Crisis of ideology in politics
Myths and folklore have it that when a Shudra undertakes penance or when an Asura roars, the throne of the Brahmin kingdom of Indra begins to shake. I won’t say that Rahul is a Shudra or an Asura, but his roar against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in London has shaken the leaders, if not the throne, of the Sangh. As a result, Rahul has come under attack from all quarters. He is being masqueraded as naïve, a simpleton, some who tarnished country’s image, traitor and more. No doubt Rahul Gandhi has exposed the Sangh in other countries where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been painting a false picture of India. Honestly, one has to appreciate Rahul Gandhi’s courage, for no one else has been able to do what he just did. Unhesitatingly, he said that the Sangh akin to the banned Muslim Brotherhood and aims at terrorizing the non-Hindus, and that it is working towards throttling democracy by capturing all the constitutional bodies of the country.
To the Sangh, the accusation was akin to being stung by thousands of bees. The entire Sangh Parivar was speechless. RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat writhed in pain, so much so that despite getting Sanghis like Sambit Patra to mouth all kinds of insinuations, his pain continued to increase. Now, it is learnt that to alleviate his pain he has made up his mind to hold talks with the leaders of the opposition parties. He will hold a programme on topic “Future of Bharat: An RSS perspective” in Vigyan Bhavan from September 17-19 where he himself will answer questions raised by the politicians. Newspapers have been reporting that this programme is a first of its kind in the Sangh’s 93-year-old history. It is also being reported that the programme will be telecast and webcast live. It is obvious that since the union government is that of the Sangh, all its resources are available to it. Sangh-infatuated Amar Ujala said in its article dated August 28, “Imagine Congress President Rahul Gandhi asking questions about RSS’s ideology and views on the nation and the Sanghsanchalak, Mohan Bhagwat, answering them.”
If Rahul accepts Bhagwat’s invitation for a dialogue, then this conjecture may turn into a reality. It is obvious that Amar Ujala doesn’t find anything wrong in Sangh’s ideology. Otherwise, it would have upheld the principles of journalism by challenging the Sangh to a debate. Anyway, it is also reported that the Sangh will invite about 400 leaders, including Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav, Sharad Pawar and CPI General Secretary Sitaram Yechuri, to ask questions. No doubt these 400 will include all those leaders from Buddhist, Jain, Christian and Muslim organizations who have already come under the influence by the saffron ideology. Doubts arise regarding Dalit and Backward leaders like Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav and others. The Sangh will invite them because it knows very well that they don’t have any ideology. These leaders will lose face if they attend the meeting. My opinion is that it will be wise of them refuse the invitation.
We turn to Rahul Gandhi again. He also accused the Sangh it does not let women be part of it. I fail to understand whether this is a criticism of the Sangh or advocacy for women’s entry into the organization. What purpose would Rahul achieve if women were allowed to be part of the Sangh? Would the women become secular by gaining entry into the Sangh? The reason the Sangh keeps out women is the fear of pollution of caste. Only bachelors are allowed membership of the Sangh. Bachelorhood would be at risk if men and women lived in close proximity of each other. Given there is no caste restriction in the Sangh, men and women could fall in love outside their castes. If this resulted in marriage, their castes would be rendered impure. This goes against the ideology of the Sangh. However, this does not mean that women are not associated with the Sangh, because it does use them through all-women organizations.
Role of the Congress in strengthening the Sangh
There is one question for Rahul Gandhi as well. Is he aware that the vast network of the Sangh has not developed overnight but has grown continuously over the years to be where it is today? And the Congress itself has prepared the ground for its growth. The Congress provided it with the opportunity to launch the Ramlalla movement, which gave a fresh lease of life to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Then Congress prime minister Narasimha Rao had a role in the destruction of the Babri Masjid, which the Sangh and its BJP portrayed as symbol of nation’s slavery by fanning hatred. The bloody plundering of the Adivasi regions by the corporate also began during the Congress regime. Whose baby was Salwa Judum? Was not its leader Mahendra Karma a Congress leader, who had village after village torched? Salwa Judum had become synonymous with terrorism, which was banned only after a severe dressing-down given by the Supreme Court. The activities of the RSS have been going on in the Adivasi belts of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand since the time of the Congress rule. Did the Congress stop them? The Congress itself prepared the ground on which the RSS stands unchallenged today.
Even today, the Congress remains in the proximity of the Sangh’s ideology. Is Rahul Gandhi not aware that his own party in Punjab is going to introduce blasphemy law? If the law is enacted, intellectuals questioning the existence of God will be their first target? Will it not crush science and scientific thinking? Will it not be used against those speaking and writing against the government policies? This law exists in Pakistan because it is a theocratic state. Does the Congress government want to turn Punjab into a state of blind religiosity? If the proposed law of blasphemy becomes a law in Punjab, the biggest beneficiary will the RSS. Amarinder Singh is going ahead with this anti-democratic law under pressure from certain Akali leaders, who themselves are influenced by the RSS. It would enable the Sangh to pressurize other states, too. What kind of a Congress ideology is this, which is servile to the RSS? Is Rahul Gandhi not duty-bound to take a stern decision against this law proposed by his own government in Punjab and emphasize development of scientific thinking?
