India that isn't Bharat: RSS chief’s take on rape is not funny

It shows the intellectually bankruptcy of leadership

akash

Akash Deep Ashok | January 4, 2013


Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat

It takes an intellectual’s vision to set things straight. When quasis and pseudos failed — even after banging their heads against the wall for many days — to come up with a clear perspective on the brutalisation of society in the wake of the Delhi gangrape, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh sarsanghachalak (the supreme chief) Mohan Bhagwat rose over others like the sun over a fog-engulfed valley and proclaimed: rapes don’t occur in ‘Bharat’, but they occur frequently in ‘India’. 

Addressing a public meeting in Silchar on Tuesday, Bhagwat said, “Such crimes hardly take place in ‘Bharat’, but they occur frequently in ‘India’… You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gangrape or sex crimes. They are prevalent in some urban belts. Besides new legislations, Indian ethos and attitude towards women should be revisited in the context of ancient Indian values.”

While the quasis and pseudos were still grappling with his two-nation theory, another member of the outfit’s political wing and Madhya Pradesh minister Kailash Vijayvargiya stirred another controversy by saying that women who cross their limits pay the price. Quoting Ramayana, Vijayvargiya said just like Sita was abducted by Ravana, a woman will be punished if she crosses her limits (Lakshman Rekha).

While “quoted out of context” excuses and apologies might follow and right-wing intellectuals might argue that the two don’t represent the wing’s viewpoint on the issue and are certainly not the most learned of the lot; what should not be ignored is the nature of the mindset that the shakhas breed. 

The ideal of the RSS, according to itself, “is to carry the nation to the pinnacle of glory, through organising the entire society and ensuring protection of Hindu Dharma”. We need to ask Bhagwat again which nation is that: Bharat or India? And which of his two nations votes for the BJP: India or Bharat?

But the Sangh’s existence is a study in dichotomy. While it claims it is opposed to caste system and endeavours to eradicate it from the Hindu society, its headquarters in Nagpur itself has long been a mute witness to a stringent Brahminical supremacy.

On the ideals of tradition and modernity, its plight is no different from the rest of the nation. Caught in the influx of transition, it is still in a denial mode — an ephemeral dilemma of duality where adherence to an earlier order eventually becomes utopian. 

Years ago when I was a fresh college pass-out and was offered to teach English grammar in a school run by the RSS in my hometown, the dhoti-clad garrulous principal had told me with a grin and an almost impish clasp of hands that my biggest incentive (of course, other than perks) would be that I would not be required to wear dhoti like all other teachers in the school. The other side of the story is also that the principal was visiting people to find good English and computer teachers for the school. 

Bhagwat’s and Vijayvargiya’s misquotes coupled with the ilk of Sanjay Nirupams and Abhijit Mukherjees do not make a case for the culture of political solecism. It indicates the birth of the new voter and redundancy of the existing political class. And unless they can reinvent themselves, their claim to leadership is flimsy.

After the assassination of Julius Caesar, the irate crowd baying for the blood of conspirators did not spare even Cinna the poet simply because his name was similar to one of the conspirators. And when he made his case by reciting his verses, the crowd beat him saying he made bad verses. 

An angry crowd can be dispersed only until they meet again. And if our politicians fail to reinvent themselves and change their language, that day would not be far.

Comments

 

Other News

3% of medicines are of poor quality: Survey

 More than three percent of medicines in India are ‘Not of Standard Quality’ (NSQ) and 0.0245 percent spurious, reveals a survey report on drugs quality by the ministry of health.  The survey carried out by National Institute of Biologicals (NIB), Noida found that out of the

BEL unveils new weapon system for MBT Arjun tank

 Bharat electronics limited (BEL) has launched a new weapon control system — Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS) / Air Defence Weapon Station (ADWS) for 12.7 mm gun of MBT Arjun Mk II battle tank during recently concluded Aero India 2017 in Bengaluru. The new weapon control system

Sasikala camp in talks with OPS faction

 The Sasikala camp is in talks with the O Panneerselvam (OPS) faction and they are trying to win them over, says an AIADMK insider. Negotiation have started between the main AIADMK, which is with Sasikala, and the splinter group that is supporting former chief minister OPS. The party insider

Stories to read over the weekend

On October 1 last year, Mehtab Alam Ansari, 30, who worked as a tailor in Delhi, had arrived in his village, Chepa Khurd in Barkagaon tehsil of Harazibagh district, to celebrate Eid with his family. That morning, he was nearing Dadi Kalan, a neighbouring village, to meet an acquaintance when he hea

ONGC to invest of Rs 7,327 cr for five projects

  State run enterprise oil and natural gas corporation limited (ONGC) has decided to invest Rs 7,327 crore to develop five projects to produce oil and gas. The decision was taken in its 290th board meeting held on February 23. The projects include development of R-Series fields, incl

Shiv Sena may again ally with BJP

The civic election results could well have long term implications in Maharashtra’s politics, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) doing dramatically well and the Shiv Sena failing to get a simple majority.   The Shiv Sena won 84 seats, while the BJP bagged 82 seats. Th

Video

Digital Transformation Summit

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter