Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Trial by fire

Trial by fire

Author: Tarun Vijay
Publication: The Hindustan Times
Date: September 4, 2002
URL: http://www.hindustantimes.com/2002/Sep/04/printedition/040902/detIDE01.shtml

In times like these, I become speechless when my 13-year-old son asks me innocently, "Papa, do you belong to the party of land- grabbers?" It is difficult to explain our position. It is like someone shouting at a person, and the passersby start beating him  without caring to ascertain the facts.

So, where do we go from here when names of our ideological icons are splashed on front pages in bad light without any concern for the facts? The names of Advani and his daughter Pratibha - a shining example of how a leader's family should conduct itself - were linked in a so-called scam without any truth behind it. One of our most respected scholars, 76-year-old Devendra Swaroop, was called Rasputin in a 32- point size headline!

First, we were killers and communal. Now scamsters and land- grabbers. Worse may follow. How does a movement, biggest so far in our history, and its followers, face the barrage of charges and public-hangings? Our generation did not face post-Gandhi murder attacks and the struggle against the Emergency is hardly remembered. This time the very foundation of belief in ourselves is under attack. We are bad guys and money-makers through dubious means.

How did it happen and why? We have all sorts of stories about it. Secularists, anti- Hindutva gang-up, proselytisers and Islamists, those who want to break this government, et al. We have logical defensive shields too. They never ask for accounts from Teesta Setalvad who spent huge money to sponsor ad campaigns against the BJP. Aniruddha Bahal gets Rs 3 crore for his 'literary masterpiece' and nobody knows about it. A high court admits petition against Sonia Gandhi for illegally exporting Indian artefacts and no one comments on it. Sahmat accounts and its big spendings are never a matter of scrutiny. The CPI(M) in Bengal and Kerala has given all the jobs - from a constable's to a school teacher's - only to its cadre, and 'others' are made untouchables, even hacked to death. But it does not invite even a murmur.

Journalists get government houses and plots at specially reduced rates, special rail passes and even free parking labels. But all that is justified - like MPs justifying salary hikes. Yes, it happens, but we should not go on name calling or accusing the media of any sinister design. We must offer ourselves for the agni pariksha without any malice towards 'pointing fingers' and look inwards to see what went wrong with us.

I fully agree with Veer Sanghvi that Hindutva does not need the government's help to grow. We have grown amidst severe handicaps and government's opposition. Banned thrice, jailed many times, the administration has come down heavily on our organisations, even taking control of our property. A strange kind of apartheid is practised against us. We were never put on any government list of invitees for the Republic Day celebrations or official banquets. Any film against us is appreciated. A liberation from the mental ghetto of self-righteous 'official secularism' is achieved by making a film denigrating the RSS. I wonder why no film is made on official secularism which has come to mean a mish-mash of Stalinism and Indira Gandhi camp follower - a diffused category that is everything other than Hindu. Hate, rejection and persecution have been a permanent feature against us. Intelligence reports are sought whether a person has any connection with the RSS and, if found to be so, his job application is rejected there and then. An RSS person can become a prime minister but not a clerk.

In spite of all these odds, we grew in leaps and bounds. Young workers, radiant with the commitment to the ideology, keep joining the ranks, devoting their life to work for the cause in the remotest and most dangerous areas. Why?

Because the people of the land respect those who sacrifice. Raja Mansingh was never worshipped; this was reserved for Rana Pratap and Bhama Shah, who were no match to his riches. People donated us their ancestral houses to open karyalayas, offered meals to our pracharaks and sent their children to our schools. Only those who had something to give could walk with us because we had nothing to offer except fraternal love and commitment to the cause.

The situation changed rapidly with our own people coming to power. We were placed on some invitation lists, we got on to various committees; friends said, you have been wronged for so long, tell us what can we do for you? We chose the ways of the CPI(M) and the Congress and slipped. Here is a story break.

There was a time when the reigning principle was never to touch government money, because it corrupts. Then why did we change? The ground realities are very different from the morality we appreciate. The government's control is atrociously all pervasive. Even to start a service project you need to go through government channels. When we get governments who look at the colour of the applicant rather than the merit of the case, you are bound to fall in a situation where some are considered favourites and others are rejected at the first sight.

Many of the organisations getting plots are those who are pioneers in their respective fields. They are supported by thousands who give their life, money, homes for the cause. They grew to the top positions despite the previous rulers' opposition. But where do they go if a piece of land is needed for their transparent, social activities?

It happens like this. They approach the minister with the proposal and say it was never considered because they accused us of having links with you (organisation). If our proposal is right and fits in your schemes, why shouldn't it be accepted?

We were rejected before because we shared the 'colour', although hundreds of acres was given to Mother Teresa's institutions without a question and we are discriminated against now when one of us is in power. If the minister clears the proposal it gets portrayed in the media as a scam!

These plots in Delhi and elsewhere were taken for good purposes, to serve a greater social cause. But it became a 'scam' because a particular segment of society received it. The decision-makers and the beneficiaries had the same 'colour'. If some other party had sanctioned the same plots, would that be an example in fairness?

When I was a pracharak in Nagar Haveli (UT), we started a hostel and some balwadis for tribals. The then Lt Governor, Gopal Singh, appreciated our work. He not only gave us 100 acres of land and put me on the 20-point programme implementation committee of Indira Gandhi, but also nominated me on the home minister's advisory committee. Everybody knew I was from the RSS, yet none complained. If today, Advani puts me on the same committee, it would be seen as a favour.

The RSS and its affiliates are the largest NGOs running development projects in the country which include leprosy services, hospitals, adult education centres, hostels for the most deprived and isolated, libraries, dispensaries, orphanages, slum service centres, women training centres - more than 20,000 such centres.

Why should an educated person devote his life, without any remuneration, for a 'land-grabbing organisation'?

As long as you provide Haj subsidy, the Kailash Mansarovar subsidy will be demanded; when you have special provisions for minority institutions, majority institutions would feel the pain of discrimination.

As long as decisions are taken on the basis of community, religion and party links, and ideological apartheid is practised, favouritism will remain the bane of society.

(The writer is Editor of RSS publication Panchjanya)

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements