Political illiteracy of BJP spokesperson Zafar Islam 

The former banker forgets that RSS, following the footsteps of Savarkar, rejected outrightly the idea that Hindus and Muslims together constituted a nation

File image of  Indian Express 
File image of Indian Express

Shamsul Islam

Syed Zafar Islam, former managing director of the Deutsche Bank and now a BJP spokesperson has penned a piece of wisdom for Indian Muslims on behalf of the Hindutva camp titled ‘Why Muslims must give BJP a fair chance: The community has devalued its own vote by becoming captive to self-styled secular parties’.

A banker who has served a major international bank as MD can be so illiterate about Indian constitutional polity, RSS/BJP and Muslims, is to be read and believed. Moreover, he tries to communalise the voting pattern of recently concluded UP elections. Even if we accept for a moment the banker’s take that Muslims did not vote for BJP (touted by the Hindutva ‘ideologues’ despite the fact that there are plenty of characters like banker riding the RSS/BJP bandwagon), what about 61% of the voters who did not vote for RSS/BJP in these elections. Were all these MUSLIMS? Even in 2004 parliamentary elections, RSS/BJP could secure only 31% votes. Were 69% voters who did not vote for Modi, were all Muslims?

He is putting the cart before the horse when he argues that ‘Muslims must give BJP a fair chance’. The fact is that BJP, as a pocket borough of RSS, does not treat Muslims and other minorities as equal partners in the Indian nation. It stands for converting democratic secular Indian polity into a Hindu state. Let me reproduce some terrible facts from RSS archives so that banker has knowledge of few fundamental facts about BJP/RSS.

BJP is not independent of RSS

It is latter’s political arm to undo democratic-secular polity. This will be clear from the following two directives of the most prominent ideologue of RSS, MS Golwalkar. The first statement tells us about the kind of personnel who are sent to manipulate politics and what is expected of them by the RSS. While delivering a speech on March 16, 1954, in Sindi, Wardha, he said: “If we say that we are part of the organisation and accept its discipline then selectiveness has no place in life. Do what is told. If told to play kabaddi, play kabaddi; if told to hold meeting then meeting … for instance, some of our friends were told to go and work for politics that does not mean that they have great interest or inspiration for it. They don’t die for politics like fish without water. If they are told to withdraw from politics then also there is no objection. Their discretion is just not required.”

The second statement is also very significant and clearly highlights the high level of political ambitions of the RSS. While addressing the leading RSS cadres at Indore on March 5, 1960, he said: “We know this also that some of our Swayamsevaks work in politics. There they have to organise according to the needs of work public meetings, processions etc, have to raise slogans. All these things have no place in our work. However, like the character in a play, whatever role has been assigned should be portrayed with best of capability. But sometimes swayamsevaks go beyond the role assigned to a performer (nat) as they develop over-zealousness in their hearts, to the extent that they become useless for this work. This is not good.

RSS demands Manusmriti as Constitution of India

All minorities and marginalsed sections can survive only if democratic-secular Indian polity survives. BJP, as a child of RSS, is committed to undo it. Constituent Assembly of India passed the Constitution on November 26, 1949, and on November 30, RSS organ, Organiser, in an editorial rejected this Constitution by arguing, “In our Constitution, there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day, his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But, to our constitutional pundits that means nothing”.

It demanded promulgation of Manusmriti, which decreed a sub-human status to Sudras and women, as Constitution.

RSS denigrates Tricolour

RSS/BJP organises tiranga yatras and demands unfurling of it on Islamic madrasas. But, for India, it demands bhagwa flag as part of its Hindutva project. On the eve of Independence, when Indian Constituent Assembly adopted the Tricolour as its National Flag, the English organ of the RSS, Organiser, in its issue dated August 14, 1947, abused this choice in the following words: “The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour but it will never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.”­

Demands Hindu Rashtra

The RSS, following the footsteps of Savarkar, rejected outrightly the idea that Hindus and Muslims together constituted a nation. The English organ of the RSS, Organiser, on the very eve of Independence (August 14, 1947) editorially chalked out its concept of nation in the following words: “Let us no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by false notions of nationhood. Much of the mental confusion and the present and future troubles can be removed by the ready recognition of the simple fact that in Hindustan only the Hindus form the nation and the national structure must be built on that safe and sound foundation… the nation itself must be built up of Hindus, on Hindu traditions, culture, ideas and aspirations”.

Allergic to democracy

The RSS, contrary to the principles of democracy, has been constantly demanding India to be ruled under a totalitarian regime. Golwalkar while delivering a speech before the 1,350 top level cadres of the RSS in 1940 declared, “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.

Golwalkar declared Muslims, Christians as enemies

The ‘Holy’ book for the RSS cadres Bunch of Thoughts, collection of writings of RSS/BJP guru Golwalkar has a long chapter titled as ‘Internal Threats’ in which Muslims and Christians are described as threat number one and two respectively. This chapter opens with the following statement: “It has been the tragic lesson of the history of many a country in the world that the hostile elements within the country pose a far greater menace to national security then aggressors from outside.”

It is sad that banker Syed Zafar Islam is trying to convince Muslims of India to support RSS/BJP oblivious of the fact that RSS/BJP are not antithetical to Muslims and Christians only but want to destroy Indian democratic-secular polity; thus playing havoc with the majority of Indians most of them being Hindus. Any patriotic Muslim must stand up to challenge the politics of the flag-bearers of two-nation. Mr Banker must understand that problem is not with the Muslims but the anti-national and anti-egalitarian ideology of RSS. Indians of all creeds will survive only when forces replicating Pakistan (Hindu Rashtra in India) are thoroughly cleansed.

Shamsul Islam is a retired Professor of University of Delhi. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own.

This article first appeared in www.countercurrents.org.

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Published: 06 May 2017, 5:35 PM