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Is Hindu Rashtra Unnecessary? India Became Hindu Raj in 1947

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Is Hindu Rashtra Unnecessary? India Became Hindu Raj in 1947

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By: Saeed Naqvi

How indistinguishable the Congress ideologically is from the BJP was the theme of the main edit page article written by French scholars Christophe Jaffrelot and Gilles Verniers in the Indian Express on October 5.

The editor grasped the heart of the matter and gave it an apt headline: Congress and the BJP, “Tweedledum and Tweedledee”. The Jaffrelot-Verniers duet have, for their laboratory, focused on Gujarat – on how principal leaders have swung from one side to the other, repeatedly, like trapeze artistes in a circus.

I suspect this is the beginning of a wider research because the Tweedledum-Tweedledee image is applicable to all regions wherever there is some Congress presence. In most places it looks like the BJP’s B team, and has conceded spaces to it for that very reason.

In recent decades there have been two distinct postures the Congress has struck towards the BJP. In Madhya Pradesh, under the leadership of Arjun Singh and Digvijay Singh, the party has taken the BJP head on. There was no other force to combat.

In Kerala, particularly under K. Karunakaran’s chief ministership, the party turned to the Sangh Parivar, whenever help was required for electoral battle with the Left Front. In fact Karunakaran was a master at ambidextrous politics. On one occasion in Kozhikode he maneuvered the Congress, BJP and Muslim League on the same side to defeat CPM’s T.K. Hamza.

Is Hindu Rashtra Unnecessary? India Became Hindu Raj in 1947 - 1What has been the result of the Congress grappling with Hindutva in Bhopal or flirting with it in Thiruvanthapauram?

State and district level Muslim congress leaders I met last week in Indore, Dhar and Mandu painted a dismal picture of their circumstance. Their party’s high command in New Delhi or Bhopal took them for granted. “TINA (There Is No Alternative) factor applies to us” Mohammad Kamran, youth Congress leader lamented. When a Muslim majority village was gutted, no “senior” (for which read “Hindu”) congress leader turned up to inquire.

Circumstances in Rajasthan are similar. When 10 Muslims were shot dead by policemen in Gopalgarh in 2011, an hour’s drive from Delhi, neither Rahul Gandhi nor Home Minister, P. Chidambaram considered it worth their while to visit despite several delegations imploring them to do so. This was the first instance in the country of police firing inside a mosque.

In Kerala, the frequent Congress dependence on sectarian groups has had the effect of slowly opening the door just enough for Hindutva forces to make a bid for replacing the Congress. That this process has been slow is attributable to the state’s distinct and enlightened social structure.

This did not deter Karunakaran from his efforts to “Brahminize” Rajiv Gandhi who, in his perception, would not graduate from the ranks of the “Baba log” without persistent “ang pradarshan” or ritual prayers at the Krishna temple in Guruvayur. Whether Rajiv transited to becoming a Brahmin or even a Hindu is less than clear. What is certain is that he developed a taste for Guruvayur’s famous rice and milk pudding, payasam, large quantities of which were made available for his extended family’s New Year celebrations at Lakshadweep islands.

Rajiv Gandhi’s unprecedented victory in the December 1984 elections (404 seats in House of 514) was interpreted as Hindu consolidation in response to minority communalism which had resulted in Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Even the party, treasurer, Sitaram Kesari, non communal to his finger tips, interpreted the mandate in majoritarian terms.

In 1986, V.N. Gadgil, among the more enlightened General Secretaries of the Congress, told me in great confidence: “the feeling is widespread among Hindus, that Muslims were being appeased.”

This thinking guided subsequent Congress actions, making it just as indistinguishable from the BJP as Jeffrelot and Verniers found it in Gujarat. How “appeased” the Muslims were became clear in the Sachar Committee report on their social-economic conditions during sixty years of Congress rule. They had, in their social status, tumbled below the lowest Dalits.

Ranganath Misra Commission’s recommendations to help Muslims out of the plight described by Sachar Committee, was placed on the shelf where it gathers dust to this day.

Srikrishna Commission which named politicians directly involved in Mumbai riots of 1992-93 in which 900 people (majority of them Muslims) were killed and their shops and houses gutted, has remained secret.

It would require amnesia of a very high order to heap all the credit for the brazen saffronization at Naendra Modi’s door. It would require magic or miracle to have advanced the Hindutva cause with such rapidity in three years. Frankly, the ground has been prepared over the past 70 years.

We must not forget, the Hindu Mahasabha, RSS, Akhil Bharatiya Ram Rajya Parishad and elements in the Congress were quite “indistinguishable” one from the other all along.

The founder of the Hindu Mahasabha, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was a four time President of the Congress. His vision of India would not have been very different from that of the Banaras Hindu University which he founded.

Rajeshwar Dayal, the first Home Secretary of UP, in his memoirs, A Life of Our Times, mentions an astonishing story about Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, UP’s first Chief Minister and RSS supremo Guru Golwalkar. The RSS chief was found with a trunk load of incriminating evidence of extensive plans for communal violence in Western UP. The Chief Minister however enabled him to escape.

It all leads to the inescapable conclusion, argued in my book “Being The Other: The Muslim in India”. Having accepted Mountbatten’s June 3, 1947, plan for the Partition of India, Congress de facto accepted the Two-Nation theory while publicly arguing against it. Dissembling was essential to keep Kashmir. On August 15, 1947, India seamlessly glided from British Raj to Hindu Raj. It could have been named Hindustan (just as the other country was called Pakistan). With Hindu at the helm a more honest bargain on sharing power would have been possible. The painful process of a second distillation for a Hindu Rashtra could have been avoided.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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AAP claims Arvind Kejriwal lost 8.5 kg, Tihar jail rebuts

Not 8.5 Kgs but Kejriwal lost around 3.5 Kgs during his incarceration period in prison.

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The authorities in Tihar jail on Monday addressed the accusations of Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that the Delhi Chief Minister has lost 8.5 kg weight through his term of imprisonment, saying not 8.5 Kgs but Kejriwal lost around 3.5 Kgs during his incarceration period in prison.

This was only after one of the confessed BJP’s was planning to destroy Kejriwal’s life by ignoring his medical needs as a diabetic. In contradiction, Tihar prison representatives, according to reports, disclosed that the chief minister has only lost 2 kg of weight from March 30 till now, and he is under the scrutiny of a medical board comprised of doctors from AIIMS.

It all started when AAP leader and Delhi Minister Atishi on Sunday claimed that Kejriwal had a drop in his weight of 8.5 kg after his arrest and his blood sugar continued to be below normal levels several times while in care.

AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh painted a picture of doom by stating that Tihar doctors had verified Kejriwal’s weight loss, mentioning the consequences of excessive health complications due to hypoglycemia. However, the Tihar prison administration denied the claims of AAP, which were sent to the home department of Delhi by saying they were misleading and detrimental to the prison, and were crafted to weaken trust in the prison system.

The authority alleged that they see a report each time the measurements are done; it makes them do their work better, as Kejriwal’s doctor uses it to monitor his condition. Prison staff stated that all necessary health care is provided to him, and he is always fed three times a day with home-cooked meals.

They were vociferous in condemning a plot, saying that the aim was to damage the image of the prison with wrong tales. As stated by Tihar-based medical documents, Kejriwal’s weight was 65 kg on April 1, as he got into the prison, and 66 kg from April 8 to 29. After getting back to jail on June 2, following a 21-day intermediary bail, his weight went down to 63.5 kg.

On July 14, his weight reduced further to 61.5 kg. Thus, a total of 2 kg was lost during his detention. The health condition of Kejriwal is still monitored by the AIIMS medical board, and updates on his health are being regularly given to his wife, Sunita Kejriwal.

However, there is the AAP that is adamant about their affirmative claims, stating that the act of reporting the documents without his go-ahead is illegal and also gives the impression that there are activities going on with the ultimate goal of getting rid of him.

This was followed a few months later by his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation on June 26 in a corruption case that revolved around the same case. Although he was granted anticipatory bail by possibly the apex court filed in the case of money laundering, he is still detained due to the ongoing corruption case.

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Hemant Soren meets PM Modi in Delhi, first meeting after release from jail

He secured bail and became chief minister again on July 4.

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Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday in Delhi. This was his first meeting with the Prime Minister after he was released from jail where he spent around five months.

Taking to X, Jharkhand Chief Minister said that the meeting was a courtesy call. Notably, he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 31 this year in connection with a money laundering case related to an alleged land scam.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) executive president had spent around five months in prison, he secured bail and became chief minister again on July 4.

On July 3, JMM leader and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Soren stepped out of the Birsa Munda Jail in Ranchi Friday following the grant of bail by the Jharkhand High Court.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rongon Mukhopadhyay, while granting bail, noted that the Court’s findings satisfy the condition that there exist reasons to believe that Soren is not guilty of the PMLA offence he has been accused of.

Following Soren’s bail on July 3, the outgoing Chief Minister Champai Soren had said that the party alliance decided to elect Hemant Babu (Hemant Soren) as leader, after which he resigned from his post. Champai Soren tendered his resignation to Governor C P Radhakrishnan and soon after Hemant Soren staked a claim to form the government. Soren along with alliance party leaders met the Governor after he reached Ranchi on July 3 evening from outside. Hemant Soren took oath as the 13th Chief Minister of the State on July 4 again.

Meanwhile, earlier today, BJP leader Deepak Prakash claimed that Hemant Soren’s government of 4.5 years has been one that wreaks havoc on the public, one that takes away employment from the youth. Hemant Soren’s government is a synonym for corruption. The government has been involved in a mining scam, a tender scam and one that has brought jungle raj in the state, he added.  

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NDA numbers drop below Rajya Sabha majority mark, can impact passage of bills

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With the completion of the term of four Rajya Sabha MPs, the BJP’s number fell by the same number.

Since the current strength of the Upper House is 225, the BJP’s numbers now stood at 86 and the National Democratic Alliance led by it has 101 members, which is less than the majority mark of 113.

The members whose term ended on Saturday are Rakesh Sinha, Ram Shakal, Mahesh Jethmalani and Sonal Mansingh. They had been chosen by President Droupadi Murmu on the advice of the BJP as non-aligned members and later joined the party cohort.

The Congress-led INDIA bloc has 87 members, the Congress with 26, Trinamool Congress 13, AAP 10, DMK 10. The remaining members are from parties that are not in either camps.

What this means is that the BJP will need the help of other unaligned parties to get bills passed. These range from Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK and the YSRCP and the Biju Janata Dal. Both the governments of the YSRCP and the BJD were voted out in the recent assembly elections.  While the BJD has earlier lent issue based support, it has announced it will not return similar favours now, especially after the BJP won the assembly election.

The AIADMK had split from the NDA ahead late last year in anticipation of the Lok Sabha elections. It had claimed its continuance in the NDA would hurt its Lok Sabha prospects from the state.

Similarly, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi of K Chandrashekhar Rao also can help the BJP. With so much dependent on parties that have bene sidelined in recent polls, the BJP has a bigger job of coralling the numbers in the Upper House than running the NDA coalition, which is purring along since the election victory.

Some 20 seats are vacant in the House and elections to these will fill the total number of Rajya Sabha seats.

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