The exhortation came from a roadside mendicant to a young yet unknown and unnamed sanyasin being chased by brutish monkeys in the holy city of Varanasi. He heeded the words of wisdom, stopped running, turned around and faced the monkeys, looked straight into their eyes while holding his staff firmly in his hand to strike. The brutes sensed his determination and scurried away silently. It was one of the most important lessons of life learnt by the young parivrajaka who later became known to the world as Swami Vivekananda.
The highly educated, the epitome of rectitude and erudition, early political leadership of modern India didn’t much care for such street wisdom and common sense. They were so deeply entrenched, and steeped in convoluted philosophical, legal, and political discourse that they refused to recognise the obvious and didn’t stand up to Islamist brutes and the British subterfuge and finally gave in to the blackmail threatened by prospects of civil war. They did little to retaliate strongly against pogroms, genocide and massacre of Hindus, Sikhs, Sindhis, and Bengalis, most of whom were dalits, by organised Muslim mobs during the transitory period of 1946-52.
Did they live in an imaginary world of their own and unwittingly chose to hang the albatrosses of highfalutin ideas like ‘secularism’ around the nation’s neck instead of seeking unique solutions to our unique problems? Did they really believe that constant repetition of words like ‘secularism’ would solve the Hindu-Muslim problem forever and India would become a harmonious whole? The sad fact is, behind the façade of secularism, they knowingly practiced the appeasement of Islamists as a strategic placatory move.
‘Right- wing’ ideologues constantly berate Jawaharlal Nehru for his appeasement of Muslims, and disastrous geo-political policies. Mahatma Gandhi is similarly castigated. Sardar Patel is generally spared such criticism but none can deny the fact that he was part of the ‘trimurti’ that oversaw the partition of our nation and was equally convinced of its inevitability and an active participant in the decision-making process. My study shows that the trimurtis were anything but secularists and were actually great practitioners of the art and craft of realpolitik.
However, they lacked the courage, iron will, and wherewithal to deal with Islamists and Islamism of Indian variety. They knew very well that apart from Hindus, none cared a hoot for their words. There is a famous saying in the Hindi heartland. ‘Duvidha mein dono gaye, maya mili na Ram’. That’s an apt description of the mind-set of the then political leadership of our nation. They fell victim to their own lies, ‘self-imposed’ dilemmas, fears, and fetishes that clouded their thinking, constrained their actions and compounded our problems. The seed of such confusion and conflicted behaviour sowed by Gandhi, Nehru, and even Sardar Patel, grew into a poisonous tree. The real problem is that the present leadership of our nation is still nurturing it instead of getting rid of it lock, stock and barrel.
On the other hand, the internal and external enemies of our nation have never been conflicted at all. They can be clearly identified by their words and deeds. The agenda of Jinnah, the Muslim League, and the British was never a hidden one. Their strategy and stratagems to achieve openly enunciated geo-political objectives was as transparent as glass. It’s not that Gandhi, Nehru, and Patel could not see it; yet, they chose not to. They shut their eyes and ears and acted like ostriches.
They didn’t want to face the stark ‘in the face’ reality and wished, in spite of the hard evidence to the contrary, that it would vanish as soon as they uttered the magic word ‘secularism’ or made Abul Kalam Azaad the president of Congress or began singing ‘Eeshwar Allah Tero Naam…’. They saw it in their own lifetime that these were ineffectual cowardly ploys when it came to dealing with clearly focussed Islamist zealots.
The nationalists of today will be shocked to learn that Nehru as well as Indira Gandhi were as much aware of the menace of proselytization as we are today and tried to deal with the issue in their own secretive ways through back channels. Likewise, they believed they could appease the Islamists and separatists somehow and could keep them in check without uttering the words ‘Islamist’ and ‘Islamism’. Today, Narendra Modi and Mohan Bhagwat believe in this approach too. And though they claim to draw inspiration from history, they have obviously forgotten the history of the Maratha and Sikh empires, where they might find answers to the question of how to deal with Islamists.
