Wednesday, 30 September 2015

NAUJAWAN BHARAT SABHA reports on systematic attempts of 'Sangh Parivar' to foment communal tension in Delhi // Beef murder bid to stir hatred ahead of polls? // SIDDHARTH VARADARAJAN: The fight is now over your right to not be killed for what you eat

NB - It is plain as daylight that the front organisations of the RSS/BJP are stirring up communal violence to polarise the Indian population and secure a political constituency based upon hatred. Communal voting is only possible in an atmosphere of hatred, and that is what this 'Parivar' is determined to do. Their cadre consider the 2014 elections as a mandate for totalitarian rule and free rein to their hooliganism. Contrary to all norms of journalism, a prominent section of the Hindi press is aiding and abetting this programme, just as they did during the campaign to destroy the Babri Masjid in 1990-92. This a recipe for permanent social conflict. It is shameful that senior elected representatives, who took their oath of office upon the Constitution are presiding over an open subversion of the rule of law. If this is their definition of nationalism, India is headed for an abyss of unending strife. DS. 

The emperor's masks: 'apolitical' RSS calls the shots in Modi sarkar
1. Introduction: In recent months Hindutva fundamentalist forces have been involved in fomenting communal tensions and paving the way for riots in the workers’ colonies of North-West Delhi in a very systematic manner. There has been a surge in the number of RSS shakhas in the parks and on the vacant land of DDA in this area. At the same time the activities of Bajrang Dal are also on the rise in this area. Most of the workers’ residences in the areas of Holambi Kalan, Holambi Khurd, Bhawana, Narela, Bhalaswa Dairy etc. are part of resettlement colonies where the working population which was uprooted from different parts of Delhi have been resettled.

Several illegal activities such as gambling and sale of illegal liquor, smack and other intoxicants are carried out on large scale in these colonies as a matter of routine. Apart from the ordinary working population there also exist lumpen elements in substantial numbers. In the shakhas of RSS mainly shopkeepers, contractors, house owners, property dealers and the middle class youth are seen while the lumpen elements play an important role in hooliganism during communal tensions. It is in the mobilization of such lumpen elements that the Bajrang Dal comes into picture. These days widespread public contact campaign is being organized even in the middle class colonies of the entire area on the pretext of running a signature campaign under the banner of “Go Raksha Maha Abhiyan”.

2. Background: incidents of the recent past: Ever since the Narendra Modi government has come to power, the incidents of communal tension and conflict have been taking place on a continual basis. In most of the cases these incidents are the outcome of the planning and provocation by the fraternal organizations of the Sangh Parivar in which the local BJP leaders and people’s representatives have played an active role. Even if one leaves aside stray incidents, one cannot ignore the pattern behind some important incidents. 
Read more:

Beef murder bid to stir hatred ahead of polls? 
The murder of Iqlakh in the Dadri area of Greater Noida on Monday night after sudden rumours that the family had slaughtered a cow and had beef appears to have been a well-planned attack aimed at spreading panic and creating a sharp divide among communities ahead of the panchayat polls in the state. The priest, who announced over the temple loudspeaker that the family had beef in the house, has told police that he was forced to do so by two youths from Bisada, the village where Iqlakh lived. It was after this announcement that a lynchmob rushed to Iqlakh's house and killed the 58-year-old man and seriously injured his son Danish, 21.

Sources in the police and district administration said in the past few months there have been attempts to disturb the communal harmony in the area. Source said a few days back, in Dankaur area, two cows died in a gaushala, but when their bodies were being disposed of, some tried to portray it as cow slaughter and incite people. A mosque was damaged, but the police managed to control the situation.

While the Akhilesh Yadav government wants the six arrested for Iqlakh's murder to be tried under the stringent national security act, BJP is pressing for the release of all six. On Wednesday, the local BJP unit held a meeting and decided to hold a mahapanchayat on October 11 to press for their release.

Instead of focusing on the murder, BJP's main beef appears to be the meat in the man's house. "The locals gave samples of meat to the police but they (the cops) did not take it seriously. Then some people got agitated," BJP district president Thakur Harish Singh said on Tuesday, in effect giving a 'rational' explanation for the attack. "The police have arrested innocent people. We also demand legal action against those people, who are engaged in cow slaughter as it is hurting Hindu sentiments," local BJP leader Vichitra Tomar said after a two-hour meeting on Wednesday.

Many Muslims in Bisada are now living in fear for their lives and are thinking of leaving the village. Iqlakh's family also planned to leave, but finally stayed on after the district administration guaranteed their safety and pledged to arrest those responsible for the attack.  "My son has been killed, while my younger grandson is battling for his life. For the time being, police are giving us protection. But they can't stay in the village permanently. We fear that more such attacks may take place. We are in touch with our relatives and are planning to leave the village for a safe location," said Asgari, the deceased's 70-year-old mother, who had also sustained injuries in the attack.

SIDDHARTH VARADARAJAN -The Pink Revolution is Marching On
If Narendra Modi last year conjured up the spectre of a ‘pink revolution’ – cow killing on a mass scale – in the event of the BJP’s defeat in the 2014 election, what metaphor will he use to describe the murder of a Muslim father at Dadri on the outskirts of Delhi for the imaginary crime of keeping beef in his home? Were he to call the ugly incident by its proper name – a lynching – he would have to cross an ideological line that he and his party have helped place at the centre-stage of Indian politics over the past year and a half: That the slaughter of cows poses a more serious threat to the country than the slaughter of human beings in the name of cow protection.

The Prime Minister owes it to the people of this country to say it isn’t so. To declare loudly and clearly that even if that piece of meat which the Uttar Pradesh police have now mischievously taken away for ‘forensic’ analysis turns out to have come from a cow, the mob had no night to invade the home of Mohammed Akhlaq and murder him. Modi has a responsibility to speak out this time because the violence that occurred on Monday night is a direct product of the hysteria which is being deliberately engineered in different parts of the country over the issue of cow slaughter – an issue he brought up repeatedly in stump speeches during the 2014 general election.

Modi’s 2014 rhetoric: In an attempt to better understand the politics behind the campaign, I went back and listened to some of those speeches. Both in western Uttar Pradesh – not far from Dadri – and again in Bihar, Modi spoke at length about the dangers of “pink revolution”. The speeches are amazing for the ease with which Modi slides between fact and fiction, using the words ‘pashu’ and ‘gai’and even ‘mutton’ interchangeably to paint a picture of Indian villages being emptied out of their cows as the Congress government in Delhi – in pursuit of ‘vote bank politics’ – is hell-bent on promoting a ‘pink revolution’ or ‘gulabi kranti’.

“The agenda of the Congress is Pink Revolution,” he said. “We have heard of the Green Revolution and White Revolution but never pink and this means the slaughter of animals (pashu). You see, the colour of mutton is pink, and they are committing the sin of exporting it and bringing revolution… Because of this, our animal wealth is being slaughtered, our cows are being slaughtered, or sent abroad to be slaughtered… And now the Congress is saying, ‘If you vote for us, we will give you permission to kill cows’.”

