Aabhas Maldahiyar, the author of #ModiAgain, believes that Modi is the engine of the train called Bharat and he is the only leader who can take the Nation forward today. Talking to Organiser’s Bengaluru Bureau Chief Prashanth Vaidyaraj he said BJP stands for Hindutva and it is the only philosophy which can save humanity. “For the last five years our country has made huge progress and is the third largest economy. But I want it to be the largest economy. Hence, I appeal to the people to think how their vote can take India ahead,” he says. Excerpts:
What prompted you to write this book?
It all started with conservation with a colleague while having tea. He showed me 200 reasons why not to vote for Modi. I then told him that I could show him 2000 reasons to vote for Modi. After this conversation, I thought of writing a thread initially as I usually do. Many of those who read my thread on my journey and reasons to vote for Modi suggested that I make it into a book so that it could reach to more people. In fact, it is just a 60-day old idea.
The byline says ‘An Ex-Communist’s Manifesto’. Can you elaborate on your journey from a communist to a proud Hindu?
It has truly been a journey. There is a saying that at 20 if you are not a Communist you don’t have a heart and if by 30 you are still a Communist you don’t have the brain. I have just turned 30 and I have left Communism at the right time. There are lot of things that transpired during this journey.
My message is very clear. Look what happened to the Anna Movement. All scams of Congress were exposed and it reduced to 44. Democracy needs a strong opposition but dynastic politics puts it out of the question. Regional parties have their own ambitions. We must make India run and not halt it I come from a cosmopolitan family, where it was a mix of people of Communist ideology to hardcore RSS backers. I was exposed to both from childhood. My father was a historian who exposed me to many civilisations. The academic history of what we get is corrupted. We were told that Indus Valley civilisation was all about Aryan coming in and driving away the Dravidians. We were told that River Saraswati dried in 1900 BC and Aryans came in 1500 BC. But ‘Rig Veda’ mentions Saraswati at least 65 times. I understood the lie propagated by the likes of Romila Thapar.
I lived with such lies until I joined an architecture school, which was another hub of Communist ideologies. We were taught various architectural movements in Europe. Cities like Chandigarh were seen as an epitome of city planning, but it doesn't speak of India at all. We didn’t learn about the riverfront development of Chandragupta Maurya. In architecture schools, we were never taught of Indian aspects of town planning. History of architecture never taught us about our temples and how they were the hub of all activities. During one of my trips to Ajanta cave temples in 2016, I realised the wonder and genius of the 2000-year old architecture, which used Snell’s law to safeguard the paintings inside the cave. This was my triggering point where I realised that I had to learn more about ancient India. From ancient Indian architecture, I went about reading literature then Puranas and Upanishads and Vedas. This exposed a lot of lies we are told about Aryans and Indian history and made me realise the greatness of Hindu civilisation.
You had voted against Modi in 2014. What made you believe in Modi now? Essentially, why #ModiAgain?
My book can be divided into two parts in the ratio of 70:30. 70 per cent is about the ex-Communist Manifesto as the byline goes. #ModiAgain is the resultant of a long process which is more important. I wrote the book so that people also realise the intent of the anti-Modi forces. It is not a pitch for Modi per se but a better Bharat for all of us. Given the circumstances and the transformation of myself from a Modi hater to a believer, I realised the toxic elements that are amongst us.
The journey also made me aware of what is right or wrong with BJP. Congress was not an option due to its corruption. AAP image was gone due to the theatrics of Kejriwal. So, I had to retrospect about BJP and what it stood for. Eventually, I decoded what Hindutva was and realised that it means ‘state of being Hindu’ and all other meanings attributed to it was a fallacy. Hindus were the most inclusive and welcomed alien religions too. During this time I also researched about its role in so-called Babri Masjid demolition and the history attributed to the structure. Given that Ayodhya was the birthplace of Lord Ram and is the most respected icon of our civilisation, a temple for him in Ayodhya had to be rebuilt. But after a day of the demolition, black flags were hoisted in Jamia in Delhi which made it clear that a religious angle was given to an event that was not religious at all. The stand of BJP was clear to me and its communal image was also getting erased in my mind. Even with regards to the Godhra riots, I realised after referring to a lot of materials like that of Madhu Kishwar’s ‘Modi Nama’ as to what really transpired and how Modi was in fact trying to douse the fire.
This made it clear to me that BJP stands for Hindutva and it is the only philosophy which can save humanity. Modi’s image also got clear in my mind and there were no other options. Though the book is also about the work of Modi, it is a pitch for better Bharat and not Modi.
Can you enumerate a few measures that the Modi government took which enabled you to say #ModiAgain?
There are a lot of policies that are close to my heart. Many of the measures taken have greatly touched every aspect of the common man’s life. Many policies have helped India regain its image in the world. His foreign policy has been a game changer and the best any government had. It started with the day he took oath as PM and indicated that he is ready to solve all issues through dialogue. But when Pakistan’s intent was clear and resorted to Uri attacks, Modi government took a decisive measure of surgical strikes. Even recently, when Abhinandan was returned as per the Geneva Convention, it showed the might of Modi government’s foreign policy. Had our policy been this strong then, Lt. Saurabh Kalia would have returned safely.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has caused an intent among the people to keep their place clean. It has increased the idea of hygiene. The way Modi government laid stress on building toilets in villages helped women to a great extent. Swachh Bharat was a right note to our civilisational values and the health of our women.
GST played a very crucial role and changed the dynamics of the way the whole country functioned. We used to pay 15 per cent at a restaurant and now we pay 4 per cent. Uniform tax everywhere has revolutionised our taxation system.
Digitisation is another aspect of this government which had brought about a lot of changes in our lives. Digi-Locker for example has made it easier to get government documents and university certificates at the click of a button.
Another important policy is the way it has taken banking ahead. Today, banking can be done on a mobile, through SMS. Those cribbing should return to archaic methods of banking in queues and cash and stop using apps. Even our health sector has changed a lot under the Modi government. In the times to come it will only improve further with new initiatives.
Today, Modi is the engine of the train called Bharat and he is the only leader today who can take Bharat forward. Find a better leader and I can think about him but Mahaghatbandan is all bunkum as each of them is vying to be the PM.
You are known for your Twitter threads that have antagonised many so-called experts of history. Why do you think it is important to counter false narratives?
I have been very active on Twitter and have exposed many false narratives through my threads. Here I should thank Vivek Agnihotri for supporting me wholeheartedly and pushed me to write more and counter false narratives. It is very essential to counter false narratives as they tend to influence common people, especially the youth, and can be detrimental to the country’s interests. Case in point is the narrative that few people tried to give post the Balakot air strikes questioning the strikes and peddling the Pakistani propaganda. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was portrayed as a failure using World Bank data that was four years old. So, if such false claims are not countered people will believe them as true.
I also engage in encounters on our history as I believe that the distance that you look backwards is what you will look forward. If history is not set in the right perspective, we will be made to feel guilty or inferior. Whether it is the battle between Alexander and Porus or during the Islamic invasion of Bharat, we are always taught that we lost all the wars which are far from the truth. Such narratives glorify the invaders and those who plundered our cities and made us feel inferior. It was due to my counter to Discovery Channel’s tweet on Alexander defeating Porus that they deleted their tweet. If our foundations are weak, our future will not be strong. They have set such narratives only to make us weak and hence we have to counter it effectively and set the right narrative.
What message do you wish to give to the voters as they go out to vote in the 2019 general elections?
One great indicator of the political awareness of the country is that though the Cricket World Cup is approaching, most are talking about elections. My message is very clear. Look what happened to the Anna Movement. All scams of Congress were exposed and were reduced to 44. Democracy needs a strong opposition but dynastic politics of Congress puts it out of the question. Regional parties are divided and have their own ambitions. We must make India run and not halt it. Even if they have personal grudges against a leader, they have to forget it and vote. For the last five years, our country has made huge progress and is the third largest economy but I want it to be the largest economy. Hence, I appeal to people to think about how their vote will take India ahead.