Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

"Making-Up History" to Harvest Votes.

14 November 2013
Truth Of Gujarat watches Narendra Modi, Gujarat’s Chief Minister, with an hawk’s eye it would seem. Nothing concerning Modi seems to escape its attention and elaborate scrutiny. Just three days ago it posted yet another “bloomer” from Modi that concerned no other than the founder of Jan Sangh, which later in late 1970s evolved into BJP, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookherjee. Before we come to the bloomer, a little note about the role Mookherjee played in the “division” of Bengal, which occurred as a part of larger partition of India (or “Akhand Bharat” as BJP likes to call it).
Although he was an ardent believer in the integrity of the country that he loved so much, when he found that the division of India had become imminent and the emergence of Pakistan inevitable, he joined with similar-minded leaders in demanding division of Bengal on the same analogy of division of India. Thus a portion of Bengal,now named as West Bengal, was saved from the clutches of the Muslim League, and remained with Indian Union”.                       
The “ardent belief in the integrity” of India and “the realization of Pakistan’s inevitability” that are advanced in defense of Mookherjee’s acceptance of India’s partition were the compulsions arguably shared by the Congress stalwarts and AICC too. Yet, Modi chose recently to attack Congress for the partition of India totally unmindful of the fact that accusing fingers were pointing right back at his party. Congress, especially J L Nehru, are also accused for the “hotchpotch of Mixed Economy” that was thrust down the gullet of the young nation and are often blamed for abysmal growth rates of the first four decades after independence derisively called “The Hindu Rate of Growth”. Here too Mookherjee and “father party” of Modi seem to wallow blissfully in some of that blame.
1947- Joined the Cabinet of the National Government formed by Pt.Nehru and took over the portfolio of Industries and Supplies.  Framed first Industrial policy of the new Government of India after independence.He proved to be an able administrator and according to many, there is at least some justification for the view that he was primarily responsible for the adoption by India Government of the policy of mixed economy in the industrial field”.
Since both these pieces of information are sourced from a website dedicated to Mookherjee, there should be no quarter to suspect adverse bias.
While inaugurating a hospital at Balasinor-Gujarat, Modi’s mind was not occupied with issues relevant to the occasion such as public sanitation, community hygiene, access to health services, control of disease-vectors, or still practiced manual scavenging by municipalities in a state under his watch; but was inevitably for him brimming with “divisive history”. The acolytes of Modi hold he is destined to make history. A judgment on that can wait the benefit of hindsight, but Modi has undoubtedly began “Making Up History”.
He vociferously blamed Congress for not bringing the asthi of the freedom fighter Shyama Prasad Mukherjee who Modi claimed had died in Geneva in 1930! He informed the audience that Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, a great son of Gujarat had built India house in London. He also claimed that Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was in regular dialogue with Vivekananda and Dayanand Saraswati etc etc. Mukherjee was born in 1901 whereas Vivekananda died in 1902. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee must indeed be a great scholar to engage in a dialogue with Vivekanda at the age of just one year. Finally, as is his penchant to take credits, Modi said it was his good fortune to be able to bring back the ashthi (ashes) of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee from Geneva in 2003!
Vivekananda and Mookherjee shared at least One (1) year on the surface of this earth. But Dayanand Saraswati was dead by 1883 –full 17 years before Mookherjee was born. India House played an iconic role during the colonial times, and was considered the most prominent center of Revolutionary Indian Nationalism outside of India. If Modi thought he would usurp and cover himself with some of that revolutionary nationalism, then pitiably his attempt badly backfired.
The gentleman to whom all those things Modi mentioned happened was not Shyama Prasad Mookherjee, but Shyama Krishna Varma. Most galling is the fact that Varma is the person whose ashes Modi claims he had gone to collect in 2003 from Geneva. How could Modi be excused then for making such infantile mistake? He, later from the same stage, probably after some alert minder tipped him, accepted his blunder and apologized, but would it still absolve him of the charge of playing with history? I was not quite sure that Modi, who is lionized for all kinds of virtues by his ardent supporters, would commit such a glaring folly in a case to which he brought closure, he claims, by fulfilling the last wish of a leading patriot. The truth of Gujarat had not cited any source, where it could be independently verified and corroborated what exactly Modi had said. My Google search that day -10thNovember- referred to two websites, which reported his speech but neither carried any hint of the “S P Mookherjee-saga”. I therefore then wrote to the administrators of Truth of Gujarat website asking for link to some sources, but received no reply. I had begun to discount the credibility of “truth of Gujarat”, which I had found otherwise reliable and trustworthy, just when yesterday I stumbled across a video that shows live “Making Up History a la Modi style”.
Modi also mentions that B G Tilak too sought Mookherjee’s guidance in matters of national importance. Mookherjee would have been barely nineteen when Tilak passed away in 1920. More than anything else, the video has confirmed that “truth of Gujarat” doesn’t open its mouth without incontrovertible evidence.
Modi’s appeal, his devotees claim, is in his ability to change the present and future of this country for the better. He is heralded as the visionary, who would deliver growth, development and prosperity to India that has been beset by corruption, incompetence and poor governance of Congress and UPA. He is applauded as the strongman, who would crush terrorism –both home grown and across the border- with rare resoluteness; and deal with Pakistan and China from position of strength. In short, he is a panacea for all that ails India. His camp followers and Corporate India call him “विकास पुरुष” (Grand Developer). But since he was anointed as BJP’s prime-ministerial candidate he is proving himself to be more like a “खल नायक (Rabble Rouser). The political class anywhere is known to “toy with history” to meet its narrow parochial interests. Hitler’s Germany, particularly Goebbels, are regularly cited as exemplars of propaganda. Nazis demonized Jews. However, the most successful propagandist in history, who mostly goes unnoticed, is undoubtedly US administration under successive presidents. US, which joined WW-II two years late though butchery of Jews had already begun and had cozy business relations with Nazi financiers, later demonized Nazis. End of WW-II, and the campaign to demonize Soviet Union (Red Terror and Evil Empire) began in right earnest that led to waging many wars under the pretext of “Containment Policy” from Latin America to Asia. Soviet Union collapsed in 1989 and thus started demonization of Islam and “war on terror”. The project of “making-up history” in India to demonize Muslims began soon after the united rebellion of Hindus and Muslims against the East India Company rule in 1857. That “first war of independence” sowed the first seeds of nationalism in those Indians, who had the benefit of learning from the formation of nation-states in the west. Some of these individuals, who greatly prided in India’s ancient religion and culture, and were greatly exercised over the *apathy* of Hindus towards gaining political power, sought to breathe fire into them by vilifying not just Muslim rulers and their rule over some 800 years, but all Muslims. The brush of iconoclast Muslim-kings’ barbarity and brutality, both real and invented, was craftily used to paint all Muslims black. Modi’s party, BJP, was the political child and inheritor of this Hindu-nationalism. The Hindu-nationalists have received great fillip since the 21st century “US war of terror”. Modi’s true colours are bared just as he has reverted back to the favourite ploy of *Making-Up History*. The electoral strategy is simple: Foment Grievance to Harvest Votes.  BJP and Modi take George Orwell very seriously.
Those who control the present control the past and those who control the past control the future”.
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