In his Bihar speech, Modi asks how the leaders of the ‘Yaduvansh’ – the Yadavs – like Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad can ally with the Congress. “I want to ask [them], how can you support such people who want to bring pink revolution? When a pashu is cut, the colour of its meat is called pink revolution… In village after village, animal wealth (pashu dhan) is being slaughtered, pashu are being stolen and taken to Bangladesh, big slaughter houses have been opened across the country… The Congress won’t give subsidies to a farmer or to a Yadav who wants to tend his cows. But if someone opens a slaughter house to kill cows, kill pashu, then the [Congress] government gives them a subsidy.”

Imposing food choices: Leaving aside the hypocrisy involved in the Modi government presiding over a huge increase in ‘carabeef’ (buffalo meat) exports, the BJP – since coming to power at the Centre, and in states like Mahararashtra and Haryana – has moved to impose its dietary preferences on people at large. Where earlier, farmers were allowed to sell bulls and even cows above a certain age to slaughter houses, the law in these two states now compels them to bear the burden of maintaining these animals for the rest of their natural lives. Maharashtra has also made the possession of beef – regardless of whether it is from outside the state or from abroad – a criminal offence. The Devendra Fadnavis government, along with several other BJP-ruled states recently imposed a limited duration ban on the sale of mutton and chicken during the Jain festival of Paryushan. The Union Culture Minister, Mahesh Sharma, has publicly advocated a nine-day national meat ban during the navaratras. In Jammu and Kashmir, the RSS is pushing to ensure that a colonial-era ban on beef be strictly enforced across the state

Staying alive: In response to the meat ban, the journalist Vir Sanghvi joked that if you vote for the Gujarat model, you get the Gujarat diet too. But the Dadri incident tells us the politics of food is no laughing matter anymore In any democratic society governed by the rule of law, there would still be space to have a debate on the citizen’s right to make her or his own dietary choices without interference from the state. After Dadri, it is clear that that argument is over.

Make no mistake – that is how far our political goalposts and moral compasses have moved in the past 16 months.We have gone past the stage where we can expect political parties and the courts to defend the right of a citizen to eat what she or he likes. The issue at stake now is a family’s right to not be attacked and killed because of the food they eat, or would like to eat – or are suspected of eating. We are now at the next stage of the pink revolution. When we get to discover that the colour of human flesh is the same as the colour of what Modi innocently – or not so innocently – calls “mutton”.

see also
The importance of Professor Kalburgi
"Leftists never condemn Islamist terror"

Jyoti Punwani - Let us not give our Islamic neighbour a run for its money
RSS Declared Unlawful: Text of GOI communique February 4, 1948
Smruti Koppikar - Maharashtra CM has no will to pursue my father’s murder
Petition in Supreme Court Accuses NIA of Soft-Pedaling Hindutva Terror Cases

After Malegaon, Ajmer Blast Case Faces Allegations of Sabotage // Witnesses turn hostile in Samjhauta case
The law of killing: a brief history of Indian fascism

Robert Zaretsky - The tangled history of barbed wire

EARLIER THIS MONTH, the Hungarian government, scrambling to seal its southern border against the influx of North African and Middle Eastern refugees trying to reach Germany, placed a bid for 10,000 rolls of razor wire. Though the deal was worth hundreds of thousands of euros, a German manufacturer, Mutanox, wouldn’t sell to the Hungarians. “Razor wire is designed to prevent criminal acts, like a burglary,” explained the company spokesman. “Fleeing children and adults are not criminals.”

Had you doubts about the cunning of history, lay them to rest. From Germany’s welcoming of refugees to its outrage at Hungary’s violent efforts to stop them, the country that, 75 years ago, made barbed wire into the symbol of man’s inhumanity to man has done much to overcome its past. Yet, the Mutanox spokesman did not fully uncoil the history of barbed wire. Contrary to his claim, one of the hallmarks of our age is that fleeing children and adults have often been considered criminals. Entire peoples, by dint of their race, religion, or social class, have been judged as standing outside either the law or humanity. Stretching between them and us, figuratively and literally, has been barbed wire, whose history tells us much about the plight of today’s refugees.

Like inventors from Joseph Guillotin to Alfred Nobel, whose creations escaped their original purpose and were yoked to evil ends, Joseph Glidden would have been shocked at what became of his. In 1874, the Illinois farmer and New Hampshire native, fastening sharpened metal knots along thick threads of steel, created barbed wire. Thanks to its high resilience and low cost, the rapid installation of the coils and lasting dissuasion of the barbs, the wire transformed the American West. Ranchers could protect their cattle against predators, both wild and human, as they pushed the frontier ever further west. The wire itself came to be called “devil’s rope.”

The results were deep and lasting. As Dempsey Rae, the scarred cowboy played by Kirk Douglas in “Man Without a Star,” declared about the wire: “I don’t like it or the people who use it.” More real and tragic than disgruntled cowboys intent on their freedom, however, was the fate of the Native Americans. They were not jailed behind barbed wire outright, but the Dawes Act allowed all “excess” land not claimed by individual Native Americans to be sold to ranchers, who immediately enclosed their lands with barbed wire, thus crippling the traditional migration and hunting patterns of the tribes. But as the world discovered quickly, they were not the last.

Scarcely a decade later, the Boer War, fought between the British Army and Dutch settlers in South Africa, revealed the striking military uses of Glidden’s invention. The British stretched hundreds of miles of wire, punctuated by guardhouses, along their rail lines to shield them against Boer attacks. By dicing and slicing the African veld with wire, the British made a great advance in the long struggle to prevent the movement of animals or fellow human beings over land we claimed as ours.

Not coincidentally, South Africa was also the birthplace of the modern concentration camp — the demarcation of space by barbed wire, but this time to keep people in and not out. When the British rounded up families from their farms and villages to throttle support, material and logistical, for the commandos, they needed to build camps for the civilians as quickly and cheaply as possible. Barbed wire was as versatile as duct tape: ideal for a thousand different emergencies, only all of them far more insidious. The British turned to barbed wire to serve as the walls for the camps where the civilians were relocated. Though they soon became breeding grounds for disease and despair, these camps, were devoted to the control, not demolition of a people. Nevertheless they gave not only a name, but also a blueprint to the camps that erupted across the European continent in the decades to come.

Before the camps, though, came the trenches. Barbed wire frames the lunar landscape of World War I. Oddly, Kirk Douglas again serves as our guide. Just as he is scarred and defeated by barbed wire in “Man Without a Star,” in “Paths of Glory” he must submit to it as Colonel Dax, ordered to attack an impregnable German gun position. To respond to the unprecedented situation on the Western Front, where the usual war of movement had coagulated into a static line stretching from the English Channel to Switzerland, barbed wire was heaven-sent. Or, more accurately, US Steel sent. The company produced nearly 3 million miles of barbed wire during World War I.

It was a cheap, rapid, and effective means to stop the movement of large forces of men bent on your destruction. When combined with another recent invention, the machine gun, barbed wire became more imposing than the largest fort or cannon. As advancing soldiers on both sides quickly discovered, the massive bombardments that preceded their attacks might have leveled a fortress, but was mostly useless against barbed wire.

Had he starred in a movie about the Holocaust, Douglas would have hit modernity’s trifecta, completing a kind of barbed wire trilogy. Barbed wire, an accessory to earlier wars, stars in WWII. The French philosopher Olivier Razac observes that when we see a photo of barbed wire, we tend not to associate it with prairies or trenches, the American West in the 19th century or European West in the early 20th century. Instead, we reflexively associate it with the European East — baptized the “bloodlands” by historian Timothy Snyder — and the death camps to which they were home.

