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Home > 2024 > Bhagwat’s apparent rebuke to Narendra Modi is shrouded in deep mystery and (...)

Mainstream, VOL 62 No 24, June 15, 2024

Bhagwat’s apparent rebuke to Narendra Modi is shrouded in deep mystery and points to some impending crisis | Arun Srivastava

Saturday 15 June 2024


.Narendra Modi entered into an alliance with Chandra Babu Naidu, TDP chief and Nitish Kumar, JD(U) chief, for forming the NDA government, even though the people of the country has rejected his Hindutva politics and badly mauled his BJP, reminisces the move of the BJP’s ideological guru Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s Hindu Mahasabha to form a coalition government in pre-independence Bengal, Sindh and the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) with the Muslim League.

The Hindu Mahasabha, under Savarkar’s leadership, entered into a partnership with the Muslim League to form provisional governments, they also propounded the two-nation theory, and opposed the Quit India Movement. Not just formed a coalition, Mahasabha continued with the coalition even after the Muslim League passed a resolution in the assembly demanding the partition of India. In the North West Frontier Province, Hindu Mahasabha members joined hands with Sardar Aurang Zeb Khan of the Muslim League to form a government in 1943. The Mahasabha member of the cabinet was Finance Minister Mehr Chand Khanna.

Dr B R Ambedkar wrote: “Strange as it may appear, Mr Savarkar and Mr Jinnah though opposed to each other on the one nation versus two nations issue are in complete agreement about it. Both agree, not only agree but insist, that there are two nations in India — one the Muslim nation and the other the Hindu nation.”

It was interesting to watch that the die hard Hindu organisation opted for a strong comradery with the Muslim League which was against the Hindus. Since Savarkar was keen to come into power and rule, for him this anti Hindu stance of Muslim League did not matter at all. Hindu Mahasabha’s obsession against Congress was quite intense.

After 81 years of that historic event, BJP, modern incarnation of the Hindu Mahasabha joined hands with the TDP of Naidu and JD(U) of Nitish. There is extensive difference between the Muslim League and TDP/JD(U) formulations. But like the Muslim League, the TDP and JD(U) have been strong votaries of the Muslim rights. Just a week ahead of the final phase of polling Chandrababu Naidu had said that as soon as the alliance comes to power in Andhra Pradesh, financial aid of Rs 1 lakh would be extended to Muslim pilgrims who visit Mecca.

Only a few days back Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh said that the party’s focus will be creating jobs and uplifting the marginalised and Muslims in Andhra Pradesh. TDP would continue the 4 per cent reservation provided to Muslims in the state, a policy that their alliance partner BJP staunchly opposes. He emphasised; "Reservation for Muslims has been going around for the last 2 decades and we stand by it. We intend to continue it".

Diagonally opposed to Modi’s and Amit Shah’s stand, who are against providing any kind of freebee and benefit to Muslims, TDP has been having a strong pro-Muslim stance. Obviously Naidu’s stand at one level is opposed to the political line of Modi. While TDP holds that the reservation wasn’t for appeasement, but social justice as the minorities in the state have the lowest per capita income, for Modi it is purely an act of appeasement. While is not moved by their abysmal poverty and pathetic economic condition and will aloe them to lurch, on the contrary Naidu and Nitish are determined not to allow them to suffer and bring them out of poverty.

Lokesh has been fairly assertive; "If you want to make our nation a developed nation, we cannot leave anyone behind. We should do it together and there is a great opportunity to do it. It has been the trademark of the TDP, to take everyone together".

Modi nursing twin aims; for becoming the prime minister for the third time and to turn India into a Hindu state has agreed to share power with Naidu and Nitish. Of course both of them in the past were with NDA. But during the ten year rule of Modi with NDA turning out to be irrelevant they were maintaining their own independent identities. During these years Nitish ironically has earned the dubious nick name Paltu Ram. At least he left NDA three times and rejoined it after severing his relations with secular regional party RJD. Modi to turn India into a Hindu Rashtra would start with implementing two important agenda: Uniform Civil Code and “one nation one poll” formula.

Arjun Ram Meghwal, just after taking office as the law and justice minister on Tuesday, asserted that implementing a uniform civil code (UCC) and conducting simultaneous elections across the country were part of the government’s plan. Both the UCC and ’one nation, one poll’ were included in the BJP’s election manifesto.

If in 1943 Hindu Mahasabha formed the coalition to help the British divide and rule, cooperate with their colonial masters and eliminate Congress, the 2024 experiment is primarily aimed at finishing the Congress and serve the political and economic interest of the rightist forces. It is worth mentioning that Modi in his election speeches compared Congress’s election manifesto to one that bears the imprint of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s Muslim League.

