Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Top saffron ideologue says Modi helpless, cannot control "autonomous" extreme Hindu groups' ghar vapsi

By Our Representative
Top Narendra Modi man Swapan Dasgupta, long known a powerful right-wing ideologue, has asked the BJP and the Modi government to “discover” effective ways of dealing with what he terms as “Hindu fringe” within the saffron family, but believes it may not be an easy task as they act independently of Modi and RSS. Taking strong exception to the way Hindu Mahasabha, a mere “letterhead that can be used or misused by anyone”, has been behaving, Dasgupta in a significant commentary has said that it was an “outrageous demand by one of its more obscure functionaries to install a bust of Nathuram Godse”.
Writing in the context of the recent disruptions in Parliament over Hindu conversions, especially the Rajya Sabha where the BJP-led alliance does not have majority, Dasgupta blames the BJP for what has been going on. He says, “Recent history has demonstrated that confrontational politics has become the norm for settling political scores. The BJP played that game when it was in opposition for 10 years and the Congress is emulating that dubious example.”
“That the opposition would spare no opportunity to derail the Narendra Modi government's progress was well known. What is perplexing many people is the larger question: Why did the BJP present the opportunity such an opening?”, asks the top ideologue. Seeking to defend Modi, he says, the Prime Minister is extremely dissatisfied with the “loose talk of some ministers and backbench MPs” and his calls restraint “went out to the wider Sangh Parivar”, and “a section of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has persisted with its more controversial programmes.”
While pointing out that Modi equals RSS chief Mohan Rao Bhagwat in stature in Sangh Parivar, and agreeing it is pertinent to ask as to why is he unable to control the hotheads, he seeks to explain: “Different wings of the wider Hindu parivar operate on the principle of functional autonomy.”
Providing examples of this “autonomy, he says, “The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, for example, has expressed its opposition to the government's reform initiatives in labour, coal and insurance.” Likewise, the “Swadeshi Jagaran Manch can be expected to be critical of many facets of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's Budget in 2015.”
Seeking to justify VHP’s 'ghar vapsi' or 'homecoming' programme in this context, the rightist ideologue says, “The programme enjoys the backing of a large number of Hindu organisations and religious gurus. Its champions don't see it as 'religious conversion' but an attempt to restore cultural inheritance to individuals and communities who 'strayed' from the ways of their ancestors.”
Given this framework, Dasgupta says, “It is a grim reality that neither Modi nor the RSS national leadership is in a position to control every facet of Hindu mobilisation.” In fact, he says, “There is a feeling in government circles that the present controversies that led to the disruption of Parliament were wilfully triggered by VHP's Dr Pravin Togadia, an individual who has an acrimonious relationship with Modi.”
He further goes on to say, “In practice, not even the RSS can control all the hotheads. The past two decades have seen the birth of many organisations that have either broken away from the Sangh parivar or have grown independently to wage militant battles on behalf of Hindus.” He believes that these groups are “highly motivated”, ideologically driven and often see the BJP (and even the RSS) as an impediment to the self-realisation of India's Hindus.”

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