We need to understand that it is very difficult for the Communists to reconcile to Hindu culture and dharma as they have been trained to call religion as opium of the masses. Their hatred for Hindu religion comes from this training. Because of their Western training and viewpoint, they can’t differentiate between Dharma and religion
I am so happy that Comrade Sitaram has finally talked about Sita-Ram and the Mahabharat though he and his party believe that all this is pure unadulterated myth. I am surprised that he chose not to change his fictitious name all these years to a more practical name like Mamata did when she changed Ramdhenu to Rongdhenu. His lecture yesterday about the violent inclination of Hindus based on his understanding of Hindu texts and history can be called ‘Selective Readings of a Comrade’. In these days of debates, I am happy that we can have some ‘dialectic’ arguments.
CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury
Let me begin with some simple fact check about his love for King Ashoka’s Mauryan empire. Ashoka was a great king, but he had a very strong violent streak. Sanjeev Sanyal in his book ‘The Ocean of Churn’ questions the glorification of Ashoka by quoting some historical facts. I will not make a lengthy point, for that you should read this book. Simple fact—Ashoka converted to Buddhism two years prior to the terrible war of Kalinga in 262 BC. His violent didn’t stop there. His accession to the throne is one of the most violent acts perpetrated by any Hindu king. His violent overthrow of Bindusara and Sushima is documented too. His warning to those not falling in line are there for all to see, etched in stone. He killed as many as 18000 Ajivikas and scores of Jains. So, his conversion was a political strategy. Though that doesn’t take away the credit from the grand kingdom he created. But the point is let us not glorify a person through myth-making.
Let us remember that none of the Hindu icons and organisations betrayed the freedom movement the way Communists did. They begged the British to allow them to get 1942 agitation leaders arrested and serve Her Majesty Coming back to his argument about the Ramayan and the Mahabharat being very violent, let us look at the context and background. The Ramayan and the Mahabharat are not about subjugating non-believers or imposing one’s supremacist religion on enemies; even if they are not at all connected with you in any way. Abrahamic religions went out and searched for them to convert, subjugate or kill. And extremist followers of these religions are their current collaborators in states like Kerala. The Ramayan and the Mahabharat are stories about the fight for justice after all the efforts at finding a peaceful solution to give some justice to the wronged sides failed. It was for establishing rule of ethics and morality. It was not about imposing one’s faith on others. Hindus never quote from the Ramayan and the Mahabharat to perpetrate violence.
In recent history, only three religions have used violence to spread their ideologies. They are Christianity, Islam and Marxism. Between them, they have killed billions, not millions. Hindu culture has spread throughout the world in eons due to its inherent plurality and openness, not violence—across the world.
Is Yechury taunting the sufferers of Jihadi violence—Kashmiri Hindus and Bengali Hindus to take up arms, taking a cue from their scriptures; and is he faulting them for not understanding the essence of these scriptures according to Marx? Is he justifying Naxal violence? Unfortunately for him, the persecuted Hindus of Kashmir and Bengal believe in constitutional framework and have hoped to get justice within the framework of Indian Constitution. It is sad that we as a nation have failed them so far.
Yechury has quoted Dr Munje and alleges that he went to Italy to learn from it and set up a military school. Dr Munje didn’t have to go to Italy to open up a school that raised patriots and confident martial Hindus so they could fight the British. His successful model even today produces patriotic youth and provides wonderful officers to the army. Is invoking the martial spirit not required if you wish to defend your nation?
He talks of Veer Savarkar’s call for militarising the Hindus. Was it wrong to do so when they were subjugated for centuries and had become timid? He believed that by invoking the martial spirit, Indians would be able to fight the British, with arms if required. This call was not against Muslims. RSS too concurred with his idea of invoking martial spirit in Hindus by training them in drills and martial games like wooden staff. It is clear that we couldn’t beat the British with such harmless weapons. But it was equally true that unless Hindus had discipline, sense of pride and sense of unity they couldn’t gain freedom nor enjoy fruits of freedom.
Wasn’t Savarkar proved right by Indian National Army of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Naval rebellion in 1945-46 that saw the collapse of British control over India and forced them to leave? Lest we forget, Marxist and Nehruvian historians went on telling us that 1857 was a ‘mutiny’. It was Veer Savarkar who established that 1857 was the First War of Freedom.
Let us remember that none of the Hindu icons and organisations betrayed the freedom movement the way Communists did. They begged the British to allow them to get 1942 agitation leaders arrested and serve Her Majesty. They were so sick of Indian nationalism that they submitted a petition to the Cabinet Mission to break India into 16 sovereign nations. They never believed in India as one nation. They didn’t reconcile to the bourgeoisie freedom of India and went for armed uprising beginning in Telangana in 1947 itself. It took them four years and the full force of the state power to reconcile to Indian freedom and follow the path of democracy.
An important fact that I keep reminding people is that Veer Savarkar is not the founder nor the Ideologue of RSS, though his idea of Hindutva has lot of resonance with RSS. He is an inspiration. But, it is not true that RSS is not guided solely by his world view. In fact, RSS disagreed politely with Hindu Mahasabha in 1930 Salt Satyagraha and 1942 Quit India movement and took part in it. For this, he and his followers criticised RSS sharply. But, like true Hindus, they still agreed to disagree respectfully.
Finally, we need to understand that it is very difficult for the Communists to reconcile to Hindu culture and dharma as they have been trained to call religion as the opium of the masses. Their hatred for Hindu religion comes from this training. Because of their Western training and viewpoint, they can’t differentiate between Dharma and religion. They had a great problem with Swami Vivekananda as they looked at him as a ‘Hindu revivalist’. In fact, there is a dedicated lobby in the West, their collaborator that is working on belittling and demonising Swami ji. They realised very late that they have got a disconnect with the masses, so they tried to reconcile their hatred for religion and try to own up even Swami ji. But, it doesn’t work that way. Unless you have imbibed the spiritual traditions and plural culture of Bharat, you will end up the way Yechury has ended up - with egg on his face.
(The writer is an author and his recent book is RSS 3600– Demystifying RSS)