By Badri Raina | ZNet, June 30, 2009
Badri Raina’s ZSpace Page
Wasn’t there a playwright who penned Six Characters in Search of an Author?
Well, India has a “major” political party that seems forever in search of a programme.
It is called the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
But, hang on; unlike the famous play cited above, the BJP’s interminable project is, in fact, not to find the author/programme but to constantly hide the one and only it has.
That author of its unreal being is the RSS, the so-called cultural organization that was established by India’s right-wing, Brahmanism in 1924 in order to direct the anti-colonial freedom movement towards the formulation of a majoritarian Hindu Rashtra, in opposition to the secular and pluralist ideals of the then Congress-led national movement.
Staunch adherent to that time-tested instrument of social and every other oppression in India, the caste hierarchy or varna vyavastha, three dominant principles have constituted its raison d’ etre:
–an unrelenting hegemony of the upper castes over Hindu thought and practice;
–an unrelenting crusade against the Muslims whom it regards as alien to the land, and chief enemies of India’s “cultural essence”;
–a close embrace with militarist imperialism and with the systemic economic underpinnings that make such militarism and imperialism possible and necessary.
Not till 1949 did this organization declare its allegiance to the Indian Tricolour as comprising the undisputed icon of the new nation, and then too under duress and as a quid pro quo to the Nehru government’s willingness to release from prison its big chief or sarsangchalak who had been locked up as a consequence of the banning of the RSS after the Gandhi murder in 1948.
Only then was the RSS literally coerced into framing its constitution and putting on record its allegiance to the flag.
The fact that it still remains unreconciled to the Indian Constitution was borne out when the Vajpayee-led NDA regime (1999-2004) constituted a Constitution Review Committee, designed to alter some of the basic features of the Republic.