New Delhi: While the world sees India as a bright spot, “stagnated secular socialists” like former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan display their “Hindu hatred” by using ill-conceived and derogatory terms towards the religion, an editorial in Organiser, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) English mouthpiece, has said.
The editorial was referring to Rajan’s 5 March interview with news agency PTI, in which he said that India was “dangerously close” to the “Hindu rate of growth” given subdued private sector investment, high interest rates and slowing global growth.
Coined by the late economist Raj Krishna in 1978, the ‘Hindu rate of growth’ refers to a period between the 1960s and the 1980s when India experienced slow economic growth — around 4 per cent per annum.
Among other subjects covered by pro-Hindutva writers were Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s verbal attack on the Narendra Modi government during his visit to the UK, the results from last month’s assembly elections in three northeastern states — Meghalaya, Tripura, and Nagaland — and radical Sikh leader Amritpal Singh.
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The editorial in Organiser said only time would tell “whether the Bharatiya economy is showing positive trends as claimed by SBI based on recent GDP numbers against the available data on savings and investments”.
“But the fact remains that the entire world sees Bharat as the ‘bright spot in the post-Covid-19, Ukraine-Russia war-embroiled world,” the editorial wrote in response to Rajan’s choice of words.
The editorial also wondered why the term came to be associated with the Hindu religion.
“The Nehruvian socialism had nothing to do with Hindu principles and ideas; even Nehruvians would accept that,” the editorial said. “Then why did a person with Western liberal ideas equate another Western fad called socialism with Hindu Dharma? Pakistan is facing another economic crisis, but the phenomenon is never termed an Islamic growth rate. Many European countries have been going through cycles of stagnation and negative growth rate-not called a Christian growth rate.”
It further said: “Then what is the reason behind maligning the oldest and open civilisation? The answer is (a) ‘secular’ mindset. For both the Western prisms and Abrahamic religions, Hinduphobia is inherent. Branding anything Hindu as regressive, parochial, fatalist, and communal is their basic presumption for getting recognition as a scholar.”
A second piece on the same portal called Rajan’s comparison “ill-intended”, saying the economist had simply exposed himself by denigrating India’s growth story.
But Right-leaning writer Hari Shankar Vyas wondered why this was a topic of worry for the Modi government. In his column in Naya India, Vyas said: “When economist Raghuram Rajan talked about the Hindu growth rate, the power-lovers have not only called him a false economist but are calling him Leftist, Nehru’s son, and anti-national”.
Vyas wondered why there was “so much whining about small things by the government of the so-called immortal period of independent India”.
“Why? Because this mentality is the basic element of India’s Kali Yuga. Living in lies, hypocrisy, and keeping away from the truth is the permanent nature of Indians. That’s why they were slaves for centuries and they are becoming slaves again in the 21st century”, he said.
He further said: “The question is when Narendra Modi and his Amrit Kaal are immortal, then why worry about small things? They cannot lose and when the BJP-Sangh Parivar has become the overlord of Hindus forever, then what’s the need to be so upset with those who show the mirror or speak the truth? When the world is learning from Narendra Modi, then what is the need to complain about the speeches of unemployed people like Rahul Gandhi (and) Rajan?”
Gandhi’s remarks in the UK earlier this month on topics including the RSS, the Modi government and the state of Indian democracy had evoked a storm of criticism back home, including from the Sangh’s Hindi mouthpiece, Panchjanya.
According to an editorial in Panchjanya, the ‘prevailing perception’ that Gandhi is carrying out an anti-India campaign on behalf of some other country isn’t surprising.
“Moreover, there is nothing new in seeking help from foreign countries to bring down the Modi government. The problem is that the generosity of India’s democracy is being grossly misused,” the editorial said, adding that there are frequent attempts to put India’s democracy in the dock.
“This episode of Rahul Gandhi will certainly be recorded in history from the point of view of the extent,” it said.
RSS in northeast
In another piece in Organiser, Ratan Sharda, the author of several books on the RSS, gave the Sangh credit for the BJP’s successes in northeast India.
Sharda wrote that after the results of the assembly elections in three states were announced on 2 March, people spoke about how the BJP was making inroads in the region on the back of its development work. This, he wrote, was an incomplete view.
While the BJP retained Tripura and Nagaland, it allied with Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party in Meghalaya to form a government.
“The northeast has changed in the last nine years due to the hard work of unsung heroes, who worked for decades,” Sharda wrote in his editorial. “The change started when RSS sent 10 pracharaks in 1950 to the region. The Sangh gave moral support to indigenous faiths to revive their culture and centuries-old traditions that were under attack from the Church.”
