India heading for Disaster By Ashok Nath , Former IAS
It is quite apparent that our current leaders never learn from history, especially recent history. On the contrary, they want to change history; eliminate Nehru from history books, claim there was nothing ‘ Great ‘ about Akbar. Or create history by converting mythology into history. Hijacking national heroes like Patel, Bose, Ambedkar etc onto the BJP pantheon. Since the BJP or its earlier avtar, the Jang Sangh or for that matter the RSS did not have any role in the Independence Struggle they are desperate to have some heroes of their own, even though hijacked, to give them a modicum of an artificial feeling of nationalism/ patriotism.
The recent history I am talking about is post 1990, which seems to have given a collective amnesia to their leaders.
Shri LK Advani started his infamous ‘ Rath Yatra ‘ at this time. Along with other illustrious members of BJP like Joshi, Uma Bharati along with their cohorts– VHP, the Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena and a host of loony lumpens brought down the historic Babri Masjid on 6th Dec 1992. And thus unleashed the chain reaction of communalism and divisive politics, the reverberations of which are still going on. This was a most shameful incident which has left an ugly blot in our history and sullied our country’s image across the world. It is another matter that the BJP jumped from two seats in the Parliament to 180!
The reaction reached Bombay where there were terrible one sided communal riots in which the minorities were the main victims. A commission of enquiry was set up, submitted its reports but as far as I am aware nobody was apprehended not to talk about being brought to justice.
In reprisal Dawood and his henchmen in Bombay set off a series of bomb blasts that killed or maimed hundreds of innocent people. A few years later Kar Sewaks returning from Ayodhya were horribly burnt alive in their coach at the Godhra railway station. This in turn exploded in a mass and insane frenzy of revenge killing in Gujarat where, again, the majority of victims were the minorities. It is alleged that the state authorities were complicit in this whole unholy episode.
It is this sense of victimisation and persecution that has given birth to our local jihadis with Pakistan gloating away at the vast opportunity it has given them to goad these misdirected elements to take up arms and take revenge. Brainwashing such elements, financing them, providing them with arms and explosives is no problem. Having Pakistan fomenting trouble in Punjab and J&K was bad enough but the reckless actions of the parivar has made sure that the entire country has been made vulnerable, to terrorist attacks. And there doesn’t seem to be any end to it.
Now a new chapter opens in our history. The BJP has won a huge majority in the 2014 Parl. Elections. This has a given the Sangh Parivar a fresh lease of life for they can be seen beating their chests as well as their fellow citizens driving them to the wall. From idiotic decisions like banning beef, love jihad, ghar Wapsi lyinching of Akhlaq in Dadri and self appointed cow lovers killing human beings in the name of the cow makes one doubt whether we are living in a civilised country.
All this chest thumping by cow lovers, the inane utterances by the likes of Advaidyanath, Girri maharaj, Mahesh Sharma, Jyoti Ranjan,Balyan and their loony lumpen band will make sure two things will happen. One, agricultural economy will receive a big jolt with the ban on beef etc. There are a hundred million cattle which are well passed their sell by date. They cannot be killed. So either the farmer has to keep looking after them or they have to be put in Gaushalas. Every body knows there are not enough Gaushalas and half of these useless cattle are roaming all over the countryside. Besides, experts have stated that it takes about Rs 100 per day per cow to keep it alive. As you know the poverty line for human beings is RS 45 in urban areas and Rs 32 in rural. You do the maths: 100 million x 365 x 100 rupees. This colossal amount is beyond the Govt and yet we are forcing a poor farmer to look after a useless cow when he can’t even feed himself and his family, especially in distressed areas. How can he ? When his own income is Rs32 x 5.? Latest reports say that the prices of cricket balls are increasing because of shortage of cow hide. Soon enough there will not be enough for shoes and we might even have to import leather, which is rather ironical since export of skins and leather products is rather substantial.
Secondly, there is no doubt in my mind that all this anti minority drum beating mainly to garner votes in the forthcoming elections by the loonies is going to give a heaven sent opportunity to IS to make India into its main recruiting centre and a launch pad for its activities in South and SouthEast Asia. It is the very brazen hypocrisy of the Sangh parivar which will open the doors to terror. On the one hand they shout from the rooftops about their nationalism and patriotism. Make everybody shout ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai ‘ and on the other, their Hindutva ideology and their aggressive behaviour against some communities is actually sending out an invitation to terror. A few months ago our Home Minister had very confidently assured the country that IS had no chance of ever setting foot in this country. He couldn’t be more wrong. IS does not have to physically send its jihadis to India. The whole scenario has changed. The horror movie which is unfolding now all over the world has Baghdadi with the remote. With the help of the Internet, various jihadi websites all he has to do, sitting in Syria, is to use social media, what’s app etc to radicalise youth who perceive rightly or wrongly of being wronged or victimised, which the parivar is straining to do, and cajole them into taking up jihad to avenge themselves. The IS is adopting high tech to achieve its objectives and in this is far superior to Lashkar, Jaish and even Al Qaida. Another dangerous portend is that we have to revise our earlier assumption that it was only the poor and unemployed who got attracted to these terror outfits. Evidence is now there for all to see that highly educated youth and those from affluent families are rapidly getting radicalised.
Evidence is also not lacking to show how IS is spreading its tentacles all over the world as seen recently in our neighbourhood, Bangladesh. They have had successes in Malaysia and Indonesia already. In India itself NIA has recently busted an IS module in Hyderabad. It is about time the authorities took their heads out of the sand and start planning how to tackle the already formidable presence of IS in India and its immediate neighbourhood. There is every possibility that it will use Bangladesh which, unfortunately, has become Islamicised and that too, very fundamentally radical, to launch attacks into India. But foremost the PM has to rein in the loony lumpens who are straining at their bit and frothing in the mouth. He has to ensure that a spirit of universal brotherhood prevails, that no community feels insecure to take the country forward hand in hand. Thus the mantra to keep terror at bay is good governance, removing inequality and providing equal opportunities to all. Unless these crucial steps are taken the country is doomed. All the country hopping, photo ops, selfies, thumping the 56 inch chest is bound to fail. We must imbibe the correct lessons of history especially since the last events to learn from are not even 25 years old.
But are the politicians willing to learn? The saddest fact is they are not. Half the police machinery in states , especially ruled by the BJP, are busy protecting cows and arresting their alleged ‘ killers ‘. In Haryana an entire police unit under a senior police officer has been earmarked for cow protection. In Maharashtra the notorious cleric, Zakir Naik, is openly regurgitating violence and hatred on TV channels right under the nose of the CM, inspiring, motivating and radicalising youth from J&K to Bangladesh and farmers are dying by the hundreds in the distressed areas but the CM is busy implementing the ban on beef. Elsewhere, the police is busy rounding up Gays, couples holding hands, people who tweet or blog against the Govt or politicians. There is no time for tackling terror. Can the priorities of the Govt be more warped than this? I am afraid the skewed priorities of the Govt will be its and the country’s undoing. I will leave it to the readers to decide.