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Are we too blind to see or too afraid to respond ?
By Jawaid Quddus

Are we too blind to see that our beloved motherland is standing on the prepuce of an abyss from where there is no return? Are we so completely devoid of a sense of justice and fair play that we tolerate indignities after indignities and never speak out? Are we really Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhist etc. as we claim to be and yet condone, follow, allow ourselves to be complacent or even participate in atrocities, injustice and the propagation of hate? I have asked myself these question many a time; my answers to these questions have left me with an empty feeling in my heart and in my soul! 

Just as the Minority Commission's report was released on the attacks on Christian institutions, news of other such attacks on a Jhansi Convent (2 May 2000), in Dang (3 May 2000), and then in Ahmedabad, (6 May 2000) and Nasik (10 May), came as no surprise. The Government and the Minority Commission may whitewash these incidents as common robberies, but even a nincompoop will not have a hard time in rejecting such logic! All peace-loving citizens of character are, however, not at all surprised. When the law makers are the law breakers, it would be absurd to contemplate otherwise. 

Infiltration of the Sangh Parivar's storm troopers into our relatively secular institutions, including the police, is almost complete. The results we have witnessed repeatedly be it the Shibli College, the Jamia Millia, the murder of Colonel Pratap Save, harassment and attacks on minorities all across the nation, arrests, detentions on one false pretext or the other, condemnation of an entire community as ISI agents, Pakistanis, anti-nationals and foreigners, uprooting of minority families from their homes and exiling them to the slums and ghettos as has been done in Gujarat, U.P. and elsewhere, including our capital New Delhi. 

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to discern what the pattern is and has been over these many years! First, the Sangh Parivar units indulge in violence against minorities. The Government categorically denies the involvement of these units. The police arrest and torment the victims and justify the incidents as a consequence of the victims’ behaviour, be it conversion, or collaboration with ISI or other such nonsense, or simply blame such incidents on common robbers! Then, the state ministry and the central government give a clean chit to all those involved in such crimes! For example, the Bajrang Dal was completely absolved for the murder of Graham Staines and his two sons although the association of Dara Singh with the Bajrang Dal is irrefutable (pro-Dara Singh outfit plans to go political: Times of India, 4 May 2000). The home ministry preempted even police investigations by claiming that the Bajrang Dal was not involved! The Home Minister even went to the extent of saying that the members of the Dal were good people! The recent report by the Minority Commission on the numerous attacks on Christian schools and institutions as not being communal in nature, and the statement by our Prime Minister (‘Vested Interests at work,’ The Hindu, 10 May 2000) are other examples which fly in the face of overwhelming evidence! The attack on Shibli College, arrests of the students who were later sodomized in jail and tortured and made to repeat ‘Hanumanji ki jai’ and ‘Hum Pakistani hain,’ the police assault on the Jamia Millia students where the police, while beating these innocent students, told them that they were ISI agents, or ‘Pakistanis’ or anti-nationals or other words too obscene to be published here or anywhere! Of course no one will be punished! We have all seen this before, and many times! This pattern of intimidation should not surprise anyone in view of the ‘secret document’ of the RSS which has recently been published (RSS secret document, www.truthindia.com’ ‘Face to Face with Fascism,’ Communalism Combat, April 2000). My prediction is that attacks on Christians and other minorities including the Dalits, and minority institutions will continue unabated and with impunity. This is because the government, either by actual intent or by its refusal to acknowledge and punish the criminals, has given the green signal to these goons to carry out the Hindutva policy of ‘one culture, one religion, one country.’ The attack on Christian schools are particularly relevant because the Sangh Parivar intends to discredit these schools in order to advance its network of over 20,000 schools that it has set up to brainwash young minds with the Hindutva ideology and distorted Indian history. Christian schools, with their secular teaching do not fall into this scheme and hence must be destroyed! 

Where are we heading to? The concept of 'one culture, one religion, one country' is alien to our collective history and notion of nationhood. But it is history that the Sangh Parivar is hell bent on rewriting and redefining! However, in a multicultural, multilinguistic and multireligious society that India is, they will only succeed in what our enemies have been trying to do all these years - create chaos, hatred and blood-letting which will eventually lead to the destruction of the India that we know of, and many patriots have died for! The signs are there for all to see, but will we? 

Recently in Punjab the RSS chief issued his proclamation that Khalsa Panth is part of Hinduism. That is, in other words, the Sikhs must live in accordance to the dictates of the Hindutva brigade or face the consequences of being treated as a pariah! 

