Communalism and how to combat it

December 31, 2015

Compiled by Rohit Dhankar

Here is the last post of the year. And it is completely a compilation, nothing written by me; only a few comments. I have selected passages from two very good thinkers of India. Emphasis is mine. Rest belongs to Humyun Kabir and Hamid Dalwai.—Rohit

“THE BROAD OUTLINE of the Indian outlook was evolved in ancient times. The new impulses of thought which entered the Indian stream with the appearance of the Moslems since the beginning of the eighth century led to points of contact at many levels, but by and large what was established was a modus vivendi rather than an intellectual integration. When different outlooks and forces come into contact, mutual adjustments inevitably take-place, but the synthesis which was achieved was largely instinctive and based on the urges derived from feelings and emotions. Without the framework which intellectual integration alone can supply, such a synthesis cannot generally withstand the risk of the disruption due to the impact of fresh or unexpected urges. In India, the lack of intellectual integration has been a major cause of the phenomenon of parallel societies and cultures which to this day exist side by side within India.” Humayun Kabir, Indian Philosophy of Education, page 188.

“Friendship and good relations cannot subsist where disparities are too great and hence the glaring inequalities within … nations must be reduced if man is to survive in the modern atomic age. Physical neighbourhood of all men side by side with their spiritual and mental isolation is one of the greatest sources of danger in the modem world. One of the major functions of education is to overcome this isolation·, and achieve intellectual and emotional integration of mankind by bringing into one common pool the achievements of all for the service of all.” Ibid, 254.

“In one sense, this has been the aim of the Indian outlook  throughout the ages. Even when practice fell far short of profession, the Indian ideal recognised the right of the individual to go his own way in every sphere of life. Not merely toleration but acceptance of differences has been one of the most significant characteristics of the Indian attitude to the real. Indian thought has always accepted that there are degrees of truth and degrees of reality. It has therefore sought to achieve unity in the midst of diversity rather than impose a dead uniformity in which all differences are wiped out. Indian thought has been synoptic and Indian society and polity federal. It is therefore not an accident that India should be one of the strongest supporters of the co-existence of different social ideals, economic forms and political principles in the modern world. India survived the vicissitudes of history because of her capacity to reconcile differences and evolve a framework within which the widest diversities could co-exist.” Ibid, 238. [Are we loosing this capacity? Because of the Hindu fundamentalists or because of the liberals who tell us that there was nothing of the sort in Indian civilisation? Or because of the both? –Rohit.]

“Progress in the means of transport and communication has made the world one neighbourhood. Intellectual and moral integration of man into a world community has not however kept pace with this advance. Physical neighbourhood of all men side by side with their spiritual and mental isolation is one of the paradoxes of the modern age. Unless different peoples with different backgrounds and outlooks learn to make necessary adjustments in their outlook and temper, clashes that are bound to be catastrophic in the modern context cannot be avoided .” ibid, 234. [Is this prophetic? Is India reaching there? Can we do something about it?—Rohit]

Now we turn to the next thinker.

“It is a tragic fact that there does not yet exist a class of critically introspective young Muslims in India. [Keep calm, it was written in sixties,–Rohit] A society which puts the blame on the Hindus for its own communalism can hardly be called introspective. If Hindu communalism is responsible for Muslim communalism, by the same logic it would follow that Muslim communalism is equally responsible for Hindu communalism. The truth of the matter is that the Muslim intelligentsia has not yet given up its postulate of parallel society. It has still not learnt to separate religion from politics. Their idea of religious freedom is merely that the structure of the Muslim society in India should remain unaltered.” Hamid Dalwai, as quoted by Ramachandra Guha, in Makers of Modern India, page 494.

“However, I consider suicidal the Hindu communalist attempt to answer Muslim communalism by obscurantist Hindu revivalism. Muslim communalism will be defeated only when the Hindu achieves a greater degree of social progress and modernizes himself. By making the Hindus more obscurantist—by making them more puritan and orthodox—Muslim communalism can never be eliminated. The movement for a ban on cow-slaughter provides an apt example. I oppose the ban on agro-economic grounds. But I oppose it even more strongly on non-economic grounds, because if the Hindu belief in the sacredness of the cow is encouraged, it would prevent the Hindus from modernizing themselves and from achieving a greater degree of social progress. The Hindus have slid backward only because of their religious obscurantism. Mahmud Ghaznavi could defeat Hindu armies simply by using herds of cows as a shield for his own army! One hopes that such history will not be repeated in modem times. Hindus must discard all those religious beliefs which hindered their progress and deprived them of their freedom . . . I attack all aspects of mediaeval religious obscurantism whether it is Muslim or Hindu. And hence I am opposed to the movement for a ban on cow-slaughter.” Ibid, page 495-96

“History, which has bred prejudices and animosity, is a hindrance to all of us. All of us have to come out of the grip of our prejudices which originate in our past. Hindu communalists must also break away from the grip of their prejudices. It is not the fault of the young Brahmins of today that their ancestors gave inhuman treatment to the untouchables, and today’s Indian Muslim is not responsible for the oppression to which Mahmud Ghaznavi or Aurangzeb subjected the Hindus. Fortunately, there is a class of Hindus today which bears the burden of its ancestors’ sins and conscientiously tries to undo the damage by embracing social equality as a fundamental value. Similarly, there has to emerge a class of Muslims which would accept the sins of Aurangzeb and, to undo the damage, would therefore embrace the concept of secular citizenship. The emergence and sustained growth of such a class of modem, secular, dynamic liberals is the only effective answer to the Hindu—Muslim communal problem.” ibid, pages 496-97

“Secularism in India, although embodied in the Constitution, is as yet only an aspiration. It has not yet permeated our social life. It is even in danger today. Within the Hindu majority, there is a strong obscurantist revivalist movement against which we find a very small class of liberals engaged in fight. Among Indian Muslims there is no such liberal minority leading the movement towards democratic liberalism. Unless Indian liberals, however small they are as a minority, are drawn from all communities and join forces on a secular basis, even the Hindu liberal minority will eventually lose its batle with communalist and revivalist Hindus. If Muslims are to be integrated in the fabric of a secular and integrated Indian society, a necessary precondition is to have a class of Muslim liberals who would continuously assail communalist dogmas and tendencies. Such Muslim liberals, along with Hindu liberals and others, would comprise a class of modem Indian liberals.” Ibid 497-98

“Indian Muslims believe that they are a perfect society and are superior to all other communities in India. One of the grounds for this belief is the assumption that the Islamic faith embodies the vision of a perfect society and, therefore, being a perfect Muslim implies not having to make any further progress. This is an unacceptable claim by modem criteria.” ibid, 599

“The only leadership Indian Muslims have is basically communalist. An exceptional Muslim like M.C. Chagla has no place in Indian Muslim society. Nor will individual modem liberals suffice. Indian Muslims today need an avant garde liberal elite to lead them. This elite must identify itself with other modem liberals in India and must collaborate with them against Muslim as well as Hindu communalism. Unless a Muslim liberal intellectual class emerges, Indian Muslims will continue to cling to obscurantist medievalism, communalism, and will eventually perish both socially and culturally. A worse possibility is that of Hindu revivalism destroying even Hindu liberalism, for the latter can succeed only with the support of Muslim liberals who would modernize Muslims and try to impress upon them secular democratic ideals.” ibid, 499-500

“It is often argued that Muslim communalism is only a reaction to Hindu communalism. This is not true. The real conflict in India today is between all types of obscurantism, dogmatism, revivalism, and traditionalism on one side and modem liberalism on the other. Indian politicians being short-sighted and opportunistic, communalism and orthodoxy is always appeased and seldom, if ever, opposed. This is why we need an agreement among all liberal intellectuals to create a non-political movement against all forms of communalism. If this is not done, democracy and liberalism will inevitably collapse in India. The stakes are high. It is a pity that few people realize the gravity of the situation. It is even more unfortunate that they are hardly informed about the true nature of the problem.” Ibid, 500

But to develop such dynamism Hindu orthodoxy itself has to be liquidated. The caste system has to be eliminated. The Hindus must embrace modernism. They must create a society based on fundamental human values and the concept of true social equality. Unfortunately, the Hindu mind lacks balance. Even those Hindus who have accepted modernity, justice and brotherhood as their guiding principles sometimes support Muslim communalism. Some avoid speaking against it and some even indirectly encourage it. Those Hindus who ought to be combating communalism today seem, instead, to be trying to put the clock back. They are supporting obscurantism, revivalism, the caste system and the cult of the cow. This is a process which would drain Hindu society of whatever little dynamism it may still have. There have to be enough Hindus trying to modernize the Hindu society and, at the same time, opposing the irrational politics of Muslim communalism. I hope this would happen. For that would precisely be the process by which the Hindu-Muslim problem can be eliminated. Muslim communalism today makes the most of the rift between liberal Hindus and communalist Hindus. It is ironical that Muslim communalists gain the support of Hindus, both liberal and communalist. The Muslim communalist demand for making Urdu a second official language in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has been supported by the so-called modernist Hindus under the impressive label of secularism. The ‘secularism’ of such Hindus encourages the anti-secularism of the Muslims. These so-called secularist Hindus are opposed to the creation of a common personal law because it might displease the Muslims.” ibid 500-501

“We have to support Muslim modernism in India. We have to insist on a common personal law for all citizens of India. All marriages in India must be registered under a common

Civil Code. Religious conversion should not be allowed, except when the intending convert is adult and the conversion takes place before a magistrate. Children born of inter-religious marriages should be free to practise any religion but only after they reach legal adulthood. If either a [Muslim] dargah or a [Hindu] temple obstructs the passage of traffic on a thoroughfare, it ought to be removed. Government should have control over the income of all religious property. This income should be spent on education and public welfare alone. It should not be obligatory to mention one’s religion and caste (even today, the admission form used in schools compels students to state their religion) . . . For all this to happen, the present division among the Hindus should cease to exist. Those Hindus who want to counter Muslim communalism unfortunately try to strengthen Hindu revivalism. And those Hindus who want to lead the Hindus and ultimately the whole of this nation on the way of modernity are unfortunately supporting Muslim communalists. This has to change. I am on the side of all Hindus who oppose Muslim communalism; but when the same Hindus help Hindu revivalism, I am opposed to them. I support all those who want to modernize the Hindus; but when they adopt a policy of not opposing Muslim communalism, I oppose them. If the Hindus develop a proper balance of mind, I believe the present tensions would soon begin to resolve.” Ibid, 504

[Was Hamid Dalwai right? Have we missed the bus? Is the rise of BJP and Sangh parivar a result of not understanding what Dalwai was warning in 1960s? If the Indian liberals (Hindus and Muslims together) had heeded Daliwai could we have avoided the rise of RSS and the communalist elements among the Hindus? Are the Indian liberals still making the same mistake?—Rohit]

******


Threats to Democracy and Secularism: Part 4/4—Tools to counter

August 25, 2014

Rohit Dhankar

Part 4: Ideological tools to counter the threat

Hamid Dalwai

I am not a scholar of politics, nor have I read extensively on Hamid Dalwai. Actually I have read only what Ramachandra Guha includes in his “Makers of Modern India”. Guha calls Dalwai ‘The last modernist’, and includes excerpts from three of his essays. I find whatever little I have read of Dalwai’s writing forthright, balanced and bold; he does not pander to political correctness and takes on obscurantists, some liberals included, of all verities with equal objectivity.

Dalwai does not accept the theory that Hindu communalism originated in a response to Muslim communalism or that the Muslim communalism originated in response to Hindu communalism. He sees the origin of both in their own obscurantism and history; however, accepts that they feed on each other. He sees the roots of Muslim nationalism and separatism, that finally resulted in partition, in the Muslim mind-set that they were the rulers of India and the British snatched their inheritance from them. He thought that “[T]he foundation of Muslim nationalism is the postulate that Hindu and Muslim societies are autonomous and parallel social structures”. This idea of separate autonomous societies is antithetical to modern secular citizenship according to him.

Dalwai disagreed with all obscurantists, be they Muslims, Hindus or belonging to any other religion. He blamed obscurantist elements among Muslims for not being introspective enough and blaming Hindus for their own problems. He blamed the obscurantist Hindus for blocking the emerging modern ideas among Hindu population and feeding Muslim communalism; and he also blamed some liberals for soft-peddling Muslim communalism. I can hardly do better than quote Dalwai directly to understand the precarious position of secularism and on how it could be strengthened:

“Secularism in India, although embodied in the Constitution, is as yet only an aspiration. It has not yet permeated our social life. It is even in danger today. Within the Hindu majority, there is a strong obscurantist revivalist movement against which we find a very small class of liberals engaged in fight. Among Indian Muslims there is no such liberal minority leading the movement towards democratic liberalism. Unless Indian liberals, however small they are as a minority, are drawn from all communities and join forces on a secular basis, even the Hindu liberal minority will eventually lose its battle with communalist and revivalist Hindus [Note–Precisely what is happening today]. If Muslims are to be integrated in the fabric of a secular and integrated Indian society, a necessary precondition is to have a class of Muslim liberals who would continuously assail communalist dogmas and tendencies. Such Muslim liberals, along with Hindu liberals and others, would comprise a class of modem Indian liberals.”

Dalwai is prophetic writing little after independence (English translation published in 1968, Marathi Guha does not mention):

“It is often argued that Muslim communalism is only a reaction to Hindu communalism. This is not true. The real conflict in India today is between all types of obscurantism, dogmatism, revivalism, and traditionalism on one side and modem liberalism on the other. Indian politicians being short-sighted and opportunistic, communalism and orthodoxy is always appeased and seldom, if ever, opposed. This is why we need an agreement among all liberal intellectuals to create a non-political movement against all forms of communalism. If this is not done, democracy and liberalism will inevitably collapse in India. The stakes are high. It is a pity that few people realize the gravity of the situation. It is even more unfortunate that they are hardly informed about the true nature of the problem.”

