“The New Yorker” on 15th of January, 2021, published an article by Bill McKibben, titled – Gandhi, History, and the Lessons of the Events at the Capitol. As an Indian, one might feel a sense of pride that the West, the imperialistic west with the White man’s burden is looking towards the East for a solution to resolve the problems with their democracies. But as it turns out, the writers from the west are using their own failures to attack an India which is not fair enough to get their respect as equals, forget being seniors, having old Hindu history of ancient Rigvedic Democracy, secularism and Constitutional Federalism. I had earlier written on my blog urging the West to not use their own follies to attack India and Hinduism. This article in the New Yorker proves the worst of my fears true.
This article Mr Bill McKibben is reflective of the same racism which he claims to have written the piece on. The article is full of so much of factual incorrectness that it can only be attributed to a white man’s intellectual arrogance which allows him to lie about the history of brown people without any fear about ever being called out for the falsehood he spreads.
I had previously also written on this when I had requested the Western commentators to not use the follies of their own political systems and societal prejudices as an excuse to attack India. Most of the majority population of India has suffered centuries of political disenfranchisement as the Blacks in the US, with the only difference being that the Indian Hindus were the original inhabitants of the land, which makes it even worse.
Coming to the charge made on RSS, which is world’s largest philanthropy (and yet non-proselytizing) organization, on the forefronts of service in all-natural and man-made calamities, irrespective of the religion or faith of the victims. The largest and first Kitchen to come up to serve the poor during the COVID Lockdown was run by the RSS. RSS also runs one of the largest chains of schools for children from Tribal and rural India with a massive representation of Muslim students in more than 12000 Vidya Bharti schools run by the Organization.
The reason for this large-scale adoption of RSS-run schools is the renewed interest in quality, secular Education among the masses irrespective of their religious faith. Unfortunately, RSS has largely remained aloof to the modern-day media, which has allowed the religious fanatics who go up in arms defending the Madarassas which are schools of Islamic studies, propagate lies about RSS in the West. Unfortunately, the innocent lack of knowledge of common western masses has now started reflecting in the intellectual leaders and opinion-makers, who we find is as inept at differentiating between the Sikhs and the Sheikhs as the less-aware masses they seek to educate.
There are many social initiatives like opposing the Caste-Construct, protecting the indigenous culture, Languages and Literature of India, Support during natural disasters, which are to the credit of RSS. One thing that is not to the credit of RSS is Nathuram Godse. At the time of Gandhi’s assassination, RSS Chief MS Golwarkar was in Chennai and when informed of the Assassination, his first utterance was- ‘What a misfortune for the country! RSS offices across the country were closed for Thirteen Days of Mourning.
The writer totally relies on the position Congress against RSS given that RSS had offered the staunchest opposition to the imposition of Emergency in India which saw draconian Press censorship and entire Opposition imprisoned, and is the ideological force supportive of the BJP, the Political Party in Power. It is also pertinent to bring to the attention of the readers that the Rahul Gandhi, de-facto Chief of Congress had to apologize in the Highest Court of India for making such baseless charges implicating RSS in the Assassination of the Mahatma. Under Rahul Gandhi, Congress, thrown out of power for their Communal politics and brazen corruption by the democratic liberal society of India, has been attacking the Sangh repeatedly and even Savarkar who was kind of Father figure from all Indian freedom fighters from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose to Bhagat Singh, trying to get back at the BJP, through them.
While it is understandable that the foreign readers know more about Jawaharlal Nehru than Sardar Patel, the fact remains that but for Gandhi’s affection of Nehru, Sardar Patel was almost elected as the President of Congress (winning against Nehru) and would have been the first Prime Minister of India. Sardar Patel, however, remained one of the tallest leader of India, post-Independence, who served as India’s first Home Minister and was responsible for the amalgamation of more than Five Hundred Princely states as on sovereign Nation. While under pressure from Nehru, RSS was banned and Guru Golwalkar, the head of RSS was arrested.
This was opposed to nation-wide peaceful Satyagrah. On 28th March 1950, Sardar Patel, the Home Minister of India, wrote to Nehru that “my original belief that Bapu’s murder was not the result of an RSS Conspiracy but that of a section of the Hindu Mahasabha has been confirmed.” Unfortunately, facts are largely ignored by the people. In fact, almost a month before the assassination of the Mahatma, Patel had alluded to the deep-rooted conspiracy being run within Congress in a speech he had made in Lucknow on the 6th of January, 1948, where he said, “RSS men are not thieves or dacoits. They are patriots. They love their country.” The ban on RSS was lifted on the 12th of July, 1949. In fact
The author can be forgiven for not knowing the history, but since he lies so conveniently about the present, one can conclude that he is either lazy or a brazen propagandist. He writes “Muslims have faced the loss of Citizenship”. He knows that since this narrative pleases the Pakistani-interest groups, why to bother with the facts. In fact, there is no law passed or initiative was taken by any Government in India which might cause the Indian Muslims to lose Citizenship. India has merely passed the Citizenship Amendment Act which allows the people persecuted for their faith, from hitherto Indian geography, which has post-1947 turned into a theocratic Islamic state, to get expedited citizenship rights should they arrive in India as refugees. It is a pity that in spite of everyday reports of forced conversion, rapes and abduction of minorities like Hindus, Sikhs and Christians, the Western world would not want India to even extend a shelter to the refugees.
