Many political pundits consider that Rahul Gandhi is caught between the satan and the deep sea on the query of Hindutva. If he opposes it, then he’s damned and if he doesn’t, he’s doomed. Now, in a daring transfer, he has made a scathing assault on Hindutva. Whereas addressing a session of Congress employees in Maharashtra, he tried to emphasize the distinction between Hindutva and Hinduism, saying, “Why do Hindus want Hindutva once they observe Hinduism? Is Hinduism about beating a Sikh or Muslim individual? No. However Hindutva is. Is Hindutva about killing Akhlaq?”
This assertion have to be understood within the bigger political context. Within the final seven years, the BJP and the RSS, via their propaganda, have efficiently blurred the strains between Hindutva and Hinduism in order that they’re understood as nearly interchangeable, and to assault or criticise Hindutva means criticising the Hindu faith per se.
Rahul Gandhi not solely differentiates, but additionally defines Hindutva when it comes to violence. Which is reasonably daring. He says, “I’ve learn the Upanishad and nowhere is it written to kill a person. However I can see it in Hindutva. Our orientation comes from Lord Shiva, Kabir, Guru Nanak to Bapu.” Rahul asks a easy query, “In case you are a Hindu, why do you want Hindutva? Why do you want this new identify?”
Clearly, the BJP and the ruling dispensation moved shortly on a rebuttal. The BJP instantly retorted that Rahul was attacking the Hindu faith. “Rahul has a pathological hatred for Hindus,” stated BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.
Why did Rahul select to frontally assault Hindutva and what would be the political repercussions of his political diatribe? To know the skepticism about Rahul’s transfer inside a bit of political analysts as additionally inside the Congress, the current political ecosystem must be understood.
Since Narendra Modi turned Prime Minister, Hindutva has turn into a hegemonic ideology which has tried to dislodge the left-liberal ideological base of the Indian political system. Hindutva, which as soon as was regarded as socially regressive and backward-looking, has turn into a mirrored image and provider of the dominant political discourse and which, with the conspiratorial assist of the mainstream media, has been weaponized to demolish political opponents and silence the voice of dissent. The democratic house has shrunk and to be Hindutva Vadi has turn into modern. A narrative has been constructed that to criticise Hindutva is politically suicidal and to do can be to tackle the RSS and all the benefits it enjoys on its house turf.
Due to this fact, it was assumed that as an alternative of attacking Hindutva, the Opposition ought to take up developmental and coverage points to nook the Modi authorities. It was additionally understood that to be seen as Hindutva vadi might ship extra political dividends. And so, leaders earlier seen as near or fraternising with Muslim leaders all of a sudden modified gears. Opposition leaders raced to show who was the larger Hindu. Rahul Gandhi was temple-hopping, Arvind Kejriwal was reciting the Hanuman Chalisa and Mamata Banerjee proclaimed that she was a Brahman girl who carried out the Chandipath.
This was tagged political opportunism and so they all had been criticised for pursuing gentle Hindutva. Nevertheless it does assist these events to neutralise the BJP’s vicious marketing campaign to mission them as pro-Muslim leaders. It’s on this context that Opposition leaders discovered it tough to oppose the abrogation of Article 370 and the criminalisation of triple talaq. The riots in northeast Delhi and the Shaheen Bagh motion discovered muted response from these events. It was believed that speaking about these points would annoy Hindu voters and embolden the BJP’s marketing campaign. The Muslim neighborhood felt orphaned.
However this technique has a flip facet. Hindutva had discovered for itself an ethical excessive floor. It has been locations as past reproach. It was so ironic that the Opposition understood that Hindutva was damaging the essential material of the nation however discovered itself justifying and supporting its prevalence. However how can the Modi authorities be challenged with out trying to dislodge its principal fulcrum? It seems that Rahul Gandhi has realised the logical fallacy of this technique. However will his transfer present useful?
The BJP is blessed with a really strong organisational machine which has the capability to, if wanted, flip a lie into fact. It has the unprecedented backing of enormous sections of the media which will help create any narrative that advantages the celebration. It’s blessed with a charismatic chief who’s immensely well-liked. Due to this fact, one might argue that Rahul Gandhi’s transfer might boomerang. I do not agree with this thesis. I feel He has rightly identified the issue. It is very important realise that India has by no means confronted a scenario like this. The nation is confronted with a scenario through which it has slipped into being an ideological state, and an ideological state and its protagonists can solely be fought ideologically. This battle cannot be fought in bits and items, half-hearted makes an attempt will not lead wherever. To defeat Modi, Rahul Gandhi and the Opposition should hit on the core of the RSS, that’s their ideology, that’s Hindutva. A giant part of Hindus firmly believes that for India to realize its previous glory, Hindutva is crucial. Except individuals are instructed and satisfied that may be a falsehood, they’ll hold voting for the BJP regardless of its collection of monumental failures. I do know it’s a dangerous proposition however then there isn’t any different.
Anyway, the Congress has very restricted choices to place itself as a viable different. So Rahul Gandhi has appropriately taken a calculated danger. One might argue that given the state of his celebration at present, he has little to lose.
(Ashutosh is Writer and Editor, satyahindi.com.)
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