I am quoting Dalwai extensively because I think he understood the problem accurately even before 1960s:

“I believe that if the Hindus were sufficiently dynamic, the Hindu-Muslim problem would be solved. For if the Hindus were dynamic, they would subject the Indian Muslims to several shocks which history has spared them. … Hindus can accept the challenge of Muslim politics in India only by developing dynamism and a balance of mind. But to develop such dynamism Hindu orthodoxy itself has to be liquidated. The caste system has to be eliminated. The Hindus must embrace modernism. They must create a society based on fundamental human values and the concept of true social equality. Unfortunately, the Hindu mind lacks balance. Even those Hindus who have accepted modernity, justice and brotherhood as their guiding principles sometimes support Muslim communalism. Some avoid speaking against it and some even indirectly encourage it. Those Hindus who ought to be combating communalism today seem, instead, to be trying to put the clock back. They are supporting obscurantism, revivalism, the caste system and the cult of the cow. This is a process which would drain Hindu society of whatever little dynamism it may still have. There have to be enough Hindus trying to modernize the Hindu society and, at the same time, opposing the irrational politics of Muslim communalism. I hope this would happen. For that would precisely be the process by which the Hindu-Muslim problem can be eliminated. Muslim communalism today makes the most of the rift between liberal Hindus and communalist Hindus. It is ironical that Muslim communalists gain the support of Hindus, both liberal and communalist.”

The diagnosis remains accurate to date. Dalwai’s writing threw a challenge to liberals almost 50 years back; and the liberals, both Hindus and Muslims, failed to meet the challenge. Muslim liberals never met the challenge of criticising Muslim obscurantism with sufficient force, many of the Hindu liberals supported their own obscurantism and remaining became so politically correct that criticised everything Hindu and abstained from even expressing disagreement with Muslim obscurantism. The result is that today the communalism in both societies is thriving while liberals have lost all conviction and are wondering whether the ideals of secularism and democracy are even worth fighting for.

Those who care about equality, democracy and secularism in India have to counter Singhals, Bhagwats and Togadias of the country. They have no ground to oppose Singhals, Bhagwats and Togadias if they do not oppose with equal force Bukharis, Owaisis and Jilanis. And that is one of the most serious problems we face today—we are not fair in criticising communalism.

Obfuscation is not the same thing as an unmitigated bunch of lies. It could also be a carefully crafted collection of misuse of truth, half-truths, plausible lies, plan lies and white lies. Condemning the whole thing at one go as bunkum is being counterproductive. The truths have to be accepted and their misuse exposed. Half-truths have to be shown to be just what they are. Lies have to be countered. It is a game of mind-manipulation; an engaged dialogue has to be created.

The Hindutva claims have been ignored for far too long as being too stupid to counter and being beneath the dignity of serious intellectuals to engage with. They are forgetting that there are a large number of voters today who think that the name ‘Hindustan’ was created at the same time as ‘Pakistan’, who do not know that Bangladesh was part of Pakistan, who do not know what Indian freedom movement was. Leaving the ground totally to Bhagwats and Singhals will give them an unchallenged access to this group. The group is too large to ignore. We should remember that our education system has failed democracy. The job of creating critical citizenship has to be taken up in the public discourse.

We have to heed Dalwai, even if belatedly. Or be prepared for a long period of confusion, unrest, and conflict. The end result of which might come out as loss of secularism and democracy.


Double standards in understanding communalism?

April 11, 2014

Rohit Dhankar

[This one was send as a rejoinder to an article published in The Hindu. Their response is “as a policy we don’t carry rejoinder to opinion pieces. If there are factual inaccuracies we will be happy to correct them. Thanks for writing.” I am not a regular writer for newspapers, so can easily understand the lack of tightness in language and even argument; but it is strange that rejoinders to ‘opinion’ pieces are not published!]

Mrs. Sonia Gandhi recently has expressed a communal mind-set that believes that appeal to en-block voting to Muslims is ‘secular’ and a similar appeal to Hindus is communal. The general principle here is that Hindu communalism is communalism proper; and Muslim communalism, if not secular, is certainly a reaction. This thinking has been exhibited time and again by almost all so-called ‘secular’ parties. Is this mind-set and skewed logic limited to crafty politicians like Mrs. Gandhi? Unfortunately, by no means, Indian intelligential is the biggest and strongest up-holder of this un-defendable principle. To understand how subtly they built it into their thinking and writing let us analyse a recently published article by Praveen Swami. Mr. Swami wrote an article in The Hindu, on 1st April 14, titled “Second Rise of Indian Jihad”. (Here I must add that in past Mr. Swami has written fine and very balanced insightful pieces, the present analysis is only for the mentioned article; not on his all writings.) Its concluding wisdom is summarised by Mr. Swami as: “Each bombing the Indian Mujahideen carries out is a medium for a political message enmeshed with India’s dystopic communal landscape: that democratic politics cannot defend India’s Muslims.” This complex sentence needs simpler unpacking, to go beyond its impressiveness and deliberate scholarship. Let’s make some sense out of it:
1. Each bombing of Indian Mujahedeen is a medium for a political message. It is not senseless violence, and it is not important in-itself. It should be ‘read’ as a ‘medium’, like email is a medium for a message, bombing is a medium for a political message.
2. This message is caught in the landscape of human misery created by communalism. So the bombing is not irrational act of some sick religious bigotry. It is a rational act aimed at ending the human misery caused by communal violence.
3. The message itself is “that democratic politics cannot defend Indian Muslims”. And this message is acceptable to Indian intelligentsia of which Mr. Swami is a noted member.

This is a classic case of absolving Islamic terrorism of all moral responsibility and condoning it. Always someone else is responsible, the poor Islamist terrorist simply acts out of misery to end it. S/he is not a perpetrator of violence, s/he is only resisting violence inflicted on her. S/he is justified to do so as a human being. The ‘other’ who has instigated, nay forced him/her into it, should be blamed, and should be held responsible to stop this violence.

This conclusion occurs in the last paragraph of Mr. Swami’s piece with a nashihat to Indian politicians: “but it is time for politicians to act to heal our fractured nation.” This is strange that material quoted in Mr. Swami’s article to arrive at this fantastic conclusion goes squarely against it and lends itself to a very different conclusion. It is an exercise in mental dexterity to find a logic so that the quoted material may support Mr. Swami’s conclusion.

Let’s look at the key landmarks in Mr. Swami’s logic, I am paraphrasing parts from his article below.
Mr. swami tells us that the cadres of Indian jihad “are inheritors of a long political tradition”. That the bombings of 2008 September in Delhi, according to their perpetrators were carried “in the memory of two most eminent Mujahids of India: Syed Ahmed Shaheed and Shah Ismail Shaheed (may Allah bestow His Mercy upon them) who had raised the glorious banner of Jihad against the disbelievers.” It is notable that the jihad of Syed Ahmed and Shah Ismail was “against the disbelievers” and was carried out in early part of the 19th century, against Sikh Army, in Swat valley. Against what grievances and to alleviate what misery, apart from existence of disbelievers on God’s earth, Mr. Swami must know.

