//Communalism 2005: Mixed Bag for Hindutva Politics

Communalism 2005: Mixed Bag for Hindutva Politics

By Ram Puniyani, (Issues in Secular Politics) [08-05-06].

VHP workerYear 2005 turned out to be a year of mixed fortunes for the right wing Hindutva politics. At surface it seemed that it is crumbling but deep down its grip on societal affairs is getting firmer at places. The electoral face of Hindutva politics, BJP, did not seem to recover from its humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections of 2004. In different moves and strategies adopted by BJP, its frustration was writ large all through. The architect of Hindutva victory, Lal Krishna Advani in a desperate action to project a brand new image for its party did something unthinkable for Hindutva combine. In his trip to Pakistan, on the mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah he quoted Jinnah's speech in the Pakistan assembly, where he exhorted the people to leave the communal past behind, to regard religion as a private matter and to adopt the policy that people of all religions will be equal in the eyes of law. As such it was a perfectly correct quote and showed Jinnah's thinking at that time.

The problem lay in the fact Jinnah had been practicing communal politics for too long, leading the communal Muslim League to play a divisive role in partitioning the country. The triad which led to partition was British policy of divide and rule supplemented by politics of the Hindu communalism, Hindu Mahasabha and RSS on one side and the role of Muslim league on the other. Jinnah who began his career as a secular politician, soon left the Congress as Congress was adopting the path of mass movement, something alien to Jinnah's elitist approach to the political affairs of the country. The problem lay in the fact that after remaining communal for so long you cannot suddenly wish away the communalists who congregate around you. Also for RSS which had built its cadres on the "Hate Jinnah, Hate Muslims", it would have been a tactical disaster to look at this aspect of Jinnah.

Advani was clear that the Hindutva has paid rich dividends for increasing the electoral clout of BJP via the Babri demolition and engineering of communal violence, but now it is impossible to come to power again on the same plank. His efforts to change the 'line' of BJP politics failed abysmally as RSS, the real controller of the BJP, disagreed with this change and Advani has been forced to bid adieu to his long stint as the strategist of the Hindutva politics in the electoral arena. One sidelight of this was that some RSS swayamsevaks did project Jinnah as being good and Gandhi being the villain, the person responsible for partition. Interestingly some RSS sections have been cleverly using this argument to denigrate Gandhi once again on the pretext of Jinnah controversy.

With Rajnath Singh taking over from Advani, the signals are loud and clear of the supremacy of RSS line. RSS is more concerned about continuing with its Hate Minorities tirade to keep building its onslaught through the ground level work, through its different children organizations.

This year also showed the holes in the parliamentary credentials of BJP. On most of the issues related to the problems of people, it shied away from the debate in parliament. Its only method has been to stall the proceedings of parliament and to take delegations to President as a substitute for its inability to be able to debate the matters in Parliament, the forum of people. For those believing in Fascist politics, Parliament and democracy is a mere means to achieve their goal of authoritarian state over a period of time by eating through the foundations of democracy either through force or through a take over of state apparatus.

In Feb-March one video of the previous Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee came to surface. In this Mr. Vajpayee is ecstatic about the forthcoming events of 6th Dec. 1992. His body language shows assertion and glee, he says that did does not know, what will happen tomorrow 06-12-1992, and also that he has been told not to go to Ayodhya on that day. In all probability the inference is that he was part of the cleverly planned demolition where his role was reserved for the post demolition damage control. With this probably the last mask the face of 'liberal Vajpayee' also fell to pieces.

The nature of RSS has been a matter of debate for many. It loves to project itself as the cultural organization. It trains the young boys into the ideology of Hindutva, Hate minorities. This year one research institute based in Virginia came out with its report, in which RSS has been characterized as a terrorist organization and is clubbed with the groups representing 'new religious' movements, like Al Qaeda. This did create a good deal of ruckus but for reasons not told to the public it kept quiet about this characterization of itself as a terrorist organization. In a way the characterization is very appropriate as what the formations like Al Qaeda achieve through bullets, RSS achieves similar goals through ideological indoctrination of young minds. The logical trajectory of this is again the same, violence at broad social scale at regularly occurring intervals.

The population of 'others' is rising, Hindus will be reduced to a minority, India will become an Islamic state, (or a Christian state), has been the core of RSS propaganda and indoctrination. In democracy as such it does not matter as to what is the religion of the citizens. RSS probably does not know this democratic norm. But for consolidating its politics it did misuse the faulty demographics put out by the Census commission. In this prevailing scenario the Census Commission's faulty analysis that the rate of rise of Hindu population has declined from 25.1% in the decades of 81 to 91 to 20.3% during 91-2001 and the rate of Muslim growth has gone up from 34.5% during 81-91% to 36% during 91-2001, gave a good handle to RSS combine to beat the minorities with. This 'conclusion' of Census commission came as the God's gift to the myth manufacturing machinery.