October 3rd, 1999
© Akhilesh Mithal

Indifferent Voters & Politicians


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No one is waiting for the 13th Lok Sabha election results with bated breath and a pounding heart except those mired deep in the power game. And of course, their chumchaas, those who expect to benefit from their patrons assuming or reassuming power. All this indifference, ennui and boredom with elections arises from the fact that the process has failed to yield effective governance.

Corruption of a material kind and the institutionalization of communal hatred has sapped the vitals of the democratic process in India. Both these cancers are seen to affect major political parties like the Congress and what for want of a better name should be called The Hindu League. (The Hindu League is an apposite title for the conglomerate which calls itself Jan Sangh / RSS / VHP / BJP / Shiv Sena / Bajrang Dal or whatever the circumstances demand. This enables the denial of outrage in case of the Gandhi murder January 30, 1948, the Babari Masjid demolition December 6, 1992 and the burning alive and killing of Staines and his young sons in January 1999)

The cynicism of the electorate received a great boost when they saw, on national TV, Sardar Buta Singh erstwhile cabinet minister in the Congress government, dressed like the Maharaja of Patiala being sworn in as a member of the RSS- Atal Behari Vajpayee cabinet. Pandit Sukh Ram famous for bundles of high denomination currency notes tied up in soiled bedsheets discovered when he was in the Congress, also added his lustre to the RSS cabinet.

On the communalization of the Congress, the role of K.M. Munshi and Vallabhbhai Patel in building up myths like Somnath created by overenthusiastic sycophantic chroniclers of Mahmoud of Ghazna and resurrected by the British operators like Ellenborough during the early Nineteenth century, played an important part. Although the then Maharana of Udaipur rejected the so called "Gates of The Somnath Temple" because they were not what the British alleged them to be, the Hindus started believing in the myth that for 700 or 800 years they were brutalized by the Muslims. 

To look upon the British as "saviours" was the next logical step. The result was that the RSS anti-Muslim activity went unchecked in UP. B.B.L. Jaitley brought two trunkfuls of maps detailing Muslim localities with entry and exit points marked to the home secretary of UP in 1947, Rajeshwar Dayal. The RSS chief was in UP and his arrest would have frightened them into inaction. Gobind Ballabh Pant let him escape. Rajeshhwar Dayal writes that timely action might have averted the Gandhi murder.

Itís in this context that we saw the locks of the Babari Masjid opened by Rajiv Gandhiís government run at the time by Arun Nehru and Arun Singh. Today, Gobind Ballabh Pantís son K. C. Pant who had been part of the Congress and its governments for more then a quarter of a century and the two Aruns are in the RSS establishment. Itís said that they were moles or fifth column RSS as well as the CIA but the communalization of the Hindu mind by the British rulers in the Nineteenth century explains how they can live with their apparently turncoat actions.

To return to what is going to happen. Almost as routine, the new Lok Sabha will assemble soon and a new prime minister sworn in "to defend the Constitution." The RSS nominee will prove "third time unlucky!" according to most forecasters. To be a Cassandra is not difficult these days.

One can, with Mercutio say "a plague on both your houses" to the Congress and the Hindu League. They share not only the Aruns and K.C. Pants or a Rangarajan Kumarmangalam but also a Pandit Sukh Ram. Those who are anti-uppercaste can opt for Buta Singh who is a Sikh and a mazhabi to boot! The common cause for the Congress and the Hindu League is communalism, which segregates them from the Muslims and the Christians.

Perhaps those who believe that Muslims are different from Hindus should compare Pakistanís options with the Indian ones. How is Atal Behari Vajpayee any better from Nawaz Sharif or Benazir Bhutto from Sonia Gandhi? This newspaper can run a competition on the subject and publish replies.

Meanwhile, we should return to the past when the purushaarthas were not monotonous in being the single minded pursuit of material gains. For such a period we shall have to return to an India before its enslavement by the British, pre-westernization, pre-globalization, pre-communalization.


© Akhilesh Mithal, 1991-1999. All rights reserved.
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