Sunday, May 1, 2011

On K.Elst

De-Colonising Hindu Mind By Koenraad Elst.

Break through of Hindutva ideas are thru the efforts of people like Ram Swaroop, Sitaram Goel and Arun Sourie. (P.2).

The Belgian scholar K: Elst started his tome of a treatise 657 pages; with a bombastic claim that while others studying the Hindu Nationalism mostly based their analysis, explanations and conclusions on sources other than the subject matter and even opposed to it; he himself rallied upon the very original sources i.e. the literature and tracts produced by the Hindutva Nationalists themselves. As a scholar he should know better. It is not the source material which determines the scholarly study but the approach made to them. While everyone else studying Hindutva, took a very critical look at each and every source material both for and against and evaluated them from their own stand point. The Belgian scholar approached his source with a preconceived mind in accepting and justifying Hindutva arguments. His main source remained mostly self assertive and self justification tracts authored by all kind of RSS activists and their hardened sympathizers. No works even that of Vajpayee, Advani etc all are objective or scholarly. They are political and a propaganda pamphlets at the most. K. Elst admits as much at times e.g. dealing the death in prison of S.P. Mukherjee and the accidental death of D. Upadhyaya.
The most telling but reprehensive part of his approach and arguments could be found in his presentation of the assassins of the Mahatma as the reflection and representation of post partition Hindu mind i.e. majority of Hindus. The Belgian Scholar approvingly presents and quotes from the defense statements of the godses. However, at no place in this tome the scholar deplores much less condemns the murder and murderers of Mahatma. It is typical of all Hindutvavadies to prevaricate about the murder of Mahatma short of justifying it. In K. Elst the matter is dealt in a bizarre way. According to him Indian Nation equals Hindu alone and that Hindu nation manifested as Hindutva. If some one doesn't agree they are branded anti Hindu - anti-national. If Indian Nationalism to be related to the Vedic period; that nationalism is too exclusive and could not be related to the modern era. If Godse represents modern Hindu nationalism then the same will not be acceptable to vast majority of Hindus. But if the present trends continue and all non Hindutva forces are subdued by the current NDA coalition, it will not be long before that Mahatma will be replaced with Nathuram Godse, VD Savarkar & co as real national liberation leaders into the history of India.
Mr. K. Elst makes out a case against all and sundry, claiming that critics of RSS Hindutva ideology never went to the real Hindutva ideologues such as Sitaram Goel, Ram Swaroop and Arun Shourie. However he brands all critics as communist and Marxist. According to him "Frontline" is communist. He also claims that banning and or burning books are the work of anti Hindus only. He keeps his eyes shut to all evidences of book burning resorted by RSS at least in the case of Dr. Ambedkar's books. He also blacks out the fact that it was the Hindutva proponents who originally opposed the demand for common civil code; when that was on the agenda of the Indian National Congress as well as of the left parties. In fact they were the vociferous proponents of common civil code. When it was attempted the Hindutva forces opposed it that included a number of leading figures in the INC itself. One need not blame them for their opposition, since the main proponents of Common Civil Code were not bound by Hindu law. The signal was that any common civic code is basically and essentially Hindu and not "common" as such. The RSS & Parivar arriving at the gates of political power seized their opportunity to propagate the value of a common civic code for India. Such an espousal gave the secular & left forces a jolt and the demand for common civic code was branded as a communal card in the hands of RSS Parivar.
The Hindutva claim of pluralism is confined to the present Hindu diversity and exclusive of others. Even the surviving pluralism is under attack not so openly but surreptitiously, consciously or not the Hindutva movement has almost imposed the Brahman cal rituals and practices on all sections of Hindus. Birth days, marriages, celebration of religions festivals etc.
The violence unleashed by the Hindutva brigade against the films “Fire” and “Water”, Valentine Day, Beauty Pageants, Women’s Dress etc. etc. are evidence enough not only to the immaturity of their intellect but intolerance of dissent, the mental readiness to destroy others and establish a kind of dictatorship when opportunity comes.
One can understand the arrogance of the Hindutva brigade i.e. the RSS and its several Parivar but the arrogance exhibited by Koenraad Elst and others of a foreign origin is strange. It is of a bastard origin. The idea of clash of civilizations is transplanted to Hindu-Muslim in place of Christian west and Muslim east. There is a sinister implication even though the name is not explicitly stated i.e. clash of civilizations to which Hindutva Parivar is a party, only in their view the clash is between 2 civilizations both Christian & Islam being one against the pure Hindu. The western concept takes for granted the alliance and cooperation of Hindutva against Islam and the policies and actions of the BJP are in tune with it. However the BJP looks at Christians as one more enemy to be subdued in India.
"Secularism" a European imports? How does one go with the view that Hindutva itself really secular? From the start of his book Mr. Elst claims that his study of Hindu revivalism in the only objective study amongst the western scholars barring a few. All others are biased ones. He also makes out that studies published by Indian Scholars just as Bipin Chandra are ipso facto anti Hindu because their approach is Marxist. The gentleman called Koenraad Elst never heard about Marxists like Dr. Debi Prasad Chatopadhyaya and many else who brought out treaties highlighting Indian Scientific tradition in mathematics, astronomy, medicine etc.
Accusation against anti communal secularism could be turned against author himself for selectively accommodating ideas and books acceptable to himself and not others. He also intentionally ignores Hindutva literatures that claim the whole world being original Hindu before advent of religions. But what about present day Hinduism? The author has to admit that it is not the same as before the foreign conquest of India.
(P-30-31)....If Hindu revivalism means "pluralism"; who is its enemy? According to the author the enemies are secular (sic) ideologies like Nazism and Marxism also Islamic and Christian religions. The author is dishonest to include Nazism here. The founders of Hindutva were ardent admirers of Nazism & Fascism till recently. Once the book titled “We and Our Nationhood Defined” penned by the RSS guru Guru Golvalkar that carried his exuberant admiration for Hitler and Mussolini was propagated by the Parivar extensively. Only the exposure of the anti human faces and practices caused the RSS stalwarts to keep away from it since the end of Second World War. Even as of now the SS Chief Bal Thackeray a close ally of BJP prides himself as an admirer of Hitler.
(P-35).. Ban on “Satanic Verses” is cited as example of fundamentalist Muslim mind 1988-89. I came to know about this book from a long exert published in now defunct weekly “Sunday” published from Calcutta under the editorship of the senior journalist M.J.Akbar. I in fact wished to read the book since it was authored by Salman Rushdie whose best seller “Midnight Children” that was a favorite with me. The ban motivated by political considerations is really a disgrace to secular credentials of the then Govt.
Hindutva forces are not tolerant towards others opposed to them. It was somewhere at this time the Hindutva forces vandalized and burned copies of Ambedkar's writings titled “Riddles of Hinduism” and other writings published by the then congress ruled Maharashtra Govt. During rule of BJP/SS in Maharashtra those books were suppressed and further publications of Ambedkar’s volumes discontinued. Even today those books are targets of neglect and not available in the stalls. The author Elst did mention about the publication of Ambedkar's writings but conceals the stringent criticism of Hinduism as such but quotes a sentence from those writings that were against Muslim rule.
(R..41-42)... The author castigates Communists and Marxists as being anti Hindu and quotes some comments made by Marx in this context. It is an accepted idea. India in pre-British times was not evolved as a nation in the accepted sense in the West and Marx was writing it from that point.
It was the sacred Hindu icon V.D.Savarkar who coined the word Hindutva much before Muslim demand for separate state. On the one hand Hindutva defines India as a Hindu nation as against the so claimed separate identity of a Muslim nation on the part of Muslim League. One cannot accept as Mr. Elst wanted us to, that Hindutva concept of cultural nationalism that excludes the culture of minorities as genuine nationalism in the same way as Muslim demand to accept its brand of nationalism. Both are divisive and communal. Communists here as well as elsewhere are committed to and upholders of separating all religion from state & politics. On the other hand the communalists so called in India are fundamentalists who would like to mix their religion and beliefs into every activity of the state.
(P-51)... To say that majority of Hindus are against cow slaughter and the same is not banned by the congress govts. is due to the appeasement policy is absolutely trite. If banning cow slaughter is article of faith with Hindu community as such how and why the whole group of Hindu community from the length and breadth of India who whole heartedly participated in the freedom struggle led by the Indian National Congress did not give the issue the weight as a national demand?.
(P - 99)... The dishonesty in quoting (second hand) pieces from secular writers as if they are in support of the so called Hindutva tolerance much evident here. It is the other way. While the vast majority of the Hindu community is liberal and tolerant towards all minorities; the Hindutva brigade is illiberal and intolerant. Mr. Elst is clumsy and dishonest in portraying the RSS Parivar in the image of majority Hindus as can be seen from the percentage of votes polled by BJP i.e. a little over 20% of the people who voted in the last general elections. Since then many bye elections and state assembly elections have shown that a majority of people do not support the BJP or the RSS Parivar version of a Hindu Rashtra or even Hindu way of life. The current political power in the centre has given them more than they actually represent.
According to Koenraad Elst, the decolonized Hindu mind was owned and exhibited by none else than the Mahatma's assassin Nathuram Godse, and after him the RSS "intellectuals" such as Ram Swarup, Sitaram Goel & Arun Shourie. Is it implied that all the three are capable of committing murder of chosen opponents of the "national" i.e. Hindu interest? A humble prospect. The victim might be none other than the PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The cold and calculated stand of opposition to talks with Pakistan that came out after the Agra fiasco is a dangerous portent. The failure of Agra summit in fact saved the face of Atalji. If not these three some other in the Parivar will surely attempt at assassination if and when they perceive the talks with Pakistan as a compromise on the Hindu national interest. There were enough irresponsible utterances on the part of many Sangh and Parivar members including that of the BJP who expressed their criticism and dissatisfactions on the way the Agra Summit was handled. The "hidden hand" cannot be just an imagination on the part of Pakistan propagandists, but a logical evolution on this side of hard core Sangh Parivar. It is politically correct to deny any dissent and or opposition among top leader of BJP in the Govt. but the whole background to the summit did expose such dissentions in top echelons.
At one place Mr. Elst says that he is one with Shri Arobindo in explaining Rigveda in terms of its spiritual meaning as against Sayana's learned commentary that was materialistic and ritualistic. Only Dayananda of Arya Samaj and Arobindo of Pondicherry are known to have tried to explain the spiritual meaning of Rigveda. Will it not be correct to say that the stand of the two were their response due to western influence in order to prove a point? The Vedic language is such that the same text could be interpreted in various points, even contradictory.
One cannot accept a stand that even Shri Arobindo or Dayananda were more scholarly than Sayanacharya and the former knew more about traditional Vedic meanings than that of Sayana’s. The original exponent of Vadantic philosophy of Advaita i.e. Adi Sankara in his voluminous commentaries named Prastana Thrayam where he claimed Vedapramanam for his own ideas also; where he has cited more than 2 thousand quotations including Vedic texts on which only 20 are from Rig Veda and 2 from Yajurveda. If Rig & Yajurveda texts are full of such profound philosophical wisdom and meaning Sankara should have quoted much more than the 22 cited. In fact most of his quotations are from Brihadaranyaka & Chandogya Upanishads. Thus vedapramanam is a misnomer; it is solely Upanishad pramanam alone for Advaita philosophy.
The compilation of quotation on "Eternal Wisdom" published by the Arobindo Ashram, Pondicherry has very few from Rigveda in the 595 pages book. There are more from western sources than of Indian. May be according to K. Elst these compositions are that of de-colonized mind and pure Hindutva.
Khaki shorts and bamboo sticks are the symbols of de-colonization per se the contacts built and maintained by de-colonized Hindu minds, with Nazi & Fascist was mainly in national Hindu interest than the colonized minds of Mahatma, Nehru and other congressmen leading a physical fight against colonial oppression carried by British. May be that even Nelson Mandela did not de-colonize his mind as yet.
To accept the terms of K. Elst is to modify the understanding of democratic politics. The mother of the Parivar is a hierarchy with pretence of democracy that was forced on it by then given circumstances to gain political legitimacy. The RSS claim for being a cultural organisation not indulging in politics is a thin veil only. It has no understanding of Hindu culture except for a puritanical veneer borrowed from Christian morality. Its culture starts and ends with observations of ritual Hinduism connected with temples, yajna and puja. Imitating the Muslim maulavies and Christian missionaries; the Hindutva brigade is manufacturing ethical and moral norms to people’s behaviour in public e.g. the dress code for girls and women.
All the Parivar outfits including political arm BJP are lead by people i.e. RSS Pracharakas deputed by the chief in RSS in the name of Karyakarini Sabha that itself is not an elected one. They try to keep certain separate identities but basically that of a swayam sevak as the PM confessed to the NRI's in US last year. Mr. Elst makes a virtue of such separate identities and attributes them to constraints imposed by political practice (P..169) instead of debunking them as opportunism pure and simple. Call a spade a spade and not a garland.
(P..193).. BJP's is that of reformed Hinduism and not that of orthodox, the author says. But he refrains from questioning the locus standing of RSS Parivar viz a viz reformed Hinduism. There cannot be an opinion or understanding as to what kind of reform is being campaigned. RSS Parivar cannot claim any monopoly for defining reform in Hinduism. The Hindu tradition or orthodoxy produced the obscurantist Ram Rajya Parishad that was discarded later. The orthodoxy advocated and practised by some of Hindu religious centers like Shankaracharyas were not followed in letter and spirit by the general Hindu community as such. K. Elst unquestioned acceptance of reformist credentials of the RSS and Parivar as the only legitimate one; is as apology for backwardness. The traditional Ram & Krishna cannot be traced to rig or other Vedas as such. The traditional Hinduism is the product of puranic origin. The same is laced by Vedanta philosophy of Sankara and others. There were a lot number of reformers in the last 2 centuries and ideas including that of Vivekananda and Arobindo in whose name today’s Hindutva forces assure.
According to K. Elst himself ideological base of the Hindu revivalist movement was developed by RSS but the RSS by itself remains anti-intellectual. With all these the Belgian Scholar claims that all Hindu traditions are with the RSS and Parivar. This is a strange scholarship. He at an earlier page lamented the non recognition of the anti communist credential of the Hindu intellectual movements represented by people like Ram Swarup, Sitaram Goel, Arun Shourie etc. on the part of American counter intelligence such as CIA and due to that no financial help to them as against some other anti communist movement both in India and abroad.
(P..234).. Wonderful Mr. Scholar Elst. So communists did not participate in Quit India Movement in 1942? Since, all the congress leaders were rounded up and put into jails, the RSS and Hindutva brigade carried the fight against British Imperialism that is what you mean by your silly comment? When fight against Nazi and Fascist forces of Germany, Italy and Japan were waging war against the world Mr. Elst gives prominence to quit India Movement against communist policy of anti fascism. Oh that is what Arun Shourie propagates with himself being any where near 1942 movement.
(P...234).." It is generally not the bright but the mediocre minds who man the higher echelons of RSS," i.e. rabble rousers & goons “preferring mindless action to sterile intellectual work".
The K. Elst quotes a large portion from a tract of the Hindutva hard core (P..261) to come to the conclusion that " These leaders know next to nothing about Hinduism.....For the overwhelming majority in Sangh Parivar, including most of its big wigs, the intellectual equipment remains limited to some layman perceptions...." How true?
If there are no notable scholarship produced by the RSS "baudhik brigade", Mr. Elst is too ready and enthusiastic to prepare one thru his tome basing on those propaganda panelists produced by the Parivar (Ref: P. 234) " the spectacular growth of the Sangh were not accompanied by any intellectual development worth mentioning, so that its literary output never exceeded a handful of repetitive and poorly written pamphlets per year."
(P..274).. " Hindu rightists has adopted all the leftist and rationalist arguments against Christianity." Original contribution indeed? The fact is that both are principled critics of all religious fundamentalisms.
The stand articulated in the 2 newspaper cutting creates an impression that the RSS, BJP & VHP are different and also opposed to each other. Such an impression will be deceptive since, there are no divisions in the Parivar but only divided responsibilities. Remember A.B. Vajpayee priding himself as swayam sevak and the building of Ram Temple in Ayodhya is of national issue. The RSS Parivar is making it sure that while their political creature rules the country, other creatures try to occupy the opposition in religious spheres as well as economic & social spheres. The VHP, Swadesimanch, BMS, Streemukhi sena, Bajrangdal, Shiv Sena etc. etc.
(P 437) As a conclusion on topic of slavery under Islam the author K: Elst says “Europe, Africa and India each lost millions of their people to Islamic slave trade.” Of course European slaves might have been saved subsequently when European overpowered all in middle each. African might have gone back to Africa. But what about the millions of Indian slaves. Did they try to come back or stayed and got absorbed in their places of slavery? No such people of Indian origin is recognised anywhere outside India. Mr. Elst did not raise this as against his sources mainly of the Hindutva vintage. Strange indeed. (P. 441) Quoted from Arobindo Uthar para speech: (P 13) (Note 8)… is again repeated on page 442 the same sentence and reference. This scholar claiming scholarship to his creation has resorted this kind of repetition, several in times throughout scholastic work.
May be he wanted to impress the impressionable in the Hindutva brigade. Mr. Elst fills up his scholarship by quoting and praising certain specific Hindutva preachers like Ram Swarup, Sitaram Goel and Arun Shourie extolling their scholarship and research without giving us an idea as to how and where these worthies researched for their source materials. (P. 444)..Mr. Elst accepts that beef was not taboo in ancient India though today it is claimed as an identity for a Hindu (only Hindutva obsessed). But when (Marxist) historians such as R.S. Sharma, A.N. Jhah pronounced it they were branded as anti Hindu and anti history by people extolled by the author as Hindu nationalist (Ref: Arun Shourie).
(P. 582)...At an earlier occasion Mr. Elst championed that democracy is a game of numbers, when anti communal & secular forces maintained that the country of numbers is only one aspect of democracy. Now he turns round and claims that an act against Hindu communalism represented by the BJP who got only 20% votes (P. 580) is not democratic. It is just as well discerning readers surely spot such contradictory stand points. Take the matter of common civil code. At a time when RSS was completely insignificant and these Hindu leaders who were prominent whose legacy the RSS claims today, e.g. Rajendra Prasad, Vallabhai Patel, Tandon etc. including the Hindu Mahasabha were opposing any such concept, the secularists, Marxists included actively propagating for such common civil code. Only when the RSS in its later days started adopting it as a stick to beat the Muslims the concept changed to be insecular. Caste based reservations were not accepted by communists in earlier days.
C O N C L U S I O N S:
There are certain prior assumptions in this theme of scholarship such as;
1…. There is a Hindu nation unknown to majority of the Hindu population.
2…. The Hindu nation should adopt a Hindu form of government
3…. The concept of “Hindu nation” is as propagated by the Hindu Mahasabha in earlier times and RSS Parivar of today. The majority population of Hindus who were voting against the BJP i.e. nearly 80% of people who vote, has no say in defining what kind of Hindutva they want to be practised by their chosen govt. in their own country.
4…. Thos who voted out the BJP in West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu etc all are anti Hindu and they should not be allowed to adopt and or practice their understanding of Hindu religion or culture.
5…. Even in case of RSS Parivar, who according to the Belgian Scholar do not have any learning or understanding of what is Hinduism are not real Hindus in thoughts and action but people like Ram Swarup, Sita Ram Goel and Abhay Chatterjee whose works & publications mainly consist of anti Muslim anti Christian publications pepped with anti communism. The whole ideas of these tracts were simply borrowed from Secular, Socialist and Rational including Marxist publications mostly from west. None of these eminents tried and succeeded to define and identify the religion or the way of life that they call Hinduism. On the other hand it were the secularists, Marxists included who tried to assemble Facts of history in support of their version of Hinduism. The trio mentioned above cannot be installed as the only ideologist of Hinduism, to the exclusion of other and even opposite ideas.
6…. Mr. Elst, more or less affirms that the trio only are the authentic voices of Hinduism and that should be accepted by all those who call or identify as Hindus. It only means that democratic majority (about 80%) are not Hindus.
7…. K: Elst is telling that the people who led the national liberation struggle against the British imperialism and whose practice became a model for all other anti imperialist liberation struggles the world over are colonised minds. In case of India? They were also anti-hindu or anti national in their brand of secularism. The only decolonised minds are the trio mentioned earlier and their younger chelas e.g. Arun Shourie, Togadia, Talageri etc.

The reading of the tome De colonising Hindu Mind by the Belgian Scholar Koenraad Elst was completed today.
Did I get any new light after reading it? Nay, yes. But little. The tome is full of hate towards others not in agreement with the Hindutva proponents i.e. the RSS & its Parivar. Still the maniac interpretation of de-colonized Hindu mind is based on second hand revelations and breast beating brevity of a half a dozen self proclaimed Hindutva propagandists. The Belgian
scholar wants everybody to accept these "Neanderthal" as the only authentic Hindus and any other interpretation or even critical comments amounts to be anti hindu and therefore anti national traitorous etc. As per this scholar who repeats quotations after the same quotation to instil in our minds that Gandhi, Nehru and all the other national leaders were traitors to "Hinduism" and the overwhelming support that the Indian National Congress received from the majority of hindu population is a false claim made by secularists. In fact the overwhelming majority of the population is the supporters of Hindutva and the authentic Hindu act is the killing of Mahatma at the hands of Nathuram Godse who was cultivated by the RSS and then separated later. One cannot deny the mind set that evolved in him was thru RSS conditioning. Of course the scholar don't applaud the criminal act but rationalize and justify the mental set of the criminal as a desperate hindu trying to assert a hindu national interest as against Mahatma's moral stand. This scholar also hints at that if not for the suppression by force and banning RSS on the part of Nehru Govt the overwhelming mass of Hindus would have risen in revolt and dispatched the government to oblivion. It looks like that before the authentic Hindu trios and their juniors ascended the stage Nathuram Godse acted as a pure and correct Hindu. He should have been made the PM of the land instead of sending him to gallows. Even according to the Belgian Scholar the proponents of Hindutva including the trio has no in dept understanding of what is Hinduism in India of ancient times or even just earlier to the fall of hindu rashtra and the conquest by Muslims. The scholar did allude to the reality that the Hindutva of the RSS/BJP Parivar is nothing but the stand point of the European Christian Democrats.
We are at the end asked to agree that de-colonising Hindu mind is equal to imitating Christian democracy in its entirety. All others whether in congress and or left and democratic parties are confined to be in colonized minds.
As on today there are no scholarly efforts at analyzing, criticizing and refuting, what Dr. Babasahib Ambedkar defined and severely criticised as Hinduism in his works even these studies by Dr. Ambedkar were not completed and finalized for publication. Dr. Ambedkar quotes chapters and verses from Hindu scriptures and only makes short comments on them. He listed and compiled a number of riddles of Hinduism (in vol 3) without attempting to answer them. He made his own views about Hindu philosophy based on scriptural quotations alone in (vol 3). Mr. Elst while mentioning the fact of Ambedkar's critical works did not try himself or point anyone else as having studied those views of Dr. Ambedkar. Elst's comment is that the Hindutva brigades including the anti dalits such as Shiva sena have put up portraits of Dr. Ambedkar that exhibits the very opportunist and dishonest attitude of the brigade. According to the notes prepared by Dr. Ambedkar citing verses from Valmiki Ramayana, the king Rama vested all responsibilities of ruling and administering the land and people on his advisers and ministers and he himself was enjoying a life of pleasures.
The Belgian scholar was a little reluctant to support the ravings of the trio & others denigrating Jesus & Mohammad as prophets of religions to their moral and or ethical lapses but did not hold a mirror to the Hindutva brigade that their own ancient gods starting with Indra ending with Rama & Krishna had feets of clay. The life of Krishna as depicted in the puranic and Mahabarata is not some exemplary and divine. Similarly the avatara of Rama is nothing but orthodox Hindu in nature & today no ruler might emulate.
Even if Mr. Elst had any knowledge of these notes and criticisms of Dr. Ambedkar, he concealed in his tome on Hindu nationalism and did not betray his chosen gods of Hindutva of present day. One cannot agree with the scholar the majority of Hindus in this hindu land are represented earlier by Hindu Mahasabha, Ram Rajya Parishad (the scholar says it is only a fringe organisation) Swatantra(not a Hindu party) Jan Sangh, BJP even RSS Parivar.
The picture painted and presented by the Belgian Scholar Koenraad Elst can be deduced as that of RSS its Parivar of Hinduism and others. None of them separately or even as a combination can be said to represent Hinduism in its entirety,
not to say the essentials of Hinduism as it lived and developed for the last 3000 and odd years. It is an accepted fact that the scripture of Brahma Sutras have more than four different interpretations challenging each other although some philosophers today found commonalities in all of them. The same cannot be the intention of the original author of the sutras.
Similarly, the text of Bhagavat Gita was interpreted variously in the past as well as throughout the historical period unto present, sometimes in complete contradiction to each other.
The present day interpretation in term of globalisation is very much a fashion that is propagated thru newspaper articles by all & sundry.
Almost every senior citizen claims to be a Gita teacher if newspaper columns are scanned and interpreted.
