The sly ignoble Rajput Digvijay Singh is back !

via Dr. Vijaya Rajiva published on September 17, 2011

The Congress is in a quandary and is pulling out all the stops after the Surpreme Court sent the legal case on the 2002 riots back to the trial court in Gujarat, clearly a rebuff to the party and the many NGOs including that dubious character Teesta Setalvad who had been running a 9 year long hate campaign against Narendra Modi while herself in the process of bribing witnesses and fabricating evidence (as seen in the Best Bakery case).  The process followed by the Supreme Court is a vindication of the supremacy of law in India. The nay sayers have not gotten their way after all.

The Congress’s spokespersons have reappeared from the woodwork, especially the ignoble Rajput who is trying to do a makeover. However, nothing except prayaschitt will save him from the ignominy of being a Hindu who consistently bad mouthed an innocent Hindu sannyasin to please his mistress/boss. She at least can claim to be a non Hindu and her upbringing and poor educational background had not prepared her for understanding or respecting Hinduism and since the Christian West’s ancient dream was to convert Hindu India (and this can be seen from the time of Max Mueller the Indologist himself ) her sins are of a lesser order, at least in this regard. Her crime, therefore, is not against Hindu India so much as the attack on the defenceless middle aged woman Rajbala who was left after June 4, 2011 completely paralysed for life. If the crime is indeed hers (as reported by journalists) concerning who ordered the attack on June 4, 2011 on a peaceful nonviolent crowd, then she can make her peace with her God (as the present writer has said in a previous article). We can leave it at that. But if her goal is to impose constant suffering on the Hindu masses by her larger agenda, then that becomes a different question altogether.

Digvijay Singh surfaced a few days ago on an NDTV program(Newsmaker of the day) with Barkha Dutt. Here in this interview he commented on Narendra Modi’s decision to hold a fast for three days to continue the process of  communal harmony in Gujarat where he has been overwhelmingly  voted to power by the people of Gujarat (much to the chagrin of the hate Modi cottage industry). The victims of the Gujarat riots of 2002 left some 800 Muslims and 200 Hindus dead, not to mention the 59 Hindu men, women and children who were roasted to death on the Godhra train, which then launched the revenge attack on the Muslims. This riot has been described by no less a person than sociologist Ashish Nandy as being similar to the partition riots of 1946-1947. There was no state sponsorship here as the hate Modi campaigners have alleged.

The hate mongers have tried to pin the blame on Narendra Modi and the government of Gujarat as a state sponsored attack on the Muslims. This ploy is not working. Their hypocritical attempts to get him to apologise for something he did not do, have also been exposed. They were hoping to get him to resign, right from the start, as senior journalist Swapan Das Gupta has pointed out. The hidden political agenda behind the clamour for an apology from Shri Modi is precisely this, to get him to step down, so that the Congress would then try to take over. Their interest has never been about the victims of the riots, but solely to unseat Shri Modi. The crocodile tears they shed for the victims conceal the hatred they have nurtured these long years between the two communities. Without that hatred their occupation is gone, literally (financially !) in this case. Teesta Setalwad then can no longer rave and rant and give shrill speeches on television. What would she do without that CAUSE ? Communal enmity must be stoked, in her grand design.

Narendra Modi as a devout Hindu has decided to commence a fast for continued communal harmony. A creative and welcome suggestion, even though Gujarat has since 2002 not experienced any communal disturbances. Digvijay Singh made it known that he welcomed this fast, if Shri Modi would undertake it in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, and not in that of Guru Golwalkar the Hindu philosopher. It was a brief comment but long enough to display either his genuine ignorance of Golwalkar’s philosophy or a feigned ignorance in order to strike at the Sangh Parivar, for whom Guru Golwalkar is an important inspirational figure. He does not miss an opportunity !

The anchor Barkha Dutt let the comment pass since she too is in no position to enlighten him or the audience on Golwalkar. Some of the anchors in the English electronic media are even holders of doctorates, but few have read Golwalkar. Here  the fault lies not in themselves but in their stars ! (the liberal scholars who have deliberately misrepresented Golwalkar’s philosophy). And judging from the television programs even those without doctorates are indeed well educated and well read and gifted people in their own right.

The present writer believes that Gandhiji was indeed a towering figure but for present day India, Guru Golwalkar, with his Hindu mellowness is a better philosopher for our times. There is a lack of dogmatism in his thinking, unlike Gandhiji who was often harsh in his judgments and certainly not flexible. Guru Golwalkar advocated communal harmony as an aspect of Hindu Dharma. One of the clearest expositions of Golwalkar’s thought can be found in Dr. Shrinivas Tilak’s recent book Reawakening to a secular Hindu nation (2008). One cannot recommend this book too highly since it is not only a clear exposition but one written by a scholar who is well versed both in the Vedic tradition and as well in Western thought. He also reads Golwalkar in the original Marathi.

Golwalkar understood Dharma in its Vedic sense as being a universal, all encompassing, existential entity that unfolded in its own trajectory and ensured peace and harmony in society, and preserving the individuality of living beings. Dharma ensures both welfare in this world and welfare in the other world. This feature comes out in the word Viswa. It stands for a totality that is made up of composite parts which retain their individuality. As Dr.Tilak explains it Dharma as Viswa constitutes the central category of Golwalkar’s thought.

Ethically, Viswa manifests as reasonable reciprocal concern for the other. This thought is restated in the Bhagavad Gita (6:29-32). It is about the welfare of self in reasonable reciprocal concern for one another. Hence, it asks for a harmonizing relationship between individuals and communities. All individuals are equally free and autonomous to make their own choices and decisions in the realm of religion and spirituality. According to Golwalkar a non Hindu who is a citizen of India has to follow his/her national responsibility(rashtradharma), civic duty (samajadharma) and family responsibilities(kula dharma) like the rest of the Hindu population. Only in his /her personal faith (vyaktidharma) can one choose any path that satisfies one’s spiritual or theological urge.

“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 civilisation 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 the 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, 18-19).

As a modern Hindu 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.

While others in the Congress party may make their peace with their gods, Digvijay Singh will do his own prayaschitt as he sees fit. Until that happens his calls for an apology from Shri Modi are empty noises, and possibly worse. He has stopped bad mouthing an innocent Hindu sannyasin for now. Perhaps he can follow up with an apology also, rather than play the old tired game of Congress politics as usual .


(The writer taught Political Philosophy at a Canadian university)

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