How could it be otherwise? Imagining himself back at Auschwitz, Primo Levi gazed at our everyday moral world. How much of it, he wondered, “could survive on this side of the barbed wire.” Not much, we learned. How extraordinary that so simple a thing — a bit of sharpness suspended in air — could carry such tremendous meaning. Yet come the Holocaust, as the philosopher Reviel Netz observes, barbed wire embodied the asymmetry between an all-powerful state and utterly powerless mass of people. In a sense, “the concentration camp system was a recapitulation of the animal industry, now a human industry . . . bringing the ecology of flesh and iron in the age of barbed wire to its culmination.”

As history since Auschwitz reveals, barbed wire is the infernal gift that keeps giving. From Siberia to Srebrenica, Glidden’s invention proved its functional and symbolic resilience, one that now inescapably shapes our understanding of today’s refugee crisis. A day hardly passes that a front page or magazine cover does not frame a photo of migrants from Syria and Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea, pressed against barbed wire barriers along Europe’s frontiers. Familiar with the iconic shots of the Bergen-Belsen or Bosnian camps, we might tell ourselves that the photos of today’s migrants are somewhat misleading. These men, women, and children are not, strictly speaking, penned in concentration camps, much less death camps.

But that is strictly speaking. It does not take a great stretch of moral imagination to portray great swaths of North Africa and the Middle East as one vast concentration camp. It is a region where suffering, disease, and despair are the rule — a camp whose walls of barbed wire have been strung up not by the failing and murderous governments inside, but rather by us along its edges. The barbed wire fences uncoiling in France and Hungary, Italy and Greece are not keeping undesirable elements outside of Europe. Instead, they are keeping those same elements inside zones where death, not life, is commonplace.

From the concentration camps of South Africa to the death camps of Nazi Germany, from the trenches of northern France to the tundra of eastern Russia, the collective memory of the 20th century has a texture. It is one as hard and cold as steel — wiry steel punctuated with razor-sharp knots — now stretching into this still new century. Primo Levi asked how long our moral world would last inside the fences of Auschwitz? As refugees continue to flee to Europe, the question needs to be inverted: How long can our moral world survive as we stand and watch them from outside the barbed wire?

Kai Friese - When it comes to Indian history, Amar Chitra Katha is the new normal

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi departed on his latest foreign mission to spread the word about Digital India in Silicon Valley, I embarked on a more nostalgic excursion to visit Rabindra Bhavan, one of the landmarks of Nehruvian modernism in New Delhi. My intended mission was one of architectural curiosity but I stumbled instead into the wormhole of an exhibit recently inaugurated by the Minister of Culture, Mahesh Sharma in Rabindra Bhavan’s art galleries. It was entitled Cultural Continuity from Rig Veda to Robotics.

Inside the gallery was a display of plastic placards decorated with calendar art and tele-serial imaginings of the Mahabharata, coupled with crude info graphics informing us that by correlating references to the planets and stars in the Sanskrit epics with astronomy software, the historicity of Lord Ram, and the narratives of the Ramayana and Mahabharata had now been firmly established. To wit: the “fall of Duryodhan in mace bettle” occurred at 06:50 on November 14, 3139 BC. Ram himself was born on January 10, 5014 BC. “Around 12 to 1 noontime.” And so on…

For such a low tech installation (the “robotics”, I was informed, was a “figurative term”) the exhibition had startling ambitions. An accompanying publication from the organisers, I-SERVE or Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas, claimed to “provide a solid foundation to the new idea of rewriting the history of the world on purely scientific basis”.

Sadly, such risible displays of kitsch pseudoscience are hardly remarkable anymore. From the exhibition’s endorsement by the Ministry of Culture to the appointment of a dull obscurantist as the head of the Indian Council for Historical Research, to the prime minister’s famous pronouncements on Ganesha and Karna as evidence of ancient Indian plastic surgery and genetic science, to the defence minister’s recent remarks encouraging the Defence Research and Development Organisation to “take lessons from the sages”, it seems that when it comes to the history of India, Amar Chitra Katha is the new normal.  Not a day goes by now without further reports of the march of Vedic science.

Marching into the past: Yesterday it was a Delhi University seminar determined to establish the 7,000-year old vintage of the Vedas (i.e. some 2,500 years older than the epic of Gilgamesh), today the news that the ravings of Dina Nath Batra, who peddles tales of Vedic motorcars and other ancient Indian inventions such as the television, will be required reading for schoolchildren in Haryana.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Prime Minister Modi is flying through the air with the greatest of ease in that pushpak vimana, otherwise known as Air India One – a 19-year-old Boeing 747-437 – to talk about India’s digital future with Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and other rishis of our age.

It would be reassuring to see these opposing trajectories as a sign of balance, between modernity and tradition, the past and future, or cultural fantasy and technological ambition. Or, more plausibly, between rhetoric and action. In other words, that Modi is all about the economy, infrastructure and governance and that the other stuff is just diversionary political window dressing. That perhaps it doesn’t really matter if cultural institutions like the Lalit Kala and the ICHR descend into mythomania. After all, they were probably broken anyway.

Does it really matter?: So what if a few moribund cul-de-sacs of Bharat sarkar are handed over to inconsequential and superannuated Hindutva loyalists? Hasn’t every administration rewarded sycophants with sinecures? You might even see some redistributive justice in the government’s determination to épater the haut-bourgeois academic establishment of Lutyens' Delhi by sharing the spoils of its election victory with its own obscure intellectuals. Reading an interview with the new ICHR chief, Y Sudershan Rao, in the RSS mouthpiece Organiser, it’s hard not to be struck by the pathos of his self-deprecation:

“I may not be an ‘Eminent Historian’ like the people you are referring to…being from a state university, maybe I cannot be called a specialist historian…So I don’t fit into the category of elite historians who can afford to specialise at micro level.”

But Professor Rao, to his credit, does seem to be a committed digital Indian. He maintains an active blog on which he shares such interviews, his CV (former professor in the department of History and Tourism Management, Kakatiya University), and several papers replete with references to the ancients and seers.

“Bharat Varsha is endowed with voluminous record of history…not only of its people and their culture but the history of entire creation and its secrets,” he tells us in one such, dealing with “Problems of Chronology – Date of Mahabharata War”. Since becoming ICHR chairman, he has also helpfully maintained an online diary littered with fulsome thanks and praises to Narendra Bhai Modi ji, glimpses of his busy schedule attending seminars (such as a “national workshop of the Mythic Society in connection with their project on ‘Re-Writing History of our Nation’”), occasional gestures of handwringing at the “onerous” responsibilities facing him, and earnest exhortations to do our duty to “the great lovers of our nation” (sadly, not Vatsyayana but Deen Dayal Upadhayay).

From its passing references to our certain knowledge of extra-terrestrial life (because “our ancient Indian historical tradition says”) to the Pavlovian grovelling of a well-trained bureaucrat (“the Chairperson thanked the government for taking up such a pious project”), Rao’s diary recalls the weirdness and banality of an apparatchik’s Newspeak in Stalinist Russia. Or Emergency-era India. To paraphrase a famous seer, tragic history is being rewritten as farce.