Lastly the exhortation is to accept and acknowledge the facts of violence, suppressions, destroying temples and other acts on the part of the Muslim invaders was something intrinsic to Islam as a religion and not the acts and behaviour of an invading force (in the historical past) in effect in today’s condition at least in India will only create more division mistrust and enmity between two prominent communities paring way to initiate, organise and enact a programme of genocide of the minority at the hands of the majority. In the past the Christian Europe went on a crusade against the spread of Muslims in a large part of their countries. Although they i.e. the crusaders succeeded in ousting the Muslims to their original lands the crusaders did not succeed in liberating Jerusalem or other Christian holy places from the Arab lands. The Muslims retained their lands and still survive today. Theories mentioned earlier and their Christian and European apologists like K-Elst, Flawly, Gautier etc are actually instigating the Hindu majority in our land to enact a new crusade against our own brother Muslims first and there after Pakistan and other Muslim lands. We should be sensible enough not to follow them in this venture.
The Belgian Scholar Koenraad Elst maintains and propagates a pernicious idea that the particular Hindutva enumerated by Hindu gurus in the Hindutva gang has to be accepted by all Hindus and those who did not are anti Hindu and anti national to boot. Even if the majority of Hindus did not accept the Hindutva gang as representing Hinduism, they have to be stigmatized as anti Hindu. His labored justification to amend the article 30 of constitution citing discrimination towards majority Hindus is not only convoluted but subversive in nature. If one reads only these tracts, he will be mislead to believe that the schools run by the minorities under this article 30 are solely and exclusively admit only those minorities in their institutions and those are schools teaching the minority religion and the majority Hindus has no such schools. Mr. Elst being a scholar should at least could have visited and interacted with people of those institutions before he accepted the RSS Parivar stand as holy truth. He will find that none of schools and colleges recognised as minority institutions teach or impart their religious teachings to their students. If there is any religious education they are outside the school curriculum.
The scholar would have come across innumerable number of schools and colleges exclusively managed by the majority community all over Mumbai who receive educational grants from govt. They also do not impart religious education thru their curriculum. So where is the discrimination? Both the minority as well as the majority run educational institutions is managed by guidelines notified by the govt. The institutions exclusively teaching religion are not recognised or aided by the Govt as such. One point is worth noting by the Belgian Hindutva scholar that all these stalwart Hindutva lines want their siblings to be admitted to Christian minority’s school only. Many other leading lights themselves were products of Christian managed educational institutions that include Lal Krishna Advani the PM in waiting in BJP.
The clamor is to envisage the un informed masses to support the communal agenda of Govt funding religious education. But the Parivar did not make this an issue for agitation because if one religion gets aid to impart religious education in their institutions others also to be given the same facility which the Parivar doesn't want. This particular topic is dealt by Dileep Padgaonkar in his column in TOI Sunday Times 26.8.2001.

According to the Belgian Scholar K. Elst’s objective scholarships is that of accepting the self proficiency and proclaim them as the only true state of affairs. Also brand them as anti those who question the genesis of the subject. The criticism to be taken note of consists of quoting from still rabid right. In his tome of a study the author accepts everything pronounced by the Hindutva trios & ors, as absolute truth not allowing any variation not to say any critical approach sought by non Hindutva authorities. Mr. Elst uncritically accepts the later day claims of RSS sources that they were not modeled or influenced by Nazi and or Fascist grouping in Germany or Italy similarly, Mr. Elst did not give credence to any other source material to assess the claims made by RSS themselves. While Ayodhya & its aftermath got long consideration in his book, Mr. Elst did not mention and examine the findings made by Sri Krishna Commission on Bombay riots or any other earlier findings of other commissions on other riots of course there may not be much direct evidence to nail RSS, their culpability in fomenting communal strife is much documented. RSS agitations aimed at Muslim and Christian communities did prepare the needed ground for other anti social elements to take over.
The tome called De-Colonisation of Hindu Mind presented by the Belgian Koenraad Elst is not an unbiased dispassionate scholarly study on the identification and recognition of the history of a colonised mind much less about the de-colonised one. He finds a lot in the concept of secular nationhood that is borrowed from similar western concept but in case of borrowing the structural pattern and concept of nation that was the background for Nazi/Fascist cause on the part Hindutva forces headed once by Savarkar and Golwalkar is elevated. These and similar labored claims are exhaustively examined and answered in Hindu-Muslim Communalism authored by Jayant Gadkari not a pretended scholar but a practicing lawyer and social activist. It seems that Gadkari unconsciously anticipated a Belgian Scholar to make a tome in support and justification of the most pernicious communalism represented by RSS & Parivar measuring the ground from an opposite side and answering all the Belgian's anticipated arguments. We would like more Gadkaris to surface.


No comments:

Post a Comment