Opinion

Mohsin’s Killing & Rising Tide of Intolerance

By Naim Naqvi

“If you sow generosity, you will reap generosity; if you sow discord, you will reap discord. If you sow harmony, you will reap harmony; if you sow bitterness, you will reap bitterness. If you sow hate, you will reap hate; if you sow love, you will reap love.” —— [a Sufi aphorism]

It is an open secret that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the RSS and its leadership historically had been a greater admirer of fascist dictators of Europe. They did never hide their love for them. That the RSS has been time and again accused of not only hating the minorities but it also wants to build up an India based on Manu Smiriti. They want unwavering and unflinching loyalty to the nation from all minorities.

However, would it not be pertinent to ask if they themselves are loyal to ‘The Constitution of India’ and ‘National Tricolor’ in words and deeds? In the past, they had openly decried and even today they have a different kind of discipline that goes at the tangent to the secular democratic ethos of Mother India.

I’m reproducing their ‘Prarthana (prayer) and Pratigya (oath) as practised in their shakahas:

Prarthana: “Affectionate Motherland, I eternally bow to you/O Land of Hindus, you have reared me in comfort /O Sacred Land, the Great Creator of Good, may this body of mine be dedicated to you /I again and again bow before You /O God Almighty, we the integral part of the Hindu Rashtra salute you in reverence /For Your cause have we girded up our loins/Give us Your Blessings for its accomplishment.”

Pratigya: “Before the all-powerful God and my ancestors, I most solemnly take this oath, that I become a member of the RSS in order to achieve all round greatness of Bharatvarsha by fostering the growth of my sacred Hindu religion, Hindu society, and Hindu culture. I shall perform the work of the Sangh honestly, disinterestedly, with my heart and soul, and I shall adhere to this goal all my life. Bharat Mata Ki Jai.”

Prarthana (prayer) and Pratigya (oath) as practised in the shakhas of the RSS is an example of how Indian nationalism has been equated with Hinduism. These tenets are in direct contravention to the existence of an Indian Secular State where secularism is an important ‘Basic feature’ of the Constitution of India.

It is so ironic the same people who believed and claim themselves to the ardent follower of RSS ideology are taking oath to uphold the integrity of a democratic and secular India. What about their commitment to the task of creating a Hindu Rashtra as per the texts of the Prayer and Oath, a must for the RSS cadres?

Guru Golwalkar, the Senior Sarsangh Sanchalak, while delivering a speech before 1350 top level cadres of the RSS at Madras (now Chennai) in 1940 declared, “The RSS inspired by one flag, one leader and one ideology is lighting the flame of Hindutva in each and every corner of this great land.”

Another Sarsanghchalak or the Supreme Leader of the RSS, KS Sudershan, while addressing a rally on the eve of the 75th founding day of the RSS in Nagpur, called upon the Muslims and Christians of the country to prove their patriotism. At the end of its Bangalore session on March 7, 2002, he came out with another warning to the Muslims, “Let the Muslims understand that their real safety lies in the good-will of the majority”. This statement came in the aftermath of Gujarat riots, in which thousands of people, mostly Muslims, were killed by Hindu mobs.

Immediately after the Sangh followers won a landslide in the recent Lok Sabha elections, several incidents of attacks on minorities have already been reported from various parts of the country.

On Monday night, members of Hindu Rashtra Sena, a radical Hindu outfit, allegedly killed 24-year-old Muslim IT professional, as he was returning home after offering evening prayers in a locality mosque.

Seven people, aged between 19 and 24 years, associated with the radical organization, have been arrested in connection with the killing of Mohsin Sadiq Shaikh, Indian Express reported.

Activists of Hindu right-wing outfits and political outfits damaged more than 200 public transport buses and private vehicles in Pune over the weekend in various acts of arson and stone pelting to protest the circulation of what they saw derogatory photographs of Shivaji and Bal Thackeray on social networking websites.

An eyewitness, and a friend of Shaikh, Riyaz told police that he was attacked for wearing a skullcap and sporting a beard.

While the BJP-led government has assured safety to minorities, such incidents, speak otherwise. Such incidents not only lend credence to all those activists who feared that Modi government would polarise India further on the religious lines, but would also add to the insecurities of minorities.

It is high time that the government cracks down on such radical organisations to prevent loss of lives and public property. And the rising tide of intolerance whipped up by these right wing groups needs to be controlled before it engulfs the whole country.

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