Some caution: But just how funny is that? Watching a televised interview with three of Prime Minister Modi’s more polished advisors heralding his journey to California, I was intrigued to see the plummy Jagdish Bhagwati strike a note of caution. “On social issues, people associated with the BJP like [Mohan] Bhagwat are going back to a version of Hindutva which is really a virulent disease,” he said. “That needs to be stopped.” But having just spent an hour with the prime minister, the Columbia professor was confident that Modi would not be hampered by “this strain from which he actually came – and we did discuss his origins – he told me this is where he grew up. The RSS.”

By the end of that interview Bhagwati was all giggling reassurance – certain that the prime minister was, above all, committed to a transformative vision of economic reform. It’s not hard to understand that eminent economists feel less threatened by the “cultural” penumbra of Hindutva than their colleagues in history departments.

Personally, I think it’s unlikely that the nation’s economic institutions, from the Reserve Bank of India to the Institute of Economic Growth will suffer the indignities of the ICHR. It’s also hard to imagine that science and medicine will face a Vedic Lysenko - despite the new Aayush ministry and a few laboratories torturing dogs with cow urine, there are just too many politicians in dire need of bariatric surgery. Even the eminent historians will probably endure; they will just come from private schools and foreign universities – as they always have.

The upshot: So is the BJP’s assault on culture a victimless crime – or a trivial one – after all? Back at the Rig Veda to Robotics exhibition as I watched busloads of fresh-faced school children from the Saraswati Shishu Mandir being squired around the shoddy placards I had my doubts. Not that I imagine many of them would be persuaded to pursue actual careers in history or archaeology. The exhibition itself  had been conceived by a moonlighting enthusiast from the Revenue Service.  And yet, watching a new generation subjected to this relentless discourse of “pride” and “glory” rooted in imagined shame I could only feel despair. Perhaps those kids would go home and visit the I-SERVE website as all little digital Indians should. They’ll see genuine pictures of the children’s president, the late APJ Abdul Kalam, inaugurating a seminar of the Institute for Scientific Research on Vedas.  And also a prominent link to Stephen Hawking’s endorsement of “books authored by Dr Sivaramababu (organising secretary I-SERVE)” acknowledging that “Vedas might have theory superior to Einstein’s law E=MC2.” It’s a hoax of course, sourced from a pranked Facebook page.

But who cares? They’re only children. It’s only about history. And Hinduism. The sad thing is that it’s really not a joke. On all the available evidence, from the mouths of our ministers to the proliferating swarm of “Internet Hindu” trolls the fantastical charlatanry of Hindutva “history” is central to the new National Project. Rather than a contradiction or a balance, Digital India and the new Vedic Science is to take their authors at their word, a “cultural continuum”. It’s frightening.

Because I’m as frightened as the next guy, allow me an exculpatory aside: Believe it or not, I think the Vedas are a wonder. I’ve loved the Ramayana and the Mahabharata since I was a child having my first experience of theatre, of notions of love and war and passion, of good and evil, of life and death, in the Ramlilas and Krishnalilas of Delhi. And I’m happy to acknowledge I am of "Hindu ancestry", (about 30%, I had a DNA test). So why am I frightened? Maybe it’s because I spend too much time in digital India. Of course I know there’s really nothing Vedic about the Internet. Except for the strain that Jagdish Bhagwati called a “virulent disease”. In other words, a virus. It’s something the sages of Silicon Valley might want to think twice about uploading.

see also

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Man Killed by Mob Near Delhi Over Beef Rumours // Sandip Roy: Someone’s dinner is now part of a criminal investigation in UP

NB: A man is murdered inside his own house over a rumour about his food habits. He happened to be an agricultural worker. This is the fanatical culture that is being propagated in India under the so-called Sangh Parivar. And the police actually think it is relevant to send the food for forensic examination. If the meat turns out to be beef or buffalo meat, what then? Will the murderers be hailed as national heroes? DS

DADRI, UTTAR PRADESH:  A 50-year-old man was beaten to death by a mob near Delhi on Monday night, allegedly over rumours that his family had eaten beef. Mohammad Akhlaq and his son, 22, were dragged out by villagers in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, around 45 km from the capital, and beaten with bricks. Akhlaq died before he could be taken to hospital, and his son is critical.

Before assaulting the father and son, the villagers broke into the house, wrecked everything and even attacked the women. "My husband was bleeding. His head was smashed. They beat the husband had no enemies...," said Akhlaq's wife. The men were still being beaten when the police arrived. Six men were arrested from the spot.

Akhlaq's daughter said they only had mutton in their fridge. The police say they have taken the meat and sent it for forensic testing. The family had lived in the village for over three decades. The police are investigating how the beef rumours started. "We found out that the people beat them because they consumed cow meat. More people will be arrested," said S Kiran, a senior police officer. News of the arrests led to tension in the area as villagers clashed with the police, forcing them to fire in the air.

Sandip Roy: Someone’s dinner is now part of a criminal investigation in UP
The rumour of beef and pig tallow greasing cartridges is supposed to have spawned what the British called the Indian mutiny. That was 1857. Now in 2015 rumours of eating beef can get you killed. The Indian Express story about a 50-year-old man beaten to death and his son critically injured in UP’s Dadri after rumours spread that they were eating and storing beef has divided us on predictable lines.

Folks on one side see this as another sign of growing intolerance towards minorities in the acchey din India of Narendra Modi. Those on the other side see it as another case of selective outrage because it’s not like such incidents have not happened in pre-Modi India. If a Dalit and Muslim were stripped for skinning and eating a cow in Karnataka allegedly by Bajrang Dal activists in 2008 did anyone point fingers at the UPA sarkar?

What’s lost in the din is the essential point in the story. Whether it happened before in 2006 or 2008 or 2015, someone has died because someone else did not like the food they ate.
The most poignant part of the entire story was this excerpt.

Akhlaq’s daughter, Sajida, said the family had “mutton in the fridge” and not beef. "Can they bring my father back if it turns out it was not beef?"

Cow slaughter is banned in UP but that someone needs to say this, in order to plead for their lives, is what is truly shocking, truly horrendous. 
“We have collected meat samples from Akhlaq’s house and sent it to the forensics department for examination,” said the Senior SSP Kiran S to IE. Someone’s dinner is now part of a criminal investigation. That is the reality that cannot be captured in the language of a law that bans the slaughter of a particular animal or puts limitations on it.

This is not about whether this is a new phenomenon or an old fault line. As Akhilesh Yadav is the chief minister this is his faultline now. As Narendra Modi is the prime minister it is his faultline. Not what happened in Dadri per se but the larger polarization happening around food as a way of defining the “other”. It does not matter if this polarization is an old one. It does not matter if it’s not really part of a great conspiracy. This is now something he has to grapple with.

Narendra Modi also knows that his party is held to higher scrutiny and will always be when it comes to minority issues because it is perceived as a Hindu nationalist party. The Congress too would be held to higher scrutiny by its opponents when it came to accusations of pandering to minorities as Rajiv Gandhi found out with the Shah Bano case. That is why something a group of Bajrang Dal activists did in 2008 is viewed differently than what the same group does in 2015. The accusation, which the PM has to constantly guard against, is that his being in power at the centre has emboldened these groups. The fringe thinks it has impunity now.