Mr. Swami quotes Yoginder Sikand approvingly: “that Islam alone was the solution to the problems of not just the Muslims of India, but of all Indians and, indeed, of the whole world.” “Islam alone” is notable, nothing else can solve the problems. Compare it with a Bombay based popular preacher Dr. Zakir Naik who says that Islam is a religion of peace and peace will come when all accept Islam. The interpretation being that peace can come only if all accept Islam. Till then if there is no peace, it is responsibility of those infidels who do not accept the only true faith.

Another important information and a chain in his logic that Mr. swami provides us is that “Ranchi resident Haider Ali, …, raised volunteers … for the bombing of the revered Buddhist shrine at Bodh Gaya last year, as an act of vengeance for communal violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.” (Emphasis added) One starts thinking what the Buddhist shrine in Bodh Gaya had to do with communal violence in Myanmar? But that is a question only a small minded communal person can ask, as all opinion makers in India know that Muslims of the world; according to Islamist’s mind, even if a common peace loving Muslim does not believe that; are a unified umma and any act against the umma can be avenged by killing any non-believer in the world. So, of course, Mr. Swami wants us to believe that Bombing in Bodh Gaya was a legitimate “medium for a political message”, which Indian politicians and citizens should heed, and ‘heel’.

According to Mr. Swami “[T]he recruits” for the jihad “include young people, their minds fired by Internet Islamism, as well as veterans once linked to the proscribed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).” One needs only ten minutes on the net to see the true face of Internet Islamism. It is daily preached by Zakir Naik, ‘Islam if the only true religion, all others will go to hell. Those who do not accept Islam are the real cause of violence in the world’. SIMI was established in 1977 and, among other things “SIMI maintains that concepts of secularism, democracy and nationalism, keystones of Indian Constitution, are antithetical to Islam. They aim to restore the supremacy of Islam through the resurrection of the khilafat, emphasis on the Muslim ummah and the waging of jihad.” And all this to solve all the problems of the world by the only true faith. Which violence perpetrated on Muslims would Mr. Swami site for this?

The article is opened with a very revealing quote by an al-Qaeda ideologue Asim Umar: “[Y]ou who have ruled India for eight hundred years, you who lit the flame of the one true God in the darkness of polytheism: how can you remain in your slumber when the Muslims of the world are awakening?….. If the youth of the Muslim world have joined the battlefields with the slogan ‘Sharia or Martyrdom,’ and put their lives at stake to establish the Caliphate, how can you lag behind them? Why is there no storm in your ocean”. And suggests that some among the Indian Muslim youth are inspired by this kind of appeals.

And in the face of all this mentioned in the same article Mr. Swami, in his infinite wisdom, concludes that this zeal for bombing is “driven by communal events”, obviously by Hindus against Muslims! To quote: “The renewal of a jihadist constituency within India shouldn’t be a surprise: the rise of Mr. Modi, and the Hindu nationalist tendencies that he represents, has unleashed existential anxieties among large numbers of Indian Muslims.” Therefore, the ‘Hindu nationalist tendencies’ are to blame. Which communal violence was being avenged by jihad of Syed Ahmed in early 19th century? Why his jihad was more morally acceptable than anything else going on at that time? Why Islamists today are justified to glorify this jihad against “disbelievers” while other religious bigots would be wrong to do the same? Would avenging Somnath not be justified by the same logic?

It is important to understand this logic. What are the assumptions that Mr. Swami has necessarily to accept if he wants to come to his wise conclusion: “that democratic politics cannot defend Indian Muslims” and bombing is a political message to that effect incited by violence against Muslims? He necessarily has to accept that:
1. The bigoted miniscule fringe in Islam has the right based on their tradition to wage jihad against disbelievers.
2. The violence that happens in this jihad, even if not acceptable, is sympathetically understandable.
3. But the communal violence against this jihad is the cause of fresh rounds of jihad, and therefore, should be condemned.

Are these assumptions acceptable to silent Indian majority? Would people like Mr. Swami openly defend these assumptions or they will simply keep on using them un-articulated but in a clever manner? Is Mr. Swami aware that accepting his logic provides very sound arguments for Hindutva brigade? The logic in a nutshell can be expressed as:
• Since Mahmud Ghazni the Islam has been attacking Hinduism in various ways.
• At the least since Maulana Shirhindi’s reaction of separation from Hindus as a reaction to Akbar’s Deen-e-ilahi the idea of keeping clear of Hindus and if possible subjugating them was available to some Muslims.
• The jihad waged by Syed Ahmed in early 19th century was a part of the same pattern and tradition of annihilating all disbelievers.
• Sir Syed Ahmed khan’s two nation theory was directed against Hindus and finally divided the nation. It was part of the same pattern to make the whole world accept Islam or not to live in harmony with others.
• The modern day proclamations of likes of Zakir Naik are manifestations of the same tendencies.
• Islamist bombing is driven by this idea and wherever Muslims see a political conflict (a natural occurring in any democratic polity) they will invoke religion and rather than peaceful democratic negotiations will start bombing.
• Therefore, Hindus are under direct attack of this Islamisation project. If they want to save themselves—the existential anxiety—they have to unite and counter this violence. If they do not have expertise in bombing, let them have large scale communal violence.
• Therefore, they can be condoned and need healing, recommended by Mr. Swami.

Are we ready to accept this logic? Obviously not, it is all poisonous and product of a sick mind. Then why not the jihadi logic also a product of a sick mind? Why jihadi violence should be condoned, why others should be held responsible for this, why others should be charged with the responsibility of healing this sickness? Why should it not be pointed out that all this logic of revenge is wrong and the perpetrators are responsible; they should heal themselves of this skewed mind-set?
This kind of always available condoning and explaining-away the jihadi acts will strengthen a similar logic in Hindu communalists. And there is a difference in ‘explanation’ and ‘explaining away’; the above mentioned trend of opinion making does not ‘explain’ it ‘explain away’.

Overwhelming majority of Indian population consists of two major religions: Hinduism and Islam. Hinduism by many is considered a conglomerate of many religious sects rather than a single religion. Islam is more often considered a single religion in the classic sense of the term ‘religion’, but does have its own sects and factions. Here, without getting into this fine distinction, I am treating both as religious groups.

Both these religious groups have their bigoted lunatic fringes. The fringe elements have a mind-set of victim-hood and vengeance. They also feel threatened by the other and want to gather strength to contain, if not to annihilate the other. Support and sympathy to the extremist fringes from within their respective communities is a matter of speculation, there are no hard data to say one has greater support then the other. But condoning and explaining-away their heinous acts by Indian intellectuals clearly has a pattern. The Hindu communalist is recognised for what he is, a communalist; but mostly a Muslim communalist is seen and defended as a victim.

Unless we treat each one of them fairly and as equally condemnable, we will strengthen the rivalry by comparison, the fringes will grow. The healing has to be two pronged: kind and humane treatment by the state and calling a spade a spade. The idea of India as a Hindu-rashtra has to be condemned and firmly put down. This idea has to be shown morally wrong, politically unviable, theoretically stupid and totally unacceptable. But simultaneously the ideas of universal Islamism, Caliphate and establishing Shariya as the universal code have to be condemned, shown morally bankrupt, politically impossible and theoretically stupid.

