Sangh Parivar dragging Modi and India down
by Krishnarjun on 27 Jan 2016 7 Comments

The NDA government is closer to its second anniversary. Much of the enthusiastic support the Bharatiya Janata Party and Narendra Modi received in May 2014 is either diffused or confused. Supporters who unanimously saw Narendra Modi as the harbinger of a new era in not just the country’s politics but for its ancient civilisation are now de-motivated and divided. At the level of routine governance the NDA may be doing a better job, but the mandate for Narendra Modi was for transformational changes, not fixing nuts and bolts in the system.


Two years is too short for visible transformation in a huge and diverse country, but the issue is that no visible attempt is being made to even show that the government is on the path of serious changes. The Prime Minister seems reluctant to assert authority vested only in him, above his party, by the majority of voters; this is encouraging the status-quoists in the power structure to undermine his authority bit by bit, creating an impression that they have prevailed and its business as usual in Delhi.


The judiciary is repeatedly encroaching and challenging the authority of the executive and legislature, but the government with an emphatic mandate from the people is showing undue deference to the judiciary’s self-righteous tantrums and diktats that trespass beyond the mandate of the constitution and the spirit of democracy.


The judiciary has become a conduit for undemocratic activism by special interests, dictating policy and procedure to the executive, as evident from the recent Jallikattu repeated ban and the self-serving judgment on the judicial appointments bill passed by Parliament and ratified by many state legislatures with two-thirds majority. The government has not responded to this blatant encroachment and serious challenge to the democratic authority of parliament.


Forces hell-bent on undermining the rise of Indian civilisation to full health are testing the weaknesses of this government through different channels from inside and outside. So far they have managed to create a perception that this government is not in control; they are actively plotting the dismemberment of Narendra Modi’s support base with some encouraging initial results.


Narendra Modi as a chief minister was seen as a fighter and that’s the big secret behind his rise. But vested with the highest authority in the country, he seems mellowed. Or is there a strategy here? Is he waiting for something? Only the next three years can answer this question, particularly after the re-election of Amit Shah as BJP national president his approach may be more visible.


The strategy of Narendra Modi so far seems to be silent constructive work on improving the economy, with focus on “Make in India”, infrastructure and projects. Business in Parliament is repeatedly blocked by an unruly opposition in the Rajya Sabha. Modi is reluctant to take steps to expedite investigation and bring the perpetrators of humongous scams under UPA to justice. His promise of action on corruption was one of the cornerstones of his campaign. Overall the impression is a risk-averse Prime Minister with a seemingly accommodative approach to even enemies.


Is it possible that the extra caution is because of internal weaknesses, chinks and possible sabotage from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (or sangh Parivar) than from external threats? The mess up caused by Mohan Bhagwat during the Bihar elections has been widely reported and acknowledged by political observers. The Gujarat local body election in rural areas showed the impact of the Patel reservation issue and rural disenchantment with the BJP performance.


These are signs of a well coordinated effort being made by anti-Modi forces, including the sangh Parivar. The aim is to prevent consolidation of his position by forcing him into fire fighting mode with a series of regular well-coordinated controversies to damage the faith of his support base.


The Prime Minister increasingly looks like a person not in control of his party and associated ideological fraternity that is running amok, generating a controversy a day. It seems the sangh parivar is not interested in the “Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat” idea of the Prime Minister and is working at cross purposes to derail it.


The Prime Minister needs support from all Indians irrespective of their socio-religious affiliations for India to emerge as a force on the global stage. The economy is leaky and under-performing and the security scenario is precarious after prolonged neglect of defense preparedness under the UPA. In this delicate scenario, why is the sangh parivar leadership behaving in an irresponsible manner weakening the position of Narendra Modi with idiotic actions and statements? Is there a deeper malaise within the sangh parivar? Is the sangh parivar inherently incapable of serious ideas and keeping the interests of country above its own self-interest and petty hate mongering?


A deeper analysis would show that the sangh parivar with an ideology frozen in the pre-independence era has become an albatross around the neck of Hindu society. After independence, for all practical purposes, India has been a country with a Hindu ethos and a huge Hindu imprint on the state. There are some issues related to minority appeasement, education and culture as a consequence of prolonged Nehruvian era and vote bank politics, to deal with which a political party with an organic national vision rooted in Indian soil would suffice.


In post-independent India, with majority Hindu population, a movement for Hindu rashtra or Hindu state is redundant, particularly when the movement itself claims the proposed Hindu rashtra would be non-discriminatory to other religions. An Indian state without pampering minorities and not averse to identifying with indigenous culture and history is as good as Hindu rashtra, though not explicitly proclaimed. If Hindu rashtra means complete overhaul of the existing Indian state, then obviously the sangh parivar has neither capacity nor declared plan or process to achieve it.


The excesses of Nehruvian secularism and its prolonged influence on Indian discourse have given some legitimacy and respectability to the ideological position of sangh parivar. In a multi-party democracy an alternative nationalistic political platform would have been enough to challenge the Nehruvian distortions of the Indian state.


It is not far from truth to suggest that the sangh parivar political activism outside the political sphere even after India became independent gave an opportunity to Nehru to emerge as a champion of secularism. He used the bogey of Hindu fundamentalism to marginalise Hindu-sympathetic conservative elements from his own party; his daughter took it forward and patronized secularism beyond proportion by aggressively promoting the anti-Hindu, leftist establishment in higher education and the arts.


Did the sangh parivar achieve any significant success in promoting Hindu interests and causes in almost a century of its existence? The answer is emphatically negative. Ultimately, it ended up supporting and interfering in a political party and tried to achieve state power through it. But what is the logic of pretending to be a cultural NGO and aspiring for power; is it to enjoy power without accountability? Why can’t the sangh parivar be open about its political ambitions and directly join the political process?


