Russian Nationalism through the eyes of an Indian nationalist – IV
by Radha Rajan on 01 Dec 2018 27 Comments

The Hindu Faustian deal


Referring to Harvard’s motto ‘Veritas’, Solzhenitsyn prefaced his hard-hitting Harvard lecture in 1978 with the Hindu-like aphorism, “Truth eludes us if we do not concentrate our attention totally on its pursuit”. And then he went on to take the American dream apart piece by piece.


A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course, there are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life.


Political and intellectual bureaucrats show depression, passivity, and perplexity in their actions and in their statements, and even more so in theoretical reflections to explain how realistic, reasonable, as well as intellectually and even morally worn it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. And decline in courage is ironically emphasized by occasional explosions of anger and inflexibility on the part of the same bureaucrats when dealing with weak governments and with countries not supported by anyone, or with currents which cannot offer any resistance. But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists. Should one point out that from ancient times declining courage has been considered the beginning of the end? (Solzhenitsyn at Harvard, June 1978)

Solzhenitsyn was taunting America, the western world and the United Nations for failing to summon the courage and the will to deal with communism and communist Soviet Union; we must remember that in 1978, in the western, white Christian, capitalist political lexicon, ‘international terrorists’ did not mean jihadis. The world may never know if he lived to rue the day he goaded the US to intervene in his country’s internal affairs, but on that fateful day at Harvard, Solzhenitsyn in 1978 like Gorbachev in 1991 was actually pleading with America and the rest of the western world to come to Russia’s aid.

And yet exactly three years ago, in June 1975, Solzhenitsyn had bemoaned the immoral and to him completely incomprehensible partnership and even collusion between the governments of the US and the Soviet Union –

But just as we feel ourselves your allies here, there also exists another alliance - at first glance a strange and surprising one, but if you think about it, one which is well-founded and easy to understand: this is the alliance between our communist leaders and your capitalists.

This alliance is not new. The very famous Armand Hammer, who flourishes here today, laid the basis for this when he made the first exploratory trip to Soviet Russia in Lenin’s time, in the very first years of the Revolution. He was extremely successful in his reconnaissance mission and ever since then, for all these fifty years, we see continuous and steady support by the business men of the West for the Soviet Communist leaders. The clumsy and awkward Soviet economy, which could never cope with its difficulties on its own, is continually getting material and technological assistance. The major construction projects in the initial five year plan were built exclusively with American technology and materials. Even Stalin recognized that two-thirds of what was needed was obtained from the West. And if today the Soviet Union has powerful military and police forces - in a country which is poor by contemporary standards - forces which are used to crush our movement for freedom in the Soviet Union - we have Western capital to thank for this as well....


And if today persons are being hunted down by the best and most advanced technology, for this I can also thank your Western capitalists.


This is something which is almost incomprehensible to the human mind: a burning greed for profit that goes beyond all reason, all self-control, all conscience, only to get money. (Solzhenitsyn, June 30, 1975, address to trade-union leaders of AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C, published in Warning to the West, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, pp 11,12,13)


One must wonder at Solzhenitsyn’s surprise and anger and even bewilderment at what he terms “burning greed for profit”. He chose to see the evil of the Soviet regime as being rooted in communism and the debasement of what he thought was western culture as being rooted in western capitalism that was untamed by “reason, self-control and conscience”. Solzhenitsyn was angry with America and other western nations for colluding with successive Soviet regimes for reasons of trade, commerce and profit, while ignoring the repression, total loss of freedom, and the brutality of all state apparatus in dealing with ordinary people.[1]


In short, Solzhenitsyn judged America and the West harshly only because of what he thought was their indifference to the brutality of communist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern European Soviet Bloc and their indifference to the silent pain of Russian people. And yet, even if Solzhenitsyn was ignorant about the broad details of world history, he ought to have known the history of his religion; considering he defined his nationalism as being Russian and Christian.


Solzhenitsyn’s ignorance or refusal to make the connection between trade and the expansionist Church, between the Church and colonialism, and his ignorance or refusal to acknowledge the methods used by the Church and her missionaries to fulfill Jesus’ expansionist political mandate only betrays the fact that his intellectual output and the information he had gathered over the years but failed to decode, were both trapped within the faith in his religion. Ignoring the depredations wreaked by the Church and European colonialism around the world, he spoke and wrote about the evils of communism in America and Europe as if it were an aberration of Christian values.

