(The recent state elections show that the “New India” would probably be the realisation of the Golwalkar’s dream!)
After a resounding victory in the UP and Uttrakhand State elections, the Prime Minister declared that it was the beginning of a “New India”. According to him this India of progress and development which would be completed by 2022 and would be populated by the new youth who would constitute about 65% of the population by then. His victory was unprecedented in spite of the apprehensions that the demonetarisation which had very adversely affected the lower working classes including farmers would give him a setback. In fact, the people have believed his declarations of ending the black money. However, it is also a fact that the main thrust of the campaign was not economic development but the Hindutva agenda of the “New India” of Hindus only! It is, practically an accelerated march to realise the “Dream India” of Golwalkar! The ultimate slogan was Hindu and Hindu Rashtra. Gandhi was replaced by Golwalkar! This was evident from the remarks about “Kabristan” and “Shamshan Ghat”. (Graveyard and Crematorium).
Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, also known as Shri Guruji who was the supreme leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, ultimately prevailed. His thoughts may finally decide the fate of modern India. Narendra Modi has written a biographical profile of Golwalkar in his book, “Jyotipunj”. He considers Golwalkar to be one of his inspirations.Golwalkar writes in hisbook, “We, or Our Nationhood Defined”, “The non-Hindu people of Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and language, must learn and respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but of those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture … In a word they must cease to be foreigners, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment—not even citizens’ rights.” Narendra Modi through RSS is now giving practical shape to these ideas of Golwalkar. In fact, recently Bhagwat an RSS leader had declared that everyone born in India is a Hindu even if he may be professing some other faith than Hinduism. Instead of realizing the dream of a progressive, secular and democratic country, they are taking India to Vedic times in a totally retrograde mode. India of Tagore’s dreams and vision seems to be disappearing fast and it is being replaced systematically by Gowalkar’s Pogrom of a fascist and regressive India of the savage times. A historian friend calls it the beginning of the end of India while a columnist friend calls it the “Unmaking of India”!
The only silver lining is that the Hindu wave has not swept the entire India. It is mostly restricted to what has been called the “Cow Belt” of the North and Central India. Punjabi Sikhs in spite of the worst treatment meted out to them by Indira Gandhi’s Congress in 1984 have brought it back rejecting BJP totally. Goa too has been divided up and not swept away like UP. The other positive factor is the awakening in some universities and educational institutions. JNU gave a lead to the resistance against communalisation of India. In many other universities and colleges also, the progressive and secular voices have risen. If the progressive India of Tagore “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; where knowledge is free….”, is to survive then the right thinking progressive and secular people have to rise. Merely expressing opinions and giving comments will not do. The Hindutva onslaught has to be resisted in all spheres. Will it happen? That is a million dollar question and that will decide the future of not only India but the entire sub-continent and in fact, the whole South Asia!
As regards Modi, he has a chance to become India’s top leader in history having a massive popular support among the poor masses craving for development and wanting to be uplifted from the squalor and extreme poverty. With his brute majority in Parliament which would be strengthened now in the Upper House also, he can undertake revolutionary positive changes. He has to accept the fact that the diversity of India cannot be wished away by forcible Hinduisation.In fact, if he overcomes Hindutva brigade, he has the power to settle all issues with both Pakistan and China. Again, the question is will he do it or will he be allowed to do it?
Coming to Kashmir, this Hindutva victory will further aggravate the already heightened alienation. After Modi’s initial victory in spite of the Gujarat carnage, Kashmiri Muslims were scared of being swept away by the Hindutva wave. They came in to vote in large numbers to keep out the Hindutva wave generated by the BJP. However, they felt betrayed when the people they voted to achieve this goal made a somersault and joined the BJP bandwagon purely for power. The subsequent events of last year were the bursting of that anger through the now famous “Burhan Tsunami”! The BJP victory clubbed with the certain recent stern warnings issued as declarations by the top Army and other security officialsabout targeting people supporting militants is sure to create more uncertainty in the near future. Total mis-governance or rather the absence of governance as mentioned in a recent editorial may be the last straw and a trigger for yet another upheaval. One will have to keep the fingers crossed and hope for the reason and the good sense to prevail all round! As per the common prayer, may God have mercy on us!
Mohammad Ashraf, I.A.S. (Retired), Former Director General Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir