EDITORIAL: Godse in their Mind
In the final instance, both Nathuram Godse, Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, and terror-accused, Pragya Singh Thakur, represent the essence and inner soul of the RSS-BJP. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, who currently call the shots in the government and the party, are quintessential examples of how the hardline operates with not even a pretence of either inner-party democracy, or belief in secular pluralism of the Indian Constitution. The typical bigoted and abusive troll or bhakt, who have no sense of post-independent India’s history, is thereby the fundamental scaffolding of this party.
Indeed, the fringe-mainstream debate was always hollow. There was never any duality. They moved in stunning synthesis despite the public posturing by the moderates and the hardliners. It was simply a ploy to ride two chariots at the same time – the politics of obsessive fundamentalism and perfunctory adherence to the Indian Constitution. Critics and former insiders in the Sangh Parivar always believed that for them the saffron flag of the RSS was always more revered than the ‘tiranga’, while deep inside their hearts they cared two hoots for the Indian Constitution or the values of the freedom movement in which they did not participate. Since colonial times, they were solely obsessed with the civilisational agenda of ‘Hindu rashtra’ with hate politics and Muslim-baiting as their first and last trump card. One of their founders even glorified Adolf Hitler and the holocaust.
No wonder, the stalwarts of the freedom movement, and, later, mainstream leaders in post-Independent India, never really trusted the RSS. Besides, the RSS seemed to abhor both the Nehruvian notion of scientific temper and the secular imagination of higher education, knowledge systems and critical thinking. That is why they hate the social sciences, or campuses like the Hyderabad Central University, TISS, FTII and JNU, and are out to destroy them. The destruction of the statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar is therefore a manifestation of their latent disgust for true wisdom and universal education, and utter disdain for social reforms in support of women’s rights and widow remarriage. That is why they were always deeply uncomfortable with Mahatma Gandhi, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, and even Rabindranath Tagore. Even the atheist and revolutionary current represented by Bhagat Singh and his comrades were distrusted. However, they could never really ravage Gandhi’s politics or Nehru’s secularism which ran in the veins of India’s young democracy.
Critics and former insiders in the Sangh Parivar always believed that for them the saffron flag of the RSS was always more revered than the ‘tiranga’, while deep inside their hearts they cared two hoots for the Indian Constitution or the values of the freedom movement in which they did not participate
A parivar steeped in fanaticism and regressive ideology will obviously showcase Pragya Singh and Yogi Adityanath as their role models and as possibly the next generation of leadership. The very fact that they want a terror-accused in Parliament, and an alleged ‘moderate’ like Shivraj Singh Chauhan, known to be a loyalist of another ‘moderate’ Sushma Swaraj, accompanies her when she files her nomination, is clear evidence that she has been turned into a glorified symbol inside the extended family.
However, the big question remains: Why did they nominate her in the place? Insiders say that the reason behind her nomination resides in the intrigues linked to her association in what is now known as Hindutva terror operations that saw Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif, Mecca-Masjid, Hyderabad and Samjhauta Express bomb blasts and the murder of RSS functionary Sunil Joshi. She has been accused for the Malegaon blasts with full evidence. Why did the Sangh Parivar feel the need to reward her for these alleged criminal acts? Some BJP insiders said that supporting a hard Hindutva face has been designed to help the party in 200 parliamentary seats. This is balderdash. She would be lucky to win her seat, au contraire, she could contribute to the loss of many seats in Maharashtra where Hemant Karkare is still revered for his martyrdom.
“The comments on Gandhi and Godse are deplorable, disgusting and are not language fit for civilised society. Those who say such things should think 100 times. It is a different issue that they have apologised, but I will not be able to forgive them from my heart,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to have said. His statement sounds even more hypocritical following the vicious discourse he has himself unleashed in his campaign speeches, abusing Rajiv Gandhi, for instance, or Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, earlier. He has refused to touch upon even one promise made in 2014, while obliterating both ‘demonetization and GST’ which destroyed the back-bone of the economy rendering tens of thousands jobless.
Pragya Singh said that Godse was, is and will be a ‘deshbhakt’. Now she says she respects the Mahatma. This is a typical expression of the fringe-mainstream synthesis in the Sangh Parivar. This is no mistake. This is no Freudian slip.
Indeed, the damage cannot be controlled anymore. The inner space is its outer space. The hidden is the apparent. There is no dichotomy. Godse and Pragya Singh reflect the true mirror of the party. The BJP stands fully exposed.