The second cannot be done without bringing in their religious figures (mythological and historical); be that Manu, Rama, Krishna or Muhammad; in the debate and showing that ideas associated with them might be unacceptable, wrong and morally debased, as well as some of them might be very laudable. The historical sheen from their persona has to be taken off and they have to be shown as ordinary mortals which are fallible and can be wrong, even severely condemnable. Similarly the principles articulated in their religious scriptures; be that Gita, Veda, Manusmriti, Quran or Hadith collections; have to be analysed and their untenable defence and soft interpretation have to be abandoned. If there is bigotry and in today’s world morally unacceptable ideas in them in them, it has to be shown clearly and status of God’s word has to be declared as bunkum for all. This has no value in public affairs and politics; however essential it may be for the believers.

Thus three principles that can help us remain secular and contain religious bigotry are:
1. Equal treatment to all perpetrators of communal disharmony and violence.
2. An unforgiving rational critique of their religious books and religious figures. Creation of an environment of tolerance of genuine criticism; even if that makes them angry at first.
3. Kind but non-condoning and firm treatment to bring sense to the misguided. Zero tolerance for the seriously indoctrinated bigots.

Mrs. Gandhi’s and Mr. Swami’s ways of thinking and acting will increase communalism and will not combat it.
In the vitiated atmosphere of India today, I feel compelled to state that no mention of BJP, VHP, Modi, RSS etc. does not mean that they have been paragons of communal harmony and that they are not to blame, or that they are any less responsible. It their divisive politics and hate mongering is generally accepted, and rightly so. They are not mentioned here for the simple reason that this piece is a response to Mr. Swami’s article, and not a general analysis of roots and kinds of communalism in India. Reading support or condoning of BJP etc. in this again will be an example of the same skewed logic used by Mr. Swami in arriving at his untenable conclusions.

******


Fighting communalism with communalism: Mrs. Gandhi’s way

April 7, 2014

Rohit Dhankar

Sonia Gandhi appeals to minority voters ‘not to split secular vote’. Minority in her appeal, and mostly in present-day Indian conversations, is a euphemism for Muslim community. In plain language Sonia Gandhi is calling upon Muslims to vote en-block in favour of her own Congress Party. The assumptions are that (i) Muslim vote is secular vote, by the grace of its very religious affiliation, and (ii) Congress Party of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is a secular party by its very nature.

Shahi Imam after a day or two of Sonia’s appeal, himself appeals to Muslims to support the Congress party. His appeal is to a community identified by its religion, he himself is a religious authority whose influence ends with Muslims, and he has the authority to issue fatwa for Muslims. In this particular case, he is not issuing a fatwa, but his appeal is certainly in capacity of his religious office. In what sense this man is more secular or less communal than Praveen Togadia or Ashok Singhal is known only to likes of Sonia Gandhi and Mulayam Singh. This is a man who has scared even the law of the land and Delhi police by his communal might and threats of communal violence. Now Sonia Gandhi appeals him to help keep “secular votes” united.

Congress is supposed to be fighting communalism and divisiveness used by BJP. BJP has a history of communalism and divisive politics, and there is no evidence of a change of heart in the party. Therefore, the claim that BJP is indulging in communal and divisive politics is easy to accept. It seems to be true by all available evidence.

And still the Congress president’s appeal raises very serious question: can communalism of one section of citizens be fought with communalism of another section of citizens? Or more seriously, is it the case that communal appeal to one section of citizens is really ‘communal’ and to other section of citizens is ‘secular’? If one appeals to Hindus to vote en-block then it is a communal act and when one appeals to Muslims for the same it is a secular act? This exposes the blatant communalism of congress. It is also an example of so well-known Muslim appeasement. But what else could Indian citizens expect from someone who has captured power on pure dynastic loyalties sustained by feudal mind set of Indian public.

This precisely is the mind-set of Indian National Congress, this precisely is the reason that gives BJP its strength. As long as the political parties of the country have this double standard we will not be able to defeat communalism in our society and politics.


मोदी के वीसा पर बहस

July 28, 2013

रोहित धनकर

मेरी छोटी टिपण्णी “मोदी का वीसा और भारतीय संप्रभुता” पर दो गंभीर ऐतराज दर्ज किये गए है। मैं दोनों का उनकी टिप्पणियों के लिए धन्यवाद करता हूँ, और अरुणा का मेरी बात को ठीक परिप्रेक्ष्य में देखने के लिए। दोनों ही ऐतराज लंबे हैं, तो मैं ने सोचा इस संवाद को आगे बढाने के लिए मैं अपनी बात को थोड़ा और साफ़ करदूं। मैंने मूल टिपण्णी हिंदी में की थी इस लिए मैं इसे हिंदी में ही आगे बढ़ा रहा हूँ। पर एक तो मेरी वर्तनी बहुत खराब है और दूसरे टंकण बहुत कमजोर, सो इस में बहुत गलतियाँ होंगी। उनके लिए माफ़ी चाहता हूँ, आशा है गलतियों के बावजूद बात साफ़ तौर पर कह सकूंगा।

मुख्य बात पर आने से पहले: मनोज जी ने मेरे “दोगले” शब्द पर ऐतराज किया है, उनका मानना है की यह लैंगिक गली देने का तरीका है। यदि ऐसा है तो माफ़ी चाहता हूँ। मैंने इस शब्द का उपयोग “दोहरे मानदंडों” के लिए किया था।

मैं जानता हूँ की जो कुछ मैं कहने वाला हूँ वह आज के भारत में राजनैतिक पवित्रता के विरुद्ध जायेग। पर मैं यह भी मानता हूँ की राजनैतिक पवित्रता (political correctness) आम तौर पर विश्लेषण और चिंतन का गलाघोंटती है। लोकनन्त्र के लिए लोगों का बड़ी संख्या में राजनैतिक-पवित्रता का बाना पहन लेना बहुत अशुभ् हो सकता है। अतः अपनी बात कहा रहा हूँ।

मैं मूलतः नीचे लिखी बातें कहना चाहता हूँ:

१. भारतीय बुद्धिजीवी इस मामले में दोहरे मानदंड अपना रहे हैं।

२. अमेरिका से इस मामले में गुहार लगाना भारतीय संप्रभुता और भारतीय अस्मिता के विरुद्ध है।

इसके अलावा मैं एक बात अब और कहूगा:

