Sunday, July 31, 2011

On Subramanian Swamy's Hindutva

After Subramanian Swamy wrote his DNA article on "How to wipe Islamic Terror", there have been many repercussions. On one hand some people in Harvard - a student group - have demanded that Harvard must discontinue academic association with Swamy while some others - the civil liberties group - have advocated that he be allowed to express his opinions.

There have been two rebuttals by Muslim authors in India. One is by Faizur Rehman titled: "Subramanian Swamy‘s Two Faces: Disinformation Campaigns to Divide Indians will Fail" (here) while the other is by Ayub Khan titled: "Subramanian Swamy’s transformation into a merchant of hate" (here). Both of these quote mr. Swamy's earlier article in Frontline (here).

In the Frontline article Mr. Swamy accuses the RSS of being fascist:

Today the creeping fascism of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is coming upon us not as gradually as imperialism did, nor as suddenly as did the Emergency. Its spread is being calibrated adroitly by seven faceless men of the RSS, the RSS "high command".

He criticizes RSS for being anti-Muslim, targeting Christians, while not being pro-Hindu, and so on, and he ends his article with the following hope:

Of course, the good news is that the game plan can fail. I live on the hope that in India, no well-laid plan ever works. India, after all, is a functioning anarchy. That has been the undoing of every attempt to straitjacket its society. That is why we ar e still the longest continuing unbroken civilisation of over 10,000 years. The RSS is, luckily, our counter-culture. The vibrations of Mother India will, I hope, be its undoing.

On his party website, Mr. Swamy has claimed that for the past many years he has been espousing the cause of Hindutva, while his party profile speaks of basic secularism! It also appears that Mr. Swamy has broken ice with the Sangh and wrote an article for them, see an example, the article titled Search for Hindu Agenda. Mr. Swamy also wrote a book "Hindus under Siege".

So the question is, what is the reality of this man, Mr. Subramanian Swamy? We would advocate exercising caution. Hindus must be extremely careful while choosing their leaders. We have been back-stabbed so many times that it will be prudent to wear the armor of caution all the time.

We find that RSS is not at all anti-Muslim. Rather we lament that RSS is not sufficiently clear about Islam and therefore Muslims as well. This is a folly that Mr. Swamy commits in greater measure compared to RSS when he daydreams that by "acknowledging with pride that his ancestors were Hindus", the Muslims can be included in the Brihad Hindu Samaj. We reiterate that there may be moderate Muslims but there is no Moderate Islam, and often the best Muslims are the least Muslims.

Despite being confused about Hinduism, the RSS has worked for donkey's years for the Hindus. As we have mentioned earlier, the heart of the RSS is better placed than their head. While Mr. Swamy's brain seems addled on the Islam-Muslim issue, his heart has been unpredictable, to say the least. He has come a long way from terming RSS a fascist organization to writing in their newsletter on Hindutva.

However, as Hindus (followers of Sanatana Dharma), we should focus on clear understanding for ourselves lest our leaders delude us. At the same time, we should always choose a leader who supports Hindus and Hinduism more. So if Swamy supports us more, we may prefer him over RSS and vice versa. At the same time, at the intellectual or thought level, we must have very clear concepts and priorities.

Mr. Swamy, however intelligent he may be, has been a maverick. A look at the articles given at the party site makes it clear that Mr. Swamy has been bed-fellows with strange people, though he may claim that he has had a clear conscience and a consistent philosophy. We need not hold it against him. But the burden of proof must be on him to show that he is for the Hindus. On his party's website he has posted many articles, some of which are on Hindutva . We recommend you read them and form your own judgment. But beware, his party believes in egalitarian and Gandhian ideals! So we would be extremely suspicious of him.

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