That might be a blatant falsehood but the PM has done little to squelch these accusations. He has mostly just ignored the issue. When Obama was accused of following a church leader alleged to have extreme views he came forward to confront the touchy issue of race head-on in a speech that could not have been easy for him. That is precisely what an Arun Shourie was getting at when he told Karan Thapar “If Modi tweets on Sania Mirza’s victory and wishing on somebody’s birthday and then he doesn’t say a word on critical issues like Ghar Wapsi, Churches and Love Jihad, it will draw an inference." The PM says sarcastically that children welcome him by reciting Sanskrit shlokas in Ireland but it would have raised questions about “secularism” if it had been done in India. But when food bans actually test our ideas of secularism, the PM is conspicuously silent. The silence does not douse flames, it fans conspiracy theories.

That silence is interpreted as loaded because as Mukul Kesavan has pointed out in The Telegraph, while the BJP election manifesto consigned Ram Mandir to Page 41, Modi on the election trail gives speeches that press religious hot buttons. "In Bihar, Modi made speeches where he re-mixed the cow-slaughter theme song under a new title, the ‘Pink Revolution’. The lyrics of his cover version went like this: the Congress government had subsidized cow-slaughter, butchers had grown rich on the back of meat exports, did Yadavs really want to make common cause with people who killed the sacred cow?" The story is not about timelines and tu tu main main. The Maharashtra cow slaughter ban might date back to 1976 but extending the ban to bulls and bullocks happened under Devendra Fadnavis’ watch. Jammu and Kashmir’s cow slaughter ban dates back to 1932 even though it was rarely enforced but because a high court orders enforcement now, it’s the current government’s problem.

Indulging in a fight about dates really dodges the main issue. And it bears repeating. Even as the Prime Minister wows Silicon Valley with his vision of a digital India of superfast i-ways and connected villages and farmers on WhatsApp, someone has been killed because a mob did not like what they thought he was eating. That should be hard to digest for all of us.

Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi, shot dead ...

'Before the Law' - a parable by Franz Kafka

Before the Law by Franz Kafka 
Translation by Ian Johnston

(NB: This parable first appeared in 1915, and became a part of Kafka's book The Trial)

Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.” At the moment the gate to the law stands open, as always, and the gatekeeper walks to the side, so the man bends over in order to see through the gate into the inside.

When the gatekeeper notices that, he laughs and says: “If it tempts you so much, try it in spite of my prohibition. But take note: I am powerful. And I am only the most lowly gatekeeper. But from room to room stand gatekeepers, each more powerful than the other. I can’t endure even one glimpse of the third.”

The man from the country has not expected such difficulties: the law should always be accessible for everyone, he thinks, but as he now looks more closely at the gatekeeper in his fur coat, at his large pointed nose and his long, thin, black Tartar’s beard, he decides that it would be better to wait until he gets permission to go inside. The gatekeeper gives him a stool and allows him to sit down at the side in front of the gate.

There he sits for days and years. He makes many attempts to be let in, and he wears the gatekeeper out with his requests. The gatekeeper often interrogates him briefly, questioning him about his homeland and many other things, but they are indifferent questions, the kind great men put, and at the end he always tells him once more that he cannot let him inside yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, spends everything, no matter how valuable, to win over the gatekeeper. The latter takes it all but, as he does so, says, “I am taking this only so that you do not think you have failed to do anything.”

During the many years the man observes the gatekeeper almost continuously. He forgets the other gatekeepers, and this one seems to him the only obstacle for entry into the law. He curses the unlucky circumstance, in the first years thoughtlessly and out loud, later, as he grows old, he still mumbles to himself. He becomes childish and, since in the long years studying the gatekeeper he has come to know the fleas in his fur collar, he even asks the fleas to help him persuade the gatekeeper.

Finally his eyesight grows weak, and he does not know whether things are really darker around him or whether his eyes are merely deceiving him. But he recognizes now in the darkness an illumination which breaks inextinguishably out of the gateway to the law. Now he no longer has much time to live. Before his death he gathers in his head all his experiences of the entire time up into one question which he has not yet put to the gatekeeper. He waves to him, since he can no longer lift up his stiffening body.

The gatekeeper has to bend way down to him, for the great difference has changed things to the disadvantage of the man. “What do you still want to know, then?” asks the gatekeeper. “You are insatiable.” “Everyone strives after the law,” says the man, “so how is that in these many years no one except me has requested entry?” The gatekeeper sees that the man is already dying and, in order to reach his diminishing sense of hearing, he shouts at him, “Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Apoorvanand - Netaji Bose or Nehru? Which one did Bhagat Singh believe was the greater revolutionary? // Bhagat Singh (1928): नये नेताओं के अलग-अलग विचार

September 28 is the birthday of Bhagat Singh – a day to remember him and his legacy. Even 84 years after his death, he remains an eternal youth icon. Indeed, there are often complaints that the overarching presence of Gandhi and Nehru has deprived Bhagat Singh and revolutionaries like him their due place in Indian history. The complainers cite Subhash Chandra Bose as the other example.

Bhagat Singh and Bose, we are reminded, were revolutionaries who took the violent path to fight against the British. The two are seen as uncompromising fighters, whereas Gandhi and Nehru are portrayed as manipulators who negotiated their way to power. It is believed seriously by many that had India achieved freedom through the means used by Bhagat Singh and Bose, the Indian story would have been different.

In popular Indian perception, Bhagat Singh and Bose were made of the same metal – while Bose and Nehru were the two poles of pre-Independence Indian politics. Nehru was the one who supposedly led a comfortable life, whereas Bose was the one who renounced the glorious Indian Civil Service and later his position in the Congress to launch a more authentic nationalist battle against the British. The same with Bhagat Singh. He courted and chose death over life. Nehru outlived them both, using cunning to enjoy power. It was he who kept Bose away from India: so scared was he that he even asked his spy agencies to keep the whole of Bose family under watch.

But how did Bhagat Singh see the two: Bose and Nehru? What could have been his trajectory had he lived longer? Would he have joined Bose when the latter broke away from Gandhi and Nehru and went on to found Azad Hind Fauj and collaborated with Tojo and Hitler against the British? Who was his ideal between the two?

'An emotional Bengali': In 1928, Bhagat Singh, a young man of 21, published an article in the journal Kirati, titled Naye netaon ke alag-alag vichar (Different thoughts of new leaders). In this, he compared the worldviews of Bose and Nehru. Bhagat Singh wrote the article to help the youth of Punjab choose their political path at a time when there was dejection all around over the failure of the Non-Cooperation Movement and the division among Indians was reflected in the Hindu-Muslim conflicts. Which way should they go?

Read Bhagat Singh's article: नये नेताओं के अलग-अलग विचार

Bhagat Singh was not a Congressman, nor was he a member of the Communist Party of India. The young man had not spared even Lala Lajpat Rai, the revered leader of the freedom struggle, for his communal views. So, how did he look at the two nationalist leaders? In the article, Bhagat Singh pronounces Bose as an emotional Bengali, a devotee of the ancient culture of India, and regards Nehru to be an internationalist. In his view, Bose is a soft-hearted romantic and Nehru a revolutionary. After reading the speeches of the two leaders at the Amritsar and Maharashtra Congress sessions, Bhagat Singh says that although both of them are supporters of Poorna Swaraj, they are worlds apart in their thoughts.

