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Political Play
Ratan Sharda
Where are we headed? 25 February, 2014
My preoccupation with a new book that is to be released on March 1 kept me away from the keyboard even though momentous events were taking place in socio-political sphere of our nation. I tried to find a common thread to the major events that have shaken us up as I gleaned the news of last three weeks.

Let us list them out, not necessarily in sequential time line - 

1. AAP takes the predictable route of exit in search of greener pastures

2. Desperate Left politicians bid to revive third front in another name

3. Assemblies and Lok Sabha see variety of ludicrous behaviour from representatives of the people

4. Manufactured riots by MNS in Maharashtra under benign eyes of Congress parivar

5. Gross mishandling of Telangana issue by Congress with eye only on elections

6. Death penalty of killers of Rajiv Gandhi rescinded

7. Jayalalitha acts with alacrity to release all the accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case

8. Sustained climb of Narendra Modi in various opinion polls and Congress in denial mode

9. Wendy Doniger's book about Hindus is withdrawn by Penguin to save itself of embarrassment of losing legal battle

10. Left lobby in academics and media trying to milk Wendy episode with breast beating about lurking fascism, Hindu fanaticism and desperate bid to rope in Modi in the controversy

If you try to see a pattern, a few patterns emerge ?

  1. There is complete breakdown of authority, specially where Congress is ruling. This breakdown of authority has resulted in breakdown of law and order from top to bottom. Be it petty crimes, serious crimes or public space. Scant regard of law within political class and hence their followers is evident in all the incidents mentioned here and left unsaid but known to all the conscious readers. Utter mishandling of Telangana issue by Congress, with one eye on keeping its flock together and the other on making last minute gains from the inevitable division of Andhra Pradesh led to ridiculous scenes inside and outside parliament. It showed, again, total lack of direction and control on party and government apparatus on part of Congress.

  1. Highly cynical handling of national issues for petty political self-interest. Whether by Jayalalitha today or earlier by Congress. Jayalalitha who road on the sympathy wave on horrendous assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and consistent stand so far against LTTE took hasty steps to score some brownie points. Worse, Congress who slept for ten year with people who openly supported Rajiv's killers. To cry and score sympathy points by claiming to be the victims of Jayalalitha or Supreme Court?s decision after years of sitting on these files shows Congress in poor light. They have betrayed their leader and no amount of targeting BJP over it will help. Unwillingness to own up mistakes and lack of courage has been the hallmark of Congress in recent years.

Same cynical shenanigans if AAP and MNS riots with help of Congress has exasperated common people. Only reason for this is that Congress hopes to use MNS to retain Mumbai like last time.

Floating of 'Third Front' with different nomenclatures that with as many claimants for PM's post is also a trial balloon floating on the wishful thinking of a confused political result in 2014. This kind of laissez faire politics can create not only confusion but also a sense of scare amongst common citizens.

  1. All this has given more wind to Narendra Modi's career and seen his sustained rise. Unfortunately, Congress and its friends have still not learned their lessons. Unabashed use of intelligence agencies against its perceived enemies has gone unabated. But, it seems the so called 'think tanks' are wallowing in their own dream world and behaving arrogantly. In Modi, common people seem to have found a rock solid leader above the chaos all round. Denial mode of Congress spells doom for it.

  2. Withdrawal of Wendy Doniger's book came at an opportune moment for the left secular intelligentsia and media. Hard pressed as they were with rise of nationalist sentiment, they grabbed at this moment. Hardly any space was given to pro-Hindu voices in all these debates and discussions. Hindu bashing in the name of RSS bashing slowly morphed into 'Modi-fication' of this debate which should have been a path breaking if carried out in the right spirit. Modi was nowhere in the national scene when the book was launched, he was nowhere when the case was filed against Wendy and by all available accounts he is not in the picture at all. If Penguin had seen any chance of legal win it would never have conceded defeat. It is commercial instinct that made them take this action.

All the articles and debates on this issue take an overarching view of the issue, not ready to touch the nub. The reason is that they actually had no answer to specific objections. Nobody has questioned the objections raised by Shiksha Bachao Samiti nor has anybody responded point wise to the objections. There was no threat of violence against them. No violence took place since last 6-7 years when this book was published. Is taking legal recourse provided by law fascism? The arguments of Wendy and her children (term coined by Rajiv Malhotra, who brought out this demeaning of Hinduism in US academic circles in his well researched book 'Invading the Sacred') have been rhetorical and argued more like our famous "don?t you know who is my father?" kind of Delhi style argument rather than academic refutation of the of the points raised by plaintiffs. I may inform readers that it is not the first time somebody has withdrawn work of Wendy. Microsoft removed her from its site years back when an employee of Microsoft pointed out baseless, illogical interpretations of Hinduism based on 'psychoanalysis' of Hindu scriptures. It is also worth noting that she and her children have never tried this 'psychoanalysis' of other major religions!

These academicians live in world view built in 18-19th century by British and Christian philosophers. They had and have their political agenda and rightly so for them. But, why doesn't our intelligentsia have its own India-centric world view? How long will they lived on borrowed wisdom? Why is it so lazy? You cannot insult a society in a sustained manner and claim to cure it of its myriad 'historic sicknesses'. By abusing all Hindus as fanatics who don't agree with them they are legitimizing the role of RSS and its allied organizations as defenders of Hindu faith. It is funny that in any religious congress, all faiths are represented by their own scholars or priests; but Hindus are represented by 'white' scholars! It is true that Hinduism cannot be defeated by such perverted twists to their faith by Wendy and her ilk, but these people must realize that energized Hindu society is now more assertive and would not take unsubstantiated misrepresentation of its faith.

Bringing in Modi into this historic and academic debate is comical and ludicrous. It shows the desperation of left secular camp to Modi-fy any discussion and paint people who are against it with saffron which is virtual black for them. This sense of desperation of left lobby is clearly visible on national TV debates and high sounding op-edits in newspapers. Their condition is somewhat similar to the left lobby in UK when Thatcher was on ascendency, who attacked Thatcher vehemently but refused to come out openly with their alternative ideas as people were fed up left-labour politics.

All this sound and fury from casteist to left secular lobbies also signifies all threads of above seemingly diverse news is leading them the truth that ground is slipping beneath their feet.

This environment also indicates that if India doesn't give a decisive mandate in coming elections to sweep away this environment of anarchy, cynicism in the name of 'secular, socialist' politics, we will only sink deeper into the morass.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
About The Author
Ratan Sharda is a citizen journalist. He has authored books like 'Secrets of RSS'. A marketing consultant by profession, Mr. Sharda is a keen observer of the country's political scenario.
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