Stoking the embers (Courtesy, The Pioneer)

Date: 11 Oct 2010

Comment Stoking the embers//////////// October 12, 2010 3:27:32 AM//////// Balbir Punj////////// Rahul Gandhi is clearly seeking to play the tattered and torn communal card by equating the RSS to SIMI/////////// Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s crass remarks painting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Students’ Islamic Movement of India with the same brush has not come as a surprise to those who know the Congress’s history and the record of the dynasty since independence. Both are replete with numerous instances when national interests were sacrificed for short-term political gains. ////////// India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, sought to put the RSS in the dock for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and banned the organisation. It didn’t take long for the fiction to crumble and the ban was lifted when the courts found that the RSS had nothing to do with the assassination. After the nation was shaken by the Chinese invasion of 1962, Nehru invited the RSS to participate in the 1963 Republic Day parade to revive the drooping spirits of the people. We need not go into who was responsible for the policies that enabled the PLA to put an unprepared and ineptly-led Indian Army on the defensive. ////////// The anti-RSS charade was next taken up by Mrs Indira Gandhi. She sought to rescue herself from the growing opposition to her by dubbing the RSS and and the legendary Jayaprakash Narayan as “enemies of the country”. This led her down the path of taking away the right to life and liberty of the citizens. The fascist streak in the Congress’s family leadership was out in the open. So the people swept Mrs Indira Gandhi out of power in the 1977 general election. That verdict clearly sent a message to her about the credentials of the RSS. ////////// Rajiv Gandhi, as Prime Minister, sought to win over the fundamentalist section of the Muslim community by overturning the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Shah Bano case. To placate Hindus, he unlocked the gates of the Babri Masjid/Ramjanmabhoomi structure and allowed shilanyas at the site hoping to steal a march on the RSS. But lacking the discipline, history and dedication of the RSS, he ended up as a suspect in the eyes of both Hindus and Muslims. ///////////// Mr Rahul Gandhi putting the RSS and SIMI on the same page has to be seen against this backdrop. The Students’ Islamic Movement of India has remained banned for the last several years for proven anti-national activities and for waging war against the Indian state. Its involvement in terrorism, its recruiting young Muslims for terror-training in Pakistan and spreading venomous propaganda against India are well known. It can’t be that Mr Rahul Gandhi is unaware that SIMI is funded and controlled by the ISI. His statement, therefore, is meant to please malcontents and ensure that his party does not lose the competitive game of communal politics which the likes of Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav are playing in the wake of the Ayodhya verdict. ///////////// After the Ayodhya verdict, it seemed that the only people troubled by the likely settlement of the dispute were our traditional Left intellectuals. Orphaned since the demise of the Soviet Union, they continue with their old agenda of pandering to Muslim separatism. They forget that even if the case goes to the Supreme Court and there is a final verdict, the dispute would still have to be settled through negotiations. Obviously, it is impossible for a new mosque to come up at the very spot where the Babri Masjid stood prior to December 6, 1992. //////////// Those who now accuse the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court of positing “faith above law” are the very people who have over the decades encouraged Muslim community leaders to resist any attempt at a negotiated settlement and keep the issue alive in the name of their peculiar brand of ‘secularism’. They have made the issue one of a dispute between Hindus and Muslims. If the dispute was one of Hindus objecting to a mosque, how is it that hundreds of mosques have come up all over the country ever since India achieved independence? /////////// While Pakistan was declared an Islamic state, India did not opt to be a Hindu state. At no time in the history of the country did a Hindu king consider himself to be the ruler of a Hindu kingdom. Everyone thrown out of their homeland, like the Parsis and the Jews, found a refuge in India. Muslims who came to coastal India as traders and artisans much before the waves of invasions in the north were welcomed and given land to build mosques. ///////////// So how has this particular site at Ayodhya become a matter of dispute? The post-verdict statement issued by the Left-wing intellectuals, who never shed a tear when lakhs of Pandits were driven out of their homes in the Kashmir Valley, reflects their venomous view. In their outburst, they have even contradicted themselves. At one point they have attacked the verdict for ignoring the ASI’s findings; at another they have accused the same ASI of “fabricating” evidence to support the view that a temple existed at the site. They have objected to the court taking into account faith, insisting law should be the only determinant. ///////////// The faith of the Hindus that the place where the Babri Masjid stood was the birthplace of Sri Ram is offensive to these Left-wing intellectuals. But the faith of the Muslims who say they cannot give up their claim on the site — their lawyer says sharia’h does not allow it — is acceptable to them. ///////////// The question whether the Indian identity is determined by a self-sacrificing prince who was willing to give up his throne or an invader from Central Asia is what the dispute boils down to. The Left-wing intellectuals and some frustrated politicians are determined to stoke the embers of the Ayodhya dispute. It is in this context that Mr Rahul Gandhi has sought to equate the RSS with SIMI. Mrs Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi had to pay a heavy political price for maligning the RSS. Mr Rahul Gandhi would do well to learn from their folly. //////////////// -- ////////// 000000000//////////