The mandate for the 2024 elections has sent a clear and loud message that Saffron ecosystem has to change its tactics and strategy. The die hard anti minorities policy will not work in the existing situation. In 1943 the Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League succeeded in dividing the Hindu and Muslim communities, but in2024 it is not feasible. Constitution occupying the centre stage and Indians feeling relieved at the prospect of democracy getting liberated from the grip of authoritarianism and the politics of personality it would be really a daunting task for the saffron ecosystem to revert back.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was quick to realise the changing mood of the people. Yet another senior RSS leader Ram Madhav had termed the Lok Sabha results "a mandate for humility", stressing that the third term of the Narendra Modi-led NDA calls for "greater accommodation and responsible politics", obliquely hinting at the unease in the relationship between the BJP and the parent body. Madhav’s expressed his view in the backdrop of growing realisation by the RSS leaders that Modi’s "arrogant" poll cry of "Abki baar 400 paar" and also the "arbitrary" selection of candidates. Madhav’s also called for greater accommodation and responsible politics.

It is simply not a coincidence that Madhav’s view appeared in public domain just a day ahead of Mohan Bhagwat expressing his so-called disgust and anguish with the functioning of Modi and his government. A section of the [political experts and academics nurse the view that Bhagwat was indeed angry with Modi and addressing the passing out rally of the RSS Swayamsevaks, he ventilated his frustration.

But it is certainly not the politically correct analysis of his revulsion. He had sufficient time, at least ten years to sound the word of caution and goad Modi. But he did not do. He allowed the situation to drift and turn it worse. Let us take one example; the consecration of the Ram Temple. Since he claims to be true inheritor of Sanatan values and imbibes the spirit and culture of Hindutva, he should have restrained Modi from inaugurating the temple as the top representatives of Hinduism, the four Sankaracharyas had objected to it and had even predicted that it was against the Hindu religion. Question arises why he stood by Modi and even participated in the rituals?

His stern warning is nothing more than crocodile’s tears. It manifests a deep conspiracy designed by RSS and the Saffron ecosystem. If he was really convinced that Modi was out to ruin the organisation and the country, he must have instructed the BJP leaders to shun the programme to announce installation of Modi as the prime minister. In fact the entire show had the tacit endorsement of Bhagwat. It is wrong to construe that he disliked Modi and did not endorse his style of governance.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat resorted to falsehood in saying that NDA’s return to power after a decade when it was in office was a testimony to the good things that happened. He was washing the wrong doings of Modi. He and other RSS leaders were aware of the fact that Modi has been acting like an autocrat and was busy in self-promotion. But he refused to apply a brake. It is beyond comprehension how could he claim that NDA governed the country. Nothing could be more bizarre than this audacious claim. People of the country to know that neither the BJP nor the NDA ruled the country. India was ruled by Narendra Modi as he would regularly boast; “This is the government of Modi. This is the word of Modi. This is the guarantee of Modi”.

Sad enough Bhagwat at no stage during the last ten years cautioned against this autocratic tendency of Modi. It was his deafening silence that encouraged Modi to ruin the democratic institutions of the country and unashamedly subvert the human rights. The advice which he delivered to the political class not to treat difference of opinion as disputes and emphasised on evolving a consensus on the challenges facing the country, should have uttered long back. It would have paid rich dividend.

It was certainly not soothing to the ears to listen to Bhagwat’s advice to Modi to get over the election rhetoric and resolve the Manipur conflict as a priority. Though the realisation came after one year on the sordid genocide, it is not certain whether Modi would resort to his Raj Dharam. If he was to perform Raj Dharam he should have acted long. Bhagwat should have sought an explanation from Modi why he did not act fast. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Manipur genocide enjoyed Bhagwat’s tacit blessings. It would not had happened if Bhagwat had cautioned Modi.

Bhagat in fact tried to pass the buck by saying; "It’s been a year since Manipur has been waiting for peace. The state remained peaceful for the last 10 years, but suddenly, gun culture has increased again. It is important to resolve the conflict as a priority". What he actually wanted to tell. At the time when violence broke out in Manipur some RSS leaders had attributed that to foreign forces.

One thing is certain that Bhagwat is the modern day Dhritarashtra. He is not willing to fetter Modi as it would hinder the growth of RSS and also in accomplishing his mission of turning India into a Hindu Rashtra. Bhagwat criticising all sides for resorting to falsehoods and using vituperative language during the campaign, saying the electoral discourse violated the decency that parties are expected to observe listens to be soothing. But instead of once again generalising he should have specifically named Modi. His not mentioning the name of Modi and putting the straight on his head, sends the message that holder of highest order of morality, utterly lacks it. Even a layman knows that Modi has been resorting abusive language and demeaning Muslims and his political opponents. Even his close aid, Amit Shah did not feel ashamed in using slanderous words.

