Cracks in Hindutva Paradigm

Radhakanta Barik

Hindutva paradigm has shown bigger cracks now. For the first time many top industrialists have questioned the behavior of the ruling party from political point of view. Another leading industrialist belonging to powerful community from Bombay Adi Godrej openly speaks out that rising intolerance and hate crimes can seriously affect the economic growth. How far it is true? I got a chance to interview industrialists belonging Kanpur while the Babri Masjid - Ram Mandir politics was going on. They were of a single opinion that communal politics and hate crimes against the minority has destroyed their economic activities. They all belong to UP bania community but could not take a stand openly as things went out of control. Their industries got closed because of regular communal riots which resulted in closure of the city by declaration of 144. That was the only industrial town of UP which has been closed and most of the workers have gone back to rural economy. There was a tremendous pressure on rural economy as the per unit of production the number of labour has got increased. UP has got ruralised after the inception of Ram Mandir politics as many industries got shifted to MP and Rajasthan. The leading modern technocratic industrialist of INFOSIS Narayan Murti tells bluntly that the political behavior of the present regime threatens the foundational basis of Indian democracy. That is secularism, democracy and socialism are the foundational values of Indian democracy are being getting eroded with actions of the present political leaders.

Rahul Bajaj, the leading industrialist whose Bajaj Scooter made him a household name played an important role in opposing the communal riots of 2002 gave a statement - 'there is no investment nor there is demand' which leads no industrial growth. This statement is coming from horse's mouth which explains the gloomy economic scenario ahead of us. This is a critical moment of Indian economic history when political class and experts can sit together and search for a solution to such a problem of economic stagnation in a country with a more than billion people. India is experiencing the highest unemployment in the last forty-five years. It is not good at such a critical moment the government wants to fudge the figures be it in budget of 2019, or not releasing data related to unemployment, questioning growth rate raised by experts. This brings out truth that only truth helps scientists and economists who can apply their minds in search of solution. Furthermore, the ruling party must have patience to sit with them and search for solution. Politics has transformed a traditional society with thousands of castes and hundreds of languages into one.

Concept of India entered into public imagination in the second half of 19th century. With the construction of railway line across India which brought an integration of a society. Working class got formed as they came from different regions to Bombay, Calcutta and Madras to work together. India having a concept of India in public thinking is the product of working-class politics who protested against injustice and demanded for a higher wage. This is being recognized by Karl Marx in an article New York Times that nobody can stop Indian revolution. He gave credit to India railways to bring an integration of people of India. This is being recorded in the book Social Background of National movement in India by Prof A R Desai. Today the present government has a bigger political design for privatisation of the Railways by which his friends among industrialists acquired this property. This will bring an element of disintegration as they have anger against working class and specifically the largest labour force work in the Railways. Interacting with the officials from Railways they claim that any privatization will harm the railways as it is such a big organisation unless proper coordination and planning are done it will disintegrate. Has Modi government has planned for disintegration of a nation which came up in the middle of 19th century by working class with an all India character. There are articles on Indian capitalist class and national movement by Prof Bipan Chandra and Prof Sabyasachi Bhattacharya show that Capitalist class was very small but played a decisive role during national movement. Specifically, from 1936 to 1947 those industrialists came forward to participate in the planning process. Their thinking created a map of industrialisation in India known as Bombay Plan. They came forward to support political leader like Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. Nehru's planning cell started working in 1936 which gave foundation for modern planning. Today some industrialists have taken a stand in defense of the foundational values of Indian State specifically secularism, democracy and justice a great welcome in present day politics. They are not unknown faces of Indian capitalism. Narayan Murti a modern industrialist with a vision of egalitarian society has spoken boldly regarding those values of secularism, democracy and socialism. Some Gujarati industrialists like Ambani and Adani should not be allowed to hijack Indian democracy for furthering their interests by destroying the concept of planning and democracy and justice.

The most scared one in public institution is the electronic media. Let us examine the coverage by these channels are giving to MLAs of Goa and Karnataka who are crossing over from the Congress to BJP. In today's politics, the MLA or MPs of the Congress Party have no business or ideological leanings with the Hindutva forces. Then the question arises why they are crossing over to the BJP. Here there is a story told some years back by Jas Pal Bhati and a great humorist and a script writer for the Doordarshan. His play talks of buying and selling of MLAs and MPs and the price fluctuation in the market. Bhati has created jokes in the story that he is the middle man for buying and selling MLAs. His wife questions him that how a MLA can be bought or sold? Is he a cow or a buffalo to be sold in the animal market? He could show this programme in Doordarshan which was controlled by the Congress government. Today media is totally free and there are hundred and odd channels which speak in unison that there is a political event which draws a coverage from their reporters. They knowingly do not report regarding the buying and selling of MLAs. They are scared a lot or a lazy lot who do not have patience to do some homework for finding the truth. Media's fear can be explained with a Hindi film song by Jonie Walker Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya and in answering to him his girlfriend answered " bade bade ankho ese dara gaye ki' . This is happening to our leading journalists who are scared of the gaze of the Modi and Amit Shah.

