How Can Modi Let RSS Tamper With Our History?

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Generations may change, but the past can't be moulded to suit a new ruling party.

By Kamal Mitra Chenoy

As the BJP rule strives to win more states, it simultaneously seeks to promote its intellectual and cultural policies. But, for it, secular modernism is an anathema, a "cultural pollution" no less. Pushing the Hindutva agenda is Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma, who proudly states that he had "been with the RSS for the past 40 years of (his) life." He also argued that the Modi government would back the "RSS people" to government appointments, and questioned "why shouldn't they get the posts?" So the Hindutva brigade will promote the RSS. But the people did not vote for the RSS, but the BJP.

Like any north Indian chauvinist unaware of realities in other parts of India, he stressed that "students should learn everything but not at the cost of Sanskrit or Hindi." He apparently thinks that unlike Sanskrit which is not a spoken language given its few thousands of speakers, a language not spoken in the North East, Tamil Nnadu, etc whereas in a number of states like UP and Bihar, Pahari, Maithili and Bhojpuri are spoken, not Sanskrit.

It is ironic the minister spoke of "all those who fought of the freedom of the country... (whereas others) have been erased from history." Where was the RSS in the freedom struggle? It's mascot VD Savarkar sought clemency from the British, promising that this would lead the Indian youth supporting the British. In the late '40s, the RSS publicly abused Gandhi. In the Gandhi murder case, Savarkar was an accused, who apparently met conspirators the evening before Gandhi was killed. He got off on a technicality.

Nathuram Godse, an RSS sympathiser, who assassinated Gandhi was hanged, and his brother Gopal Godse went to jail. The RSS was banned. Mahesh Sharma when he speaks of freedom fighters "erased from history," intends to rewrite and saffronise history. This is why institutions like the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library have "to be brought in line with the expectations of the new generation...we have to upgrade and update them." History is never changed to suit expectations of each new generation in content.

Generations may change, but history can't be moulded to suit a new ruling party.

Real history can't be changed. But ideological history usually will be. Thus Mahesh Sharma wants epics in the curriculum, like the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Gita.

These epics are not history. Some like the Gita are Brahminical. Interestingly, PM Modi has made his persona as a moderniser. But his RSS core support is anything but modern and secular. Last elections lots of promises were made never meant to be kept. It was stated that there would no ideological and cultural interference. This is the result.

[Source: Daily O]


Vol. 12 - No. 3


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