Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
The politics of fear

The politics of fear

Author: M.V. Kamath
Publication: Organiser
Date: October 5, 2008
URL: http://organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=257&page=12

Introduction: We must learn to take on anyone whether it is China, the United States or Raj Thackeray or Project Joshua, the last being the largest, most pervasive global evangelical network ever to exist, which is playing havoc in India's tribal areas.

When will India stop living in fear and wake up to the fact that it is on its way to be a great power in its own right? We are afraid to defend our own rights. We show lack of self-confidence. We allow ourselves to be exploited by all and sundry unprotestingly. We go out of our way to please-some would say pamper-minorities. We hesitate to hang a terrorist responsible for a murderous attack on our Parliament because he is a Muslim. We are unwilling to take on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) because our Intelligence Services haven't enough evidence to ban it. Indeed, politicians like Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav have gone to the extent of defending SIMI as a harmless organisation.

Recently columnist Tavleen Singh wanted to know why Kashmiri Muslims are allowed to commit treason and to take out a procession flying Pakistani colours, in addition to demanding secession. The Government has no answer. One of the world's richest evangelic outfits, World Vision India, is allowed freely to operate in Kandhamal, Orissa and carry on conversion with impunity, on the grounds that no force is used. The evangelists hurl the Constitution in the face of the government and get away with their well-planned intentions. We-the Hindus among us-are ashamed to declare ourselves as Hindus lest we are mocked at as communalists.

In a recent issue of Dialogue Quarterly (Jan-March 2008) Francois Gautier, a distinguished French journalist stationed in India noted that while as a young student in France he was taught in his school about the "greatness of France, greatness of Christianity". Let any school in India start teaching about the "greatness of Hinduism" and the secularists would shout murder.

In Indonesia which is a predominantly Muslim country, Lord Ganesha is held in high reverence to the point that his image is etched in currency notes. Let India do it and there will be hell to pay. Our secularists will take strong umbrage.

We have to satisfy ourselves with a portrait of Gandhi and one has to thank god for small mercies. We are afraid of China, when we should be telling it off in no uncertain terms. India's envoy to Beijing, Nirupama Roy, was woken up from her sleep well past midnight to be handed over some protest. It was beastly act showing utter indifference to diplomatic norms. We didn't take action.

"Why is it that New Delhi is so sensitive about stepping on Beijing's toes when China has no compunction about stepping on Indian toes and with hobnailed boots at that?" Columnist Jug Suraiya wants to know. According to him China makes us apologetic and ashamed of what is, and ought to be our most prized advantage over the Middle Kingdom: our democracy. "Our democracy" according to Suraiya, "ought to be our biggest pride". But democracy does not-and should not-mean that anybody can do what the Thackerays do in Mumbai, terrorise shopkeepers into putting up signboards in Marathi, when there is no such thing as a Marathi script: there is only a Devnagari script, or insist that everyone living in Mumbai should be conversant-and converse-only in Marathi. Indian is a multilingual country and so are most major cities: multilingual. The Thackerays should have been called to account by the Congress Government but it is obviously scared of losing the lower middle class parochial vote in the elections. Mumbai may be the capital of Maharashtra but that is no reason why Marathi should be inflicted on everyone who has made it his home, any more than every citizen of Bangalore, no matter what his mother tongue is, should be conversant in Kannada and every citizen of Chennai, irrespective of his linguistic origin should address meetings only in Tamil.

One can be loyal both to one's own mother tongue as well as the language the locals speak whether in Kolkata, Manipur or Chandigarh. The Navnirman Sena has no right to impose Marathi on Mumbai's rainbow citizens who hail whether from Uttar Pradesh or Rajasthan or anywhere else. Mumbai, reflects India's heterogeneity. It is every body's city. In all these sixty years of Independence the governments at Delhi have been seared of taking decisive steps whether at the international level or at state levels out of sheer fear of the unknown. It comes as a shock that China should protest at the visit of Dr Manmohan Singh to Arunachal Pradesh. That is some check.

China had even dared to refuse visas to two Indian officials hailing from Arunachal who were part of a large group, saying that since the region is party of China, its inhabitants do not need visas. India has kept quite over China's continued operation of Aksai. Chin region by force since the 1962 War. China has virtually annexed the territory. Then there is the question of the United States refusing a visa to Narendra Modi who is an elected Chief Minister of a State. If, in the future, Modi becomes the Prime Minister or even Home Minister of India, will the US continue to refuse a visa to him? He is charged with contriving killing of Muslims during the Godhra riots. Can we charge Henry Kissinger with wholesale killing of millions in Vietnam and on that basis refuse him a visa? Can a similar charge be made against George Bush for the killings still going on in Iraq? America's record in that country is hardly a glorious one. The trouble with India is that it is not assertive enough. It literally invites a slap on its face.

Aliens use our Constitution to our own disadvantage. We must disabuse ourselves of the self-denigrating attitude that to be gracious to our enemies or recalcitrant friends is according to the highest standards of behaviour set by Mahatma Gandhi. This only betrays our lack of self-respect and is reflective of cowardice. We must learn to take on anyone whether it is China, the United States or Raj Thackeray or Project Joshua, the last being the largest, most pervasive global evangelical network ever to exist, which is playing havoc in India's tribal areas. It may be smart-alecky to make a sophisticate distinction between 'propagation' and 'conversion' but for India not to be aware of what is going on can only be described as pusillanimous.

The evangelists are taking the government for a ride. Evangelists must be banned and Delhi must have the courage to do so. In this matter it can take a lesson from France and form China. In trying to get a pat on the back from foreigners, we have been in the past selling our heritage.

Let foreigners say what they will. We need not succumb to their treachery. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in a classic address, the only thing to fear is fear itself. The world may not love us but it will respect us if we are strong and self-assertive. It is not secularism to succumb to evangelist double-speak or look the other way for minority terrorism and misuse of constitutional niceties. Unless India regains it national manhood it will be regarded as a push-over and an effete nation that lacks the courage of its convictions-if, that is, it has any.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements