Advertisement of those who shun publicity: RSS and its catch 22

Photographs in an advertisement can be as much revealing as the ones taken in hot action. How could the photos of two girls from Azamgarh be used to advertise how Muslims have a secure financial future and brighter prospects in Gujarat?

The hallmark of the RSS functioning is secrecy, spreading rumour and insinuation from the sidelines and through front organisations. The RSS has so insidiously developed cultural nationalism based on communalism that it would take a couple of decades to counter their ideological onslaught on our constitutional democracy and plain national spirit sans religious and caste colours. The same holds true for the growth of the rule of law and thwarting of waywardness of the rule of jungle on opportune times. This could be done if there is public support and will power in the rulers of India.

It is illogical to simply repeat what the apologists say with qualifications about 2002 genocide in Gujarat that “Gujarat investigators are now getting cops involved in fake encounters mounted on non-terrorists merely to curry favour with Narendra Modi.” There was no currying favour, as Narendra Modi has acknowledged that he was himself responsible for the fate of Sohrabuddin and dared Sonia Gandhi to hang him! This is only the tip of the iceberg. He was equally responsible for the pogroms of Muslims which preceded the fake encounters. The fake encounters simply stopped with the advance in investigation into the murder of the Sohabuddin and his wife Kauserbi. Moreover, the fake encounters in Gujarat were a by-product of the pogroms. The atmosphere created by the pogroms made everything viable what with the Prime Minister and Home Minister not only from the ruling BJP alliance but willing to connive through sophistry of words. They chose to throw to the winds what the then President of India KR Narayanan would write to advise or warn them. Buying over through inducement and threat of violence is stamped on the face of Zahira Sheikh in the Best Bakery case. Babu Bajrangi’s free movement is at the sufferance of Modi and Advani.

Vanzara had called the victims as traitors to the country and cleansing them from the country was his patriotic duty, he proclaimed. How could the traitors turn tail and leave Gujarat for good? It gives away the canard. They were not traitors and DG Vanzara and other cops were indeed not doing what they boasted as deshbhakti or patriotism in hunting and killing their hapless victims. They had taken the law of the land in their own hands for which they were assured impunity by the kind of administration Modi had ushered in after he was inducted in office. The RSS had prepared the experiment that he was conducting in his ‘laboratory’-the selected areas of Gujarat state.

The apologists of Modi need to look at it in a holistic manner. That the RSS roped in the Chhara community in conducting the pogroms. They had mobilized the backward communities as they had done in Surat and other places during and after the demolition of the Babri mosque in the 1990s. What they had sown then they would reap in the succeeding years. In the first decade of the twenty first century most of the terrorist attacks have the dubious distinction of indigenized terrorism. The vanar sena according to Pritish Nandi had taken over the juggernaut of blowing up bombs in what they made out as ‘retaliation’. In this home-grown terrorism people actively engaged or involved in RSS training and works were complicit. Simply by removing Devendra Gupta or Chandershekhar Patidar from responsibility, RSS cannot wipe out the guilt, it sticks and now it stinks far and wide. Sunil Joshi was killed but like the corps in the French absurd drama his dead body is enlarging and spreading out so much from the bedroom that it has grown into the sitting room and the kitchen!

Others outside India also were attentive to this. A research institute in North Carolina had named RSS as a terrorist organization. The US denied visa to Modi and very recently the German delegation of parliamentarians visiting Ahmedabad called a spade a spade and refused to accept the genocide as anything but just that.

Therefore, the need for perspicuity was never felt so much as in today’s hurly burly world of Indian politics. As we move away from moral certainty to relativity of market-based ethics there is a slide over values and entrenching of self-justification and self-interest.

Far too long many never felt as much outraged as normal human beings should over the manufactured ‘reality’ of the burning of Sabarmati Express, the State-sponsored genocide in Gujarat 2002 and were taken in by the fake encounters. The élan of India shining is grinding down into bathos as the moral turpitude is coming home to roost.

The allies of BJP did not feel outraged in 2002. In fact, socialist George Fernandes justified as usual the murder, mayhem, rape and arson of Muslims of Gujarat and their homes and commercial establishment. Many chose to hobnob with the chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi.

