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Posts Tagged ‘Hindutva’

Bigotry: Shivraj Style

Posted by chimeki on October 11, 2013

shivraj

Shivraj Singh Chauhan

In Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is everywhere. He is in railway stations boasting clean platforms, at bus stops priding on Bus Rapid Transits, on the hoardings across roads, and in public conveniences. There is no place in Bhopal where one can slip out of his gaze. Big Brother is Watching You!

Hardly, one steps out of Bhopal station first thing comes to notice is Shivraj Singh big boastful picture explaining one of the his numerous yojanas (schemes). Literally, he has yojanas for every section and class of society. He is taking elders on pilgrimages through Mukhyamantri Teerth Darshan Yojana (Chief Minister Pilgrimage Scheme). He is educating the girls through Ladli Laxmi Yojana and later getting them married through Mukhyamantri Kanyadaan Yojana!

You name a section and he has yojana for it. For young and educated unemployed he has created Mukhyamantri Pichada Varg Yuva Swa-rojgaar (self employment) Yojana. For those who can’t afford medical expenses he is running a Free Pathology Checkup Scheme.

A careful study will reveal that hardly any scheme with Mukhyamantri prefix is new.  All were there. He prefixed Mukhyamantri and made people celebrate them. Supporters of welfare state would not mind this, however, Shivraj’s passion for these schemes is enough to give them shivers down their skins.

Shivraj is a magician.  From Bhopal he makes everyone believe that all is well in Indore and from Indore it looks other parts of state are flourishing! A Bhopali is seen singing paeans of Gwalior and an Indori falls short of words for glorifying Jabalpur’s development!  The road in Damoh is pathetic but according to Shivraj, in one of those hoardings of course, good roads have reached everywhere in Madhya Pradesh.

Under his careful gaze, Madhya Pradesh is being transformed into a replica of some imaginative medieval Hindu state which his supporters claim existed in the place where the state stands today! His party-men want to rename Bhopal as Bhojpal on some mythical Hindu king who is said to have ruled there. Since long he has been promoting ‘Vedic’ language Sanskrit with a passion of a crusader and now intends to introduce the Gita in Urdu to madarsa students. The farce doesn’t end here. He legitimizes dowry through his Mukhyamantri Kanyadaan Yogana instead of fighting it roots and branches. All his yojanas are shrewd attempts to saffronize the whole society.

If Gujarat under Modi is a laboratory of hardline, militaristic and chauvinistic Hindutva, Madhya Pradesh under Shivraj is an exercise in saffron bigotry.

jabalpur

Warnings on the rocks read: couples seen together will be beaten and their procession will be taken out! (photo: V.S.)

The CM hardly utters a word on industrialization and creating employment. The young either migrate or commit suicide. Madhya Pradesh’s major four cities have the highest suicide rates in India according to National Crime Record Bureau. Jabalpur, once a flourishing industrial hub of the country, leads the chart with 572 suicides in 2012. The administration, as anywhere else, blames ‘domestic’ problems and deteriorating ‘family system’ for the rise in number.  The fact of the matter is the main cause of suicides is increasing unemployment. The anger, rising from it, either results in self destruction or is channeled or managed to fuel hatred among weaker sections of the society. In 2011, Madhya Pradesh recorded, the highest number of rape cases at 3046.

Although, Shivraj is not solely responsible for the state’s complete collapse nevertheless his indifference towards it makes him doubly dangerous. He is an emperor who plays fiddle while his state is awaiting eruption. While Nero was acting unconsciously, Shivraj does it knowingly. Nothing is there in his tenure to suggest that he is concerned about the development of the state. Only thing he seems to care is implicit indoctrination of youth with religious chauvinism and anti-minority hatred making an easy catch for the RSS. In return, the Sangh guarantees him continuous support.

Jawaharlal Nehru in his Towards Freedom wrote about Fascism that ‘their way had been to mobilize mass support for one program and then to utilize this for an entirely different purpose (365).’ This is in cruel display in the BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh. The anger of people against unemployment and deteriorating condition is being utilized for ‘an entirely different purpose’. They are trained to distrust neighboring countries, see them as enemy and if need be, be ready to attack them.

