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‘Rishi Sunak is a Sanatani from Bhrigu Gotra’ — what Hindu Right press said about new British PM

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: As a Sanatani (Hindu) from the gotra (lineage) of the ancient sage Bhrigu, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will neither flee in panic from his country’s “deteriorating” economy, nor will he sit silently in the face of his opponents’ criticisms, according to an article in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) Hindi mouthpiece, Panchjanya.

“His Indian genes will continue to inspire him to face all the challenges and choose success in the end”, the article said, adding that Sunak’s elevation to the PM’s post on 25 October had reminded everyone about the “glorious Indian knowledge tradition”.  

The article went on to link Rishi’s last name ‘Sunak’ with an Indian sage called “Rishi Shaunak who was the son of another sage called Rishi Shunak”. 

Besides Sunak, the Hindu Right press also focussed on Chinese President Xi Jinping securing a third term in office, the Global Hunger Index, and Congress leader Shivraj Patil’s comments on the Bhagavad Gita. ThePrint brings you a wrap of how pro-Hindutva covered and commented on and commented on topical issues over the past week.

Sunak’s ‘caste and faith’

An article in the RSS’s Hindi mouthpiece, Organiser lambasted Indian opposition leaders who’ve used Sunak’s rise to power as a politician from a “minority community” in Britain to ask if such a situation would be possible in India.

In an article, the magazine asked Congress leaders not to look beyond the British PM’s “caste and faith”. Political commentator Amba Charan Vashishth claimed that Sunak’s elevation was a matter of rejoicing for every Indian, but the opposition was trying to extract political advantage out of it. 

“It is a matter of regret that in their (Congress) anxiety to extract political advantage out of this happening in the UK, politicians in the country have tried to paint the event to look as if Shri Rishi Sunak possessed no other merit except that he belongs to a minority community. Their shortsightedness stands exposed before the world community,” Vashishth wrote. 

The article specifically referred to two senior Congress leaders, Shashi Tharoor and P. Chidambaram, terming their “utterances funny”. 

“The erudite former Home and Finance Minister P. Chidambaran slammed the ‘majoritarianism’ in the country… Shri Shashi Tharoor went to the extent of asking whether Sunak-type appointments could be possible for Muslims and Christians in India.”

“In the just-concluded elections for the post of the president of Congress, why did both these gentlemen not demand that the party should shun “majoritarianism” and that a Muslim or a Christian should head the party,” Vashishth asked in the article. 

Also Read: Crackdown on PFI will ‘curb spread of Islamic radicalism’, says Hindu Right press

‘Democracies will have to be vigilant against Xi’

An editorial in the latest edition of Organiser said Xi Jinping getting a third term as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for the third time at the 20th Party Congress last month was unprecedented but not unexpected. 

It added that “democracies like Bharat” would have to be vigilant against the “communist despot”.

Citing the outcomes of the Party Congress, the editorial said that “Xi Jinping may explore the warpath to project himself as a challenger to the US-led international order. The already unstable world order will undoubtedly face uncertainties during the third term of Xi Jinping. Rogue allies of China, like Pakistan and North Korea, are encouraged by the third term of Xi. The leader’s personal ambitions may push humanity into another Cold War as Stalin and Mao did.”

Kerala governor vs govt; Shivraj Patil’s remarks on Bhagvad Gita 

An article in Organiser threw its weight behind Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan’s move to ask the vice-chancellors of nine state universities to tender their resignations. It praised the Supreme Court judgment that had quashed one V-C’s appointment on procedural grounds, after which Khan made his move. 

“What Governor of Kerala Arif Mohammed Khan was saying all these months regarding the Pinarayi Vijayan government and its misadventure in using the university campuses as the breeding ground for Marxist ideology through pliable, politically appointed vice-chancellors is now confirmed by the Supreme Court through its recent judgment.”

“While squashing the appointment of the vice-chancellor of Thiruvananthapuram-based Kalam Technological University (KTM), the Supreme Court not only exposed the procedural lapses in the appointment of VCs but reminded the LDF government (of) the need to appoint (an) apolitical person with high academic credentials to the post of vice-chancellor,” it said. 

It went on to say that “unworthy” political appointees who become VCs look after the political interests of ruling parties. This is the case, it alleged, in all southern states including Andhra Pradesh, where V-Cs appointed by the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government are “liberally allowing the premises of the universities for ruling party political meets”. 

In an article published in Dainik Jagran on 25 October, former Uttar Pradesh assembly speaker and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Hriday Narayan Dixit reacted to former Union home minister and Congress leader Shivraj Singh Patil’s claim that the Bhagavad Gita included the concept of jihad

In his article, Dixit wrote, “There is no permission to elaborate on the Quran according to Islamic belief. There is no restriction on elaborating on the Bhagavad Gita. Everyone has explained the Gita from their own point of view… but finding jihad in the Gita is either notorious, or the ambition to be on the top of secular politics.” 

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

Global Hunger Index ‘misleading’ 

Right-leaning author Minhaz Merchant in an article in Hindi daily, Dainik Bhaskar, called the Global Hunger Index (GHI) “misleading”. According to the GHI 2022, released last month, India’s ranking out of 121 countries slipped to 107 this year from 101 in 2021.

Merchant said the survey relies on four parameters, out of which three are for children below five years of age and only one is for adults. 

“Why is it called the Global Hunger Index? It is naturally a children’s hunger index. Can undernourishment in young children be used to extrapolate hunger in the larger population? Clearly not,” he wrote. 

‘Need to prepare intellectual warriors to fight communalism’ 

In an interview with Hindi newspaper Swadesh, RSS-affiliated outfit Prajna Pravah’s national convenor J. Nandakumar said “We need to prepare ‘intellectual warriors’ (bauddhik yoddha).” 

He claimed that the root cause of communalism was monotheism and, that it was being propagated in schools, colleges and other institutions.

“It is a perverted ideology that is a threat to India. They consider themselves to be true and consider others to be untrue. So we need to prepare intellectual warriors. Remove the last trace of slavery and fill that empty space with the Indian knowledge tradition,” Nandakumar said. 

He also attacked “woke” culture, calling it an anti-national ideology that has come in a new disguise. “It ranges from ordinary trade union leaders to those in the judiciary, whose derogatory remarks on family values can be heard from a public forum. Now the love for India has also become communism,” he added. 

(Edited by Anumeha Saxena)

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


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