While discussing issues related to law and order of UP, a perceptive observer told in NDTV that under Yogi UP has transformed into goonda raj to jungle raj. This needs to be probed by us. Recently a Hindi film Art 15 has created two images. In front of the Police station there is an image of muddy pond which has been used for the caste system of UP. The other image next to muddy pond is the image of Jungle where a woman has been abducted and left. Both these images explain the law and order of UP. Officers do not have say in police administration whereas the department such as the police station is under the control of the high caste landlord. This brings the issue of jungle raj and goonda raj together in UP. The BJP thinks it is the only party above caste but in reality it is an extension of the powerful castes. To prove the point the best-case study is UP. They came back to power when they decided to make Yogi as the chief minister just because he has a high caste base and communal over tone. After two and a half years it is proving the point that if the crimes committed by high castes then there are many alternatives to save them. First avoid the registration of the case and secondly the caste hierarchy can put pressures on the victims to withdraw the case. Then comes the third issue that if he or she does not agree with that then police investigation gets transferred to CBI to fudge the matter. Then if possible then kill the victim and their associates in such a manner that there will be no evidences which will lead to the closure of the case. This is happening in the case of the survivor of the Unnao gang rape case where the BJP MLA Kuldeep SIngh Sengar now jailed. Then the rape survivor with her two aunts and their lawyer were in the car when it met with the accident which resulted in death of her aunts and she is seriously injured with her lawyer. This is the story written in Rag Darbari by Srilal Shukla where Shivpalganj turns into a social metaphor where the local Brahmin landlord lives in a royal style where the local police, Tahslidar and BDO and Principal of the college are ready to take his dictates including his pahalwan sons. Once the police filed a case against the ganja dealer who is the landlord's man. The local landlord got him transferred the police officer. To cancel the transfer he came and bribed the landlord. Politics of UP has used the metaphor of Shivpalganj to harass, rape and transfer or kill any opponent who are opposing the local landlord. Yogi the chief minister of UP says that the law and order in his state is the best. This is very much correct as the novel Rag Darbari says that nothing should be reported from the village Shivpalganj. Anybody protesting against the landlord needs justice of shoe beating. The college teacher protested against the Principal of the college that the election to the college management held when the opponents were not allowed by the Principal to enter into the campus. Once the teacher wrote a complaint to the higher education authority and he was forced by the goonds to give in resignation from the college. The complaint falls down. The line department does not function according to the advice of the staff of the organisation of UP. Line department is in the control of local landlords be the police, Tahsil, BDO. This has happened last week that in the district of Sonabhadra the local police helped the landlord to control the tribals by firing at them which resulted in killing of ten people. The staff does not have any role in directing to the line and they are the silent spectator. The police inspector got killed by the goonds of the Bundelkhand where the goonds belonged to cow vigilantes. The cow is superiour to human being here. There is a beautiful cartoon regarding the behavior of cows under the Yogi Raj that cow is sitting on the bullock cart pulled by human beings. The cases against the rioters in Muzaffarpur have been withdrawn and the cases against the chief minister has been withdrawn by Yogi himself before the trial took place. The law and order situation according to Yogi is the perfect as no crime needs to be reported from here. After going through the preliminary report on killing of ten people belonging to tribals and dalits of Sonbhadra district one finds the well organised massacre has been planned with the cooperation and coordination of the local police station. The police station informed the tribal leader to come for a compromise with the landlord. Then when they refused to concede the demand of the police station the whole massacre got organised. This used to happen in the novel Rag darbari by Srilal Shukla in the village Shivpalganj that the local police station always informs the villagers on whom the robbery to take place. Once the information reached the person the dacoit reaches the villager's house and according to instruction ransacking of the house is being done otherwise simple theft happens. The same thing happened in the district with the help of local police men. In UP administration there is a concept of Shivpalganj where somebody requires justice from the court and police then first get shoe beating an indigenous concept of justice having a brand according to the above village. As sakshi Mishra and her husband wanted justice from the High Court of Allahabad and police protection from her powerful father BJP MLA. In front of the court they got justice according to Shivpalganj described in the novel Rag Darbari by Shukla. Goonds gave a good beating to Sakshi's husband as he belongs to Dalit as the BJP claims that they are Hindus but no marriage with them. Let us examine the case in Kerala where an inter community marriage happened which got a disapproval from her parents. They went to the court to get justice and nobody gave a beating to boy or girl as boy belongs to Muslim Community. This brings a critical question that Yogi government is an extension of Shivpalganj where justice means shoe beating of your opponent. This indigenous concept of justice getting a brand of UP works against modern constitutional system of justice.