The people are also given ‘classes’ in moral policing. They bully couples where ever they get to see them. Warnings, like, ‘boys and girls if found together will be beaten’, ‘their procession will be taken out’ and of other such exemplary punishment are written everywhere couples may have chance to be together. Valentine’s Day is the most feared day for the state’s youth. The warnings are issued well in advanced in local newspaper and cable channels and couples receive harsh treatment, in full public gaze, if seen together on that day. In this Bajrang Dal ruled state the police is a mere spectator.

Shivraj’s brand of Hindutva is not less dangerous for the society. What Narendra Modi failed to do, Shivraj Singh Chouhan is doing without coming under any scrutiny what so ever. This ‘benevolent’ looking Chief Minister has made religious bigotry, national chauvinism and Fascism a ‘national mission’. Unlike his Gujarati counterpart, he has made a dangerous and medieval idea acceptable to whole society without risking to put a drop of blood on his hand.

An MP Tourism jingle suggests ‘MP Ajab Hai (MP is strange)’. It equally fits on its CM too.

V.S.

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A View from the Charminar

Posted by chimeki on December 20, 2012

harminarThe controversy surrounding the historic Charminar at Hyderabad and the adjoining Bhagyalaxmi temple is one of many the sub continent has witnessed in the last two decades. This time the twist in the story is that not the formal Hindutva party but a secular party is in the forefront of save-the-temple campaign. The Andra Congress party is claiming that the adjoining temple is as old as the Minar itself and it should stay even at the cost of the Minar. Although there are ample evidences to suggest that the temple was planted in 1960s nevertheless there are no takers of the claims.

Well, these claims and political posturing hardly surprise anyone, at least those who are aware of the history of the Hindu religion. Hinduism is fundamentally an anti-history religion. Its inherent hatred for history can be traced as far as in ancient times. The clinical precision with which it erased the Buddhist history can put many modern surgeons to shame. Thanks to Alexander Cunningham, father of Indian Archeology, who, with great pain, traced the existence of Mauryan Empire in the region otherwise one would only be guessing the writings on the edicts. All the Buddhist monuments or caves were either converted to Hindu temples or were named after Hindu legends. Evidently, we see the Jagannath and other temples and Pandav Caves scattered across the land. Not surprisingly, many Hindu intellectuals claim the Taj Mahal and the Qutub Minar as Hindu temples.

Exemplary case for above drawn argument is Jabalpur, a small city in the heart of Madhya Pradesh. As its present its history too is shrouded with ambiguity. Talk to any native, he would, with few exceptions, relate the city with legendary saint Jaabaali of the Ramayana, a myth sustained by all the state governments and never seriously refuted by Archeological Survey of India. But before the rail link between Bombay and Calcutta was established in mid nineteenth century no one knew its existence. Garha was the only known town in its close proximity. It was during Marathas’ rule, in late eighteenth century that Jabalpur as a town came into existence. Etymologically, its name’s first part ‘Jabal’ comes from a Marathi word which means ‘near’. This suggests that the Marathas, instead of giving it a definite name, loosely referred it as a near town. The British called it Jubbulpore.

Today’s Jabalpur is a conglomeration of many small medieval towns. Two of them are Garha and Katanga.

In the edge of the city is Madan Mahal, a castle built by Gond King Madan Sahi. Today, this historical monument stands isolated. So far no government has shown interest of any kind for the monument. Excavation of the surrounding area would have brought to light an important aspect of the Gond history rescuing the Indian history from Vedic-Islamic binary.  So brute is the neglect that there is not even an inscription on stone which can suggest what people are looking at, which time of history it belonged. A set of cement stairs that takes to the castle is fast depleting. On the side of it people defecate and urinate. The caretakers of the temples do not seem to mind it. On the other hand they can’t see a girl and a boy hanging together. The mahants of these shrines have barred boys and girls from walking together and holding hands. Punishment, written bold and clearly on the rocks, for disobeying the holy warnings includes wiping, procession and arrest.

Apart from this the construction of temples, a Mosque and a Dargah around the castle has made the excavation impossible. In a state that takes pride in legends and myths scientific research is always causality. One can but wonder if the castle would have been built by a Babur or a Man Singh could it be so neglected.

To save history is to save future. A country that remains indifferent to its history is killing its own future.

V.S.

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