Sikhs are not the only ones being subjected to this form of Hindutva. Several years ago one of the gurus of the Sangh Parivar demanding that Indian Muslims should have Hindu names and call themselves Hindu Muslims... Very recently (‘We aren't Hindus, assert Gujarat tribals,’ Hindustan Times, 6 May 2000) the Sangh Parivar has declared that the tribals who they call Vanvasi' are also Hindus, a claim that has been rejected by the 'Vanvasis' vehemently. In a published circular (distributed recently in Gujarat) titled ‘Ame vanvasi nathi’ (we are not vanvasi), the tribals who claim to be adivasis have advised their people not to list themselves as Hindus. ‘We are Adivasi and we are proud of that,’ the leaflet has asked of the Sangh Parivar ‘you call us Hindus, then tell us in which caste do you classify us? Shudras, Vaishyas, Kshatriyas or Brahmins?’ Then further it asks ‘would you allow your daughter or son to marry us?’ 

The saffronization of India continues! The silent majority, if they don't recover from this stupor, it will cost them the country! Saffronization is creeping in very slowly but surely. This saffronization has permeated every aspect of our cultural and political thought. Most disturbing is the finding that even our most prestigious and secular institutions have fallen prey to this. The recent honorary doctorate given to Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi by the Benaras Hindu University (BHU) is a prime example. The BHU cites Dr. Joshi for being ‘a crusader for cultural nationalism and national pride.’ The BHU conveniently forgot that the CBI in an FIR dated 5 October 1993 had accused Dr. Joshi along with others for conspiracy to demolish the Babri Masjid. Whom will the BHU honor next? L.K. Advani and Uma Bharti for their role in the destruction of Babri Masjid (both charge-sheeted along with Dr. Joshi), former Shiv Sena MP Madhukar Sarpotdar? former Shiv Sena legislator Grunath Desai?, both for having helped Silva Maria Devendra (charged with assault and robbery) obtain Rs. 15,000 from the chief minister's fund and Rs. 30,000 from the prime minister's fund for a heart operation? (‘Sena leaders 'advised' funds for criminal,’ Times of India, 4 May 2000). Who else? S. K. Sudarshan? Bal Thackrey? Dara Singh? Dawood Ibrahim? 

The Saga continues. The concept of ‘one nation, one culture, one religion’ is slowly being implemented. Recently about 30 acres of prime land on the banks of the Yamuna river was allocated for a temple complex of the Swami Narayan Sect, courtesy Mr. L.K. Advani (‘Saffronising the Yamuna Bank,’ Hindustan Times, 30 April 2000 ). A large portion of this land had been given to the now displaced people by Jawaharlal Nehru, under the Grow More Scheme. If this is not another example of saffronization, it certainly is not secularism! And what about those highway and village signs in Gujarat proclaiming 'Welcome to Hindu Rashtra', the ghettoization of Ahmedabad and other cities? (‘In the ghettoes of Ahmedabad,’ Humanscape, April 2000). Add to all this the distortions in the history books being introduced in Gujarat and elsewhere, imparting of this distortion to young minds, telling them among other things that Muslims and Christians are ‘foreigners,’ that they the Hindus, the Aryans, are the indigenous people of India, the constant harassment of Muslims on the false pretext of being ISI agents or Pakistanis, the harassment of legal Pakistani visitors or journalists, (The myth of 'tolerant' India, Praful Bidwai, Mid-Day, Mumbai, 4 May 2000 ), attacks on Christians, killing of Dalits, police raids on Muslim Madarsas, introduction of draconian bills such as the Regulation of Public Religious Buildings and Places Bill, the Regulations Bill on Conversion, all point in the direction of the establishment of a theocratic state, with little or no regard for individual freedoms and human rights. The revamping of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) and the withdrawal of two volumes on the Freedom Struggle in India by world- renowned Indian historians, probably as an attempt to hide the truth about the Sangh Parivar's role (no role) in the freedom struggle, the review of the Consititution, the announcement of Mr. Sudarshan, the RSS chief, that the Constitution should be scrapped, and his call for the Indian Muslims to indianize, his prediction about a Dharma Yudh between Hindus and anti-Hindus, do provide clear indications of what the Sangh Parivar has in mind. 

The tentacles of fascism are invisible to only those who have their eyes shut and ears sealed. Perhaps complacency is another word for being afraid. This fear, although justified, (as evidenced by the death and destruction the Hindutva Brigade can cause), however, should not paralyze the silent majority into inaction.. The fact is that these people who are trying to impose their doctrine upon all of us Indians, including all those Hindus who do not subscribe to the Sangh Parivar's concept of Hindutva. 

There is nothing wrong with the establishing of a Hindu Rashtra. We have a Hindu Rashtra in Nepal, and there is no problem with that. But this is not the option for India. This option was never even considered at the time of partition! Our forefathers were wise enough to realize that a pluralistic society like India cannot be sustained as one entity if only one group was given priority over others. The India of Gandhi, Nehru, Azad, Tagore, Netaji and countless other patriots who have fought and died for upholding the principles of liberty, equality, justice and diversity, will not perish from the face of this Earth.
q

Dr Jawaid Quddus is the owner of ‘truthindia.com’ 

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