Disclosures are made at the end, but I would like to make one right before I begin. I belong to a family which is right leaning, but I have never been to an RSS shakha. My father never thought it was necessary. I have never studied their literature and never ever tried to spread whatever little knowledge I had about their philosophy. So I cannot be termed an RSS ideologue either. I do not hate the Congress philosophy, but I feel Rahul Gandhi sucks. Do I hate the leftists? I think USSR, China and West Bengal are some of their failures. So, we better ignore them, lest they gain unwanted importance. I vote for a candidate and not party. Do I love Modi? I am not gay. On a serious note, I would say I appreciate the good works he has done so far. But I also think his government could have handled the burning issues of the last two years in a matured and logical way.
Why did I think it necessary to disclose my background? Simply because it’s important for the readers to know who is going to bombard them with his ideas. We have too many writers/thinkers/loudmouths who hide their identities in the disguise of liberalism, secularism, communism and nationalism, to name a few isms.
While I never took the pains and efforts to understand the right-wing philosophy, I have appreciated their basic idea of ‘Akhand Bharat’ (United India).
So, what is ‘Akhand Bharat’? For the RSS version, refer to their literature (I know a socialist who bought a set of six books from the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. It’s good we are trying to understand each other). The way I understand it: Together as Indians first, then Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Dalits and others. Does anyone disagree? Not many would. We all take pride in making statements like “We all are Indians first.” But do we really believe in what we say? I have been asking myself this question in all seriousness for the last few days. And, I am struggling to find an answer. Look around and you will find that we live in a highly fragmented society: divided by caste, religion, region, language, sex, ideology and nationality. So, where is the unity? Well you can say we have unity in diversity. Better. Sounds more convincing. But do we appreciate diversity? Many of us don’t. Those who do appreciate diversity also have their own standards of judgement and push forward only those ideas they find compatible with their thought process.
The JNU controversy
has opened a debate which has divided our nation into two: nationalists and anti-nationalists. If I say I support crackdown on Kanhaiya Kumar and his friends, I will be called a nationalist (pseudo nationalist by the opposite camp). If I say Kanhaiya was wrongfully detained, you know what they will call me. So, I better restrain from passing a judgement. What we see is a clear conflict between right-winged and left-winged ideologies. The Congress is hanging somewhere in between, unable to decide what stand should it take. So, RaGa says he condemns anti-national sloganeering, but is unhappy with the government response to the problem. So, Mr. Gandhi please suggest what the government should have done. After all, Afzal Guru was hanged during your government’s tenure.
In this melee, people like me want to ask a simple question: Does freedom of speech mean the freedom to say we will break our nation? While freedom of speech (under right to freedom) is one of the six fundamental rights, the Constitution clearly says no fundamental right is absolute. Then, is the state wrong in cracking down on people accused of raising slogans against India? The police did not beat up Kanhaiya Kumar or subject him to physical or mental torture. So, why does a section of media, students and liberals want Kanhaiya Kumar to be released unconditionally? Do they have proof to say Kumar is not guilty? Do they deny the fact that anti-India sloganeering in JNU or Jadavpur university is a reality?
Answers to all these questions need to be given keeping our ideology and emotional side aside. If, after investigation, Kanhaiya is proved innocent, he should be released and all cases against him should be withdrawn. Whether a sedition charge should be slapped on him and others is a different subject which needs legal debate.
What we, as responsible and peace-loving citizens of this country, need to understand is that politics and hidden agendas of the disgruntled elements are at play. Issues are being distorted, blown out of proportion to serve a few (failures and corrupt) people’s narrow interests.
The BJP, on its part, needs to understand that it is running a country which has thrived over the years because of its diversity and heterogeneity. The party has to generate a belief among its detractors that the government is committed to the welfare of all. Above all, try to win students with good work, care and understanding. Leave the dandas and guns for rowdies and anti-social. Period.
Why do you think it matters?