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Published in the 16-31 Jan 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Book Review
Hindutva befogs communal amity

Book: Fascism of Sangh Parivar
Publisher: Media House
375-A, Pocket 2, Mayur Vihar Phase-I,
Year: 2002
Pages: 104
Price: Rs 60

Partition politics is the product of communal disharmony. The independent India, which celebrated its 57th anniversary, is witnessing scores of communal riots in various parts of the country. Various religious communities like Muslims and Christians are finding it difficult to lead a peaceful and dignified life in the face of increasing atrocities and humiliations. Even Dalits, women and daily wage earners are also not being spared. 

The very concept of "Unity in diversity"—the USP which India showcased to the world—is falling apart. Talks of liberty, equality, fraternity and justice propounded by our Constitution now remain in theory only instead of practice. The body politic of the nation has fallen prey to Hindutva, a fascist ideology, dear to the present-day rulers. 

Ram Puniyani in his book ‘Fascism of Sangh Parivar’ has discussed and highlighted the fascist Hindutva ideology. In the chapter ‘Dark Clouds of Communal Politics’, Punyani has specifically discussed the growing attacks on Muslims, Christians and Dalits by various outfits of the Sangh Parivar. He writes: "These attacks are being conducted by different organisations like the BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal and many others like Hindu Jagaran Manch and Hindu Munnani, which are floated for the specific purpose of pursuing a particular agenda of the Hindutva politics. All these diverse and unconnected-looking activities are coordinated by the RSS, which is the core of the Hindutva movement and the basic unit in which all the activists of this movement are trained and to which the members of the Sangh Parivar owe their unflinching loyalty."

Discussing the changing trends of communal politics, Punyani writes: "The BJP, the political offspring of the RSS, has been in power in centre, in alliance with other regional parties. This phase has witnessed many changes which are deeply communalising the civic society. The Godhra episode followed by the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat has demonstrated the qualitative change in the nature of communal violence and the notions prevalent in sections of the population. The Gujarat carnage in a way has also woken up large sections of concerned people to the dangers of communal politics."
Ram Punyani, who works for the cause of communal amity between different communities, has tried to trace out the genesis of the Hindutva movement in the country. The book would surely provide useful information for those striving to establish communal peace in our country. 

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