Asian and African nations and peoples, victims of the Church and colonialism, lay the very same sins at the doors of western white Christian colonial nations that Solzhenitsyn laid at the door of communism - brutal repression of basic freedoms, plundering of natural resources, punishment and execution without trial, crushing farmers, reducing entire regions to artificially created famine and starvation, every crime against humanity which Solzhenitsyn accused communists of perpetrating against his people, was perpetrated for centuries by colonial countries, including America. But it is to this America and to these western nations that Solzhenitsyn was calling out to intervene to check the Soviet Union.

Solzhenitsyn, by inviting America, the UN and other western countries to deal with the growing global influence of communist Soviet Union, may actually have planted the idea of coloured revolutions and the concept of “humanitarian intervention” which would soon expand into the monstrous invade-and-occupy policy by the US and its allies in the western world with UN complicity. Only this time Christian colonialism would metamorphose into liberal Christian democracy and the naked greed of capitalist trade would become globalization.

Substitute ‘West’ and ‘Western world’ with Hindu and replace ‘bureaucrats’ with Hindus in politics and bureaucracy since 1947, and what Solzhenitsyn said about big brave America in his Harvard address is just as true about Hindu intellectuals. The Hindu “intellectual elite” and Hindu “ruling groups” have not only exhibited “depression, passivity and perplexity” in their speech and actions vis-à-vis hostile religions and political ideologies in the country, the policies and principles governing their actions have been based on their own weakness and cowardice besides a total lack of vision about this nation and an understanding of the basis of nationhood.


In short, Nehruvian secularism provided Hindus with the all-covering fig-leaf behind which to hide their cowardice and corrosive self-interest. Worse, the Hindu intellectual elite and ruling groups are guilty of entering into a Faustian deal with every anti-Hindu force inside the country and outside. At the heart of Hindu political disempowerment are the general and pervasive fall in character of the Hindu community, and the systemic political disempowerment of Hindus in post-independence Nehruvian secular India. The decline in courage and visible unwillingness to frontally confront Islam, Christianity and Nehruvian polity is visible and the results are there for our adversaries to see and gloat.

Weakness and cowardice compounded by wishful thinking about Islam and Christianity (we can make them see reason through inter-faith dialogue) and about our own invincibility (Hinduism is indestructible) best describe Hindu physical and intellectual response to Abrahamic violence and threat to the territory of Hindu bhumi. The declining courage that is so palpable among Hindu thinkers and Hindu political leaders across political parties signals the beginning of the end of Hindu influence on the nation’s polity; this trend began in the last phase of the freedom struggle, after the creation of the Indian National Congress and was accelerated during the Gandhi years culminating in the vivisection of the Hindu bhumi in 1947 followed by anti-Hindu Nehruvian secularism.

The Hindu nation, 71 years after vivisection, is still threatened with loss of territory and consequently with loss of its Hindu identity. Loss of Hindu territory to Islam and Christianity is leading to loss of Hindu political power and Hindu influence in polity because except for Savarkar we have failed to produce even one Hindu political ideologue/theorist in the last 200 years who had a political understanding of the Hindu nation and saw the danger posed by Abrahamic faiths and their derivative philosophies to our nationhood.


Hindu political commentators and even effective administrators, for reasons Hindus have never cared to analyze, have not been political thinkers and theorists; Hindu thinkers have never been Hindu political thinkers or theorists, and Hindu nationalists more often than not have proved that they lack political sense and have so far not even considered leave alone demonstrated the strategic intent of Hindu nationalism. This disjunct was best exemplified by Aurobindo, Tilak, Hedgewar, Gandhi, Patel, Golwalkar and now Narendra Modi. Skilful Hindu ministers and parliamentarians in post-independent India who could have served the Hindu nation well chose to enter into a Faustian deal with anti-Hindu Nehruvian secularism, better known as politics of minority-ism.


The suicidal either/or disconnect between being thinker and political thinker, between politician and ideologue, between activist and theorist, between governance and ideology, social work and politics, and between religion and nation, which is so peculiar to post-Macaulay Hindu community, has resulted in loss of Hindu territory and Hindu political disempowerment today. Worst of all, an average English-educated self-absorbed Hindu like Aesop’s fox, will hide his lack of political sense in a show of bogus fastidious distaste for “politics”.

Despite the humiliating loss of territory to an alien religion and because of this infamous Hindu disconnect between ordinary intelligence and political intelligence, Hindus have also failed till the present day to define in no uncertain language and idiom, the character of this nation and the basis of nationhood.


(To be concluded …)


The author is a political thinker and author three books: NGOs, Activists and Foreign Funds (Ed. with Dr. Krishen Kak); Eclipse of the Hindu Nation; and Jammu and Kashmir: Dilemma of Accession. 

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