Sitaram Yechury

NO single incident has destroyed the foundations of modern secular India as the wanton preplanned destruction of the Babri Masjid on December 6. The BJP-VHP-RSS-Bajrang Dal (in short SS – Saffron Shirts – the resemblance to Hitler’s infamous SS and Brown Shirts is more than coincidental) stands completely exposed not only for its complete rejection of the basis of a modern secular India and the impunity with which it holds law and courts in contempt. What stands exposed is its diabolic game plan of imposing a `Hindu Rashtra’ – a theocratic state – negating both secularism and democracy. An ambition that RSS chief Golwalkar, way back in 1939, articulated with fascist precision.

That the SS was operating at two levels was obvious for some years now. At the ground level it was the Sadhvis’ and their ilk, whipping passions with incendiary slogans. At another level, it was intellectual sophistry aimed at generating a false consciousness around concepts like “minorityism” and “pseudo-secularism”. That both these converged for the singular aim of seizing political power and imposing a `theocratic Hindu Rashtra’ is clear from the defiant justification of the masjid demolition by the BJP today. The not so veiled threats that the reconstruction of the mosque can be done only at the expense of a “blood batch” corroborate this.

What stands completely exposed is the pseudo Hindu character of the SS. The claims of the present day leaders of the SS to religiosity and enlightenment are an insult to great Hindu seers such as Swami Vivekananda or Adi Sankara. The elements of humanism and tolerance are being replaced by bigotry and hatred. Adi Sankara, used to preach that as different rivers through different courses merge in the same ocean, so do different individuals through different paths reach the same almighty. By rejecting such wisdom integral to Hinduism’s vast diversity and utilising religion for narrow political purposes, the SS has indulged in blasphemy.

The challenge posed by the events of December 6 are neither short term nor confined to limited issues. It is a challenge to the very secular democratic edifice of modern India that evolved through generations of people’s struggle for freedom. The task is to defeat the political challenge being mounted by the pseudo-Hindu fascistic forces to impose a theocratic Hindu Rashtra. That the challenge is more serious than many thought is more than obvious not only by the December 6 events but by the continued belligerence of SS displaying total lack of remorse or regret for the disgrace they heaped on the Nation. This calls for the unity of all patriotic Indians to rise to the occasion and uphold the basic secular democratic ethos of modern India. The SS attempt to seduce this vast majority of patriots into despondency and impotence has to be outrightly challenged. Complacency only means greater peril to individual and the country.