३. मोदी और बीजेपी की राजनीती पर टिपण्णी।

दोहरे मानदंड

राजीव गाँधी और जीलानी के उदहारण मैंने दोहरे मानदंडों की बात साबित करने के लिए दिए थे। इस के और भी दर्जनों उदहारण दिए जासकते हैं। जिस अमेरिका से मोदी के विरुद्ध हम फतवा कायम रखवाना चाहते हैं उसी अमेरिका के चीन और मध्या-पूर्व में मानव-अधिकारों की बात उठाने पर उसे अपने हितों के लिए सत्ता का खेल कहते हैं और उसका विरोद्ध करते हैं।  जिस अमेरिका से हम मोदी के विरुद्ध अपनी बात की पुष्टि चाहते हैं उसी की इजराइल और फिलिस्तीन नीति को मानव-अधिकारों के विरूद्ध कहते हैं। मोदी ने मानव अधिकारों और इंसानियत के विरूद्ध जो गंभीर अपराध किये उनकी भर्त्सना हम दुनिया के सबसे बड़े दादा और मानव-अधिकार जैसी महत्त्वपूर्ण धारणा का दुरुपयोग करने वाले से चाहते हैं। अतः हम एक बड़े अपराधी से छोटे अपराधी के विरूद्ध फ़तवा चाहते हैं। मोदी के अपराध को भारतीय मानस में अक्षम्य बनाये रखने के लिए हम अमेरिका के अपराधों की अनदेखी करने को तैयार हैं, उसे मानवीय अपराधों के मामले में एक न्यायाधीश की भूमिका देने को तैयार हैं। ऐसे दर्जनों विरोधाभास गिनाये जासकते हैं। यह कहा जासकता है की अमेरिका ने हजार गलतियाँ की होंगीं, पर इस मामले में उसने सही कदम लिया है तो हमें उस को पुष्ट करना चाहिए। वास्तव में मैं इस बात का हामी हूँ, पर तभी जब (१) हम यह नियम हमेशां माननें, और (२) जब हम सही कदम को पुष्ट करते हैं तो गलत कदमों को अनदेखा ना करें। हम अपने देश की राजनीति में पहले नियम को नहीं मानते और अमेरिका के सन्दर्भ में दूसरे की अनदेखी कर रहे हैं।

प्रो. अहेमद कहते हैं की दोहरी जबान लोकतंत्र में कोई बड़ी बुराई नहीं है। वे शायद यह भूल गए की लोकतंत्र विवेकशील संवाद और आपसी भरोसे पर ही चल सकता है। संवाद में विवेकशीलता और सम्वादियों में आपसी भरोसा खत्म हो जाने पर भावनाओं पर आधारित भीड़-तंत्र में बदल जाता है लोकतंत्र। भारत में इस बीमारी के उदहारण और इसकी तीव्रता लगातार बढ़ रही है। दोहरे मापदंड विवेक और भरोसे के बहुत बड़े विनाशक होते हैं। हम इस देश में लोकतंत्र को बचाना चाहते हैं तो हमें साफ़ मानदंडों और उनके कड़ाई से पालन की बहुत जरूरत है। हम अपनी तात्कालिक जरूरतों के लिए इन की जितनी अनदेखी करेंगें उतना ही लोकतंत्र का नुकशान करेंगे। और लोकतंत्र के बिना धर्म-निरपेक्षता, व्यक्ति की गरिमा और मानव-अधिकारों की रक्षा संभव नहीं है।

भारतीय संप्रभुता और अस्मिता

अमेरिका किस को वीसा दे और किसको ना दे यह उसका अंदरूनी मामला है, इस का फैसला वह अपने क़ानून के हिसाब से करेगा। (उमर को लगता है भी भारतीय संविधान हमें अमेरिका से इस मामले में पूछने का हक़ देता है। भारतीय संविधान हमें अपनी बात कहने का हक़ देता है, किसी दूसरे राष्ट्र से कुछ भी पूछने का नहीं।) मोदी के भारत में रहने और राजनीति करने पर आप रोक नहीं लगा सकते, भारतीय कानून के तहत उसके अपराधों की सजा नहीं दिलवा सकते। इसमें हम भारतीय सम्विधान और कानून की कमी देखते हैं। और उस कमी की तात्कालिक पूर्ती के लिए अमरीका के संविधान और कानून की मदद चाहते हैं। यह हमारी अपनी कमियों पर पर्दा डालना है, हमारी जिम्मेदारी हम किसी और से पूरी करवाना चाहते हैं।

एक रोचक बात यह है की मोदी को नायक मानने वाले और उसको खलनायक मानने वाले एक चीज पर पूरी तहह से सहमत है: कि अमेरिका की जमीन पवित्र जमीन है। दोनों समझते हैं की वहां पहुँच जाने से मोदी के पाप धुलजायेंगे। एक उसको पापमुक्त साबित करना चाहते हैं इस लिए उसे वहां जाने का हक़ दिलाना चाहते हैं; और दूसरे पापी बनाये रखना चाहते हैं इस लिए उसे वहां जाने से रोकना चाहते हैं। दोनों की कसौटी एक ही है: अमेरिका की पवन भूमि पर पहुंचना। भारतीय संप्रभुता और अस्मिता के लिए दोनों बराबर के घातक हैं। दोनों अमेरिका को और उसके काननों को न्यायाधीश मानाने को तैयार हैं।

प्रो. अहमद को लगता है की यह कानूनी नहीं नैतिक भंगिमा है। यह मोदी की दोषमुक्ति की कोशिश के विरुद्ध कदम है। मैं पहली बात तो यह कहना चाहूँगा की यह निश्तित तौर पर कानूनी मामला है। मानव-अधिकार और वीसा देना दोनों कानून के तहत चलने वाली चीजें हैं। दूसरी बात यह की हर कानूनी मामला लाजमी तौर पर नैतिक होता है। मैं जो भारतीय संप्रभुता की चिंता कर रहा हूँ और भारतीय अस्मिता का हवाला दे रहा हूँ यह भी नैतिक मामला है, और संप्रभुता कानूनी भी है।

उमर को लगता है की मेरी बात संकुचित राष्ट्रीयता की बात है, वह आज की पीढ़ी है (मैं निशित तौर पर पुरानी पीढ़ी हूँ, J, और इसमें न मुझे ऐतराज है न ही शर्म) और आज की पीढ़ी को पूरी दिनया की चिंता है। यह अच्छी बात है, यदि ऐसा है तो। पर मेरा तर्क दुनिया की चिंता करने और पूरी मानवता को किसी मुद्दे पर सहमत करने के विरूद्ध नहीं है। मुझे कोई ऐतार्राज नहीं है यदि लोग अमेरिका की जनता को संबोधित करें, मानव सिधान्तों के आधार पर, बराबरी के स्तर पर, कम से कम इस मामले में। मुझे ऐतराज अमेरका के राष्ट्रपति को संबोधित करने में है। पूरी दिनया के लोगों में मानव होने के नाते संवाद होना चाहिय, विचारों का आदान-प्रदान और विवेकसम्मत आग्रह होने चहिये। मानव के नाते हम एक हैं, मैं समझता हूँ मानव के नाते हमारा भविष्य भी एक है। पर इस वक्त मानवीय समुदाय विभिन्न संस्कृतियों और राज नैतिक इकायों में बंटा हुआ है। ये राजनैतिक इकाइयाँ अपने हितों को सर्वोपरी रखती है और अपना प्रभुत्व दूसरी राजनैतिक इकाइयों पर और उनके नागरिकों पर जमाने की जद्दोजहद में मशगूल हैं। मोदी के वीसा सम्बन्धी गुहार–चाहे वह उसे वीसा देने की हो या उसका विरोध करने की–अमेरिका के वर्चस्व और उसके न्यायसिद्ध होने की स्वीकृती है। मुझे इस से ऐतराज है। मैं इस बात का हमायती हूँ की भारतीय अपनी न्याय का फैसला खुद करें। आज अमेरिका से मोदी के मामले में हम सहयोग चाहते हैं, तो कल आप उसकी आपके अंदरूनी मामलों में दख़ल का विरोध नहीं कर पायेंगे। और अमेरिका का दूसरे देशों के प्रति न्याय का इतिहास बहुत आस्वस्त करने वाला नहीं है।

