Posts tagged ‘Communalism/corruption/regionalism’

Laying siege to democracy

‘Thackeray vs Sachin and the rest of India’, was one of the headlines splashed in a leading English paper. The recent attempt of the Shiva Sena to insist once again that Mumbai is for Maharastrians drew flak from all sections of the people-The political class of course jumped into the fray to gain political mileage. All the political parties distanced themselves from Bal Thackeray’s Mumbai for Maharastrians cry and also his criticism of Tendulkar for hurting Marathi sentiment when the latter proclaimed ‘Mumbai is for all’- Sachin was immediately beatified as a national patriot- his halo-‘I am first an Indian and then a Maharastrian’. There can be no two opinions on this. Sachin was right and he had a right to express it. But one needs to pause a bit and probe further to analyze why this parchoialism outburst from NMS and the Shiv Sena? Are these the first political parties to highlight the sons of soil theory and built their political empires? There is no serendipity to stubble on the root cause. It is obvious that the Congress is the mother head of communalism.
Parochialism, communalism, regionalism have all been abetted, promoted and indulged by the Congress and its allies .The great communal divide of majority-minority is again the handiwork of the Congress and its allies thereby there is a psychological and mental partition within India. The author of this partition within India is the Congress. One need not cull out a separate territory-within the country there are areas with the Muslims dominating-Darul Islam is a reality in India. The Muslims are ‘honored’ citizens of this country-stated Chidambarm at Deoband. All are citizens- how can the Muslims alone become ‘honored citizens’ why this special status-is it not based on religion? A status based on religion is no honor-it is blatant communalism and a discrimination which Chidambaram articulated with no qualms of conscience. It is also anti-Constitutional. And this coming from the Home Minister was a public violation and a betrayal of the unity and integrity of this nation. Again Chidambaram placed the onus of protecting the ‘honored citizens’ on the majority community with a threat built in-at their own peril if they do not…When the majority has the duty to protect the Muslims did he not envisage any duty/obligation on the Muslims? What is happening in areas-districts where the Muslims are the majority and the Hindus are the minority? Will their roles be reversed? So why blame only the Thackerays when the Congress-its leaders-its ministers are going about promoting and indulging in communalism? The print and the electronic media also abet this by faulting always the non-Congress governments and leaders but sweep under the carpet the corruption and the communalism of the Congress.
Way back in the early 50s when the DMK cut its umbilical code from its parent DK to become a political party it based itself on Tamil chauvinism. It spearheaded an agitation demanding a separate Dravidanadu. Even today will Karunanidhi- the close ally of the Congress-say that Tamilnadu is for all and line up people from other States along with the Tamils or will there be a preferential treatment for the Tamils? When the DMK came to power in 1957 most of the Malayalees quickly dropped the Menon, Nair tags. Christian Medical College in Vellore was attacked and then followed a turbulent period-Keralities vs Tamils. The DMK also started the anti-Hindi agitation and the whole of Tamilnadu was united in this. Till date Hindi is not accepted as the official language in Tamilnadu. If accepting Hindi as Abdul Asim Azim did makes him a nationalist and expresses nationalism then it means that the DMK is anti-national and does not ascribe to nationalism. Yet the DMK is part of the Congress led UPA government. Preference for sons of soil demand is bound to come when the local people are deprived of opportunities and the migrants eat into their share of development. Local resources and the infra structure come from the tax of the local people but this is quietly transferred when the migrants enjoy all the opportunities and the locals are denied of the fruits of development. It is easy to say that India is for all-but who is this ALL. Will I be allowed to build a house in Himachal Pradesh? Nay- will I be permitted to put up a hut in Kashmir? There is only a theoretical freedom that Indians can go where they want to for education, acquire skills and seek jobs and to settle .This freedom is conditioned by many factors – mobility demands financial resources, ability to communicate and an inner strength to meet challenges in a strange place. The poor and marginalized normally do not have these. Indians have a right to go to any part of India-but in the process the problem arises when they displace and deprive the locals. For example can lower middle income Tamils go to Kerala for education? They need funds for this. This is applicable to other States also. Having been in the education field I can say this with certainty that the flow of Keralities into Tamilnadu for education to the elite colleges wrought great injustice to the locals because they were deprived admissions to the institutions in their neighborhoods to which they have a right. It is their land-their tax money and education is a highly subsidized State subject. Another aspect to be looked into is one can share what one has with those who do not have. But in this case the State of Kerala has any number education institutions-minority/private and government managed-so what is the rationale for them to come to Tamilnadu and deprive the locals of their rightful share? Is this nationalism or communalism if I state that the first rights of development within Tamilnadu must go to the Tamils especially those who are not able to move out of the State due to financial and other restraints?
