FASCISTIC PSEUDO-HINDUISM

Sitaram Yechury

    For too long, the majority in the country, suffered under the brandishment of `Pseudo secularism' and allowed the fascistic pseudo hindus to highjack our country, its ethos and traditions.  The result has been the medieval barbarism that we are being subjected to, today.  The tragedy is that this is happening in the name of Ram. 

    No single incident has destroyed the foundations of modern secular India as did the events of Dec.6 at Ayodhya.  The BJP/VHP/RSS/Bajrang Dal (Saffron shirts-SS- for short; the resemblance to Hitler's criminal SS and Brown shirts is more than coincidental) stands thoroughly exposed for its complete rejection of modern Indian polity and the utter contempt with which it holds law and the courts. 

    That the BJP would risk such a stigma to its image as a `responsible' party can be understood only by the fact that its vision of a future India is not based on the parameters that govern the present democratic and secular polity.  Its vision is the very anti-thesis of this - a theocratic Hindu Rashtra negating both democracy and secularism.  A project that was frighteningly articulated by the late RSS Chief, Golwalkar with fascistic precision. 

    Till date, none from the SS have criticised, leave alone rejected, Golwalkar's project contained in a book entitled "We or our Nationhood defined" published in 1939.  It continues to be the ambition of the SS, despite being overwhelmingly rejected by a majority of Hindus during the freedom struggle.  It needs emphasis that India is a secular country precisely because the predominant majority of Hindu's embraced secularism.  The battle between the proponents of Hindu Rashtra and Secular India, that raged all these years and consuming the life of the Mahatma in the process, has today reached a crescendo. 

    The multi-level campaign unleashed by SS, from the grass root level venemous hatred spewed by the Sadhvis' and their ilk to the intellectual sophistry of its idealogues aimed at generating a false consciousness around concepts like `pseudo secularism', `minorityism' etc., are a reflection of their brand of nationalism which is synonymous with Hindu Rashtra.  Note what Golwalkar states, "only those movements are truly national as aim at rebuilding, revitalising and emancipating from its present stupor, the Hindu nation.  Those only are nationalist patriots who, with the aspirations to glorify the Hindu race and nation next to their heart, are prompted into and strive to achieve that goal.  All others are either traitors and enemies to the national cause, or to take a charitable view, idiots." 

    And for those who are not Hindus but who have contributed to the development of their country and continue to live here, Golwalkar has this to say: 

 "They have no place in national life, unless they abandon their differences, adopt the religion, culture and language of the nation, and completely merge themselves in the national race.  So long however as they maintain their racial, religious and cultural differences, they cannot but be only foreigners." 

And adds:

    "The foreign races in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea except the glorification of the Hindu religion and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation, and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or they 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.  There is, at least should be, no other course for them to adopt.  We are an old nation, let us deal as old nations ought to and do deal with the foreign races who have chosen to live in our country. 

    And how do they propose to deal with such people?  Golwalkar's answer is a sickening parallel with Nazi fascism (which incidentally was at its height when he wrote his book). 

    "To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by purging the country of the semitic race-the Jews.  Race pride at its highest has been manifested here.  Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures having differences going to the roots, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by" 

    But all this can work only if the Hindu community is injected with a false sense of deprivation and humiliation with the aid of fascistic symbols and methods.  Hence the intense campaign based on false hood, aimed at creating a `mirage effect'.  "Undoing of a historical wrong", "avenging humiliation" etc. become elemental forces, independent of reality, to carry forward this diabolical project. 

    The continued belligerence of the SS in the post Dec.6 period, the fascistic intolerance of its opponents and press, the inhuman killings etc. only demonstrate the challenge to the existence of the modern Indian state and its future prosperity desired by millions. 

    Contrast this vision to that passed on to our generation by seers whose claim to Hindu religion is far superior than that of all the present leaders of the SS put together.  Adi Sankara had preached that as different rivers flow through different courses to merge in the same ocean, so do individuals follow different faiths to their almighty.  Swami Vivekananda had said, "if anybody dreams of the exclusive survival of his own religion and the destruction of others, I pity him on the bottom of my heart and point out to him that upon the banner of every religion will soon be written, in spite of resistance; help and not fight; assimilation and not destruction; harmony and peace and not dissension".  

    Above all, take the Bhagavad Gita which says, "whatever celestial form a devotee seeks to worship with faith, I stabilise the faith of that particular devotee in the particular form". (Chapter VII(21).   Whatever be the colour of the cow, the milk is always white.  Whatever be the religion, its essence has to be humanism.  If not, no such religion can survive. 

    The SS has precisely destroyed this essential aspect of religion.  It continues to use it for its political purpose, of coming to power at the expense of the blood of lakhs of Indians, including a large number of Hindus.  Can these Pseudo-Hindus be allowed to highjack our great country and its traditions? 

    Unless this challenge is unitedly combatted, unless the communal frenzy is challenged with an equal vigour, the very future of India for whose freedom thousands have been martyred is at stake.  All patriots, who have not sold their conscience to the enemies of our country, will have to forge strong unity in action against this communal monster. 

    The country as a whole has to atone for the crimes being committed in the name of Ram.  The chains of impotence that fastened our present political rulers to indicisiveness must be broken.  Despite all evidence to the contrary, the Central Government refused to prevent this unprecedented outrage that has tarnished our self-respect internally and internationally.  Even slightest prevarication in reasserting our secular ethos and rebuilding our self confidence can not be tolerated. Half baked measures and half hearted responses must be converted in a full throated cry in defence of our democratic secular polity.  The CPI(M), left and secular parties have thrown the gauntlet.  But the task of ridding this cancer from our body politic is not merely one of political parties alone.  Unless all patriots rise as one man, the vision of modern India may well be foiled.  India's future may well belong then to pages from the medieval past when intolerance and persecution were the order of the day.

    Those who underestimate these dangers will do well to remember  what a German intellectual, Pastor Niemoeller, had said at the time of Nazi ascendency: 

First they came for the jews
and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
then I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Catholics
and I did not speak out-
Because I was not a Catholic.
Then they came for me-
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.”

Those who consider that these developments do not affect their life and future only recall the wisdom that has filtered down through the ages, "For evil to succeed, the good has only to be silent".  Passivity only means peril for the individual and the country.