Skip to main content

RSS chief's Hindutva motto seems to be: Down with lynching, long live vadh

By Shamsul Islam*
India has turned into the lynching capital of the world. Our country has been tagged with this infamous identity with Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister of India in 2014. The Modi rule herald the beginning of nation-wide spree of lynching of Dalits and minorities. Unfortunately, there is no government data collection on hate-crimes but few media outlets have been collecting the lynch data.
In his first term of five years (2014-19) hate crime against minorities and Dalits increased by 90% of religious hate crimes which occurred in the in the last decade. Soon after Modi was re-elected as the Prime Minister on May 23, 2019, he gave a conciliatory speech trying to reassure Muslims, the main target of attacks, but crimes of lynching have increased manifold. According to NDTV these have increased by 1000%.
Hindutva apologists argue that lynching is not new to India. They are right. There is a long list of lynching/massacre of Dalits and minorities. There were following major incidents of massacre of Dalits:
1968 Kilvenmani massacre, Tamil Nadu, 1985 Karamchedu massacre, 1991 Tsundur massacre, Andhra Pradesh, 1996 Bathani Tola Massacre, Bihar, 1997 Laxmanpur Bathe massacre, Bihar, 1997 Melavalavu massacre, Tamil Nadu, 1997 Ramabai killings, Mumbai, 1999 Bant Singh killing, Punjab, 2000 Caste persecution in Karnataka, 2006 Khairlanji massacre, Maharashtra, 2011 killings of Dalits in Mirchpur, Haryana, 2012 Dharmapuri anti-Dalit violence, 2013 Marakkanam anti-Dalit violence, Tamil Nadu, 2014 Javkheda Hatyakand, Maharashtra, 2015 anti-Dalit violence in Dangawas, Rajasthan.
Three major minority communities of India have been victims of number of massacre like Nellie massacre (1983), Sikh genocide (1984), post-mosque demolition violence in Ayodhya and different parts of India, Bombay violence (1992-93), Gujarat violence against Christians in Gujarat (1997), burning of Graham Stuart Staines along with his two sons Philip (aged 10) and Timothy (aged 6) at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district in Odisha, India on 23 January 1999), Gujarat carnage (2002), Kandhmal violence/rapes against Christians (2008).
But these were declared and treated as serious crimes, perpetrators booked, though, none, finally, has been punished so far. The current spate of lynching which began with Modi's coming to power witnessed a heinous reality. The RSS/BJP rulers honoured these criminals with tickets for Parliament/state assemblies, public receptions and obliged with visits by RSS/BJP leaders in jails. 
It was natural that the Supremo of RSS would come forward to dilute the issue which he attempted in his recent annual address at RSS headquarters on Dussehra (October 8, 2019). Trying his best to divert the issue he declared:
"Nowadays, there have been reports that members of a community in our society have been attacked by another community, making them victims of social violence. Such incidents have not been one-sided. There are reports of incidents happening from both sides and allegations and counter-allegations. It has also come to light that some incidents have been deliberately fabricated while some others have been published in a distorted manner."
It may be noted that few years back, when there was a spurt of rape cases in India, the same Bhagwat had declared rapes as foreign!
He resorted to brazen lie that lynching attacks were "happening from both sides". It were one sided; victims being Muslims, Christians and Dalits. Bhagwat conveniently forgot that in July last year the Supreme Court had told the Union and state governments that ‘horrific acts of mobocracy’ could not be allowed to become the new normal, while underscoring the urgency to protect India’s ‘pluralist social fabric’ from bloodthirsty mobs.
Hindutva apologists argue lynching is not new to India. They are right. None has been punished. But now RSS/BJP rulers honour these criminals
But the law is yet to be conceptualized and passed. There has been no ambiguity about the source of this heinous agenda of lynching and its executioners. Those lynched anywhere in the country were first robbed and then forced to chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' and 'Jai Sri Ram' If it was sheer coincidences then these would be fit cases for entry into Guineas book of world record!
As if suffering from severe bout of amnesia he declared that:
"Lynching is not the word from Indian ethos, its origin is from a story in a separate religious text. We Indians trust in brotherhood. Don't impose such terms on Indians... Lynching itself is a western construct and one shouldn't use it in the Indian context to defame the country."
By 'western construct' he meant Christianity. As a top votary of the Hindutva camp he declared:
“In this context, there is an old story in a religious text prepared outside. There is no connection of that religion with this but there is an incident in which a village was preparing to stone a woman. Jesus Christ reached there and said, ‘you are stoning her because she is a sinner. Then make sure that the first stone is thrown by the person who has not sinned’. Then everyone realised their mistake.”
Thus a noble act of Jesus is portrayed to prove that lynching started with the Christianity. And what did Hindutva zealots do? They borrowed it from Christianity!
The National Council of Churches in India rightly urged upon "the highest Government officials and political leaders of National and State Governments as well as leaders of all political parties to condemn such heinous acts and irresponsible public statements so that peace and communal harmony can be maintained in this country."
It may be noted here that after the times of US Civil War when Blacks, Chinese and Hispanics were lynched in large numbers, it is India under Modi which is witnessing maximum number of lynching. In fact, Manusmriti¸ the most worship-able script of Brahmanism after Vedas which RSS/BJP leaders demand as the constitution of India which appeared around 2nd century BCE was the most original document in the world history decreeing lynching.
A glance over few punishments ordained for Sudras would make it clear. According to Manu,
  1. Once-born man (a Sudra), who insults a twice-born man with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out; for he is of low origin.
  2. If he mentions the names and castes (jati) of the (twice-born) with contumely, an iron nail, ten fingers long, shall be thrust red-hot into his mouth. 
  3. If he arrogantly teaches Brahmanas their duty, the king shall cause hot oil to be poured into his mouth and into his ears. 
  4. With whatever limb a man of a low caste does hurt to (a man of the three) highest (castes), even that limb shall be cut off; that is the teaching of Manu. 
  5. He who raises his hand or a stick, shall have his hand cut off; he who in anger kicks with his foot, shall have his foot cut off. 
  6. A low-caste man who tries to place himself on the same seat with a man of a high caste, shall be branded on his hip and be banished, or (the king) shall cause his buttock to be gashed. 
In fact, with Manusmriti around the Hindutva zealots do not need any foreign guiding source to lynch Dalits and Muslims in India!
He dismissed the incidents of lynching as a conspiracy hatched by “the so-called leaders – who in the name of advocating the interests of a specific community create clash in between the two communities of our society and have made an industry out of their pursuits for self-aggrandizement – should not be patronized. Adequate laws exist in the country to curb such incidents. They must be honestly and strictly implemented."
When minorities and Dalits are being lynched all around and Hindutva cadres appear to be the perpetrators the following advice of Bhagat to RSS cadres was only laughable.
"Neither this tendency is the tradition of our country nor does it fit in the spirit of the Constitution. Howsoever deep the difference of opinion be, howsoever provocative actions might have taken place, still, we should act by remaining within the limits of Constitution, handing over such cases to the police and reposing faith in the judicial system of the country. This is the duty of the citizens of a free nation." 
Manusmriti which appeared around 2nd century BCE was the most original document in the world history decreeing lynching
How much RSS cares for the Indian Constitution would be clear from its constant demand that this democratic-secular Constitution should be replaced by Manusmriti.
Responding to this canard a leading English daily of India wrote in an editorial that:
"Call it 'lynching' or 'mob murders' the crime is no less deadly: lives are being brutally snuffed out and the rule of law derailed. Even the argument that lynching denotes 'traditions alien to Bharat and belong elsewhere' doesn’t pass muster: no civilized society condones mobs meting out instant punishment. By asking critics to talk less about human rights and warning that they erode communal relations, Bhagwat is essentially restating the 'Asian values' thesis that Asia leans towards collectivism, authoritarianism and social harmony over human rights."
The Hindutva ideologue may be allergic to the word lynch for being foreign but must be familiar with the Brahmanical term 'vadh' which they use to describe the killings of the adversaries. They described murder of Father of the Nation as 'Gandhi-vadh'; killing as offering to goods/goddesses. The Hindutva motto seems to be: down with lynching, long live vadh!
---
*Political scientist, formerly with the Delhi University. Click here  for read some of Prof Islam's writings in English, Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati and video interviews/debates. Twitter: @shamsforjustice; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shamsul.islam.332; blog: http://shamsforpeace.blogspot.com/; contact: notoinjustice@gmail.com