How to explain the political phenomenon of Jai Shri Ram. This is quite intriguing on the part of the BJP after getting victory to Parliament started a slogan of Jai Shri Ram on the floor of Parliament. It is politics of Advani's rathyatra where most of the present leaders of the BJP were sakhas in his rath. Wherever the Rath moved it created riots in the towns of Gujarat and which was planned for communal mobilisation. It got stopped in Bihar as the chief minister of Bihar Lalu Yadav could stop the movement of rath as his speech indicates that the government was for all not for one community. He took law and order in true spirit. That is politics of 1992 which was starting point of the Ram Mandir politics. Today after two decades one finds the issue of the Ram Mandir is not touching the chord of people of North India. The matter is being ceased in the highest court. The judgment is supposed to come after six months. The slogan of Jai Shri Ram to restart communal mobilization of the high caste Hindus for keeping their support base intact. It has another aim to restart communal politics in the states they do not rule such as West Bengal specifically where a substantive Hindi speaking population live in there. At the time of general election, they created a violent situation with the help of outsiders. Now with the slogan of Jai Shri Ram they want to penetrate to cultural world of Bengal where Kali rules rather than Ram. The BJP has no such link with Ram but Jai Shri Ram as the winning victory procession required a slogan which is a communal slogan.

We require an effective governance system where citizen needs can be satisfied by our administration. Perhaps that is the meaning given by Prime Minister Modi 's statement ‘more governance less government'. The way Right to Information Act has been amended in a cavalier manner which is going to affect an ordinary citizen to have an access to administration at various levels. At panchayat level a citizen wants to know how much budget has come for what purposes such as road, schools etc. but unless he knows who has given contract and timing of completion of the project a citizen cannot participate in the planning and development. Block is the nodal agency where planning is done for the village which gets approval at the District Board level then he or she needs information regarding the planning at the district level. This brings better accountability over the bureaucracy and political executive by citizenry. Right to information act brought citizen nearer administration for which it created an open government. With the amended act it cannot be so effective as the Information Commission at the central level and state level may not be so independent as before. It was a struggle for enacting the law going to ineffective now.

Artists writers and social scientists do not have to take a stand on each political issue and they are not running a political party. Each writer lives in his or her world and connects with the world in an emotive and intellectual sense. Any problem touches his or her heart one makes a story or novel or makes a film and writes a long poem. This is what Tagore siting under a tree in Shantiketan used to produce his creative works but at the same time gave a strong opinion on nationalism which was against humanism. Their world centres around human being and problems of human being. No journalist went to Tagore and told how could he criticize nationalism? Yes that was the time of national movement and leaders like Nehru, Gandhi Patel Azad listened to his sober voice and made some corrections in their mobilisation.

Arnab is questioning an artist regarding her or his position on incidents of past. Hope he cannot ask on literature to general or artist about war. 

These writers have taken a stand and sent an open letter to the Prime Minister of a Republic who is supposed to take a stand. He has taken a stand on the floor of parliament and then as the head of administration he may direct the chief secretaries of the states to take a stand on the issues raised by these artists in a letter that members of minority or Dalits are being lynched on the ground that they are forced to say 'Jai Shri Ram' The Prime Minister Nehru wrote a letter to chief secretary of UP when monkeys started attacking citizens that he had to act but he was a believer in monkey god that could not stop him to act. The Prime Minister Modi needs to act and send letters to the chief secretaries regarding the attacks on on any ordinary citizen as this is the duty of the government to protect every citizen.

 As American President Trump says that his involvement is required by Modi to bring a settlement of Kashmir dispute. Till today Kashmir problem requires only India and Pakistan for a mediation and settlement but no third party. Once the third party the powerful country America gets involved it would be like the old story of two friends having a conflict over the sharing of the cake and then a third party entered and took the major share of the cake and settled the issue by giving a little bit to two friends. As whichever the country America has entered and never has left it and they go on staying there and gets involved in conflict of local nature. Modi was blaming Nehru Indira Gandhi but they never allowed any third party to intervene in Kashmir problem. It seems that Modi wants to create a history by inviting Trump to intervene in the internal matter of India and Pakistan.

German envoy in India Walter Lindner said that the RSS a 'mass movement'. This is an incorrect that people do not join spontaneously. Children are groomed by the RSS to be a member of the organisation. It is not a mass movement. By understanding RSS one understands the ' Indian mosaic'. This is wrong to tell this opinionated view of Indian mosaic. India has many cultures and many languages and many dialects within Hindi speaking world. Thousands of castes and many communities. They share the same space and share the same culture. Brahmins of North have no association with the Brahmins of the South. Maithali Brahmins do not share the same values like Bhojpuri Brahmins. RSS working from 1925 with an agenda to create Hindu rashtra which is not realizable because of a strong constitution which is of a revolutionary character. Indian mosaic is really difficult to define which RSS does not understand. In Hinduism there a million gods and goddesses. As the ambassador must have seen in front of each taxi there is a local god or goddess to whom the driver believes in. That is the mosaic of Indian religious culture. It is difficult to separate culture of a society from the influence of Islam or Christianity or Buddhism. All these are a part of Indian mosaic. RSS's language of anti-Muslim or anti-Dalit is a part of their power politics not Indian mosaic which they are ruling over India with a majority for which the Ambassador went to the headquarter of the RSS to get some business deals like some Indian industrialists doing it. It is money and business guide these people to go to the headquarter of the RSS not any cultural affinity.

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Aug 4, 2019

Prof. Radhakanta Barik [email protected]

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