I don’t think the Congress has ever adopted democratic thinking. It has always adopted a kind of politics that has strengthened religion and caste. It has indeed acted in the interest of Bahujans and minorities whenever it has found itself under pressure from social and democratic movements but ultimately its politics has been that of the exploiting religion and caste. Instead, had it developed an ideology of its own, the RSS wouldn’t have acquired its dreaded status today.
Ideologically bankrupt SP, BSP and RJD
But it is unfortunate that the leaders who have established identities separate from that of the Congress on the issue of the Bahujans also face a grave crisis of ideology. Their politics also remains intertwined with Hindutva, thereby posing the biggest threat to the Bahujans. I don’t know about Akhilesh Yadav’s qualification, but whatever it is, it doesn’t show in his speeches. One wonders whether he spends time in self-study at all. Recently, the RSS and BJP were treated to some entertainment when he declared that he would construct a huge Vishnu temple if he came to power. Brahmins were a relieved lot. Whether it is the temple of Vishnu or his incarnation Ram, Brahmanism alone will be strengthened. Ram and Vishnu are in no way different from each other. It is ironical that if Akhilesh had to surrender he would do so before the brahmanical order that has kept the huge population of the Shraman (laboring, productive class) class Untouchable and backward and has maintained the horrible system of caste discrimination in society. Which is this ideology of Akhilesh Yadav? Is he dreaming of coming to power with this ideology? If he is planning to compete in Hindutva politics, it is sheer madness to assume that he will defeat the RSS and BJP.
Actually, the socialism of the Yadav clan has emerged from the socialism of Lohia, who had his fullest faith in Shri Ram and was known for organizing Ramayana melas. This brand of socialism has no connection with the socialism of either Marx or Dr Ambedkar and Lohia didn’t try to establish an interrelationship either. That is why everybody is aware of Lohiaite-socialist Mulayam Singh Yadav’s opposition to Ambedkar. He became so blinded by his anti-Ambedkar approach that he would not only speak openly of vandalizing Ambedkar’s statues but also of scrapping the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Atrocities) Act. He was doing all these things to appease the highborn who hated him the most. Akhilesh Yadav, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, also shares this infatuation and wants to build a Vishnu temple. Their hatred for the Bahujan heroes is such that both son and father are totally ignorant of Jotirao Phule, Savitribai Phule, Lalai Singh Yadav, Ramswaroop Verma and others. If somebody utters these heroes’ names in their presence, they regard him or her as their enemy. Their hatred is so fierce that they could not tolerate the naming of a district after Jotirao Phule and did not rest until the proposal was scrapped. It is obvious that these so-called socialist leaders know nothing about socialism.
A similar situation prevails in the family of Lalu Prasad Yadav. When he got an opportunity to be in power he was busy amassing wealth. And, through out his political life, he has only been engaged in caste arithmetic. He has never worked towards cultural awakening among the backward classes. As a result, he has remained a follower of the brahmanical order and so has his son. A picture of one of his sons, who was perhaps a minister, in Shankar’s attire has gone viral in social media. What message is he trying to convey to the nation in that garb? What a dreadful display of cultural ignorance by him! When the world is moving forward, he is steeped in Brahmanism. Has any RSS leader been seen in Shankar’s attire? Has anyone seen Mohan Bhagwat among kanwariyas? Has anyone spotted Sambit Patra? Has anybody seen Modi or Yogi carrying kanwar? Yes, they did shower flowers of happiness from a helicopter, pleased with the ignorance of Bahujans. Because they need such Bahujans, who are happy to carry the Brahmanism of RSS on their shoulders and pave the way for the creation of a Hindu nation. Will this indifferent, ignorant society and leadership ever be able to compete with the RSS? It is the RSS that is marching forward without compromising on its ideology, shutting every door of development on the Bahujans because the Bahujan leadership is ill prepared to face the RSS.
BSP Chief Mayawati is also not free from this ideological crisis. Ever since Kanshi Ram had her hold the hand of the RSS and BJP, she hasn’t let it go. She recovered her wisdom somewhat when this very hand wiped her out in the last general election and now relinquishing BJP friendship, she has formed an alliance with SP.
Bahujan leaders have to understand that there are only two ideologies in politics – rightwing and leftwing. There is no middle path. Either you follow the Right or the Left. Those who switch sides are opportunists and have no ideology other than their own self-interest. The politics of Bahujans is aligned with the Right because it doesn’t like leftist thinking. That is why the majority of opportunists are from the Right. It is a fact that in rightwing politics RSS and BJP alone possess an ideology and it is not being challenged by an ideologically bereft Bahujan politics. If it is facing any challenge, it is from the ideology of the Left. Therefore, ruffled by the Left’s ideology, the RSS and BJP have launched a mission to stop it from spreading by Hinduizing the Dalit and backward castes and Adivasi communities and pushing them into the mire of superstition. What is surprising is that it is carrying out this mission with the help of the ideologically bereft Bahujan parties and their opportunist leaders. Portraying leftist leaders and intellectuals as traitors is part of the strategy, in which both the brahmanical media and State power play a crucial role.
Translation: Parmanand Baiga; copy-editing: Anil
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