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Mainstream, VOL LV No 30 New Delhi July 15, 2017

We Are All Saying . . . . . . . Not In My Name

Sunday 16 July 2017

by Binoy Viswam

The Sabarmati Ashram speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was widely discussed in the country. The speech and the place he chose to deliver it definitely reflect the cunningness of RSS politics. Without any hesitation the Prime Minister was trying to wash his hands from the series of killings of human beings in the name of the cow. His sole intention was to tell the international community that he and his government had nothing to do with the episodes of cold-blooded murder carried out by the Sangh Parivar elements in various parts of India. As he spends half his time abroad, the Prime Minster knows that such repeated events would tarnish his hard-built image far and near. While consciously wearing the garb of innocence, Narendra Modi and his storm-troopers very well know that the truth is quite far from his words. That is why on the same day he uttered those words in Sabarmati Ashram one more killing took place in which swayamsevaks of Gau Raksha were the culprits.

At Sabarmati the honourable Prime Minister was profusely showering praise on Mahatma Gandhi as if he had become a Gandhian overnight. He wondered himself, how could this kind of happenings take place in the land of the Mahatma, the prophet of Ahimsa? In order to find out the answer for this question he has to traverse back to January 30, 1948, the day on which Mahatma Gandhi himself was brutally murdered. That point-blank killing of the Father of the Nation unmasked before the whole world the fierce face of the ideology of intolerance. That emerged in the Indian political scenario in 1925 through the birth of the RSS. Since then an aggressive version of religious faith came into existence. And that aggressive faith, in the course of time, naturally found its ideological kinship with the teachings of racial pride professed by Mussolini and Hitler.

And they unhesitantly declared their goal of a Hindu Rashtra, where the Muslims, Christians and Communists are to be treated as internal enemies of the nation. It is that ‘bunch of thoughts’ which inspired Nathuram Vinayak Godse to trigger the bullets on Mahatma Gandhi, the Hindu who dedicated his life for Hindu-Muslim unity. The swayamsevaks of yesterday and today are the ardent followers of that very same ideology which is fashioned to be called ‘Hindutva’. Gau Rakshaks are yet another branch of the Parivar holding unquestionable allegiance to the teachings of Hindutva. In Sabarmati Narendra Modi pretended himself as a man who knows nothing about the ideological evolution of cow politics.

History tells us that the cow was made instru-mental by the communal forces to sow the seeds of conflict in Indian society. In colonial days, when the British imperialists where applying the strategy of ‘divide and rule’, cow vigilantism in its infant stage had played its role. Under the Sangh Parivar rule cow vigilantism has achieved a place of glory with the proactive support of those in power including Narendra Modi himself. It was none other than the Union Ministers and ruling party leaders uttering the ‘go-to-Pakistan’ slogans. It was with the covert and overt connivance of Sangh Parivar stalwarts that all these killings of innocent people took place. Those who did these heinous crimes know it very well that their ideological cousins are at helm of affairs in the country. Otherwise such repeated incidents could not have happened.

Last year after the shocking incident in Una, Gujarat, the Prime Minister came out with a similar statement that also was with the same intention of befooling the people. On that occasion the Prime Minister, known for his hollow rhetoric, said that he might be killed instead of killing innocent Dalits. Let the Prime Minister and his colleagues make an evaluation of the impact of his high-sounded statements. Then they will understand that the Prime Minister’s statements have had no impact on the continuous attack of the cow vigilantes on Dalits and minorities.

For Narendra Modi, the Sabarmati speech was part of a calculated public relations exercise only. It might have served his purpose as far as the foreign heads of states are concerned. But at home, people know that it was just like the post-Una speech. Moreover, his parivar cousins are quite clear that it was only a component in the strategy of ‘bahu bhashan’, which the RSS has excelled in during its long period of existence. Everyone knows that cow-vigilantism will not be stopped by the Sabarmati drama of Narendra Modi. Under the Modi-Yogi raj Dalits and minorities will be further hunted, the cow would be treated as a political animal and cow-vigilantes would be safeguarded by saffron men in high places. Through such acts their aim is to frighten the Dalits and minorities, so that they would succumb to the diktats of the RSS.

An analysis of lynching and killing in the name of ‘gau raksha’ will call our attention to certain important constitutional aspects also. In fact cow-vigilantism runs in naked violation of the right to life (Article 21 of the Fundamental Rights chapter of the Constitution). It states that “no person shall be deprived of his/her life or personal liberty, save by procedure established by law”. In 1977 the Supreme Court ruled that the right to life had to be read with the right to equality and right to freedom (Article 14 and Article 19 of the Fundamental Rights chapter). “Any procedure that could possibly infringe on the right to life and personal liberty had to be right, just and fair and not arbitrary, fanciful and oppressive.” “We, the people of India”, under whose authority, the Constitution came into existence, witness every day the “arbitrary, fanciful and oppressive” deeds taking place in the name of the cow and in unequivocal terms condemn the same. It is with this determination that we gathered in Jantar Mantar and elsewhere, under the banner “Not in My Name”. Let Modi, Amit Shah and others read that writing on the wall in contemporary India.

The author, a former Minister of Forests and Housing in the erstwhile LDF Government in Kerala, is a member of the National Executive of the CPI.

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