मोदी-बीजेपी की राजनीति और उसका विरोध

मेरे चिचार से बीजेपी की राजनीति लोकतंत्र के विरूद्ध है, क्यों की वह धर्मनिरपेक्षता के विरूद्ध है। मोदी और संघ उस राजनीति के सबसे खतरनाक चहरे हैं। जो भारतीय धर्म-निरपेक्षता और लोकतंत्र की चिंता करते हैं उन को इस राजनीति से निपटने के तरीके ढूँढने चहियें। पर मैं जानता हूँ की भारत में उन लोगों की संख्या भी करोड़ों में है जो बीजेपी और मोदी की राजनीति को लाकतंत्र के हित में और देश के लिए शुभ मानते हैं। मैं उन सब को एक साथ संकुचित रूप से अपने हित साधने वाले, या मूर्ख या दूसरों से घ्रणा करने वाले पाखंडी नहीं कह सकता। निश्चित रूप से उनमें संकुचित मानसिकता वाले, दूसरों से घ्रणा करने वाले, हिन्दुओं का वृचास्वा चाहने वाले और मूर्ख भी है। पर उनमें परिप्रेक्ष्य के भेद रखने वाले फिर भी लोकातान्तान्त्रिक मानसिकता वाले भी हो सकते हैं। मैं अपने विश्लेषण के प्रति इतना आश्वस्त और निशित नहीं हो सकता की मेरे विचारों के अलावा बाकी सब को या तो मूर्ख मानलूं या धूर्त। ऐसा मानना मेरी स्वयं की लोकतंत्र में विवेकसम्मत आस्था की पोल खोलदेगा। लोकतंत्र सबको सोचने की, उसकी अभिव्यक्ति की और उसपर अमल करने की स्वतंत्रता देता है। हर एक की आवाज की कीमत स्वीकार करने की जरूरत है। पहले सुनेंगे और समझेंगे तभी सम्वाद होगा, विरोध या सहमति होगी। मैं जैसे इस वक्त अमेरिका से मोदी वीसा का विरोध दर्ज कारने वालों की बात सुन हरा हूँ और उसपर अपना विचार रख रहा हूँ, ठीक इसी तरह मोदी की राजनीति करने वालों की बात भी मुझे सुनानी होगी और उसका विरोध करना होगा। उन्हें निश्चित तौर पर गलत मान कर अनदेखा करना या धूर्त मान लेना  न लोकतान्त्रिक सोच है न ही विवेक सम्मत। [यहाँ “मैं” शब्द का उपयोग एक आम नागरिक के लिए किया गया है, यह रोहित धनकर के लिए व्यक्ति-वाचक नहीं है।]

पर जब एक नागरिक बीजेपी की हिंदुत्व-वादी राजनीति को विभेदकारी मानता है तो उसे जाती वादी राजनीति को भी विभेदकारी मानना होगा। अतः, प्रांतीय, जातिवादी और क्षेत्रीयता वादी राजनीती को विभेदकारी कहना हिंदुत्व-वादी राजनीति का समर्थन हो यह जरूरी नहीं है। यह जहाँ कहीं भी राजनैतिक अशुभ दीखता है उसको वैस ही कहना भर है। मुझे कोई भी मंदिर में मत्था टेकने वाला, धर्म-गुरुओं के चरणों में लोटने वाला, मजार पर चादर चढाने वाला और इफ्तार दावत करने वाला राजनेता धर्मनिरपेक्ष नहीं लगता। यह उनका व्यक्तिगत आस्था की अभिव्यक्ति का सवाल नहीं है, यह वास्तव में उनका जनता को विभिन्न संकेत देने और धर्म के नाम पर वोट मांगे के लिए प्रचार है। यह वे जनता के खर्च पर और अपनी राजनैतिक भूमिका में करते हैं। यदि मीडिया इस पर ध्यान देना छोडदे तो यह सब बंद हो जायेगा। हाँ, यह सब एक जैसा विभेदकारी नहीं है। पर विभेद को भुनाने की कोशिश फिर भी सामान है। इस वक्त हमारे देश में शायद ही कोई लोकतांत्रिक राजनीति कर रहा है। राजनेता या तो जादी वादी हैं, या धर्म-वादी या परिवारवादी (सामंतवादी)। ले दे कर आखिर में वामपंथी बचते हैं जो इन सब से बहुत हद तक मुक्त हैं, पर वे न इमानदार चिन्तक  हैं ना ही दोहरे मानदंडों से मुक्त। यह सब कहने का अर्थ यह नहीं हो सकता की यह हिन्दुत्ववादी राजनीति का समर्थन है। यह सच्चाई–जैसी मुझे दिखती है–का बयान भर है।

आखिर में हमें–जैसा मैंने अपनी टिपण्णी में पहले कहा है–इस विभेद कारी राजनीति से अपने बलबूते पर, अपनी संप्रभुता और अस्मिता की रक्षा करते हुए लड़ना होगा। इसमें दूसरों के प्रमाण-पत्र केवल हमें और विभाजित करेंगे और प्रतिक्रिया पैदा करेंगे।

उमर की कुछ और चिंताएं

उमर को लगता है की मेरी मूल चिंता सम्प्रभुता होती तो मेरी टिपण्णी का बहाव कुछ और होता। यह पूरी बात बिना कहे इस तरफ इशारा है कि में मोदी की राजनीति की तरफदारी कर आहा हूँ। अर्थ निकालने का यही तरीका राजनैतिक पवित्रता का परिचायक है, यह हर उस बात का जो हमें पसंद नहीं है कोई ऐसा अर्थ निकालना है जो उस वक्त अस्वीकार्य माना जाता है। यह राजनैतिक पवित्रता (political correctness) का संवाद को खारिज करने का तरीका है। वैसे मैं कह्दुं कि जो लोग मोदी की राजनीति के हिमायती हैं उनको भी अपनी बात बिना झिझक के कहने का हक़ है, और मैं उनमें होता तो बिना झिझक ऐसा कहता, उमर को अंदाजा लगाने की जरूरत नहीं होती।

उसे आश्चर्य है की मैं राष्ट्रवादी कब से हो गया! मैं तो सदा ही राष्ट्रवादी था। यह अलग बात है की मेरा राष्ट्रवाद न मुझे अपने राष्ट्र की खामिया देखने से रोकता है, ना दूसरे राष्ट्रों को दुश्मन मानाने को प्रेरित करता है और ना ही मेरे देश के और लोगों को राष्ताविरोधी कहने को प्रेरित करता है। उमर, राष्ट्रवादी होना गाली नहीं है, संकुचित होने की निशानी भी नहीं है और मूर्खता भी नहीं है। यह वर्त्तमान समाय में मानवता के अपने आपको विभिन्न इकाइयों में संगठित करने की स्वीकृति भर है। मैं जनता हूँ की राष्ट्रवाद को संपूर्ण मानवता को एक मानने का और मानवीय भाईचारे का विरोधी माना जाता है। पर मैं इस चिंतन से सहमत नहीं हूँ। पर साफ़ करदूं कि मुझे पता नहीं है की राष्ट्रवाद को “patriotism” का समानार्थी नानाजाता है या “aggressive nationalism” का, मैं  यहाँ इस का उपयोग “patriotism” के अर्थ में कर रहा हूँ और इस में मुझे कोई बुराई नहीं दिखती।

