For dweshbhakti-filled India, it’s 2 mins to midnight!

For dweshbhakti-filled India, it’s two minutes to midnight!

Sardar, your ban on the RSS and forcing Golwalkar to pledge that the RSS will respect and live by the Constitution has all gone down the drain

DH’s Opinion Editor lives the life of an owl, and can turn his head 270 degrees. Credit: DH Illustration

Dear Gandhiji, Nehruji, Patelji, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Except there’s not much to be merry or happy about. Don’t get me wrong. I mean the merry and happy wishes for you. You, the long dead, are in a position to enjoy these occasions, unlike we, the living. But, forgive me, you can’t enjoy your bliss forever. We need you to come back.

Let me appraise you of the state of Bharatmata. Gandhiji, you may be happy to learn that India’s farmers staged a determined, year-long, non-violent protest against the farm laws and the government finally yielded, never mind that it was merely because Modiji feared losing the UP election.

But, at least after having bowed to the farmers’ peaceful protest, one would have expected that the BJP and its Parivar would come out and acknowledge that non-violent protest works, and can bend even the most heartless and ruthless of rulers -- whether it be the British colonial masters, or the ideological heirs of those who supported them by not joining the freedom struggle. For 75 years, they have gone around whispering that your non-violent struggle had nothing to do with our freedom and it was only violence, or the fear of violence, that made the British run away. They celebrate the Chauri-Chaura incident, but not your call to civil disobedience, or your suspension of it in the wake of the massacre. Violence – physical, verbal, psychological – has become so much the way of life for some to be able to accept that non-violence works.

Which brings me to what I wanted to tell Patelji. Sardar, remember the words that you wrote in pain and anguish to M S Golwalkar that the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha had spread the poison of communal hatred in society that led to the assassination of Gandhiji? Well, it is happening again. The amount of poison and hatred that’s being pumped into society is unbelievable. For seven years, we have heard and seen nothing but ‘dweshbhakti’ being propagated -- from the top offices in the country to the goondamentalist on the ground. Mob lynching in the name of the cow, ministers calling for dissenters to be labelled traitors and shot dead, attacks on students, institutions, attacks on Muslims, Christians, the arrest and demonisation of those speaking up for Dalits and Adivasis…Now, this week, Sardar, we heard pandits in Uttarakhand call for mass murder to establish ‘Hindu Rashtra’. We have come to a stage when the pandit in Uttarakhand says “There is no alternative”. We are at Nazi Germany’s ‘final solution’ moment.

Sardar, your ban on the RSS and forcing Golwalkar to pledge that the RSS will respect and live by the Constitution has all gone down the drain. His ideological heirs are taking revenge on you. And they are so clever, they are using our democracy to destroy democracy, the Constitution to destroy the Constitution, Parliament to render parliamentary democracy futile. Sad to say, but the Bharat that you and Nehru put together has reached failure point. What that India-hater Churchill kept saying, it is all coming true now.

Nehruji, you must by now know, of course, that your secular, forward-looking, modernising India is dead. As our Home Minister once proudly proclaimed, they have “reversed 60 years in six years.” It is as if we are back to 1947, and it was not you and Gandhiji and Sardar Patel that led us to freedom and into the modern India that existed until Kangana Ranaut gained independence. We are now in a parallel universe in which a bunch of thoughtless men became the leaders of India in 1947. We desperately need a Man in the High Castle to send us tapes of history as it actually happened -- before our memories are permanently overwritten by counterfactual imagination.

You spoke of our tryst with destiny, and we were moving, slowly but surely, towards our destiny for 70 years. But we are no longer moving towards it slowly. Now, we are hurtling uncontrollably towards our destiny. Except that our destination has changed. It used to be development and progress. It is now destruction. It used to be unity. It is now balkanisation. Ah, yes, the very prospect that gave you a shiver and fever on May 10, 1947, in Shimla. Yes, you prevented it then, but how will you stop it now, now that you are long dead?

India’s doomsday clock started ticking last week in Uttarakhand, the very ground that Adi Shankaracharya once stood on. Gandhiji, Nehruji, Patelji, you wanted Bharatmata to be independent, united, modern, humane and all that, and you struggled for it. If you want to save that India, you have to save it yourself. I know, I know, you are all dead. But the truth is, we, the living, in today’s India are more dead than you are. Our conscience is dead, our vision of India is dead, our ability to make the sacrifices needed is dead. So, take rebirth and come back and save India yourself, if you can. It’s two minutes to midnight!

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