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Sanjiv Bhatt's Open letter to Modi on his Swami Vivekananda Yatra

Mr. Narendra Modi,

Some very evocative thoughts shared by my dear friend and practicing Gandhian, Mr. Shrikant Barhate from Wardha in Maharashtra, has inspired me to write this open letter to you.

You have recently embarked upon the Yuva Vikas Yatra in the name of Swami Vivekananda with much fanfare and at a tremendous burden to the Public exchequer. It is perceived that you have chosen Swami Vivekananda to unscrupulously paraphrase and propagate your version of ‘Weltherrschaft’ (World Domination) and forward your ideology of ‘Lebensraum’ (Living Space), sterilized of sections of Society who do not agree with your perverted interpretation of Hinduism and your brand of divisive Nationalism.

You are widely believed to be reasonably intelligent and well read. You are said to have been trained and indoctrinated by the RSS. However it seems that you are not adequately acquainted with the major philosophical underpinnings of the thought systems of Hindu Philosophy. Inadequacy of such knowledge and awareness would have been acceptable in a benign Shaiva, Vaishnava, Shakta, or Smarta. But you, Mr. Modi, apparently seem to be none of these. You are widely perceived as a very intelligent and diabolic political leader who wants to rule on the basis of myopic segregation and divisive hatred. Since you chose Vivekananda to present your sophistries in front of the religiously inclined Gujarati populace, it is important to remind you that Swami Vivekananda was a seeker of truth and not a practitioner of deceit.

Do you know Mr. Modi that the paper through which Swami Vivekananda presented his idea of Hinduism to the West resolutely adopts the Advaita approach of Vedanta? Do you know that this approach is the complete antipode of the concept of discrimination on the basis of ‘Self versus the Other’ or ‘Us versus Them’? Do you know that Swami Vivekananda invoked the Krishna Yajurvediya Shwetashwataropanishad dictum that calls humanity as children of immortal bliss - Shrunvantu Vishwo Amrutasya Putra! Are you aware that the ecstasy of Swami Vivekanda’s belief is evident in his joyous proclamation of the phrase "Children of immortal bliss”! Do you, Mr. Modi, believe that all the citizens of Gujarat are children of the same divine light?

Did you ever think of Swami Vivekananda or his ideology when thousands of innocent children of divine light were mercilessly massacred under your watch or when inconvenient and expendable individuals were liquidated at your instance? Did the voice of Swami Vivekananda ever prick your conscience in the eerie silence of continuing subjugation and dominance? Why is it that most of your actions and pronouncements still propagate the divisive ideology ‘Us versus Them’.

We know that Swami Vivekananda believed that ‘Religion is the idea which is raising the brute unto man, and man unto God’. We know that Swami Vivekananda prescribed more than 100 years ago, that ‘We must not only tolerate other religions, but positively embrace them’. But you seem to have conveniently reduced God to a particular religion, a wholly misconceived religion that converts some of your enthusiastic and gullible followers in to heartless brutes who are potentially willing to kill innocent people. Where does Swami Vivekananda or his venerable ideology fit into your diabolical scheme of Realpolitik

In the humble estimate and opinion of many Indians like me, your megalomania for grandeur and the insatiable and self-consuming hunger for power can be appropriately graced by certain illustrious historical figures like Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Bernard Munyagishari, Radovan Karadžić, or Ratko Mladić. Any of these icons of diabolism would be appropriate mascots for the on-going, Government of Gujarat funded, Yuva Vikas Yatra.

May the divine light lead you and Gujarat from Untruth to Truth and from Darkness to Light.

God bless!
Sanjiv Bhatt IPS
Ahmedabad

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