Parnab Fails to Mirror Real Errors at Nagpur
Adv. Masood Peshimam :
It was late Dr. Zakir Hussain having become the President of India who went on to pay obeisance to the Shankaracharya of Puri. It must have been in quest for acquiring the more acceptance for the Muslim President. Whatever maybe the compulsions it did not tantamount to elevating the august office of the President. Then there was late Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed who was bludgeoned into subservience in signing the Emergency Proclamation. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed could not have his way beyond expressing his muted reservation over the draconian Proclamation of Emergency. Any disowning of Ms Indira Gandhi’s “Farman” was to be huge embarrassment. The situation was quite grim and Ms Gandhi was hell bent on promoting the aggressive agenda of suspending or rather crushing the Fundamental Rights. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed had no potential to resist and fish in the troubled water. Ultimately Fakhruddin died after some time and he died in the mysterious circumstances. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed’s bowing to sign the Emergency Declaration succumbing to the tremendous pressure from the Corridor of Power did no credit to the august office of the President. The condition continued to be sickening when late Gayani Zail Singh occupied the august office. It was the same Gayani Zail who has learnt to have taken pride in expressing his desire to sweep Ms Gandhi house. Pranab Mukharjee had an enormous political potential in the Congress party. Congress always backed him despite the fact that he could not win the election for pretty long and he could have stakes in high office and status quite accommodated through the upper house. As this was not enough Pranab was chosen to contest Presidential election. However notwithstanding the incessant backing of Congress and being the man of scholarship and statesmanship Pranab in his own ebullience to occupy the highest office of the land went out of way to woo Matoshree in Mumbai. The discordant noises raised did not deter Pranab in paying obeisance to the Thackreys who dictated terms to him. His connectivity with the parochial and communal forces maturing in to support for his presidential candidature constituted a deep setback to the healthy traditions of democracy, secularism and cosmopolitan ethos. Pranab’s political flirtation with the communal and chauvinist forces did not raise much of the eyebrows in his own Party.
Pranab had already compromised with the Fascist and radical forces in his quest to occupy the august office. The insensitivity to secular credentials was manifest earlier and again the secular credentials were suspect when Pranab showed no compunction in visiting the RSS headquarter in Nagpur to address the RSS volunteers in their passing out parade or the valedictory function. On the eve of the Function Congress made a lot of hue and cry over the visit stating that the Former President who was quite wedded to the secular values and catholicity of outlook being the Congress stalwart over the years had significantly compromised with the forces out to polarise the society in the name of religion.
It said that Ex President’s presence had setback to the tenets and principles of secularism. However with the occurrence of the event at the RSS headquarter in Nagpur Congress looked to be satisfied with the assertion that the Former President has shown mirror to the RSS.
It is said that Pranab talked of pluralism, cosmopolitanism, communal harmony, sense of toleration secular values and sense of accommodation.
He said that the variation in culture, faith and language make India a unique nation. He stressed that composite Indian culture is shaped by shared traditions and culture stemming from mutual toleration and understanding.
He said that he was there to share his concept of nation, nationalism and patriotism in the context of India. He added that our national identity has emerged after a long process of confluence and assimilation, the multiple cultures and faiths make us special and unique. Mukharjee’s speech seems to have come as a relief to Congress that has found itself embarrassed by the Veteran Leader’s decision to accept Mohan Bhagwat’s invite.
Pranab’s speech might have given relief to Congress which was searching for the same as it had remained obsessed with listening to the pious and lofty ideals of secularism and democracy from the Former Congress Veteran to save its skin as it was the party which has raised the stature of a person to the highest office in the land treating him as the sagacious politician. However notwithstanding how Congress took the veteran’s words the fact remains that the very espousal of the cause of secularism, pluralism and the virtues like democracy, mutual accommodation and the sense of toleration look to be plagued by hyperbole and bit of inanity without any reference to the bitter ground realities inexorably leading to the hallucination. The words were routinely plain admiration of the universal values without the unambiguous condemnation of those remaining obsessed by breaching the objectives very much lauded by the Former President and the distinguished scholar.
He could not afford to earn the ire of the organisation and its followers by joining issues with them over threatening the democratic secular values.
He chose to remain silent over the gruesome mob lynching in the name of cow protection claiming the heavy toll of Muslims and at times victimising the Dalits. He chose to remain silent over the gruesome violence in the name of love jihad. The matter has gone to such an extent that in the love affair between the Muslim boy and the Hindu girl who were detained by the police that the Hindu girl involved with the Muslim boy committed suicide at the police station. In another gruesome incident both the Hindu girl and Muslim boy roped in deep romance committed suicide. The questing is not related to Hindu verses Muslim or Muslim verses Hindu. It’s a question of two individuals making their own choices. Why should the fascist and communal forces dabble with the scenario which is purely the domain of the personal priorities and choices.
