Advice to Mallika Sarabhai : Relax

via Dr. Vijaya Rajiva published on September 18, 2011

On a prime time show on Times Now (anchored by Arnaub Goswami) discussing the Narendra Modi fast, both Congress spokesperson Renuka Chauduri and independent candidate Mallika Sarabhai were present, along with lawyers from Gujarat. Renuka, as per usual smirked at the camera and on one occasion gave a hysterical laugh. The cameraperson, either by coincidence, or good judgment, cut away, but one heard the laugh nevertheless. Equally, her partner on this topic, Mallika, also engaged in a Dracula like laugh. Once again, the cameraman cut away, but one heard this macabre laugh anyway.

After her defeat in the 2009 elections against Mr.Advani, Sarabhai does not seem to have learned any lessons. The people of Gujarat are no longer impressed with this individual from an upper class family (daughter of scientist Vikram Sarabhai and famed dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai), who goes slumming every now and then. Her latest cause is the hate campaign against Shri Narendra Modi. She has failed to realize that her upper crust antics cannot impress the sturdy voters of Gujarat. Shri Modi is from a hardworking respectable lower middle class family who rose from the ranks and won his spurs by hard work and thrift. The Gujarati voter, hard working and also entrepreneurial, recognizes in him a kindred spirt.

Now, it is not her fault that Mallika belongs to the ‘Beautiful People’ crowd ( although lately her visuals have not been very prepossessing). She simply does not get it, even though she flagged off the Modi fast with her own feeding- of- the- poor event. This upper class sporadic philanthropy simply does not cut it.

She is better advised to get back to her dance form. Social acitivist she simply is not. She is not another Medha Patkar. One feels sorry for her. She should let the Indian judiciary do its work, without her  ill timed histrionics.Perhaps she could abandon the street politics and photo ops. and take a leaf from another anti Modi politician, Digvijay Singh, who has made it known that he welcomes the Modi fast provided Shri Modi would imitate Mahatma Gandhi, not Guru Golwalkar, the Sangh Parivar’s inspirational figure.

This was something of a slip, since  in spite of all the propaganda against him, Golwalkar, for those who have read his work, remains an inspiring Hindu philosopher.

At any rate, invoking Gandhiji does not sit well with a politician whose record in Bihar is itself somewhat blemished, owing to the charges of corruption. There is also his endless slandering of an innocent Hindu sannyasin, Swami Ramdev(to please his boss) and his behind the scenes involvement in that atrocious event of June 4, 2011, on the Ramlila grounds. Hindu voters will want to see some genuine prayaschitt from this politician, followed up by an apology.

The unmistakeable fact is that India is ready for a modern Hindu philosopher such as Guru Golwalkar, the inspirational figure of the Sangh Parivar. Dharmic Hinduism is asserting its spiritual qualities as  well it  should. And this can be clearly seen in his work.

His call for a revival of the Dharmic values of compassion and tolerance are necessary now in India where the hate campaigners against Hindu figures have spread their poison over the years.

As scholar Dr. Shrinivas Tilak has said in his study of Golwalkar :

“ Golwalkar posited that the present day Indian society and nation would need an equivalent of the modern notion of civil religion that is nevertheless rooted in Dharma and in the civilization of India. This would require a conscious reformulation of Dharma to make it more acceptable to the majority of Indians as well as one that is more compatible with the needs of a modern secular state. The move to reawaken to it and to recreate a Hindu nation would not be one of return to primordial unity as it once existed in ancient times but rather one of rebuilding a compatible structure without eliminating the now existing diversity, plurality, or individuality” (Reawakening to a secular Hindu nation, 2008,18-19).

As a modern Hindu Shri Narendra Modi is attempting this very task, the rule of Dharma as both material and spiritual welfare, guaranteeing the individuality of the various communities that make up the body politic of the nation.

As another great Hindu nationalist Dr.Shyam Prasad Mukherji (who was murdered in a Kashmir prison ) put it : there is no need to reject anything good and creative from any other source, Western or non Hindu (Lectures in Integral Humanism). Hinduism can absorb all that and more.  Modi is showing his awareness of this principle. Macaulay’s children have had their hey day. It is time for modern Hinduism. And the hate mongers should stop jumping up and down.

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university).

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