- From Jammu statehood to Kashmir accession, the BJP record is one of hypocrisy
It is eerie that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh celebrated `Accession to India’ Day on October 26. History tells that the RSS, a communalist outfit, was fanatically opposed to plebiscite or accession of the disputed state either to India or Pakistan. It wanted Hindu-majority Jammu to be a separate state or integrated with the then Punjab. The RSS affiliate, the Jammu-based Praja Parishad, spearheaded the demand for separating Jammu from the Valley. Yet the BJP’s predecessor, the Jan Sangh, its political mentor, the RSS, and the organization supported by them, the Praja Parishad had celebrated the ‘accession’ of Jammu and Kashmir to India on 26 October 1947. The accession itself is a myth. But, it is strange that its opponents are now riding the accession bandwagon. Had Sheikh Abdullah or Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru been alive, they would have been stupefied.
The RSS-BJP is busy renaming the Kashmir tunnels and bridges after Jan Sangh leaders. But, the Jana Sangh was all along opposed to Article 370. The organisation agitated for its abrogation. Later, they also opposed the Union Government’s Delhi Accord with the Jammu and Kashmir Government.
Nehru was obsessed that if Jammu gets separated from the Valley on communal grounds, it would amount to tearing to shreds the vision of a secular India. He saw no difference between the two-nation theory and advocating a separate Jammu state. In an emotional speech at Calcutta, on 1 January 1952, he said: There can be no greater vindication than this of our secular policies, our Constitution, that we have drawn the people of Kashmir towards us. But just imagine what would have happened in Kashmir if the Jan Sangh or any other communal party had been at the helm of affairs. The people of Kashmir say that they are fed up with this communalism. Why should they live in a country where the Jan Sangh and RSS are constantly beleaguering them? They will go elsewhere and they will not stay with us’.
In another speech on 6 July 1952, he expressed his shock: I am amazed at the way they have gone about doing things in Kashmir in the last couple of years. Basically, their tactics are to denounce the present regime in Kashmir, thereby sowing the seeds of dissension at the time it is essential for all of us to march together. How does it benefit anyone? The Praja Parishad claims loudly that Kashmir must be merged with the Indian Union. We too want that. But it is easy to see the result of tactics they have adopted. It is amazing to see the references to the Jammu Praja Parishad in the Pakistani newspapers. Pakistan is aware that the Praja Parishad is making their task easier by creating dissensions in Kashmir. So you can understand why it is important to act circumspectly.
In the LokSabha on 26 June 1952, he said:”Do not think that you are dealing with a part of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar or Gujarat. You are dealing with an area, historically and geographically and in all manner of things, with a certain background. If we bring our local ideas and local prejudices everywhere, we will never consolidate. We have to be men of vision and there has to be broadminded acceptance of facts.”
Preventing cow slaughter or beef-eating has neither economic nor constitutional backing. Where is secular India headed? If re-elected, as is likely, Modi would amend India’s constitution to make India a Hindu republic and adopt cows as equal citizens
Nehru, in his letter of 29 June 1953 confided to his friend B.C. Roy how the Praja Parishad movement had harmed the interests of the country: “If Hindu communalists could organise a movement in Jammu, why should not the Muslim communalists function in Kashmir? The position now is that if there was a plebiscite, a great majority of Muslims in Kashmir would go against us. In fact, there has been some petty violence also.”
The RSS is trying hard to prove that The Muslim Rashtriya Manch (Muslim National Forum) is not a communal outfit. It includes Muslim also. In 2002, K.S. Sudarshan, then RSS chief floated the MRM. It claims 10,000 volunteers. During the Muslim protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the RSS employed it against protesters.
The Indian Supreme Court validated the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was inducted, shortly after his retirement, into the Rajya Sabha.
It is strange that the status of cows over-shadowed all other issues in India’s elections. Hindu-monk chief minister Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh equated cows with human beings. He directed that cow-related offences be registered under India’s National Security Act. He jailed people for social posts ‘Love jihad’ and ‘Pakistan zindabad’. He declared that only the pandemic prevented him from allowing the whole of India to make pilgrimage to the under-construction Ram temple at the Babri site. Anyone differing with BJP policies is charged with sedition.
A Goa legislator complained that cow vigilantes intercept beef trucks into Karnataka and put phenyl on the meat to make it unfit for eating.
Judge Mahesh Chandra Sharma of the Rajasthan High Court, in his 193-page judgment, stunned people by mentioning the mythical benefits of cow milk, urine and dung. His judgment, a mélange of scriptures and law, glistens with claims like ‘cow is a surgeon’, ‘a complete pharmacy’, and cow is a ‘national animal’.
Hindus ignore that, according to the National Sample Survey Office, more than 80 million Indians consume beef, including 12.5 million Hindus, the rest including Muslims and Christians. India has been the largest exporter of beef since 2014. India’s Al-Dua is a leading exporter of halal/kosher meat to Arab nations.
BJP legislator Sangeet Som is a big beef exporter. Goa allows beef consumption as does the Northeast. Both Union Home Minister of State Kiren Rijiju and Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu have openly admitted being beef eaters.
Preventing cow slaughter or beef-eating has neither economic nor constitutional backing. Where is secular India headed? If re-elected, as is likely, Modi would amend India’s constitution to make India a Hindu republic and adopt cows as equal citizens.
The Muslim are being repressed in several countries including India and France. Islamophobia is on the rise. The whole world is apathetic to the RSS’s atrocities against minorities in India.