The post-partition remnant of ‘Islamism and Islamists’ in India began to grow faster after1977 as Hindu body politic got further fractured with the advent of regional satraps and caste-based politics and the decline of Congress’s political hegemony. We must note that the ideas of minority and backward classes (Mandal) commissions were seeded during Janata Party rule. The Muslim votes became electorally significant in key states. Our external enemies also found a window of opportunity there. Weak coalition governments in Delhi that were dependent on the support of the regional satraps further emboldened the divisive forces and they began to expand their footprint.
The V.P. Singh government was a major turning point in our history. For the first time, the nation saw the complete erosion of the authority of the Union Govt. Our external and internal enemies exploited it to the hilt. The genocide and exodus of Kashmiri Hindus in the valley and the way the entire nation remained a mute witness to it, emboldened the Islamists and they strategically began to expand and assert themselves in a planned, and coordinated way.
Thereafter, 10 years of Sonia rule gave an unprecedented fillip to evangelical groups, foreign-funded NGOs and left-liberal and ultra-left activists. They had already begun to co-ordinate with Islamists during the benevolent Vajpayee rule and had formed a formidable axis of Breaking India forces. The ‘ghar-wapasi’ of Christian tribals in Dang and the Gujarat riots in 2002 provided the trigger for such strategic co-ordination aided by the global left-liberal alliance. They worked hard to defeat Vajpayee in 2004 by creating disaffection among lay people while the aging patriarch did little to rally Hindutva forces during the campaign. In those days BJP was going through a process of ‘secularising’ the image of its leaders and had eminent advisors like Sudheendra Kulkarni in its fold.
After having tested electoral success, the Breaking India Axis began to consolidate further and became alarmingly over-assertive and overtly domineering. It backfired as Hindus began to consolidate yet again as they found an effective and strong leader in Narendra Modi who offered them a potent nationalist combo of assertive Hindutva and economic growth. It was a clearly drawn battle-line, akin to 1945-46 Provincial Assembly elections with a slightly altered scenario.
In 2014, BJP became the pole around which Hindus got consolidated while Congress and the rest of the opposition remained in the same position as the Muslim League and Jinnah. While 2019 saw still greater consolidation of Hindus and nationalists, Islamists, who had gathered critical mass now, resorted to the strategy of propping up Congress, leftists, and regional political satraps who in turn tried to exploit the ancient fault lines within the Hindu body politic to reap rich political rewards. It didn’t work except in pockets where they were strong. It didn’t even work in West Bengal.
With its enhanced mandate, NaMo Part II acted decisively and assertively on key issues like Triple Talaq and abrogation of Article 370 and 35A. The Ramjanmbhoomi verdict helped Islamists fuel the fire of discontent and they made the final move in co-ordination with the Breaking India axis and global left-liberal network. Using the CAA as an excuse, they launched a nationwide stir. In this exercise, Islamists provided muscle and moolah power; their Pakistan funded global network became hyperactive, and a strategic move was made to expand the zone of conflict beyond J&K. Onset of Covid 19 is nothing but a temporary stumbling block.
What is worrisome is the laid-back administrative response of NaMo Part II to these globally well-planned, co-ordinated, and funded CAA protests and riots. It seems it follows the strategy of letting these forces play out and lose steam. However, these forces only expanded and culminated in bloody riots in Delhi and elsewhere. The continuing failure of the CID network in states in identifying and arresting the kingpins of protests and nipping the mischief in the bud also surprises me and points to the complicity of a section of the police administration in the devious and subversive Islamist ploy.
Whatever is happening now is reminiscent of 1946-1952. While the Islamists and the Breaking India Axis are very clear in their strategic aims and objectives of undermining the democratic process through bloody street wars, NaMo is still singing the ‘Sab ka Vishwas’ ditty and making placatory gestures to crooked Islamists by holding back key reforms like NRC, instead of facing the brutes squarely and using the iron hands of the administration to break their backs. It emboldens the Islamists and convinces them of the efficacy of devilish and devious tactics and strategies like ‘Direct Action’ that had once got them Pakistan.
Rajesh Kumar Singh
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