the BJP to cuts its umbilical cord with RSS.

Converting India into a theocracy is not a solution to the problems of India. Our neighbour, Pakistan, by adopting theocracy, has not fared well. Plagued with terrorism and the fight between Shias and Sunnis, Pakistan is far behind India in many aspects. Adopting Islam as the state religion has in no way contributed to unity in Pakistan.

Human beings have different identities and religion is only one among them. People of the country can fight later on the basis of other identities like caste, language or region. In a vast and diverse country like India making religion as the foundation of the state will be disastrous. If RSS and BJP realize this reality and transform their ideology in conformity with the values of the Indian Constitution they will be making India glorious.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Indian Currents.

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Publication:Indian Currents
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:May 23, 2016
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