Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tiny minority of India's traditional elite continues to hold the country to ransom

It is a sad fact that a tiny minority (probably numbering no more than a few thousand) continues to create a terrible situation for all of the country, resulting in bad publicity for the country - with a resulting impact on foreign tourists coming to the country, investing in the country, and so on.

This minority from India's traditional elite is totally unconcerned about the economic impact of its unsavoury activities on the country.

The traditional elite, consisting of the three top castes (Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas) held the country entirely to ransom earlier in our history. Rich people from other backgrounds naturally became part of the traditional elite particularly from the 7th century onwards.

Fortunately, most of the traditional elite started modernising, secularising and liberalising following the introduction of modern ideas beginning with the work of William Carey in the 1790s.

Though there were outbursts of opposition from certain elements in the traditional elite (including the 1857 "Mutiny" - which is known by various other names as well), fortunately only a tiny minority in the traditional elite (represented by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its allies in what has come to be called the "Sangh Parivar" or simply the "Parivar") still continues in its traditional preoccupation with trying to keep the nation in its control.

The Parivar has continued and even increased its verbal and physical attacks on the majority of the India's population (Dalits and OBS who were, in the times dominated by VHP types, known as the "outcastes" and "lower castes"), but also against Christians and Muslims.

And of course against Sikhs. On the 30th of June 2006, Shri Kupahalli Sudarshan (boss of the RSS, a part of the Sangh Parivar) again asserted that Sikhism was merely a Hindu cult - to the great anger of all the Sikh organisations and political parties in the country. Sikhs have moved the Justice Venkattachaliah National commission, which is reviewing the Constitution of India, to ensure that the Sikh identity as a separate religion is reaffirmed in the Statutes, and no attempt is made to rob the community of its distinctive identity by branding it as a sect or cult within the larger Hindu fold.
The Indian National Minorities Commission's Vice Chairman, TarlochanSingh, has put it on the record that the RSS's attempt to amalgamate the Hindu and Sikhreligions could pose a`serious threat'' to peace in the Sikh-majority state, Punjab.

Mr Tarlochan Singh told then-Prime Minster Mr Vajpayee that "The hardliners amongst the Sikhs were lying low after peace prevailed in Punjab. Now these groups have got an agenda and are organising meetings and protests in the state....Such pronouncements are interpreted by the Sikhs as being hostile to the Sikh religion and identity. Everyone is aware of what happened in Punjab in the eighties and nobody should try and create bad blood again. Sudarshan should withdraw the statement he made earlier and recognise that Sikhism is a separate religion and Sikhs have a separate identity." It remains to be seen if the RSS will respond to a commission summon to be available for a discussion next week. As far as I know, Sudarshan still has not withdrawn his inflammatory statements.

Another member of the Minorities Commission, Mr J. Dayal, writes: "The Sangh Parivar has never really hidden its agenda against the Sikh Community. The Congress may have been the main guilty party in the chaos and trauma of Punjab, and its terrible repercussions during the 1984 anti Sikh riots, but the Sangh hand has also been clearly visible in the troubles, up to and including the massacre of the Sikhs in Delhi, Kanpur and several other cities.
"People have not forgotten the anti Sikh rhetoric of grassroots Sangh workers and their leaders in Punjab and Delhi at the height of the xtremist movement in the border state. If the spotlight after the massacres focused only on the Congress, it had much to do with the desire to indict the goons of the then ruling party's Delhi unit. Later it was too late to enlarge the scope of the enquiries and the public debate to also indict the Sangh Parivar. Many guilty have goneaway scot free because of this lapse. So what is the lesson in this `sporadic unconnected incidents' - as the prime minister may perhaps style them? What is the common threadthat connects the physical and psychological wounds of the Christian in Udaipur, Phulbani and Gorakhpur, the anxiety of the Muslims as they await the Dharma Sansad's decision in the Kumbh at Allahabad on the date for the launch of the construction of the Ram Temple on therubble of the Babri masjid, and the Sikh fear that it is being robbed at political gun point of its very identity?
"Kupahalli Sudarshan keeps no one in any doubt about what his Sangh wants in the country: There can be no place for minorities unless it is as domesticated pets, living at the whims and fancy of the Sangh's definitions of nationhood and patriotism, of its narrow concept of culture and its perversion of an Indian ethos. The Sangh does not hate just one minority. It hates them all." Touchè.

If the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its allies "only" hated the majority (Dalits and OBCs) and the religious minorities, that would be bad enough.

Unfortunately, the Sangh Parivar hates everyone in the country opposed to its agenda, whether they be secular, Hindu or whatever.

The Sangh loves only itself - and if the country is not going to accept the values and rule of the Sangh, then the Sangh seems determined to hate and to do everything in its power to damage the country as a whole. Sphere: Related Content

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