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 Good Values

Mainstream, VOL L No 44, October 20, 2012

RSS Affiliation No Guarantee of
 Good Values

Wednesday 24 October 2012, by Badri Raina

Anjali Damania, the anti-corruption volunteer, is the daughter of an RSS worker of long, and brought up to believe in the values of clean and patriotic conduct. Such are the facts she has revealed in her long sms sent to Shri Nitin Gadkari, the RSS scion, after, as per her averment, her meeting with him on August 14. Shri Gadkari has since denied meeting Anjali, and issued her a legal notice.

In that sms message, and subsequently in a number of television interactions, she has expressed shock that the good clean values taught by the RSS should not have percolated to Shri Gadkari, a reputed RSS pracharak.

Anjali Damania has claimed that she went to see Shri Gadkari upon hearing that a godman named Bhayuji Maharaj had intervened with him to discourage Shri Kirit Saumaya of the BJP from filing a PIL in the matter of the irrigation scandal in Maharashtra.

Certain that Shri Gadkari would take up the anti-corruption cause against the Congress-NCP combine, Anjali has said how distraught she was to be told by Shri Gadkari that he could do no such thing since, as per Anjali’s statement broadcast repeatedly now on the channels, he and Shri Sharad Pawar had good relations, and often did each other favours. As well as the possibility that the BJP could be headed for a seat-sharing arrangement with the NCP. About Kirit Saumaya, Shri Gadkari is reported to have said, according to her, that the former is an eccentric and an arrogant person, and should not be doing what he is doing. At best, Gadkari advised, Saumaya could raise the matter in the party forum, or take a press briefing on the issue.

This has clearly been a moment of painful recogniton for Anajali Damania, and she has challenged Gadkari to a face-off on the issues, including his denial that he ever met her. Further, she says she means to take up the legal challenge through due process as well. Needless to say how very significant this occurrence is: not only is the credibility of the two antagonists, although both from the RSS, at stake, but the great pretence that the RSS/BJP is at the forefront of the anti-corruption crusade could be slated to come apart decisively, and at the hands of a good and well-meaning RSS-affiliated activist. 

INDIA’S hoi polloi, of course, needs little proof that the regime of crony money-multiplication plays no favourites and spares few in public life from its all-encompassing tentacles. Indeed, it is now a common experience that the loud and aggressively demonstrative assertions of public religiosity graced by important plenipoten-tiaries that are often on display are deployed as camouflages to keep the nittygritty hidden away under layers of piety and nationalist or community sentiment.

It will be interesting to see how the Anjali Damania-Nitin Gadkari contention will turn out in the days ahead (there is of course the other matter of the coal allocation to a Gadkari favourite in Chhattisgarh also doing the rounds). What seems clear enough is that unregulated and unbridled capitalism rules over all forms of value-orientation, not excluding the holier-than-thou protestations of the RSS.

Speaking of which, political parties seem to score over religious organisations in this one respect though: however crookedly, some accounts are maintained of the moneys they receive, and some audits are done, despite the shameful fact that, barring the CPI, all other parties are currently battling the obligation to come under the RTI regime.

Religious organisations on the other hand seem to have a clear mandate from above never to furnish any account of where their moneys come from, and what they do with the same. In that respect, clearly, religious organisations that seem forever at communal loggerheads belong to one and the same genre.

As Lawrence would have said: no goddess greater than “money, the bitch goddess”.

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