He refers to a public meeting in Bombay in which Bose was the speaker and Nehru the chair. Bose’s speech, including the remark that India has a special message for the world, is described as a crazy rant in the Kirati article. It remarks that Bose finds the origin of everything, including Panchayati Raj and Socialism, in ancient India and notes that Bose believes that the old times were great. Bhagat Singh finds the nationalism of Bose narrow and self-obsessed and differs with his view that Indian nationalism, unlike other nationalisms, is not narrow.

He then moves to Nehru's presidential speech. Nehru contradicts Bose and says that all nations feel that they have some special and unique message for the world. “I do not find anything special in my nation. Subhash Babu believes in such things.” What is the difference between the two? Bose wants freedom from the British because they belong to the West and we are from the East. Nehru wants freedom because, according to him, we can change our social system by establishing self-rule. For social transformation, we need complete independence and self-rule.

Bhagat Singh says that for Bose, international politics matters only to the extent that it addresses the question of India’s defence and its development. On the other hand, Nehru has come out of the narrow confines of nationalism and into the open fields of internationalism. After comparing the two leaders’ thoughts, Bhagat Singh asks: “Now that we know their views, we must make our choice.” Bose, according to him, has nothing to give to the youth to quench their intellectual thrust. He has nothing for their mind.

Shunning militant nationalism: It is remarkable that Bhagat Singh was not impressed by the nationalist rhetoric of Bose and finds Nehru intellectually more challenging and satisfying. The youth of Punjab need intellectual nourishment badly and they can get it only from Nehru: “Panjabi youth should go with him [Nehru] to understand the real meaning of revolution… The youth should firm up their thought so that in the times of dejection and defeat they do not get deviated.”

This article of Bhagat Singh is ignored even by the Left. Some 10 years ago, I was asked by my friend Kavita Srivastava, a well-known human rights activist, to write a leaflet on the occasion of the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh. I had quoted heavily from this article to give a glimpse of the intellectual make-up of Bhagat Singh. I found to my shock that the organisers of the event who were to use this leaflet had deleted these portions. Srivastava explained that Leftist friends of the forum refused to believe that these were Bhagat Singh’s thoughts. When told about the source, they said, well, this article was not significant enough.

The clarity with which Bhagat Singh could see the danger of the narrow and militant nationalism of Bose is amazing. But this is what sets him apart from other revolutionaries. Three years after the publication of this article, Bhagat Singh was hanged. Nearly 12 years after this, Bose was to flee India to shake hands with some of the biggest war criminals. Bhagat Singh’s fears about Bose were confirmed. He was not there to see them come true. How is it that we refuse to see them even today?

Bhagat Singh (1928): नये नेताओं के अलग-अलग विचार
असहयोग आन्दोलन की असफलता के बाद जनता में बहुत निराशा और मायूसी फैली। हिन्दू-मुस्लिम झगड़ों ने बचा-खुचा साहस भी खत्म कर डाला। लेकिन देश में जब एक बार जागृति फैल जाए तब देश ज्यादा दिन तक सोया नहीं रह सकता। कुछ ही दिनों बाद जनता बहुत जोश के साथ उठती तथा हमला बोलती है। आज हिन्दुस्तान में फिर जान गई है। हिन्दुस्तान फिर जाग रहा है। देखने में तो कोई बड़ा जन-आन्दोलन नजर नहीं आता लेकिन नींव जरूर मजबूत की जा रही है। आधुनिक विचारों के अनेक नए नेता सामने रहे हैं। इस बार नौजवान नेता ही देशभक्त लोगों की नजरों में रहे हैं। बड़े-बड़े नेता बड़े होने के बावजूद एक तरह से पीछे छोड़े जा रहे हैं। इस समय जो नेता आगे आए हैं वे हैं- बंगाल के पूजनीय श्री सुभाषचन्द्र बोस और माननीय पण्डित श्री जवाहरलाल नेहरू। यही दो नेता हिन्दुस्तान में उभरते नजर रहे हैं और युवाओं के आन्दोलनों में विशेष रूप से भाग ले रहे हैं। दोनों ही हिन्दुस्तान की आजादी के कट्टर समर्थक हैं। दोनों ही समझदार और सच्चे देशभक्त हैं। लेकिन फिर भी इनके विचारों में जमीन-आसमान का अन्तर है। एक को भारत की प्राचीन संस्कृति का उपासक कहा जाता है तो दूसरे को पक्का पश्चिम का शिष्य। एक को कोमल हृदय वाला भावुक कहा जाता है और दूसरे को पक्का युगान्तरकारी। हम इस लेख में उनके अलग-अलग विचारों को जनता के समक्ष रखेंगे, ताकि जनता स्वयं उनके अन्तर को समझ सके और स्वयं भी विचार कर सके। 

लेकिन उन दोनों के विचारों का उल्लेख करने से पूर्व एक और व्यक्ति का उल्लेख करना भी जरूरी है जो इन्हीं स्वतन्त्रता के प्रेमी हैं और युवा आन्दोलनों की एक विशेष शख्सियत हैं। साधू वासवानी चाहे कांग्रेस के बड़े नेताओं की भाँति जाने माने तो नहीं, चाहे देश के राजनीतिक क्षेत्र में उनका कोई विशेष स्थान तो नहीं, तो भी युवाओं पर, जिन्हें कि कल देश की बागडोर संभालनी है, उनका असर है और उनके ही द्वारा शुरू हुआ आन्दोलनभारत युवा संघइस समय युवाओं में विशेष प्रभाव रखता है। उनके विचार बिल्कुल अलग ढंग के हैं। उनके विचार एक ही शब्द में बताए जा सकते हैं — “वापस वेदों की ओर लौट चलो।” (बैक टू वेदस) यह आवाज सबसे पहले आर्यसमाज ने उठाई थी। इस विचार का आधार इस आस्था में है कि वेदों में परमात्मा ने संसार का सारा ज्ञान उड़ेल दिया है। इससे आगे और अधिक विकास नहीं हो सकता। इसलिए हमारे हिन्दुस्तान ने चौतरफा जो प्रगति कर ली थी उससे आगे दुनिया बढ़ी है और बढ़ सकती है। खैर, वासवानी आदि इसी अवस्था को मानते हैं। तभी एक जगह कहते हैं

हमारी राजनीति ने अब तक कभी तो मैजिनी और वाल्टेयर को अपना आदर्श मानकर उदाहरण स्थापित किए हैं और या कभी लेनिन और टॉल्स्टाय से सबक सीखा। हालांकि उन्हें ज्ञात होना चाहिए कि उनके पास उनसे कहीं बड़े आदर्श हमारे पुराने ॠषि हैं” 

वे इस बात पर यकीन करते हैं कि हमारा देश एक बार तो विकास की अन्तिम सीमा तक जा चुका था और आज हमें आगे कहीं भी जाने की आवश्यकता नहीं, बल्कि पीछे लौटने की जरूरत है। आप एक कवि हैं। कवित्व आपके विचारों में सभी जगह नजर आता है। साथ ही यह धर्म के बहुत बड़े उपासक हैं। यह 'शक्तिधर्म चलाना चाहते हैं। यह कहते हैं, “इस समय हमें शक्ति की अत्यन्त आवश्यकता है।वहशक्तिशब्द का अर्थ केवल भारत के लिए इस्तेमाल नहीं करते। लेकिन उनको इस शब्द से एक प्रकार की देवी का, एक विशेष ईश्वरीय प्राप्ति का विश्वास है। वे एक बहुत भावुक कवि की तरह कहते हैं
“For in solitude have communicated with her, our admired Bharat Mata, And my aching head has heard voices saying... The day of freedom is not far off.” ..Sometimes indeed a strange feeling visits me and I say to myself – Holy, holy is Hindustan. For still is she under the protection of her mighty Rishis and their beauty is around us, but we behold it not.