Why does Nitish Kumar want to dissociate from Gujarat’s Modi now? Is it only his self-interest? Political stake of a party does matter but the nefarious vendetta that Narendra Modi is wantonly pursuing despite adversity shows how diehard communalism has become so fixated thanks to the ideology of the RSS nurtured as a culture for decades. BJP is the political organizational configuration of RSS as is Modi its personified ideological essence. BJP has brazenly put up a hoarding in Vadodra showing Sohrabuddin (as a proclaimed offender) insinuating that Congress was also involved. There has also been public protest by the RSS and its affiliates against the arrest of deputy police commissioner Abhay Chaudasma who was directly involved in the fake encounter of Sohabuddin and his wife and friend.

Photographs in an advertisement can be as much revealing as the ones taken in hot action. How could the photos of two girls from Azamgarh be used to advertise how Muslims have a secure financial future and brighter prospects in Gujarat? The eager and smiling faces of the girls from Azamgarh cannot be used as a camouflage to represent how the much physically abused and socially and economically boycotted survivors of pogroms as economically safe and secure in Gujarat. This is after all the standard of RSS secrecy of blaming the Muslims for having caused the demolition of Babri mosque and caused all the violence in its aftermath! In the aftermath of the demolition, the RSS chief even remarked that the Muslims had it coming to them!

RSS is essentially based on a divisive ideology. It has greatest potential to divide India again. If Gupta and Patidar are its functionaries and now removed from responsibilities, it still leaves them free to attend the shakhas. If Intelligence Bureau is itself involved along with the army in Malegaon blast of 2008 it is because RSS ideology has succeeded in contaminating government servants so well that they are capable of playing different roles, government servants as well as blind cadres ready to undertake terrorist tasks as protecting India from Muslims who they deem as terrorists.

This has been confirmed by what the ATS official has just revealed to India Today: “The conversations recorded in Dayanand Pandey’s laptop clearly show that on one instance, there was an IB officer who was present in one of the meetings. On seeing this officer, others were told to keep quiet and not to discuss their plans. We had passed this information to other agencies concerned. They should have found out who this IB officer was and why he didn’t reveal the conspiracy to the police.”

Government servants in civil or police uniform are so much biased under the influence of the RSS ideology that the police have arrested and put in prison nine innocent Muslims since 2006 Malegaon blasts. (True, some of the accused could have violated some rules which have no connection with terrorism, qua terrorism.) Most of them have no criminal record. In fact, they have written letters from prison that it was SP Mr Rajwardhan of Nashik (rual) police who framed them. One of them happens to be an informer of police turned approver, Abrar Ahmed, who now says in his affidavit of April 18, 2009 that Rajwadhan gave more than 25 lakh rupees to his father-in-law and had arranged for him to meet Sadhvi Pragyasingh and Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit in September-October 2006.

In contrast to these nine imprisoned, Swami Asimanand was found to have attended the meetings of Abhinav Bharat when the conspiracy was hatched and arranged for training in arms and bomb making in his ashram in Gujarat but he was not declared even as absconder! Doctored phone conversations of the accused Muslims can withstand court scrutiny but not Asimanand’s attendance! Trailing Sandeep Dange, Ram Kalsangrah or Pravin Mutalik may take ages so should the Muslim accused languish in jail until the three are caught and more details are ‘advertised’ about Asimanand. Even the bail they had legitimate right to is denied. What stronger evidence did the investigating agencies need to have than the phone of his driver that Asimanand used and the ATS knew it? His disappearance itself is valid enough reason to declare him an offender absconding from law. On the contrary, Abdul Samad was in Bhatkal and not in Pune during the bomb blast in the German Bakery on February 13, 2010. He had gone to Dubai to meet his father and when his visa expired he returned to Mangalore when the Maharashtra ATS in a melodramatic manner whisked him away by plane to Mumbai. His mother pleaded with the authorities that he was not Yasin Bhatkal whom the police suspect to have planted bomb in the bakery. He appealed for bail and the judge granted it saying that the police had not even mentioned him as “wanted accused” in the Mumbai arms smuggling case of 2009.

What great service RSS has done to the country is making government departments and agencies dysfunctional. Even the home ministry is floundering. Chidambram praised the police when they arrested Abdul Samad. The police detained Maulvi Noorulhoda of a madrasa in Faizabad moments before the plane he was in was about to take off. A lady overheard and called the police when he talked to his family and told folks at home that the plane was about to take off (‘jahaz udne wala hai’). Of course, Chidambram intervened and the maulvi was released from police custody, but the question remains: who has created this atmosphere of distrust against the Muslims?