CPI(M) General Secretary, Sitaram Yechury’s reaction to Shri Venkaiah Naidu’s Press Conference and Release of the BJP book “Know the Truth”.
- There is nothing new in this “truth”. All the charges against the Left raised ad nauseam in the past are repeated once again. The Left is accused of hegemonising the intellectual discourse in the country. The point of view of Left intellectuals has been persuasive and continues to be so because of the strength of its scholarship, reasoning and study of Indian history. The RSS, unable to meet these high standards, has once again unleashed a calumny of disinformation, speaking of “ideological motivation” of the Left.
- We are thankful to Shri Venkaiah Naidu Garu for bracketing the most exalted and enlightened Indian minds with the CPI(M).
- The return of State awards as a form of protest is nothing new. During the course of the freedom struggle this has happened on many an occasion. Recollect that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore returned his knighthood in protest against the atrocities of the British colonial rule in India.
- The issue is not of an ‘alternative RSS/BJP point of view’ emerging in the battle of ideas. The RSS point of view has always been there in the academic and intellectual discourse of India. The current intolerance in the country is highlighted by the growth of violence and intimidation between opposing points of view unleashed by the RSS and the various tentacles of the communal octopus. Violent intolerance is the issue before the country and people today. The largescale protests that have enlarged to include litterateurs, historians, film makers, scientists, former chief of Indian armed forces etc are a reflection of protests against this atmosphere.
- The creation of such an atmosphere is unambiguously moving towards what Sardar Patel described when he ordered the ban on the RSS, as “cult of violence spearheaded by the Sangh” that had claimed many lives “including that of the Mahatma”.
- The hallmark of the current intolerance is the violent attacks that are being unleashed all across the country. A Muslim is killed allegedly for consuming beef. Two dalit children are burnt alive. Pakistani Gazhal singer Ghulam Ali is not allowed to perform. The BCCI office is attacked as they were to discuss a possible cricket series with Pakistan etc. Instances of ‘moral policing’ are being reported from various parts of the country.
- It is simply untrue that all these issues were not brought before the government by anybody so far. In the parliament in the very first session after this BJP government under PM Modi took office demands were raised asking the Prime Minister to take action, if not at least give an assurance to the parliament and through it to the people that action will be taken against members of the Union Cabinet and BJP MPs who continue to make inflammatory hate speeches across the country. Till date, forget any action, no such assurance has been forthcoming from the Prime Minister.
- The CPI(M) and the Left have always been critical of the role of the Congress party like in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots or their compromising attitude towards communalism. Our record on these matters is there for all to see. But when it comes to saying that in the past why did ‘so and so’ not protest and why protests are taking place now, the RSS has to answer:
(a) Why did it not join the national struggle for freedom? Even Nanaji Deshmukh, a respected RSS leader ha asked in his book why the RSS had not participated in the freedom movement as an organisation?
(b) The British Home record on the basis of intelligence reports telegraphed to London by the Bombay Police department had noted that the “Sangh has scrupulously” remained within the law. Has the RSS ever answered why they cooperated with the British during the course of the freedom struggle?
(c) Has there been any apology from either the RSS or the BJP for the 2002 communal genocide in Gujarat?
(d) Till date the RSS has not retracted or apologised for their Guru’s, Madhav Sadhashiv Golwalkar’s observation that we should learn from the methods used by Hitlerite fascism and that India should “learn and profit” from this.
The series of violent attacks and communal disturbances that have consumed the lives of innocent people and the complete silence on the part of the Prime Minister confirms today’s reality of intolerance. No other conclusion can be drawn except that the current BJP central government under Prime Minister Modi is, in all practical terms, patronizing such violent intolerance across the country.
The only agenda that this government seems to be pursuing is that of advancing the RSS objective of transforming the secular democratic Indian republic into their version of a rabidly intolerant fascistic “Hindu rashtra”. Development of the country and the people clearly is not on this government’s agenda.