A NEW DEBATE ON RASHTRAVAD: WHO IS THE TARGET?

Submitted by on Nov 22, 2015

Tipu-Jayanti

Opposition to Tipu Jayanti, Balidan Diwas of Nathuram Godse, and removal of Pundit Nehru from the List of Freedom Fighters cannot be a Coincidence

At present, a strange debate is going on in the country concerning Rashtravad (Nationalism), looking at which it is suspected that terminologies like “Your Rashtravad” and “My Rashtravad” are taking shape. Some persons and organizations have coined for themselves the terminology of “Nationalists” as against the secular groups and parties, which term they not only use extensively but also claim that they alone are the Nationalists and others are not. As far as the cultural nationalism is concerned, their arguments are against the spirit of the Constitution. Even if we ignore the incidents of intolerance in the country against which many strong protests were registered, the issue has remained as it was. Recently, two incidents took place in the country. In Karnataka, after a lapse of two centuries, the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan (Tipu Jayanti) was celebrated, and in Maharashtra, the Hindu Mahasabha celebrated the death anniversary of Nathuram Godge, the killer of Gandhiji, as Balidan Diwas (Sacrifice Day). The first incident was strongly opposed while the second incident was peacefully observed. The important question is why the first incident was opposed and the second was not. Connected to these, is the documentary prepared by the BJP for its workers, from which the name of the first Prime Minister of the country, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, has been removed from the list of freedom fighters and the leaders of the RSS have been included in it. The rewriting of the history and revision of curriculum books are also part of this strategy. It is apparent that if we debate on these things, the result would come out as: this is your rashtravad and that is my rashtravad. In this political debate of nationalism, nobody says where the minorities, particularly the Muslims, stand. No one is prepared to say anything clearly, but a negative message is actually being sent out.

The debate concerning secularism and communalism is very old. It is observed that communalism thrives throughout the year, and secularism is remembered and heard of only during the time of elections. Now to demolish secularism, debate over nationalism is being promoted. It is quite evident that in a debate over nationalism, nobody would like to keep himself out of its sphere. But to differentiate each other, a line would have to be drawn, that line is “your nationalism” and “my nationalism.” Now, there are two kinds of nationalism: one which is supported by secular groups and the other espoused by the supporters of Hindutva or Hindu Rashtra.

A particular group in the country always fosters the doubt about the patriotism of the Muslims. Even though such groups wish all Muslims to migrate to Pakistan, this wish is manifested in words whenever an action or reaction is noticed from Muslims against the policies and actions of these groups. The recent reactions and utterances of some of the BJP leaders against film star Shah Rukh Khan is one such example. Perhaps this is the first time that the intelligentsia of the majority community is feeling the pain that the Muslims have been feeling for the past several decades, which was routinely ignored and no serious attention was ever paid to ameliorate it. Everyone noticed that when writers, artists, scholars and other intellectuals began to return their awards in protest against growing intolerance in the country, some termed them as leftists, some accused them of playing politics and some “nationalists” declared their action as a conspiracy to malign the nationalist forces. It means that these groups do not consider them nationalists, but since their patriotism is not being questioned, it can be surmised that in a way they are also considered nationalists but of another kind.

Now the aforesaid “nationalist forces” have removed the name of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru from the list of freedom fighters and have celebrated Balidan Diwas of the killer of Ganghiji on which no action has been taken by the BJP Government in Maharashtra. Under the guise of revision or rewriting of Indian history, they are slowly inching towards hiding the role played by the Congress and the Muslims in the independence of India and falsely highlighting the role played by the RSS leadership.

Celebrating the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan after 200 years could be a political gimmick, but opposing it on the basis of Tipu being anti-Hindu and ignoring the valuable services rendered by him to the country and its people is not only politicizing the issue but it seems to have far-reaching objectives and it appears that the role played by the Muslims in the independence of the country is planned to be lessened and degraded. Such of the great Muslim personalities who took part in the struggle for independence and sacrificed everything would be belittled and downgraded in such a manner that their follower would have to think twice even before mentioning their names. Those who were raising such a hue and cry about the celebration of Tipu Jayanti, whether they belonged to RSS, BJP, VHP or Bajrang Dal, were silent about the celebration of Balidan Diwas of Nathuram Godse and none of them opposed it. From this, it is to be understood that those whose worked for a particular ideology in the past, or sided with the British, or killed or maligned Gandhians, will be presented and remembered as heroes from now on. Whether you call it Rashtravad or Hindu Rashtra, nothing would be tolerated connected with the Muslims. This is a very worrisome development.

Dawat Sehroza 22-11-15 article translated by translationsonline.in@gmail.com

One Comment

  1. M a quader says:

    Sir’ children may soon be taught that Gandhi had murdered VEER N. Gogse.

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