People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 28

July 14, 2013




Defeat Efforts to Undermine

Modern Indian Republic


THE recent serial bomb blasts at Gaya, targeting the holy shrine  where The Buddha attained Enlightenment are a horrific reminder of the fact that terrorist attacks  rise proportionately with heightened communal polarisation. While the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and others are conducting an investigation to determine who is responsible for these ghastly attacks, there are various speculations doing the rounds.  There has been a long lasting simmering dispute over the control of the Bodhgaya temple between the Buddhists and the Hindus. 


Recently, the chief of Pakistan’s Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Hafiz Saeed accused India of helping Myanmar in carrying out atrocities  on Muslims in that Buddhist dominated country.  The Rohingya Muslims are a Bengali-speaking Muslim minority in Myanmar. Myanmar treats them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Bangladesh rejects them as Myanmarese. The Rohingyas are not part of the 135 recognised ethnic groups in Myanmar.  The sustained violence in Myanmar displaced over a lakh of Rohingyas in 2012.  In March this year, anti-Muslim riots have left 40 dead and thousands homeless.   Following NIA interrogations, US-Pakistani David Headley, involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks claimed that the Mahabodhi temple at Gaya was on the terror radar. Likewise, an Indian Mujahideen operative told the investigators of Bodhgaya being a target.


Following the investigations into the earlier terrorist attacks at the Ajmer Sharief, Malegaon and the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad  which showed that certain Hindutva groups were responsible notwithstanding the earlier assumptions and accusations against Muslim groups  which resulted  in large-scale arrests of Muslim youth (a large number of whom unfortunately continue to languish in custody even after the investigations have concluded otherwise), some Congress leaders are suggesting a likelihood of a similar involvement of Hindutva groups in this latest terrorist attack. 


All these clearly indicate that what is required is a speedy and a thorough investigation to identify and punish the culprits. Terrorist attacks of all varieties, irrespective of their place of origin, are simply anti-national and, hence, unacceptable.  Following the conclusions of a thorough investigation, the guilty must be  punished  and this must serve as a deterrent for those seeking to  sharpen  communal hatred and polarisation.  What is also clear  is that  our security  apparatus  needs to be beefed up  urgently.  Media reports indicate that the Intelligence Bureau had  warned the Bihar state government twice during the last three months that Bodhgaya was on the terror hit list.  Yet, this attack could not be prevented.  Such weaknesses must be overcome at the earliest for the sake of our country’s unity, integrity and internal security.  There can be no compromise  on this non-negotiable  issue of  combating terrorism of all hues.


Seen in this context, the by now apparent  decision of the BJP,  functioning as the political arm of the RSS,  to return back to its basics in the run-up to the 2014 general elections, is ominous. This is bound to further sharpen communal polarisation. This lays a fertile ground  for all sorts of terrorism to thrive.  The RSS project of establishing a rabidly intolerant fascistic `Hindu Rashtra’ was defeated during the freedom struggle.  Independent India established itself as a modern secular democratic Republic.  The most unfortunate victim of the RSS retaliation in the face of this defeat was the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.


The RSS, busy as it is in sharpening communal tension to achieve its objective, played no role in the people’s struggle for freedom.  In its eagerness to appropriate some of the giants of the freedom struggle in the pursuit of their objective, they have been, ironically, zeroing in on Sardar Patel.  It is necessary to recollect that it was this very Sardar Patel who banned the RSS following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.  A government communiqué dated February 4, 1948, drafted by Sardar Patel,  announcing the ban on the RSS says: “The objectionable and harmful activities of the Sangh have, however, continued unabated and the cult of violence sponsored and inspired by the activities of the Sangh has claimed many victims.  The latest and the most precious to fall was Gandhiji himself”.


Following a series of deceitful compromises, the RSS  achieved the withdrawal  of the ban  by promising not to involve itself  in political activities  and confine itself  as a `cultural organisation’.  It, hence, required a political arm  to pursue its objective of  transforming the modern secular democratic  Republic into its version of a `Hindu Rashtra’.  First it was the Jana Sangh in 1952 and later, after this dissolved itself by merging with the Janata Party and following its disintegration in 1980, the BJP. 


The pursuit of the RSS objective by the BJP, amongst others like sharpening communal polarisation, requires a major re-writing of history.  Media reports (June 24, 2013 HT) that  a former BJP president spoke of changing textbook syllabi, when they come to power at the centre:  “We tried to do this earlier too and will try it again”.  The same day Advani said that “The country still  awaits the day when Article 370 (with respect to Jammu & Kashmir) would be repealed”.  Of late, the BJP leaders have once again started speaking of building a Ram Temple  on the disputed site at Ayodhya.  Back to the basics – the hardcore communal agenda that the BJP ostensibly put on the backburner in order to attract allies to form the NDA government in 1998. 


Pursuit of such an agenda runs contrary to the unity and integrity of India, preserving and enriching  its immensely rich  socio-cultural-religious diversity.  This cannot be allowed for the sake of the further consolidation of the modern Indian Republic.  Thus, in the interests of India’s future, it is imperative that such efforts to metamorphose the modern Indian Republic by the RSS/BJP must be resoundingly defeated. 

(July 10, 2013)