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Independence not result of Congress efforts & satyagraha alone — Hindu Right press lauds RSS role

ThePrint’s round-up of how pro-Hindutva media covered and commented on news and topical issues over the past few weeks.

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New Delhi: A “systematic attempt” is being made to tell a partial history of India’s freedom struggle, writes Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s senior leader Manmohan Vaidya in the latest edition (14 August) of Organiser, the Sangh-affiliated journal.

He writes about the role of RSS in the freedom struggle, adding that people are forced to believe that independence was attained only because of the Congress party and Satyagraha in 1942. Vaidya goes on to mention anecdotes from the life of K.B. Hedgewar, founder of the RSS, and how he was involved in the freedom struggle.

“Even after knowing the importance and priority of attaining independence, one question plagued Dr Hedgewar — how could a handful of Englishmen, who came from 7,000 miles away for trade, rule this large country? There must be some flaws in us. He realised that our society had forgotten itself, and was divided into groups like castes, provinces, language, and faith; it was unorganised and full of bad practices. The British benefited from this and could rule us,” he writes.

He adds, “This history might be repeated in the future as well if the society remained the same even after independence. [Hedgewar] used to say that ‘Sapnath will come when Nagnath goes’ (if one type of snake goes, the other will come).”

Vaidya writes that the fervour of the independence struggle started in Nagpur from 1904 to 1905. “In 1897, the 9-10-year-old Keshav (the childhood name of Hedgewar) threw away into the dustbin the sweets distributed in the school on the occasion of the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria’s coronation. This was his anger and annoyance for being a slave to the British.”

Also read: ‘Hindus ridiculed continuously’ — Hindu Right press on poster for Leena Manimekalai’s ‘Kaali’

Muslims ‘irritated’ in Alappuzha 

Following protests by Muslim groups in Alappuzha, who were “irritated” about getting a Brahmin District Collector in their district, the Left-led Kerala government removed the IAS officer from his post, said a report in RSS-affiliated Hindi journal Panchjanya.

The IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman was removed and transferred to Civil Supplies Corporation days after he was appointed district collector. It could be recollected that Venkitaraman was the main accused in an incident of alleged ‘drunken driving’, which led to the death of a journalist named K.M. Basheer in 2019.

The trial in the case is progressing. Earlier this month, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and the Congress Party had protested against the officer’s appointment.

Referring to the accident, the Panchjanya report quoted local citizens as saying that Muslim groups were protesting against the IAS officer only because he is a Brahmin. It said, “It is noteworthy that the Left Democratic Front government (LDF) is in the State. That is why Muslims are even more irritated by how the government made a Brahmin a district collector in ‘their’ district.”

It added, “The Muslim organisations were opposing the decision of the LDF government led by the CPI(M). Though, at first, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan justified Venkitaraman’s appointment, not much time passed before he realised he cannot afford to anger them.”

VHP warns over killing of Karnataka BJP activist

If there is any extreme reaction by the Hindus against “Jihadi violence”, the Hindu society would not be responsible for it, warned Vishwa Hindu Parishad, in a 28 July press statement, referring to the killing of Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activist Praveen Nettaru on 26 July.

“If the Jihadi mindset continues to commit such sadism, viciousness, and assassinations, then there will be express fury in the Hindu society and naturally an extreme reaction. If it happens, then the Hindu society will not be responsible for it”, it stated.

The secretary general of VHP, Milind Parande, said, “Muslim community will now have to decide which leadership it accepts — that of Madanis and Owaisis or that of Kalams and Ashfaq Ullahs. The Muslim community will have to dismiss and eject the extremist and terrorist mindset from its social order and show it the door, otherwise, the self contradiction of their words and actions may remain.”

The Hindu organisation also called for fast track courts to bring justice to the families of those who have been made victims of “Jihadi violence and beheadings”.

‘Premchand stopped writing in Urdu because of Muslim opposition’ 

Hindu and Urdu author Premchand stopped writing in Urdu because he became the victim of ‘cancel-culture’ of the ‘progressive’ and Muslim writers, writes Right-leaning journalist Anant Vijay in an article in Dainik Jagran.

Vijay writes, “The flag-bearers of progressive thought used to suppress every idea which tarnished the image of Urdu and Urdu writers against Hindi and Hindi writers. This happened with Premchand, too. He started writing in Urdu. His play ‘Karbala‘ was written in Urdu, but Muslim writers of that period opposed it, arguing how could a Hindu writer base his writings on Muslim history?”