It is easy to jump into the bandwagon and blame the NMS and Shiva Sena but one must also reckon with the fact that Mumbai has the highest number of billionaires in the country it has the largest slum in Asia and the biggest number of poor of the country. Mumbai is also theirs and they have to find solace and security with in-They need jobs and a share in the development of Mumbai. It is this aspiration of their which is vocalized through the NMS and the Shiva Sena. No wonder the NMS which is only three years ago got a significant vote share(1:4 compared to the Congress) .This is something which cannot be brushed aside. Before relating oneself to the nation at large one needs to identify and relate intensely with the one’s home State. If the State rejects the locals and pushes them to the periphery pauperizing them in their own State how can they be expected to relate to the nation-this sense of belonging to one’s Home State will like the nucleus grow- like ripples enlarge into the larger national scenario? Sachin Tendulkar and the billionaires have outgrown the Mumbai canvass –which has become too small to hold these icons and national figures-hence they can and should easily fit into the national larger canvass. The same cannot hold good for the poor. This is where the sons of the soil becomes valid for them and holds out promise for their survival.From small to big is the growth process. It is unfair to brush it away as parochial chauvinism.
The Prime Minister recently made the statement that the Muslims have the right to be the first claimants to development. Why he was not pilloried by the media for this unabashed communal statement? Any government worth of good governance will state that the poor have the first right to development. But to use a religion as the identifying factor to first claimants’ right was downright communal. So what is the big difference between the Thackerays’ and Manmohan Singh’s mindsets? If you call the former anti-national what would you term the latter’s stand?
Another example is the St John’s Medical College in Bangalore-Karnataka State. When allotting land and providing the infra structure the then Chief Minister-Hegde made it a condition that a percentage of admissions must go to the Kanadigas- This was easily said than done. The Keralites soon became ‘locals’-the parents sent their children for their schooling to their relatives who resided in Karnataka. So the applications showed Karnataka school certificates and the residence as Karnataka! Any number of examples can be cited to show that the locals are deprived by those coming from other States. The affected locals will be usually from the metros like Mumbai, Chennai, B’lore. These metros with all its facilities, and opportunities attract the rich, the powerful and the minorities(most of the elite institutions across the country are run by the minorities) while there will not be no such a flow of migrants to States like Bihar, MP, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh et al. True India is for all-but one cannot adopt a laissez faire approach if the poor and the marginalized need to be empowerment-a laissez faire approach will only elbow out the weaker sections and deprive them of opportunities in their own States. In a distributive justice approach purposeful interventions must be taken –not an appeasement policy towards a vote bank lumpenisation. The Congress by its appeasement policy has promoted a communalism which is a threat to the unity of this country by making the Muslims the ‘honored’ citizens and first claimants but also by reinforcing the minority status a permanent ghetto is set up- using a religious tag. This is unconstitutional and a violation of democratic norms. Assurances are held out by the Congress that the needs of the Muslims will be attended to-that their community problems will be looked into. When it comes to police investigation of terror activities the cops are ordered to go slow-not to harass them. Is it because they are ‘honored’ citizens of this country and the rest are common citizens of this country that they are given this preferential treatment which otherwise one should think must be extended to all citizens? The Sachar report was one of the biggest deceptions committed against this nation in terms of demographic profiling, and recommendations which are totally discriminating and against all norms of justice. This the UPA government accepted in tote. From the Haj subsidy to the financing of the madrasas the government has promoted communalism. How can the tax payers’ money be given to Islamic education? Should the Muslim children not attend the secular schools-must they be kept in isolation and inculcated with an education which is laced with communalism? Towards this can a so called secular government use the tax payers’ money? If there are political parties which insist on sons of the soil theory and language chauvinism, the Congress has anchored itself firmly on religious communalism which is worse and which has wider ramifications-nationally and internationally.