The author of New Yorker, forgets even while building the whole anti-India narrative around Gandhi, that Gandhi wanted Citizenship Amendment Act when he had mentioned that those minorities (Hindus, Sikhs, Christians) who were left behind in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh should be able to seek shelter in India whenever they want to come to India as their natural home. For obvious reasons, the law does not apply to illegal migrants who move to escape the law or to spread crime and violence. In fact, US routinely deports illegal immigrants, a number constantly rising to reach a high of 438,421 in 2013. Developing and overpopulated nations like India do have a right to protect their citizens from unlawful entrants to the nation while at the same time offering shelter to the persecuted refugees, which India has been doing since the time when Parsis had sought shelter in India in ancient days of Hindu rule while escaping Islamic persecution in their ancient lands.
The writer then refers to the currently elected Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state as ‘an extremist Hindu monk named by the BJP’ as if were some nation where heads of state were nominated by a Monarch or elected through a confusing Postal Ballot. The said extremist Hindu Monk comes from a tradition which was at the forefront of India’s freedom movement and had represented his Constituency five times in the past as an elected Member of Parliament before taking oath as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. His exemplary work has been praised many times by international bodies like WHO. Under his leadership, Eastern UP has also been able to fight the perennial Japanese Encephalitis and received commendations from UNICEF.
Continuing with his lies, the author claims that Adityanath called for building a temple to the Hindu God Ram on top of a mosque destroyed by a mob, and had proposed renaming of one of the Uttar Pradesh’s cities in Godse’s memory. The writer is wrong on both counts. The building of Ram Temple is a demand not of one political leader, rather of a vast Hindu majority. The structure which was brought down was not in use and was not a Mosque. A Hindu temple was ordered to be built at the site where the disputed structure was taken down by the Supreme Court of India based on objective analysis of scientific archaeological evidence which proved without dispute the presence of a Hindu Temple atop which the Islamic structure was built by Islamic invaders by destroying a pre-existing temple.
One needs to read a little bit of History and Supreme Court Judgement to understand that taking down the disputed structure was akin to BLM activists in the US taking down the statue of Edward Colston or Christopher Columbus. The second part of the claim is also inherently wrong since the claim refers to an NYT article by Samir Yasir. The 2017 Article quoted by the writer blatantly lies stating that ‘several Hindu temples are being converted to Godse temple‘ with no reference or substantiation. The writer in NYT claims that the Government of Uttar Pradesh which is led by a firebrand Hindu monk, Yogi Adityanath proposed changing the name of Meerut to Godse City. That propaganda article links to an article from IndiaTV News Desk.
The said source article actually posed this statement as a question as “Meerut to be renamed as Pandit Nathuram Godse Nagar?”. Further, the article clearly explains that it is not the State Government led by ‘Firebrand Hindu leader’ which is proposing the change of name, rather a non-descript Hindu group seeking to get this change and the State Government asking the opinion of the local administration on the matter. It is lazy journalism and pathetically careless Editorial that a charge made in 2017 is quoted with impunity to malign the image of India, which has world’s second-largest Muslim population without checking whether the change of name had happened in 2020 or not.
The lies of one propaganda journalist is quoted by another and thereby it becomes an established truth between two racist intellectuals who is a representative of world’s largest majority, Bill as a Christian supremacist and second-largest majority with Yasir Islamist fanatic decide to lie using one another references. Bill also mentions that Muslims are being killed without having any fact to back the claim. This totally ignores the fact that a thief who died of a heart attack in Police custody was turned into a hate-crime victim, another hoodlum who fought with people for a seat in a crowded train was made into a Messiah, while a Ramalingam hacked to death by evangelists and another Kamlesh Tiwari beheaded for blasphemy is not even spoken about.
While the media houses take matters pertaining to American and European nations pretty seriously, it is rather unfortunate that the brown-skinned nations and their societies be treated with brazen disrespect (a BJP is a Hindu bigot party in the article, but a Pakistan PM or Turkey’s President threatening the world with Nuclear war as a punishment to blasphemy is not, and a Bible-carrying white supremacist is merely a believer). Such articles form the backbone of half-baked reports routinely published by agencies like UN Human Rights Watch and lies oft-repeated are taken by the innocent consumer of these journalistic pieces as solemn truth.