अर्थात् एकान्त में भारत की आवाज मैंने सुनी है। मेरे दुखी मन ने कई बार यह आवाज सुनी है किआजादी का दिन दूर नहीं'...कभी कभी बहुत अजीब विचार मेरे मन में आते हैं और मैं कह उठता हूँहमारा हिन्दुस्तान पाक और पवित्र है, क्योंकि पुराने ॠषि उसकी रक्षा कर रहे हैं और उनकी खूबसूरती हिन्दुस्तान के पास है। लेकिन हम उन्हें देख नहीं सकते।

यह कवि का विलाप है कि वह पागलों या दीवानों की तरह कहते रहे हैं — “हमारी माता बड़ी महान है। बहुत शक्तिशाली है। उसे परास्त करने वाला कौन पैदा हुआ है।इस तरह वे केवल मात्र भावुकता की बातें करते हुए कह जाते हैं — “Our national movement must become a purifying mass movement, if it is to fulfil its destiny without falling into class war one of the dangers of Bolshevism.” अर्थात् हमें अपने राष्ट्रीय जन आन्दोलन को देश सुधार का आन्दोलन बना देना चाहिए। तभी हम वर्गयुद्ध के बोल्शेविज्म के खतरों से बच सकेंगे। वह इतना कहकर ही कि गरीबों के पास जाओ, गाँवों की ओर जाओ, उनको दवा-दारू मुफ्त दोसमझते हैं कि हमारा कार्यक्रम पूरा हो गया। 

वे छायावादी कवि हैं। उनकी कविता का कोई विशेष अर्थ तो नहीं निकल सकता, मात्र दिल का उत्साह बढ़ाया जा सकता है। बस पुरातन सभ्यता के शोर के अलावा उनके पास कोई कार्यक्रम नहीं। युवाओं के दिमागों को वे कुछ नया नहीं देते। केवल दिल को भावुकता से ही भरना चाहते हैं। उनका युवाओं में बहुत असर है। और भी पैदा हो रहा है। उनके दकियानूसी और संक्षिप्त-से विचार यही हैं जो कि हमने ऊपर बताए हैं। उनके विचारों का राजनीतिक क्षेत्र में सीधा असर होने के बावजूद बहुत असर पड़ता है। विशेषकर इस कारण कि नौजवानों,युवाओं को ही कल आगे बढ़ना है और उन्हीं के बीच इन विचारों का प्रचार किया जा रहा है।

अब हम श्री सुभाषचन्द्र बोस और श्री जवाहरलाल नेहरू के विचारों पर रहे हैं। दो-तीन महीनों से आप बहुत-सी कान्फ्रेंसों के अध्यक्ष बनाए गए और आपने अपने-अपने विचार लोगों के सामने रखे। सुभाष बाबू को सरकार तख्तापलट गिरोह का सदस्य समझती है और इसीलिए उन्हें बंगाल अध्यादेश के अन्तर्गत कैद कर रखा था। आप रिहा हुए और गर्म दल के नेता बनाए गए। आप भारत का आदर्श पूर्ण स्वराज्य मानते हैं, और महाराष्ट्र कान्फ्रेंस में अध्यक्षीय भाषण में अपने इसी प्रस्ताव का प्रचार किया।

पण्डित जवाहरलाल नेहरू स्वराज पार्टी के नेता मोतीलाल नेहरू ही के सुपुत्र हैं। बैरिस्टरी पास हैं। आप बहुत विद्वान हैं। आप रूस आदि का दौरा कर आए हैं। आप भी गर्म दल के नेता हैं और मद्रास कान्फ्रेंस में आपके और आपके साथियों के प्रयासों से ही पूर्ण स्वराज का प्रस्ताव स्वीकृत हो सका था। आपने अमृतसर कान्फ्रेंस के भाषण में भी इसी बात पर जोर दिया। लेकिन फिर भी इन दोनों सज्जनों के विचारों में जमीन-आसमान का अन्तर है। अमृतसर और महाराष्ट्र कान्फ्रेंसों के इन दोनों अध्यक्षों के भाषण पढ़कर ही हमें इनके विचारों का अन्तर स्पष्ट हुआ था। लेकिन बाद में बम्बई के एक भाषण में यह बात स्पष्ट रूप से हमारे सामने गई। 

पण्डित जवाहरलाल नेहरू इस जनसभा की अध्यक्षता कर रहे थे और सुभाषचन्द्र बोस ने भाषण दिया। वह एक बहुत भावुक बंगाली हैं। उन्होंने भाषण आरंभ किया कि हिन्दुस्तान का दुनिया के नाम एक विशेष सन्देश है। वह दुनिया को आध्यात्मिक शिक्षा देगा। खैर, आगे वे दीवाने की तरह कहना आरम्भ कर देते हैंचांदनी रात में ताजमहल को देखो और जिस दिल की यह सूझ का परिणाम था, उसकी महानता की कल्पना करो। सोचो एक बंगाली उपन्यासकार ने लिखा है कि हममें यह हमारे आँसू ही जमकर पत्थर बन गए हैं। वह भी वापस वेदों की ओर ही लौट चलने का आह्वान करते हैं। आपने अपने पूना वाले भाषण मेंराष्ट्रवादिताके सम्बन्ध में कहा है कि अन्तर्राष्ट्रीयतावादी, राष्ट्रीयतावाद को एक संकीर्ण दायरे वाली विचारधारा बताते हैं, लेकिन यह भूल है। हिन्दुस्तानी राष्ट्रीयता का विचार ऐसा नहीं है। वह संकीर्ण है, निजी स्वार्थ से प्रेरित है और उत्पीड़नकारी है, क्योंकि इसकी जड़ या मूल तोसत्यम् शिवम् सुन्दरम्है अर्थात् सच,कल्याणकारी और सुन्दर।

यह भी वही छायावाद है। कोरी भावुकता है। साथ ही उन्हें भी अपने पुरातन युग पर बहुत विश्वास है। वह प्रत्येक बात में अपने पुरातन युग की महानता देखते हैं। पंचायती राज का ढंग उनके विचार में कोई नया नहीं।पंचायती राज और जनता के राज'वे कहते हैं कि हिन्दुस्तान में बहुत पुराना है। वे तो यहाँ तक कहते हैं कि साम्यवाद भी हिन्दुस्तान के लिए नई चीज नहीं है। खैर, उन्होंने सबसे ज्यादा उस दिन के भाषण में जोर किस बात पर दिया था कि हिन्दुस्तान का दुनिया के लिए एक विशेष सन्देश है। पण्डित जवाहरलाल आदि के विचार इसके बिल्कुल विपरीत हैं। वे कहते हैं

जिस देश में जाओ वही समझता है कि उसका दुनिया के लिए एक विशेष सन्देश है। इंग्लैंड दुनिया को संस्कृति सिखाने का ठेकेदार बनता है। मैं तो कोई विशेष बात अपने देश के पास नहीं देखता। सुभाष बाबू को उन बातों पर बहुत यकीन है।जवाहरलाल कहते हैं — “Every youth must rebel. Not only in political sphere, but in social, economic and religious spheres also. I have not much use for any man who comes and tells me that such and such thing is said in Koran, Every thing unreasonable must be discarded even if they find authority for in the Vedas and Koran.” [यानी] प्रत्ये नौजवान को विद्रोह करना चाहिए। राजनीतिक क्षेत्र में ही नहीं बल्कि सामाजिक, आर्थिक और धार्मिक क्षेत्र में भी। मुझे ऐसे व्यक्ति की कोई आवश्यकता नहीं जो आकर कहे कि फलाँ बात कुरान में लिखी हुई है। कोई बात जो अपनी समझदारी की परख में सही साबित हो उसे चाहे वेद और कुरान में कितना ही अच्छा क्यों कहा गया हो, नहीं माननी चाहिए।

यह एक युगान्तरकारी के विचार हैं और सुभाष के एक राज-परिवर्तनकारी के विचार हैं। एक के विचार में हमारी पुरानी चीजें बहुत अच्छी हैं और दूसरे के विचार में उनके विरुद्ध विद्रोह कर दिया जाना चाहिए। एक को भावुक कहा जाता है और एक को युगान्तरकारी और विद्रोही। पण्डित जी एक स्थान पर कहते हैं
To those who still fondly cherish old ideas and are striving to bring back the conditions which prevailed in Arabia 1300 years ago or in the Vedic age in India. I say, that it is inconceivable that you can bring back the hoary past. The world of reality will not retrace its steps, the world of imaginations may remain stationary.”

वे कहते हैं कि जो अब भी कुरान के जमाने के अर्थात् 1300 बरस पीछे के अरब की स्थितियाँ पैदा करना चाहते हैं, जो पीछे वेदों के जमाने की ओर देख रहे हैं उनसे मेरा यह कहना है कि यह तो सोचा भी नहीं जा सकता कि वह युग वापस लौट आएगा, वास्तविक दुनिया पीछे नहीं लौट सकती, काल्पनिक दुनिया को चाहे कुछ दिन यहीं स्थिर रखो। और इसीलिए वे विद्रोह की आवश्यकता महसूस करते हैं।

सुभाष बाबू पूर्ण स्वराज के समर्थन में हैं क्योंकि वे कहते हैं कि अंग्रेज पश्चिम के वासी हैं। हम पूर्व के। पण्डित जी कहते हैंहमें अपना राज कायम करके सारी सामाजिक व्यवस्था बदलनी चाहिए। उसके लिए पूरी-पूरी स्वतन्त्रता प्राप्त करने की आवश्यकता है। सुभाष बाबू मजदूरों से सहानुभूति रखते हैं और उनकी स्थिति सुधारना चाहते हैं। पण्डित जी एक क्रांति करके सारी व्यवस्था ही बदल देना चाहते हैं। सुभाष भावुक हैंदिल के लिए। नौजवानों को बहुत कुछ दे रहे हैं, पर मात्र दिल के लिए। दूसरा युगान्तरकारी है जो कि दिल के साथ-साथ दिमाग को भी बहुत कुछ दे रहा है। 

“They should aim at Swaraj for the masses based on socialism. That was a revolutionary change with they could not bring out without revolutionary methods...Mere reform or gradual repairing of the existing machinery could not achieve the real proper Swaraj for the General Masses.अर्थात् हमारा समाजवादी सिद्धान्तों के अनुसार पूर्ण स्वराज होना चाहिए, जो कि युगान्तरकारी तरीकों के बिना प्राप्त नहीं हो सकता। केवल सुधार और मौजूदा सरकार की मशीनरी की धीमी-धीमी की गई मरम्मत जनता के लिए वास्तविक स्वराज्य नहीं ला सकती। 

यह उनके विचारों का ठीक-ठाक अक्स है। सुभाष बाबू राष्ट्रीय राजनीति की ओर उतने समय तक ही ध्यान देना आवश्यक समझते हैं जितने समय तक दुनिया की राजनीति में हिन्दुस्तान की रक्षा और विकास का सवाल है। परन्तु पण्डित जी राष्ट्रीयता के संकीर्ण दायरों से निकलकर खुले मैदान में गए हैं।

अब सवाल यह है कि हमारे सामने दोनों विचार गए हैं। हमें किस ओर झुकना चाहिए। एक पंजाबी समाचार पत्र ने सुभाष की तारीफ के पुल बाँधकर पण्डित जी आदि के बारे में कहा था कि ऐसे विद्रोही पत्थरों से सिर मार-मारकर मर जाते हैं। ध्यान रखना चाहिए कि पंजाब पहले ही बहुत भावुक प्रान्त है। लोग जल्द ही जोश में जाते हैं और जल्द ही झाग की तरह बैठ जाते हैं।

सुभाष आज शायद दिल को कुछ भोजन देने के अलावा कोई दूसरी मानसिक खुराक नहीं दे रहे हैं। अब आवश्यकता इस बात की है कि पंजाब के नौजवानों को इन युगान्तरकारी विचारों को खूब सोच-विचार कर पक्का कर लेना चाहिए। इस समय पंजाब को मानसिक भोजन की सख्त जरूरत है और यह पण्डित जवाहरलाल नेहरू से ही मिल सकता है। इसका अर्थ यह नहीं है कि उनके अन्धे पैरोकार बन जाना चाहिए। लेकिन जहाँ तक विचारों का सम्बन्ध है, वहाँ तक इस समय पंजाबी नौजवानों को उनके साथ लगना चाहिए, ताकि वे इन्कलाब के वास्तविक अर्थ, हिन्दुस्तान के इन्कलाब की आवश्यकता, दुनिया में इन्कलाब का स्थान क्या है,आदि के बारे में जान सकें। सोच-विचार के साथ नौजवान अपने विचारों को स्थिर करें ताकि निराशा, मायूसी और पराजय के समय में भी भटकाव के शिकार हों और अकेले खड़े होकर दुनिया से मुकाबले में डटे रह सकें। इसी तरह जनता इन्कलाब के ध्येय को पूरा कर सकती है।

Date Written: July 1928
Author: Bhagat Singh
Title: Different views of new leaders (Naye netaon ke alag alag vicar)
First Published: in Kirti July 1928.

see also
Chanderpal Singh: What Mahatma Gandhi did to save Bhagat Singh
Remembering Gehal Singh, who gave his life for communal harmony
Watching out for Subhas Bose: noting who came and went is Intelligence Bureau's job
I as a German prefer much more to see India under British Government than under any other...I must not connect the fate of the German people with these so-called ‘oppressed nations’ who are clearly of racial inferiority” Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, German ed. p. 747)
Hitler's Assault on the Golden Rule : by Claudia Koontz 
Gypsies' fate haunts Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's favourite film-maker
The law of killing - a brief history of Indian fascism
Meenakshi Lekhi links Sonia with Mussolini. Will the RSS/BJP clarify their stance on fascism?
Imperial Japanese Army ate Indian PoWs, used them as live targets in WW2 in Papua New Guinea