He has remained silent over the ruthneless beating of Muslims on one count or the other over the imaginary reasons leading to the gruesome deaths. This is all the show of crude Muscular Hindutva. The most inhuman and vicious assault over Muslims which is witnessing the upsurge with BJP assuming power surprisingly escaped his comment and observation. There is no remedy suggested by him to prevent the extremely grim lynching incidents. The barbaric lynching incidents very much in escalation in the country has aroused the concern the world over has no word of condemnation for such incidents.
Mukharjee did not question the RSS divisive dogma of one religious, one culture.
He did not utter word to restrain the Fascist or Communal Forces targeting the minority particularly Muslims in the garb of aggressive nationalism.
It’s good to note that he has referred to great Indian civilization immensely contributing to growth of human life,
However Pranab touched upon the Muslim invasion. It needs to be noted that invasion was not restricted to Muslims alone. Before the advent of Muslims invasion there were military expansion by others also and it constituted an inalienable part of history. The fact cannot be disowned that it is the confluence and assimilation of Hindu-Muslim influences that new cosmopolitan culture emerged leaving its impact and print on language, art, culture, food habits, architecture and different aspects of life. By any stretch of imagination the Muslim contribution influencing the various aspects of life cannot be undermined. Any attempt to interpret Muslim or any other influence inferior is born of prejudice and myopic approach.
Any attempt to erase the Muslim contribution is a blot on our civilization values which speak volumes of mutual accommodation, mutual toleration and mutual range of variation in the different fields.
Pranab while referring to Freedom Struggle massively eulogised the services rendered by Gandhi, Nehru, Tilak, Patel Surendranath Bannerji and forgot to mention Dr. Ambedkar. He is bound to forget Moulana Azad as linking Muslim contribution in enriching nation’s life and culture has become something of an anathema. This is how we flaunt our secularism & sense of Justice.
We are so obsessed with prejudice and bias that we are reluctant to mention the great sacrifice of Bahadur Shah Zafar in the 1857 Mutiny which rather pioneered the freedom struggle. Can we forget the poignant tragedy that Bahadur Shah Zafar was presented the beheaded heads of his children for the breakfast. What a catastrophe !.
However notwithstanding sanctimonious words might have been uttered by the Ex President the very presence at the valedictory function at Nagpur is open to dispute as Gandhi was murdered by Nathuram Godse an ardent admirer of RSS or Hindutva ideology. RSS now is trying to maintain distance from Gandhi’s murder but the fact remains that V.D. Savarkar whose treatise “Hindutva ! who is a Hindu” inspired the formation of RSS censured Gandhi and Freedom Struggle both. Against this background it is relevant to quote what Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay said in the Asian Age dated 15th June 2018. He said “this oft repeated association needs retelling because at the time of Gandhi’s assassination although Godse was not associated with either RSS or the Mahasabha, he remained symbiotically connected with ideas of the two. The view which motivated him into taking the extreme decision were shaped in the two ideological nurseries. There also exists sufficient grounds to believe that his association with Savarkar, and consequent knowledge about plot was deeper than could be legally established”.
The RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat also favours unifying the society. However while urging the unification of society playing communal card is not missed.
However Bhagwat’s talk of unity in diversity with the show of muscular Hindutva can not go hand in hand. Talk of unity is an absurd proposition with the abiding commitment to the concept of one culture, one religion and one set of beliefs and the concept of nationhood blended with aggressive religious overtones is not a pragmatic political discourse. It is relevant to quote what A L I Chougle said in Free Press Journal dated 12th June, 2018. He said “Bhagwat used the cover of unity in diversity to camouflage his core belief that India is primarily defined by one religion and culture. No matter Bhagwat’s claim about his organisation’s commitment to ‘unifying’ society the RSS has rarely shown its enthusiasm and commitment to preserve the edifice of secular India and celebrate its diversity. On the contrary through its ideology of majoritarian India, the RSS sees the minorities, particularly the Muslim, through the prism of unsavoury communalism unpatriotic and anti-national”.
It ‘s not the question of RSS but any communal organisation whether Hindu, Muslim, Christian or of any other flavour is not only setback to the democratic secular values but hamper the very quest for peace and prosperity in the name of unsavoury narrow partisan ends.
It’s not known as to what leverage the RSS has achieved with the presence of the Ex President but Pranab’s secular identity is now open to question. It is said that Cessor’s wife should be above suspicion.