Mainstream, VOL LV No 16 New Delhi April 8, 2017
Imbibing Nationalism or Neo-Colonialism?
Sunday 9 April 2017
by K. Narayana
As per news reports, the RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat, has invited university teachers from all over the country in order to hold a seminar on “Parting with Colonial Ways—Imbibing Nationalism”.
The RSS and its off-shoot organisations had never raised a finger against British colonialism and remained aloof from the freedom struggle. They had in fact actively collaborated with the British authorities to sabotage the struggle for freedom. None of their founders was a part of freedom struggle at any time. The people of this country wonder whether in the name of imbibing nationalism, the Sanghis want to force their brand of Hindutva nationalism down the throats of the country’s vast majority, who do not subscribe to their ideology, or in the name of parting with colonial ways make them to swallow the bitter pills of neo-colonialism.
Though it is intended to be an open seminar, the Sanghis would indulge in a lot of shadow-work, as they cannot tolerate criticism and dissent. The participants will be carefully selected and any potential trouble-makers will be carefully kept away. As it is characteristic of the RSS, only those that meekly comply with their instructions will be allowed to participate. In the name of patriotism and nationalism, the intention of the Sanghis is to propagate intolerance, suppression of freedom of expression, rationalism, and, above all, democratic and secular values. Their ultimate desire is to establish a Hindu Rashtra, which will be a lone Hindu nation on this planet. This is nothing but jumping up to grab the moon. As per the Arsha Dharma and Manu Shastra, only upper-caste Hindus qualify to be legitimate Hindus. Neither the Dalits, tribals and backward classes nor the minorities, who together form more than 90 per cent of the country’s population, can be accorded the status of Hindus, according to their philosophy. Imposing by force the will and culture of a tiny minority on the whole of the population can only lead to escalation of social tensions. Will Muslims of this country, who constitute 17 per cent of the population, or even the Sikh community, who constitute a majority in our armed forces, accept a Hindu Rashtra? Would North-Eastern States give consent to a Hindu Rashtra as most of their citizens are Christians?
What sort of nationalism do the Sanghis want to preach? Those that spew hatred on the minorities, Dalits and tribals cannot be patriots by any stretch of imagination. And killing the intellectuals, such as Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabolkar, Kalburgi, and silencing opposing views by threats and intimidation is now projected a nationalism! What an irony! Anyone who raises his voice against the Hindutva forces is branded as a Pakistani agent and asked to leave the country. At this rate, most of the citizens of this country would qualify to be anti-nationals and only those that spew hatred, violence against minorities and Dalits would be true patriots and nationalists!
What type of patriotism or nationalism does the RSS chief want the teachers to teach the youth of this country? The Hindu Mahasabha is constr-ucting temples to honour Nathuram Vinayak Godse who murdered Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation. And what does this drama of “parting ways with colonialism” mean? This government is on a no-holds-barred race to kill the public sector and hand over the country’s economy to the MNCs. Even the nation’s defence industries are now being handed over to American companies. In the name of digital economy, for every transaction, we have to pay a commission to foreign net-brokers. Is this parting of ways with colonialism or forcing a new colonialism on this country’s populace? Our country is increa-singly being tied down by international finance capital and our banks have lost their independent role in regulating the economy. As it is, world capitalism is being plunged into systemic crises and by losing our economic independence, we would become increasingly vulnerable to economic upheavals. Wealth is being drained out of our country and is landing up in the coffers of the MNCs and international banks. The BJP Government, contrary to their stated aims of curbing black money, are hand-in-glove with the super rich, who loot this country and stash their ill-gotten wealth abroad. How can anybody believe their credentials, when they want the teachers to teach about parting ways with colonialism, while the reality is quite the opposite of their stated intentions?
The Sangh Parivar has floated one “nationalist” organisation called the “Swadeshi Jagaran Manch”. That organisation has given a call to boycott foreign goods. But as soon as the BJP came to power for the first time at the Centre, it comfortably made Enron Accord. Why is Narendra Modi conspicuously silent on the Strategic Partnership Accord and Nuclear Power Accord made by Manmohan Singh? Perhaps he wants to prove to his American masters that he is more faithful than the previous government.
Our economic policies are neo-colonial and that leads to colonialism. Foreign direct investments in defence, financial sector, railways, retail trade, etc. are gateways for transnational corporations to enter and devastate our economy. We cannot forget how the British entered into our country through the East India Company with trade in tea and coffee. Wallmart of the USA and Metro of Germany and many super-malls are symbols of neo-colonialism. The countries of Latin America had gone through a similar process of neo-colonialism and now their economies are completely devastated and they are yet to recover from the ruins of their respective economies. The BJP may argue that colonialism will not be allowed in our country. In today’s changed world, political and military control of any country by a foreign power comes with great cost, as witnessed in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries. But neo-colonialism enables the capitalist core, controlled by the MNCs, to rob any country at will, what with compliant regimes such as the Modi Government ever eager to do their bidding.
Hence the fight against foreign direct investments is a fight against neo-colonialism and in turn that is a fight against colonialism. The real fight against the FDI is nationalism and that is true patriotism. As far as patriotism goes, loving all the people of this country, irrespective of their race, caste or religion, is the only true patriotism. Respecting our diversity is the best guarantee of a united India.
Dr K. Narayana is the National Secretary, CPI.