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  Few questions for Narendrabhai

Few questions for Narendrabhai

| FARRUKH DHONDY
Published : Oct 4, 2013, 8:09 pm IST
Updated : Oct 4, 2013, 8:09 pm IST

“‘The world is too much with us’ Wordsworth ‘The world is all that is the case’ Wittgenstein ‘The world won’t fit in my suitcase’ Bachchoo” From Philosophical Comparisons (Ed. Bachchoo)

“‘The world is too much with us’ Wordsworth ‘The world is all that is the case’ Wittgenstein ‘The world won’t fit in my suitcase’ Bachchoo” From

Philosophical Comparisons

(Ed.

Bachchoo

) Dear Narendrabhai,

Kem chho No, I am not a Gujarati but venture to greet you thus as we Parsis, as you a close watcher of cultural minorities will appreciate, speak the language because Gujarat made us welcome when we fled the tyranny of the Muslim conquest of Persia some 13,000 years ago. I usually write about events that are current which I can relate to some perspective I have picked up through my short and happy life. I can only laugh while crying at the self-importance of some editors in countries with no international influence telling US President Barack Obama or Russian President Vladimir Putin what to do about Syria. So why address a column to you To ask some questions which the Indian press hasn’t put to you: You are touted as Sardar Patel, the Second — tough, pragmatic, incorruptible and yet from a party which Sardar I (Vallabhbhai Patel), a great leader of the Congress, would have held in contempt. You are projected as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate for the prime ministership of India. The party admits that it won’t poll an overall majority, but hopes to cobble a coalition to form National Democratic Alliance-2. I bet the calculations of how to win friends and influence coalition partners keep you awake every night. One articulate publication says that your elevation to the responsibility of prime ministership-designate was very doubtful. They calculate that you’ll get 180 seats in the states in which the BJP has been regularly successful, but your bid to command a majority in the Lok Sabha would almost certainly fall short of the 270 loyal, impervious-or-perhaps-susceptible-to-bribery legislators you would require to become the Prime Minister. Chaalo, joisoon! Come the hour. The analysts, obsessed with your prospects, say that you were projected as a prime ministerial candidate by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh faction of your party. I don’t know many members of the RSS but was invited some years ago to meet one in London. He was rather nasty. He said “You give us Godhra and we’ll give you the retaliatory riots in the whole state!” He was a hundred-eyes-for-one eye, a thousand-teeth-for-one-tooth man when it came to Hindu pilgrims to Ayodhya versus, as he saw it, the Muslim community of Gujarat however innocent of the tragedy at Godhra railway station. It was an ugly encounter, bigoted, irrational and venomous. This person boasted that he was a propagator of “Hindutva”, which, dikra, now prompts my first question. What is this Hindutva It can’t be Hinduism, which has myriad moral codes and even more philosophical and theological manifestations. So is it the equivalent of reducing the entire Semitic history, Quranic tenets, Sufi traditions, art, culture and theological plurality of Islam to narrow Wahabi fanaticism Is Hindutva some doctrine that would take the country back to Ashwamedha, human sacrifice and sati Or is it a “Hindu” equivalent, the political manifestation of “Islamtva” that the Muslim Brotherhood is in Egypt Hindutva is surely not the mirror image of the Muslims who want to conquer the world, kill the unconverted kafirs and impose Sharia law on the planet. Is it You’ve been pushed by the RSS and they are on about this Hindutva, so tell us what your Hindutva amounts to. Narendra Bhai, tell me! Mahney to kaho! The perception in the West, I have to say, is that you are associated with the anti-Muslim slaughter in Gujarat. Yes, I do know that there have been commissions of inquiry and testimony one way and the other. I don’t pretend to be a judge of those facts. The US has refused you a visa, even though the pragmatic UK government has been more friendly and offered you access to the thousands of British Gujarati businessmen who support you and want to do financial deals and supply investment to their state of origin if they are assured of neat and tax-efficient profits which your state government provides. Which brings me to the other question you should answer even now: What is your attitude to the rampant capitalism that India embraces, profits and suffers from It is, undoubtedly, the root of all contemporary progress and all contemporary corruption and social injustice on a historically unprecedented scale. Karl Marx pronounced capitalism’s manifest cruelties as epoch-makingly “progressive”. India today is proof. What is your attitude to free enterprise, the import of capital and the share it inevitably demands Hey! That’s an easy question. Even Dr Manmohan Singh or Montek Singh Ahluwalia can answer that. Make it harder: What will you do about the attendant corruption, exponentially growing inequality, exploitation and resistant Maoist tribal insurgency that this stage in capitalist history has bred And then the Muslim question. Okay, I agree with you that the Nehru-Gandhi view of history swept the atrocities of Muslim conquest and rule under the politically-expedient carpet. Very many “historians” went along with this politically motivated secularist view. There is no need for it any more. We can tell the truth about all that without it affecting or influencing the rights of any citizens today. So one paradox which I’d like you to resolve remains: Your philosophical forbears in the RSS were against the formation of Pakistan. Three questions: 1. Are you now happy that the breed of Islamism, which Pakistan seems to cultivate or allow today, is not within India and is someone else’s problem 2. What measures will you initiate to prove to Indian Muslims, including Kashmiris, that they are valued and better off here rather than there 3. If you are still doubtful about the Partition, will you initiate any moves towards the federation of India with the states that were partitioned Kai tho jawab aapso ji

Pranam and Sahebji!Farrukh Dhondy