April 27, 2005

Need to forge a political instrument

Our Correspondent

The seminar, ‘Threats to India’s Integrity,’ organized by the Centre for National Renaissance (CNR), has called for all patriotic forces to forge a political instrument to challenge the forces threatening our national integrity.

The seminar was organized in New Delhi on April 23, 2005 In his welcome address, CNR chairman Subramanian Swamy said that the threats to India’s integrity are multi-dimensional in nature, sapping the nation’s salience and eroding its substance. He listed four threats to India:

  • 1 ) those arising out of the erosion of constitutional norms, especially the devaluation of the office of the Prime Minister, as witnessed recently in Goa and Jharkhand, and the increasing subservience to the extra-constitutional force;

  • 2) the threats arising from the spread and coordination of terrorist activities within and from outside the country;

  • 3) the destabilization because of the changing communal demographic patterns;

  • 4) and the targeting by the state and foreign fraudulent organizations of renowned religious institutions, as exemplified by the audaciously fake murder case foisted on one of the revered Hindu Mutts, the Kanchi Kamakoti Shankaracharya Mutt.

    In his inaugural address, former Defence Minister George Fernandes quoted from his interview to the Time magazine in 1959, in which he had said, “Look at what holds the country together. It is Hinduism; and as long as Hinduism lives, this country will remain united.”

    He came down heavily on the secular-liberal intellectual establishment. “In the 58th year of freedom, India faces more dangers than it has ever faced since Partition. The most dangerous among these is the so-called secular-communal divide, imposed on the country by a combine of Congress and Marxists, with the RJD playing the role of the supporting actor.

    “The secular dispensation believes that the secular chant gives them the licence to create situations which can and will create fissures in our polity which will be exploited by the nation’s enemies to their advantage. There will be more cleavages in the making and every soft opening will become an open gate for infiltration which has already overwhelmed the local population in several border areas.”

    He lambasted the hypocrisy of the secular elite: “In the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguards, Rajiv Gandhi, who had now been sworn in as Prime Minister, exhorted his party men to kill every Sikh in sight with his belief that when a big tree falls, the earth is bound to shake. The result was a pogrom that claimed nearly 4,000 lives of innocent Sikhs—men, women, and children. This was a secular pogrom, while what happened in Godhra was a communal killing.”

    The next greatest danger is “from those who are illiterate on matters of security and defence of the country and those who have an agenda to weaken the nation’s security and to demoralize the armed forces.” He alleged that the Tehelka scandal and the coffin scam were masterminded by the Congress president.

    In fact, he questioned the Congress’ belief in democracy. “For all his much-publicized belief in democracy, Nehru groomed his daughter to be his successor and set up a dynasty. He referred his father as a prince among men to give an aura and awe around the family. It was Indira Gandhi who gave the worst blow to our democracy b imposing an Emergency and denying the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution for the citizens and finally having the Supreme Court to declare that even the right to life cannot be claimed as long as Indira Gandhi’s dictatorship survives. What the Congress did in Goa and Jharkhand is but the tip of what is due to follow.”

    In his valedictory address, former Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi spoke about the threat of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. He lamented that any such discussion is immediately labeled as communal, bigoted, etc. “Speaking the truth is communal and saying lies is secular!” he commented angrily.

    Dr Joshi bemoaned that the state of India is at war with the Indian nation. He also expressed dismay over the fact that an extra-constitutional authority is running the country.

    In an important observation, he said that the need of the hour is to define India, its core values—in the same fashion as US conservative philosopher Samuel Huntington has defined the salience of America. “We, in India, realize that we are Indians only when there is a war or there is an external threat. Do we need an external threat to define our identity?” Joshi asked.

    In his talk, ‘Subversion of the Constitution,’ former Lok Sabha secretary general Subhash Kashyap traced the history of subversion and offered incisive comments. He said that the Indian Constitution is the most amended constitution of the world, having seen 72 amendments. He specifically mentioned Article 356, which was expected to be a “dead letter” and to be used in the rarest of rare circumstances, but has been used more than 100 times.

    He exploded the myth that BR Ambedkar was the “architect of the Constitution.” In fact, Ambedkar had himself said that he was merely a “hack,” Kashyap informed the seminar.Kashyap questioned the validity of the words “socialism” and “secularism” which were added in the preamble of the Constitution by an amendment. Since economic policies in the post-liberalization era are the antithesis of socialism, the Constitution gets subverted on a regular basis, he said.

    He also derided those who glorify Congress president Sonia Gandhi for her “great sacrifice,” for renouncing prime ministership. “There is not even an iota of evidence to suggest that she was ever offered the office of Prime Minister. So, where is the question of renunciation?” he asked.

    In his paper on the rising terrorist threat, Lt Gen JFK Jacob (Retd), former Punjab Governor, said that the armed forces can help the government by goading the terrorists to come to the negotiating table. But, he said, this is possible only by destroying the bases of terrorists and by cutting off their supply lines. The armed forces have done that in the past, and they can still do it. This helps the government to negotiate with terrorists from a position of strength.

    However, military solution is like surgery, which should be applied only when medication has failed. In most cases of insurgency in India, this solution is applicable, Gen Jacob said.

    J Bajaj of the Chennai-based Centre for Policy Studies presented the threat to national integrity from the demographic angle. The population of Indian religions—Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, etc—is declining, especially in the border areas, he said. He mentioned several districts of western UP where the Muslim population increased from 29 per cent to 39 per cent in the last 50 years. Then there are many districts bordering Bangladesh where the Muslim population is already in the majority. “Whenever there are changes in ethnic composition, tensions rise. And when the changes are as sudden as in many parts of India, the situation becomes uncontrollable,” Bajaj said.

    Swadeshi Jagran Manch convener S Gurumoorthy highlighted the fakeness of the Shankaracharya case, the vindictiveness of the state government, and the hand of New Delhi behind the outrage in Tamil Nadu. “No other Chief Minister than Jayalalitha could have done what was done. No other Central government could have tolerated what it did tolerate. And a leader of no other religion could have suffered in such a manner. To have a peaceful following is a disqualification for a religious leader, as also for a political leader.”

    He blasted the secular dogma that all religions are equal and so they shall be treated.

    Gurumoorthy also exposed the double-speak of the intellectual class. Most of the media and great liberals took the police version at its face value. Yet, the same people are extremely skeptical of the police’s version on encounters of terrorists, he said.

    The seminar concluded with a call “upon all patriotic forces to set aside all differences as in 1975-77 and forge together a political instrument to challenge the forces behind the threat to our national integrity.”

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