Friday, October 25, 2013

The Man Who Would Be Prime Minister 17.09.2013

The Man Who Would be Prime Minister

By Teesta Setalvad

A bastion of moral superiority possible largely because it's duplicity is not called to question by an intimidated media, the Bharatiya Janata Party which is the parliamentary wing of the anti-Constitutional, proto-fascist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) fibally took its moral ambivalence to new heights when it annointed Narendta Modi as it Prime Minister in waiting last Friday. There was no shying away from the fact that a supremacist organisation that has no love lost for either the Indian Constitution drafted by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar or the Indian tricolour that symbolises our struggle against colonial yoke strongly embedded with India's diversity pushed Modi to the frontrunner post.

The man that RSS would be our Prime Minister still faces serious charges in a Court and the matter of criminal culpability for mass crimes against minorities in 2002 is far from closed. That matter lies before the Magistrate and awaits judgement.
Not all the collective efforts of the BJP and their sympathisers could erase their fact, never mind the services of hired intellectuals to perform the BJP and Modi's hatchet jobs.
As the country as now been thrust this unsavoury choice, it is worth recalling what makes the RSS tick as also the complexities of the Modi mystique. The Urban upper caste Hindu that appears to vocalise his support base adulates him for his ‘achievements’ (sic) in 2002 as much as for the hollow call of 'development.' Many among his support base are happy precisely because he taught 'those Muslims a lesson.'

Modi was at his best between 2002-2004 when the Courts had not read him their very own riot act. It was only repeated chastisements by the Supreme Court that embarassed Modi into his sulky silence. Before that he was brazen and true to style. The Indian Express reported (in 2003) but has chosen to forget reminding its readers since, that, Modi had warned, "Journalists covering communal riots in Gujarat would meet the fate of a Daniel Pearl!" Charming ? Here's More.

Unedited versions of his speech at Becharaji, Mehsana (9.9.2002) to set off his election yatra --- that even the National Commission of Minorities under the NDA found objectionable --- are downright humiliating and full of hatred of Muslims. Vibrant versions of this vitreol earlier freely available on U-tube have been conveniently pulled off by his loyal fan club to avoid the long hands of justice.
A day after former Chief Justice of India Justice VN Khare retired (May 2004)  Modi petulantly said at Lucknow "Khare or Khote?" He was deriding a man who had spoken out firmly against the Outrage in Gujarat in 2002 and the deliberate subversion of institutions of justice delivery under Modi the state's home minister. Modi was similarly insulting of another former Chief Justice, Justice Verma who's Report (NHRC) had caused lasting and substantive damage to the false claims of Modi and his Delhi-based coterie. In 2002, Advani the man now sidelined and sulking had stepped in with other hawks to save Modi politically when other moderates within the party had been convinced of Vajpayee's decision to sack him as chief minister.
How the wheels have turned, and how can Advani appear as Moderate, the man who flanked by Chandan Mitra (editor Pioneer) and Swapan Dasgupta (claiming to be a political commentator) chanted in glee at Faizabad-Ayidhya on 6.12.1992-- Ek Dhakka Aur Do, Babri Masjid Tod Do ?
That's what happens then when the poison of majoritarianism and communalism seeps into the body politic and is given the veneer of respectability. That is the true and poisonous success of the BJP/RSS. Ask the diehard RSS man or woman (including Modi) where they stand on the Indian tricolour? Remember he ends his speeches with  'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' never 'Jai Hind' which was the rallying cry for our movement for freedom from colonial rule.

Just on the eve of Independence [14 August 1947] the RSS English organ, Organizer, used the following foul language against the Tri-colour, the new National Flag of India: “The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour but it never [sic] be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.” After Independence, the most prominent ideologue of the RSS, MS Golwalkar, kept on demanding that National Flag should be replaced with saffron flag.

What is Hindutva/Modi ji’s take on it? Is it an issue which concerns the minorities alone or should it matter to each and all of us who care for the survival of this nation and its people as a democracy ?
The spoken word tells us as much as the potent silences. For a man desperate to be noticed, who squeaks at every turn, his (and his aide, Amit Shah's) silence on Muzaffarnagar has been deafening. Over 60 dead and missing, forty thousand Muslims condemned as internally displaced in their own land a la Gujarat, destruction of a few thousand crores, reports of gender violence and rape; irresponsible hate speech and vitreol; a complicit administration that allowed communal temperatures to build up over five long months. And Modi the BJP's election mascot has nothing to say?

It is in this context that the other sinister comment of Modi must be read and understood. When he proudly says I am a 'Hindu Nationalist" it is not an innocent remark but a clear warning of how things under him will be shaped. It reflects the assertion of a deeply held belief in supremacy and majoritarianism; a belief that runs contrary to the carefully evolved tenets of the Indian Constitution that laid the foundations of our Republic.

It is on these parametres that the projection of Modi, a RSS pracharak as Prime Minister must be evaluated and understood. As an individual and as a symbol he stands for everything that is antithetical to Bharat, India and the Constitutional. Against the egalitarianism, the freedom, the non-discrimination that are fundamental to this dream.


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