“As this made Premchand very upset, he stopped writing in Urdu,” concludes Vijay. He also mentions one of Premchand’s letters in which he had written, “Which Hindu writer has benefitted from writing in Urdu?”

Vijay argues that this negligence towards Hindu writers was not given importance by Hindi liberal writers. It also happened with Premchand because liberals wanted to project Premchand as a progressive writer. He also claims that Premchand had earlier kept the name of his famous novel as ‘Gau-Daaan’ (‘gau’ stands for cow), which was later changed to ‘Godan’.

“It is not accidental that the kind of respect Urdu writers received in Hindi literature, Hindi writers could not get the same respect in Urdu literature. From Iqbal to Faiz, all these poets could get famous when their shayari was published in Devnagari (Hindi script),” he wrote.

Also read: Muslim leaders not discarding ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ philosophy — Hindu Right press on Udaipur killing

Let the public own public sector banks: SJM

Writing about privatisation of banks on his website on 10 August, Swadeshi Jagran Manch’s co-convener Ashwani Mahajan urged that public sector banks should be owned by the public and not foreigners (MNCs and international corporations). He added that public sector banks are “essential”.

While talking about private banks, he wrote, “Their market share has increased, but whether they are credible is questionable”. In order to increase the efficiency of public sector banks, Mahajan said, you have to make decision-making more prudent and free from government intervention through bureaucrats.

“For this, the government can reduce its share from 51 per cent to a lower percentage. Through IPO, the shares of the public sector banks can be given to the general public. What is needed is the professional management of an institution.”

He cites the example of ITC, a government-owned company, to show that you can make a company successful not by handing it over to private corporate hands or foreigners, but by running it professionally.

BMS critical of NITI Aayog

Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh’s (BMS) monthly magazine Vishwakarma Sanket (August issue) has featured an article on how BMS is critical of the policies of the central government and the NITI Aayog.

“The Planning Commission was first assisting the government. But now, the NITI Aayog is full of representatives from multinational companies who are giving suggestions that are not suitable for the people. Unfortunately, the government is also implementing these suggestions”, a representative of BMS has said.

“The Industrial Relations Code 2020 will abolish trade unions. We would like the central government to modify the IR (Industrial Relations) Code and OSH (Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions) Code. We are also critical of the government doing privatisation, corporatisation, and monetisation. The government should ensure salary, social security, and job security to all sections of the society and the BMS will plan a massive protest on 17 November on these issues”, he said.

Also Read: ‘Flood jihad’ — Hindu Right press sees ‘jihadist conspiracy’ in Assam deluge

‘Where does the BJP get its confidence from?’

Senior Right-wing journalist Hari Shankar Vyas targeted the BJP for its attack on the opposition through Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids and asked where does the BJP  ‘get such confidence’ in his article for Naya India.

“The question is whether the BJP has no idea that what it is doing is too much, and if it bothers the opposition parties more, it could generate sympathy for them. Certainly, the BJP will have an idea and will also know the history of the post-Emergency elections, yet the campaign to eliminate or weaken the opposition has not stopped,” he added.

Vyas responded to the question himself, adding that the BJP has maligned the image of opposition leaders using social media and traditional media. “For this, media institutions were first controlled. Newspapers and television channels show only what the government says. False statements or photoshopped photos and edited videos of opposition leaders are made to go viral and the media plays them as they are. Through such videos, the biggest leader of the opposition, Rahul Gandhi, came to be called ‘Pappu’. Mamata Banerjee has been termed as ‘Mamata aapa’ to prove she uses Muslim-appeasement politics”.

Vyas wrote that the second reason for the BJP’s confidence is that they have been able to set a Hindu-Muslim narrative in people’s minds.

“This, too, has been well placed in public minds by the BJP through media and social media. Through various incidents, laws, speeches, television debates, etc. it has been established that Hindus are in danger from Muslims and only Narendra Modi can save them. An impression has been created that India actually became independent in 2014 when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. It is called the freedom of Hindus”.

(Edited by Siddarth Muralidharan)

Also Read: Threat of ‘Kafirophobia’ and ‘mindset of violence’ — what Hindu Right press wrote this week


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