The papers report that Mulayam Yadav and his party want to felicitate the victory of Asim Azmi the member of the Maharastra Assembly in all the Muslim dominated districts. A new mascot for the Muslims is in the making. Is this nationalism or extreme religious communalism? Asim has cleverly brought in Hindi to register that he is a nationalist. It seems that every political party wants to outdo the Congress when it comes to promoting communalism
Talking of nationalism-it is relevant to recall the fatwa against the singing of the Vande Mataram. An unnecessary controversy started in Deoband and abetted by Chidambaram. It does not matter whether it was done in his presence or not, but later on did he have the gumption to categorically state that the whole set of fatwas passed in Deoband were wrong-this including the anti-women ones? Silence in such cases indicates abetment. That the Muslim community stands at the bottom in all the parameters of development can be proved wrong in the following example. In Tamilnadu (Chidambaram’s home State) what is happening in Visharam town in Arcot Assembly constituency in Vellore district? The Melvisharam dominated by Muslims and Keevisharam dominated by SCs and MBCs. The Muslim community is rich with its economy based on tanneries while the SCs and the MBCs are dependent on rain fed land .It is relevant to note that the only street in Melvisharam Municipality with just ten Hindu families is named ‘tamil street’ while the other streets, shops and business establishments are written in Urdu. The Melvisharam municipality is named Sadhik Basha Nagar.The proceedings of the municipal sessions are conducted in Urdu! The Muslim functionaries of the Panchayat have denied all administrative and developmental facilities and even basic amenities as drinking water to the four wards where the Hindus reside This has been reported by the New Indian Express (Nov 10th 09) Perhaps Sachar overlooked such areas in his survey because in Melvisharam there is Abdul Hakim Engineering college, Abdul Hakim Arts and Science college and five schools run by Melvisharam Muslim educational Society. It has a Masjid-e-Khizar with a 175 ft high minaret, Apollo group of hospitals and K.H Companies, banks have all been set up here. Everything is decided by Jamat by which the menial jobs like sweeping and scavenging are given to SC Hindus.
Is this a picture of a community discriminated and suffering from social and economical disadvantages Justice Sachar? This is not just an exception-as far as TN is concerned there are 40 Town Panchayats according to Dr Subramaniam Swamy where the Muslims dominate and discriminate against the Hindus who are a minority. These town panchayats are considered ‘Darul Islam’ and hence will be governed according to the Islamic rules. M.Karunadhini an ally of the Congress is aware of this but like the Congress has his eye only on the vote bank and hence has promoted communalism and indulged in Muslim appeasement.
The violation of democratic norms, the corruption and the communalism promoted by the Congress’ continuous regime are the root causes of the shredding of the national fabric-leading to the weakening of the country’s ability to withstand the onslaught of the anti-national forces. Why then target only the Thackerays? I hold no brief for them but unless one is determined to root out communalism-based on religion and align the edges that today stand out in sharp contrast between the chasm of majority- minority divide, one cannot fault sons of the soil theory. At least it cuts across all religions and castes and tries to cement the people living in a State by making them the first claimants to the development in their own State. But the evil of appeasement indulged by the Congress is a graver threat to the nation’s unity, its soft policy towards terrorism is directly endangering the lives of the citizens and its inability to talk tough to Pakistan exposes the country to cross border terrorism –In its national and international policy India has adopted a velvet glove handling because it does not want to hurt the Muslim sentiments in India. But by doing so the UPA government has clearly given the world to understand that it is weak and will not take a tough stand. The USA and China have taken advantage of this weakness. Islam cannot be divested of terrorism-A few secular Muslims may think otherwise. But facts go to prove that Jihad is a religious duty of the Muslims. A person engaged in Jihad is a mujahid. It is sanctioned by the Koran. The sooner we accept this the easier it would be to combat terrorism. All Muslims are certainly not terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims-May be recently there has been a couple of ‘alleged’ terror blast by Hindus. This has not yet been proved and even if proved it goes to show that Hindus are being driven to an extreme-to fight for their survival and it is a backlash. The exceptions cannot make the rule and one swallow does not make the summer.
Nationalism is not the monopoly of the Congress-neither can the Nehru-Gandhi family claim of their sacrifices. The jawans and the BSF protecting our borders and becoming victims to terrorism have made sacrifices-but ask for nothing in return. They are not even remembered and their families and left to fend for themselves with a pittance of a pension. They are the unsung heroes of India. Today one doubts whether the Congress can stand the litmus test for nationalism? Towards this it has to give up its appeasement policy, stand for the real Aam Aadmi- shed its dynastic mindset, and relentlessly strive to uproot corruption, drop the corrupt cabinet ministers and the chief ministers, refuse to compromise with communalism. That is real renunciation-abdicate power if necessary to uphold the Constitution, abhor communalism-bridge the majority-minority divide and follow a righteous path in public life. Can one throw stones sitting in a glass house? It was not the farmers who lay siege to democracy when they stormed into Delhi to demand a fair price for their sugarcane produce, as one TV channel headlined the protest-it is the Congress under Mrs Sonia Gandhi which is laying siege to democracy.
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,

November 21, 2009 at 3:39 pm 8 comments


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