His advice not to treat political opponents ought to be respected and appreciated. But it is the integral part of RSS culture. In RSS political culture people or political parties opposing its politics and actions are treated enemies. Obviously his assertion; “Your opponent is not an adversary, he only represents a counter viewpoint,” is simply an act of falsehood. If he really believed in this postulate he should long back had warned Modi to refrain from imposing his politics of hatred on India and from using the government machinery to harass his opponents. Did Bhagwat approve of his insinuation against Muslims and his act of terrorising Hindus by saying that their wealth and even Mangalsutra would be taken away.

Bhagwat is free to defend his RSS and Modi. But it was certainly in bad taste which hurt the humane sense of common people. His entire view was primarily aimed to protect and patronise Modi, which again was an attempt to denounce the views of his own senior RSS leaders, who have publicly been highly critical of style of functioning of Modi. He was showing utter contempt to even RSS. Only a week back of the final voting his chum, J P Nadda, the president of the BJP, had openly denied that RSS had any role in the elections.

His attempt to steer clear RSS of any bad name was clearly evident in his anxiety to say that technology was being used for promoting false narratives and even “dragging RSS” into the electoral combat. Bhagwat being the chief of RSS should at least be honest in admitting that his saffron ecosystem has been using technology to smear the faces of the individuals who do not share the rightist view of his ecosystem. There are such numerous examples and a large number of social activists, victims of the false technology, are lurching in jails.

It is indeed difficult to comprehend why Bhagwat was using his name and office to defend Modi. Does it imply that under Bhagwat’s plans, Modi is best suited to serve his cause? One expects that an individual claiming to represent highest order of decency, honesty and probity must not skip the truth. How Bhagwat could justify the most horrid act of Modi to exonerate the most corrupt politicians, who he publicly admitted deserve jails, and give clean chits after admitting into BJP. No doubt Bhagwat should put the question to himself and find answer; who is arrogant, unrestrained and is busy distorting the knowledge and history for mean political needs. It is indeed sad that knowledge is deliberately distorted to suit saffron interest.

Bhagwat knows Modi better than others. He must realise that his praising NDA government for its performance would not lessen the political and social crime Modi has perpetrated. It is just contrary. People are seeking to know from you; why are you so weak towards Modi? Though the people defeated him and his BJP, certainly not of RSS, you made him the prime minister. What is the secret agenda which compelled you to fall in his line?

It is a fact that Modi has not done any good to the country. These ten years would be remembered for misgovernance and ruining the lives of the poor. Will Bhagwat come out with the correct figure of the persons who had further declined on the poverty index. Right from Modi to his yes men, even eulogise the distribution of 5 kg of grain. For how many days a family of two persons, husband and wife, survive on this 5 kg? Secondly, does not it underline that people have lost income, obviously are bereft of purchasing power and have been left with no other alternative but to survive on alms. In this background your claim; “It is a fact that we have done well on many counts in the period. Going by the parameters used by the modern countries to judge economic progress, we have done well”, is a bundle of lies.

You talked about the drift of a section of dalits to the opposition; a factor which is considered in the saffron circle as the main factor which contributed to BJP’s below-par performance. It is also a fact that they drifted in spite of your best efforts to put them in the Hindu bracket and promote their leaders as the symbol of Neo Hindutva. What made them to drift. If they had all the goody-goody things, they ought to not to have drifted. Spell out the reasons, it would be in the interest of the country as well the Dalits.

Bhagwat would have to come out with many confessional observations. He simply cannot hide behind the façade of ill conceived wrong notions and ideas. He must shake his conscience and speak the truth. Any organisation built on the foundation of falsehood cannot aspire to survive for long. He must admit the real test RSS’s credibility has started now. So far it has been surviving on anti-Congress rhetoric. That phase is over. Modi cannot imagine to survive for long by simply abusing and insinuating Nehru.

World knows that why Modi has been resorting to this nature of demeaning politics. Ironically this pundit of high morality and ethics did not deter from committing unethical act by allowing Modi, who was rejected by the people, to allow Modi to become leader of the saffron government and thus prime minister for the third time. Bhagwat has his utter disrespect of constitution and democracy. Within two days of his taking over as the prime minister, Modi has already renewed his politics of vengeance with new vigour.

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