This was an uphill task, with no resources, no social or political support, “and a hostile terrain controlled by the Church of various hues that had been there since 1836”.
“There was persecution, threats, and violence against RSS karyakartas and pracharaks,” he wrote.
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On Amritpal Singh
In an article for Organiser, Colonel Jaibans Singh (retd), a defence and security analyst, wrote that radical Sikh activist Amritpal Singh was actively pursuing a separatist agenda.
Referring to the incident at Ajnala on 24 February, when Amritpal and his supporters stormed a police station for the release of an aide — leaving six policemen wounded — the article said that all stakeholders, including governments, must immediately converge their resources to address the unfolding crisis in Punjab.
“Amritpal is merely a 10th-class pass who went abroad to earn a living since he could see no future for himself in India,” Jaibans Singh wrote. “Now, he eloquently addresses complex political and social theories to further his advocacy for the Khalistan cause. Apparently, he has been tutored. To the experienced eye, tutoring by Pakistan’s ISI is quite evident. He is possibly a foreign enemy-sponsored agent who has come to Punjab to leverage the weakness of the incumbent AAP-led government towards creating dissension and divisiveness in the border state.”
The piece comes days after reports that RSS had discussed Punjab in its Haryana conclave.
In an article in Panchjanya, Ajay Khemaria, a contributor to the magazine, questioned the working of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in India. The author demanded tough regulation for NGOs, especially when it comes to their funds and how these are utiised.
“It’s not a mere coincidence that the organisations that get foreign money from missionary institutions are getting huge amounts from CSR (corporate social responsibility) in this country,” the opinion piece said. “Not only this, but UNICEF is also providing a huge amount to most of these organisations in the name of education, health, and child welfare. In the last 9 years, about Rs 1.26 lakh crore were spent in the country.”
Only half of this amount has been spent on public welfare and development through various NGOs, the article claims.
“Investigation reveals that some big NGOs obtained this amount through their influence and gave it to such organisations in the name of associate NGOs which are directly related to the agitating (andolanjeevi) section,” he wrote, using Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s term for people he considers ‘habitual protesters’.
India and G20
In an opinion piece in Dainik Jagran on India’s presidency of the G20, Swadeshi Jagran Manch co-convenor Ashwani Mahajan wrote that the world’s biggest countries “were failing on various fronts”.
“In the constitutions of the present global institutions, things like world brotherhood, peace, development, mutual cooperation are mentioned,” he wrote. “But in reality, only the big countries of the world are not following those principles.”
He further wrote: “For the G20 group, which is the most powerful group of the world’s biggest nations, from where 85 per cent of the world’s GDP comes, where two-thirds of the world’s population resides, and from where 75 per cent of the world’s total trade comes, India has kept ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ as its theme”.
If India does indeed succeed in pushing the world towards a new global order, then a global consensus could be formed to solve problems such as financial instability, terrorism, conflict, food, and energy insecurity, Mahajan wrote.
RSS ideologue and former BJP leader Ram Madhav wrote an article about the controversial and now-scrapped National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).
In his piece in The Indian Express, Madhav argued that the debate and the disagreements over the NJAC — a proposed body for the appointment of judges and judicial officers that the Supreme Court struck down in 2015 — were a testament to India’s democracy.
“The judiciary remains independent. Judicial oversight and overreach are questioned and debated vigorously, both inside and outside Parliament, but not with any intention to curtail its independence,” Madhav wrote. “Parliament’s decision to streamline the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary through a National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was withheld by the government when the Supreme Court rejected it.”
He further wrote: “Many eminent jurists agree with the political view that the Collegium system should be replaced with a more balanced one. Disagreements over its constitution continue to delay the re-introduction of NJAC, but that delay is in itself evidence of the vibrancy of India’s democracy”.
Jawaharlal Nehru, he said, had faced severe criticism from his fellow Congressman “for being undemocratic”, Madhav wrote.
“Morarji Desai called him an ‘exhibitionist’, and Durga Das said he was ‘a superb performer”’ Nehru’s colleague and (then) chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, D.P. Mishra wrote that ‘under Nehru, the grain of democracy disappeared leaving only the husk behind’,” Madhav wrote.
Indian democracy, he claimed had reached its high point when a tribal person attained the highest constitutional position — a reference to President Droupadi Murmu.
“A leader from the backward classes adorns the highest position in the government. SCs, STs, OBCs, and women constitute over 60 per cent of the Cabinet,” he said. “Yet, if some leaders lament that this mature and inclusive democracy is in danger, it could either be because of the frustration over their political failures or due to a feudal mindset of entitlement that they inherited from their forefathers.”
(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)
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