Comments

TRENDING

HSBC shareholders seek exit from funding Adani's 'contentious' Australian coalmine

By Our Representative  In a move that may embarrass India's top business house known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shareholders of HSBC, a British multinational investment bank, the largest in Europe with total assets of US$2.715 trillion, are likely to decide at its AGM on May 28, 2021 a plan to exit coal financing related to the Adani Group, as it begins digging the Carmichael mega coal mine in Australia, reports Melbourne-based South Asia Times.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Ciminalising 'tool' created, name: Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act 2020

By Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly, Rejitha Nair* The year 2021 in Gujarat opened its account with 647 alleged land grabbing cases under investigation, 16 FIRs filed against 34 land grabbers within 35 days of Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act 2020 (GLGPA), as informed by the Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Gujarat State, in a press conference on January 22, 2021. He further informed that of 647 alleged cases, 605 applications of land grabbing were received by different collectors who have initiated suo moto proceedings in 42 cases. The total land in these cases is estimated to be around 1.35 lakh square metre, worth Rs 220 crore as per jantri rates (ready reckoner of land prices in different parts of the state). By March 15, 2021, at least six even cases are before the Gujarat High Court. Of about 11 cases reported in the daily newspapers, in three cases, grabbing of government land is charged, and the rest are land disputes between two individuals. The promptness of the district collect

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.