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Will dig up past until ‘Islamists identify with invaders’ — in the Hindu Right press this week

ThePrint’s round-up of how pro-Hindutva media covered and commented on news and topical issues over the past few days.

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New Delhi: We will “continue excavating history as long as Islamists (sic) identify with invaders like Babur and Aurangzeb”, Prafulla Ketkar, editor of the RSS-affiliated journal Organiser, has written in an editorial on the Gyanvapi mosque controversy.

This, along with Veer Savarkar’s purported role in the formation of the Azad Hind Fauj, and Hindutva “forming the foundation” of the Indian Constitution, are some of the subjects that made it to the pages of the Hindu Right press this past week.

In the Organiser editorial, Ketkar argued that “distortion of the historical truth” is why people are relying on the courts to find out the facts concerning a range of issues, including the Gyanvapi mosque.

“The testimony of court records of Islamic invaders themselves is good enough to understand the nature of aggression and monstrous destruction. From Qutub-ud-din Aibak to Aurangzeb, there were unrelenting efforts to destroy the civilisational and spiritual heritage of Kashi with the ideology of iconoclasm. At the same time, there was continuous struggle and effort to restore and reclaim the same,” Ketkar wrote.

In what seem like references to AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi’s visit to Aurangzeb’s tomb in Aurangabad and AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s remarks decrying the demolition of the Babri Masjid, Ketkar said: “The Islamists (sic), who are the biggest victims of the religious onslaught of the communal bigots, take pride in the actions of persecutors of their ancestors. Showing reverence to the Aurangzeb tomb and ranting about the Babri Raag is an inhuman approach to deny history.”

Like caste and racial supremacists, Ketkar added, religious supremacists need to accept the “scars inflicted on the Hindu civilisation by the invaders” for reconciliation to pave the way for harmony.

“Until the Islamists (sic) stop associating themselves with the invaders and the secular intellectuals stop airbrushing historical wrongs, the urge for digging the past will continue. Acceptance and course correction as per the civilisational values are the natural steps for reconciliation,” he wrote.

Also Read: ‘Self-evident Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque is a temple’ — what Hindu Right press wrote this week

‘Economy running on auto-mode’

Right-leaning journalist Hari Shankar Vyas criticised the Modi government’s handling of the economy that he said seems to be running on “auto-mode”.

“It’s going down. Everyone knows that to stop it from rolling further, more force will have to be applied, but that need is not felt because the common man is ignorant about the condition of the economy. He has become more interested in the work of rectifying the mistakes made in medieval India,” Vyas wrote in Naya India, an online Hindi newspaper.

He added that while GST and income tax collection are at a record high, the economy — as a whole — is falling into an abyss.

“It seems there is a plan behind whatever is going on. Because if there was no plan behind this, then the government would have been in panic due to the decline of the economy on every scale,” he wrote. “But the government is showing no signs of panic and believes that this auto-mode will run for a very long time. But only God knows what will happen next.”

Savarkar & Azad Hind Fauj

Ahead of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s birth anniversary (28 May), the RSS-affiliated Hindi journal Panchjanya published an article by psychiatrist Dr Neeraj Dev claiming that Savarkar played a key role in the formation of the Azad Hind Fauj (INA), as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was “inspired by him”.

“When Savarkar was 15, he came to the realisation that freedom is not possible without war. Some years ago, Professor Kapil Kumar (historian) got letters from several Azad Hind Fauj soldiers that they joined the INA on the insistence of Barrister Savarkar,” the article reads.

It went on to say that Netaji, in a book about the Indian freedom struggle, mentioned his meeting with Savarkar, and that the latter was constantly thinking about how Hindus could get arms training by joining the British army in India.

“When, due to misguided political whims and lack of vision, almost all the leaders of Congress have been decrying all the soldiers in Indian National Army as mercenaries, it is heartening to know that Veer Savarkar is fearlessly exhorting youths of India to enlist in the Armed Forces,” the article quotes Subhas Chandra Bose as saying during a radio programme in June 1944.

“While talking to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Savarkar advised him to travel outside India and attack it (British empire) with the help of Britain’s adversaries at the time, such as Germany, Italy, Japan etc. Along with this, he also showed Netaji a letter from Rash Behari Bose informing him about an army he was building in Japan. He (Savarkar) also did not forget to tell him (Subhas Chandra Bose) that he could lead such an army, because he and Rash Behari were old,” the article went on to say.

Integration of immigrant Muslims

In an opinion piece for India Today, RSS ideologue and former BJP leader Ram Madhav wrote that the integration of immigrant Muslims into mainstream society as equal citizens is a question many countries face today.

“Rising lawlessness, street violence and gangsterism, mushrooming growth of madrasas and Arabic schools, increasing insistence on speaking in Arabic, wearing head-to-toe burqa and occupying large public spaces for daily prayers have been seen by many in the West as deliberate acts of defiance to nation-state ideology.

“All this is leading to a rise in reactionary Right-wing politics in several European countries. But the Islamists and their apologists refuse to address the integration question. Instead, they dub the reaction as xenophobia or Islamophobia,” Madhav wrote.

He further argued that “victimhood politics shouldn’t preclude Islamic society from looking seriously inwards”.

‘Hindutva forms foundation of Constitution’

Hindutva “forms the foundation of the Indian Constitution”, RSS functionary and author Rajiv Tuli wrote in an article for Dainik Jagran.

“Liberty, equality, brotherhood or fraternity, peaceful coexistence, democracy and respect for nature are the basic values of the Constitution. These cultural-civilisational values are derived from the core values of Hindu culture, which is the oldest prosperous civilisation in the world.

“The fundamental basis of the Indian Constitution is Hindutva, which is only humanism and humanity,” Tuli wrote.

He added that the name “Bharat”, which finds mention in the Constitution, has been derived from anecdotes from Hindu mythology.

Helping Sri Lanka

Helping Sri Lanka, which is reeling under an economic crisis, can help India earn the goodwill of Sri Lankans “trapped in the clutches of China, and take it on the path of development once again”, said an editorial in Swadeshi Jagaran Manch’s monthly magazine Swadeshi Patrika.

The article went on to suggest that the Government of India must provide humanitarian and commercial assistance to Sri Lanka, and help the island nation with an action plan for sustainable development.

Swadeshi Jagaran Manch is an affiliate of the nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

ABVP’s vision

In an article published in its monthly magazine Chhatra Shakti, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — RSS student wing — explained its political vision thus: “As a principled role, ABVP considered that it has to do constructive work without becoming a branch of any one party.

“ABVP’s vision in the context of the relationship between political party and state power was different from the beginning. It believed that although the formation of the country through government machinery was necessary and natural, that was not the only way to do the nation’s work.”

The ABVP, it added, “did not follow the path of becoming a political party in principle”.

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

Also Read: ‘WHO has lost credibility’ due to India deaths estimate — what Hindu Right press wrote this week

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