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Despite all the ‘Virat Hindu’ noises Subramanian Swamy has been making, here is why I can’t trust him

The Virat Hindu today, who claims to want a Hindutva government at the centre, is credited with the fall of the Atal Bihar Vajpayee government in 1998. Not just that, Swamy took it upon himself the smear the image of Vajpayee and his colleagues as well.

Every civilisation is built upon the lives of countless brave men, and by all accounts, Hindus squandered the victories of our ancestors, shamelessly so, in the pursuit of colonial constructs of secularism and political correctness. In the run-up to 2014, Hindus thought they saw a glimmer of hope. With Narendra Modi being sworn in as the Prime Minister of India, Hindus finally got a leader who at least would not actively work against them, even if he worked to uphold the secular republic of India.

After 7 years, much has been accomplished by the Modi government for the secular republic that the sword government has to uphold and the Hindu civilisation, that the people expected from the ones they elected. Did the government manage to cover itself in glory as far as civilisational causes are concerned? Perhaps not. Not entirely, for sure.

While the Left has often blamed PM Modi for implementing his “Hindutva agenda”, the non-Left has been disgruntled to some extent, wondering why the brute majority was not put to use to resolve issues that have been a thorn for the Hindu community for the longest time.

The Left chooses to believe that the Supreme Court deciding in favour of Hindus in the Ram Janmabhoomi case, the abrogation of Article 370, the fact that this government has chosen not to bring anti-Hindu legislation like the Communal Violence Bill and that the government refused to cow down to Islamic forces during the Delhi riots after it introduced the CAA, is Modi’s Hindutva agenda.

The non-Left, on the other hand, firmly believes that civilisational causes have been pushed under the rug for tropes like ‘ek haath main Quran aur ek haath main computer’ and the fact that he chose to condemn Gau Rakshaks after a thief was lynched, and has mostly maintained stoic silence while Hindus are massacred regularly.

The non-Left wonders why the Places of Worship Act has not been repealed, why there is no movement on freeing Hindu Temples, why the RSS took a contrarian stand in the Sabarimala issue before Hindus took to the streets to defend their own faith, why the central government hardly did anything when Hindus were being killed in Bengal, why they kept silent in the Palghar lynching case, so on and so forth.

There is no argument that BJP faltered, in some cases due to compulsions in other cases, for inexplicable reasons best known to them. But the gaping vacuum left by the BJP in catering to certain civilisational issues presented itself as an opportunity for dodgy politicians to market themselves as ‘Virat Hindus’ who, regardless of their past shenanigans, can be the only saviours for Hindus.

Subramanian Swamy, one such politician who has been masquerading as a ‘Virat Hindu’, left several political dead bodies in his path while reaching the top, or what he considers to be a top – which is essentially beating his own drum to a handful of zombies.

The Virat Hindu today, who claims to want a Hindutva government at the centre, is credited with the fall of the Atal Bihar Vajpayee government in 1998. Not just that, Swamy took it upon himself the smear the image of Vajpayee and his colleagues as well.

“In Delhi, the Japanese external affairs minister had organised a party. Vajpayee, who was present there as India’s external affairs minister, was drunk. I was also invited to that dinner. I was shocked to see the external affairs minister fully intoxicated…” he wrote in an issue dated March 20, 1997.

Here are more comments by Swamy on Vajpayee published in Outlook magazine on March 23, 1998:

1. “Vajpayee could not stomach the fame I got as an ‘Emergency hero’. Further, he was desperately trying to cover the humiliation of his all-out surrender before Indira.

2. “Though Charan Singh got a bad name for pulling down the Morarji government, the real culprits are Vajpayee and Ramakrishna Hegde. A shocked Morarji resigned and withdrew from the public life. In fact, on that day, Hegde and Vajpayee should have quit public life.”

3. “Morarji and Charan Singh are like Kaikeyee of the Ramayana. In the Janata Ramayana, Kooni’s role was played by Vajpayee.”

There are stark parallels to what Swamy was saying then and what he is saying now. Then, he wondered if Vajpayee was “jealous” of his “fame” that came from being branded, perhaps in his own head, as the “Emergency hero”. Now, he is demanding that PM Modi show “gratitude” to him, not sure for what, and make him the Finance Minister. Through it all, his tone is that of “do it or else…”, the only difference now is that he can’t do to Modi what he did to Vajpayee.

Other than his political shenanigans of Swamy, the Virat Hindu today went around in the 90s and 2000s calling the RSS, which he now claims to espouse, a terrorist organisation.

In 2000, Subramanian Swamy had written, “Today the creeping fascism of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is coming upon us not as gradually as imperialism did, nor as suddenly as did the Emergency. Its spread is being calibrated adroitly by seven faceless men of the RSS, the RSS ‘high command’.”

He further said, “The motto is: ‘Join us and be free. Resist us and see you in court.’ By a series of such sham prosecutions and managed associate media leaks, the RSS expects to undermine the democratic Opposition in India”.

Not just that, demanding a ban on RSS and BJP, he said, “That, of course, is Hindutva justice: that is, the minorities can best look forward to liberation through mercy killing”.

While saying all of this, Swamy had also advocated that the government must rebuild the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, this, while now he claims that Hindus won the case because of him and his arguments (untrue). Essentially, Swamy wanted the glory of Ram Janmabhoomi verdict all for himself… insulting those who laid their lives down for over 500 years to reclaim what was ours.

Swamy’s famed changes in ideology have been justified by him with a simple answer. In a 2018 interview, Swamy claimed that he had a ‘hate relationship’ with the RSS in the past.

He blamed his sore relationship with the RSS on his wrong impression about the way Sangh works, where he too used to believe that the Sangh micromanages the BJP, and whatever BJP leaders do and say, is on orders of the Sangh. As a result, his dislike for Atal Bihari Vajpayee turned into a dislike for Sangh.

He attributed this change of ideology to an event, which he claimed transformed his personality and opened his eyes. The event was the arrest of Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi on November 11, 2004, which happened to be Diwali day, in a year Congress returned to power after eight long years.

Visuals of Shankaracharya being dragged and arrested had shocked many back then, who thought that it was not just a case of police excess, but a deliberate humiliation of a Hindu saint – visual signalling of an ‘anti-Hindu’ party returning to power. Swamy said that he had never imagined that a Hindu saint will be treated like this in India, and this incident changed him.

After a long trial, in 2013 the Kanchi Shankaracharya was acquitted in the murder case, for which he was arrested. He breathed his last in February 2018.

This justification has been repeated ad nauseam by Swamy. But does it really hold water? Does it explain why Swamy went from an anti-Hindu ideologue to a Hindutva icon? Does it justify the fact that whatever he is today is owing to his ideology and his love for Hindus and not because he is an opportunist? Does it explain how someone who went to Sonia Gandhi to seek help to topple the Vajpayee government can now be a Hindutva hero?

Swamy, on several occasions, has claimed that he is the “original Jan Sangh”. That he used to be a part of Jan Sangh and had never been a part of Congress despite his admitted close proximity to Rajiv Gandhi and the fact he went to Sonia Gandhi to topple to the Vajpayee government. Despite the fact that he defended Rajiv Gandhi tooth and nail after the Bofors case.

Now, that he says the arrest of Shankaracharya changed his ideology from being anti-Hindu to Virat Hindu could make sense. However, if Swamy was “original Jan Sangh”, as he claims, what explains his journey from being a part of that organisation to be so virulently anti-Hindu? And why did it need the arrest of Shankaracharya for him to remember that originally, he was not anti-Hindu? Or did he turn anti-Hindu simply for political gains and then turned back to his Jan Sangh ideology when he saw a political opportunity?

For those who were a part of Congress and join the BJP after a change of heart or out of political opportunism, to a large extent, the change is understandable. There are no permanent friends and enemies in politics and Hindutvavadis need to understand that, including me. Politics makes for strange bed-fellows. But those who choose to lay next to anti-Hindu genocidal maniacs who would pass bills like the Communal Violence Bill don’t suddenly wake up one day, get rid of the bed-fellow and become Virat Hindu.

In this respect, I would personally be far more sympathetic to someone like Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, the Mahant of Dasna Temple. While many BJP supporters have now started claiming that he maybe be someone close to Samajwadi Party, politics aside, Saraswati has stood his ground as far as civilisational issues are concerned. He protects a small temple surrounded by Muslim extremists, has survived several assassination attempts and talks about protecting Hindu girls from the menace of Grooming Jihad. A loose cannon, but one that has his heart in the right place.

Opportunists are those who throw morals and ethics to the wind, simply to achieve their personal goals. For many, that is perfectly acceptable and perhaps it should be. Personal ambition is not something to be frowned upon, in fact, it could be something to be cherished. But when it comes to Hindus, far too many individuals have used our angst to catapult themselves as our messiahs while working silently with those who rather dance on our dead skulls. Swamy did just that. Swamy joined hands with those who wanted to annihilate Hindus because he wanted to meet his political goals, and now, he is marketing himself as a ‘Virat Hindu’ to yet again, meet his own ambitions. The larger cause is a mere tool for such individuals and it would bode well for Hindus to open their eyes and smell the coffee.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Nupur J Sharma
Nupur J Sharma
Editor-in-Chief, OpIndia.

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