The sangh parivar argument that politics is inherently a corrupt process and to maintain own sanity and purity it keeps away from active politics doesn’t cut ice. If direct politics is a threat to its purity and purpose, indirect interference without accountability in a political party and government is a much bigger corrupting factor not limited to the sangh Parivar, but also a threat to the nation.


Then there is this spin that the sangh parivar exists to serve Hindus. All its fronts serve the cause of Hindus, to keep them united, to promote patriotism in every activity – so goes the argument. Do they exist to serve and empower Hindus or make them slaves to a single pyramid type central authority on the model of the Christian church? Hindus can serve themselves and their culture better and also remain secular in true spirit if both Hindu and secular NGOs keep away from them. The only help Hindus need to sustain their culture is a state that doesn’t actively discriminate against them.


The sangh parivar pretends like a guardian of Hindu security in their only country. But it is the Indian state and armed forces that guarantee security of the country and secure Hindu civilisation from predatory forces from outside the country. Within the country, the sangh parivar has for a century remained impotent against silent internal demographic aggression through religious conversion by evangelists and jihadi elements sponsored by foreign sources. In the face of this serious challenge all it did is clamor for a ban on religion conversions.


Religious conversion is indeed a significant internal security threat for Hindus, but its biggest catalyst and promoter is global money power. Hindus cannot honestly stop funds for religious conversion while simultaneously accepting funds for Hindu charity (which are a pittance in comparison, but they don’t want to give them up).


Then, India aspires for an economy driven by foreign investment and big MNCs, which makes space for other inputs as well. It’s a total package. When India depreciates currency for foreign investment the money power of anti-India forces increases by the same factor. Currently, Indian rupee is exchanged at one-third of purchase parity value; we sell our resources cheapest among all nations, even behind Afghanistan.


The biggest antidote for religious conversion is a renaissance in knowledge and culture. The foundation and appeal of Indian civilisation is aspiration for higher knowledge. Indian civilisation in its full original glory with knowledge, prosperity and its propensity to celebrate life would automatically be an attractive and proud inspiration for all Indians, perhaps also beyond India, in this extremely inter-connected world.


Religious organisation and regimentation of society on religious lines chokes the spirit of adventure for knowledge and freedom. Indian civilisation has ceased to be original, it has to regain this spirit and through its original approach it should strive to provide solutions for the multitudinous serious problems facing humanity and life on the planet. Religious regimentation cannot take Indian civilisation to glory.


In the current global context, the Indian state is the predominant guarantor of security and prosperity for Hindus in India and outside. It is very important that the Indian state is not inimical to Hindu interests, which means people with deep commitment to Indian civilisation should hold the reigns of power. In a democracy this can be only achieved and sustained when those with deep commitment to Indian civilisation can connect and appeal to all Indians; that is also the real test for the Hindu spirit and leadership.


There is no point torching one’s own house with petty controversies when the only significant abode for Hindus is facing grave external challenges. The assimilation of minorities is a long process and much would also depend on changes in geo-political power equations. Internal crisis and divisions will keep India tied down to licking its own wounds without any chance of recovery for Indian civilisation to achieve its potential. This is the real geo-political game, an India divided suits the status-quo of those managing global power. 


Contrary to bringing all Indians together, sangh parivar is actively antagonizing even Hindus. Because of its well established association with the BJP, the present government will have to suffer the consequences of the mindless or most likely deliberate political acts and statements of the sangh parivar.


The suicide by a member of the Ambedkar Student Association in Hyderabad Central University should ring alarm bells for the government. This is the second episode of sangh parivar intolerance on dalit organisations and arrogant power projection on campuses through the HRD ministry after IIT-Chennai. Dalit support to Narendra Modi played a significant role in the BJP’s victory, particularly in North and western India; no wonder controversies around dalit identity are being raked up supported by arrogance and mischief of the sangh parivar.


What business does the HRD ministry have to involve itself in petty regular skirmishes between students on campus and take sides? Doesn’t the minister have anything important to do? The heart wrenching suicide letter written by Rohithh Vemula expressing his deep feelings should awaken this government to the dangers of arrogant power projection by the sangh parivar fronts from the shoulders of the government. The letter suggests Rohith, a meritorious student, was a deep thinker and his aspirations resonate with the original Hindu spirit. A brilliant student from the weaker sections ended his life and it’s unfortunate that the arrogance of the BJP and sangh parivar dispensation played a role in it.


This extra-constitutional power projection from the government’s shoulders would repel significant sections of sensible Hindus who otherwise support the idea of a strong resurgent India. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi realized the dangers of this arrogant power projection from the government’s shoulders and cut down sangh parivar interference in government; this made him an enemy of power brokers in the sangh parivar and they did everything to defeat him in Gujarat and stop his rise in the BJP.


Narendra Modi maintained his appeal to Hindus and Gujaratis and neutralized both sangh parivar and secular power brokers in the power game in Gujarat and emerged as a popular leader. There is no reason why Narendra Modi shouldn’t attempt a similar strategy in Delhi, but for some inexplicable reason he is very cautious; perhaps the Delhi establishment is too thick and indispensable at this time. But if the BJP has to have any chance in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no option than to break this deep nexus of power brokers across ideologies in Delhi.


Perhaps, after securing the position of Amit Shah as BJP president for second time and keeping economy on track, he may become more politically assertive, but then it may be too late. The sangh parivar with all its pretensions of service to Hindus is dragging them down deeper into the abyss.    

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