उमर को ऐसा भी लगता है की यदि हम अपने आतंरिक मामलों की बात करते हैं तो भारत का जाफना में और बंगलादेश में हस्तक्षेप गलत था। यहाँ बात बहुत लंबी हो जायेगी अतः मैं इतना ही कहूँगा की (१) दोनों मामलों के इतिहास में और गहराई से जाना होगा, और (२) श्रीलंकाई नागरिकों का मत जानना होगा, पाकिस्तानी और बंगलादेशियों के मत जानने होंगे कुछ भी कहने से पहले।

एक और चिंता यह है कि चुनाव जीतने से कोई निर्दोष नहीं हो जाता। ठीक बात है, पर केवल हमारे कहने से भी कोई दोषी नहीं हो जाता। दोषियों और निर्धोशियों का फैसला हमलोग मिलकर और अपने न्यायतंत्र से करेंगे। जिन्हें हम दोषी मानते हैं उनके विरूद्ध अभियान चलाने का हमारा हक़ है, सवाल सिर्फ यह है की वह अभियान हम कैसे चलाते हैं। अभियान चलने के सारे तरीके जायज नहीं माने जा सकते। मेरा विरोध तरीके से है, अभियान से नहीं।

******


मोदी का वीसा और भारतीय संप्रभुता

July 24, 2013

रोहित धनकर
अमेरिका नरेन्द्र मोदी को वीसा नहीं देरहा, इस से बीजेपी बहुत दुखी है। मोदी तो खैर है ही दुखी। इस से कुछ भारतीय बुद्धिजीवी बहुत खुश हैं। कुछ सांसद भी हैं जो ओबामा को चिट्ठी लिख रहें हैं कि मोदी को वीसा न दिया जाए। मोदी सांप्रदायिक राजनेता है, यह शायद सही है। उसका गुजरात के दंगों के पीछे शायद हाथ भी है। इसके बावजूद बुद्धिजीवियों और सांसदों का यह व्यवहार आत्महीनता का और दोगला है।

हम इस बात को छोड़ दें की अमेरिका ने कितने साम्प्रदायिक और हिंसा में लिप्त राजनेताओं को वीसा दिया है और दे रहा है। पर बुद्धिजीवी लोग कभी भी उन राजनेताओं के लिए इस तरह के वोरोध का झंडा नहीं उठाते जो खुले आम सांप्रदायिक है, हिंसा का प्रचार करते हैं और हिंसा में लिप्त हैं। कश्मीरी उग्रवादी और हुर्रियत के जीलानी इस की मिशाल हैं। यह कहा जा सकता है की जीलानी जनता का चुन हुआ सरकार चलने के लिए जिम्मेदार राजनेता नहीं है। ठीक है, मान लेते है कि सरकार चलने वाले राजनेता की जिम्मेदारी अधिक है। पर एक जनता का चुना हुआ प्रधानमंत्री रहा है भारत में जिस का सीधा हाथ बड़े सम्प्रदायिक दंगों में था। इंदिरा गाँधी की हत्या के समय राजीव गाँधी के बयान और हिसा में लिप्त कोंग्रेसियों की तरफदारी इस का प्रमाण है। अमेरिका ने राजीव गाँधी को वीसा देने से मन नहीं किया। भारतीय बुद्धिजीवियों ने कही इस का विरोध नहीं किया। यह दोगला पना  है। पर हम लोग बहुत सामंती मानसिकता वाले लोग है। हम अपने परिवार के ससदस्य की मौत का बदला पूरे सम्प्रदाय से लेने को सम्प्रदायिकता नहीं मानते शायद। राजीव ने अपनी माँ की मौत का बदला लिया इस लिए वह सांप्रदायिक नहीं हुआ। मोदी ने एक सम्प्रदाय के लोगों की मौत का बदला लिया इस लिए वह साम्प्रदायिक है। यह दोगला तर्क है।

पर इस से भी ज्यादा महत्व पूर्ण बात एक और है। मोदी एक भारतीय है जिसे एक प्रदेश की जनता ने अपना मुख्यमंत्री चुना है। वह जनता पूरी की पूरी सांप्रदायिक हो सकती है, पर यह चुनाव भारतीय संविधान के मुताबिक हुआ है। यह संविधान भारत को एक संप्रभु राष्ट्र बताता है। हमारे बुद्धिजीवी लोग और इसी संविधान के तहत चुने सांसद भारत के अंदरूनी मामलों में बहार के उस राष्ट्र का समर्थन चाहते हैं जिसे वे ही लोग पानी पी पी कर गालियाँ देते रहते हैं। जिसे वे दुनिया भर में अपने हित के लिए हिंसा और युद्ध के लिए जिम्मेदार ठहराते हैं। अपने देश की राजनीति में आये सांप्रदायिक विकार को दुरुस्त करने की सीधी जिम्मेदारी लेने के बजाय एक चालाक और अपने हित के लिए न्याय की अनदेखी करने वाले दादा राष्ट्र की मदद लेने में इनको कोई ऐतराज नहीं है। हमारे अन्दर कौन धर्मं-निरपेक्ष है और कौन सांप्रदायिक इस का फैसला हम अपने ही नागरिक भाइयों से संवाद के द्वारा करने की बजाय उनकी आवाज को एक दूसरे देश के हस्तक्षेप से दबाना चाहते हैं। इस में हम अपने संविधान, अनपे नागरिकों और अनापने राष्ट्र की अवमानना नहीं मानते। लगता है हमारे लिए अपने विचार को स्थापित करने के लिए सब किछ जायज है। अपने ही देश में हमारे विरोधी विचार को दबाने के लिए गैर संवादी और विकेक-इतर तरीकों को काम में लेना हमें उचित लगता है। हम अपने विचार की सत्यता के प्रति इतने आस्वस्थ हैं की उस के अलावा किसी चिचार के साथ संवाद से रास्ते निकालने या अपने भूले हुए नागरिकों को विवेक से लोकतंत्र के रास्ते पर लाने के बजाय उधार की ताकत से उनको नीचा दिखाना चाहते है। यह दूसरों को अपने आतंरिक मामलों में आमत्रित करने के अलावा क्या है? यदि साम्प्रदायिकता का यह विकार और बढ़ता है तो इसे दूर करने के लिए क्या हम अमेरिका को अपने ही देश के विरूद्ध युद्ध के लिए आमंत्रित करेंगे? मुझे नहीं लगता किसी और की ताकत हमें अपनी इस बीमारी से निजात दिला सकती है, हम इस के लिए अपनी संप्रभुता को बेचने के लिए तैयार हो जाएँ तो भी नहीं।

यह टिपण्णी मोदी को स्वीकार करने की हामी नहीं है, बल्कि मोदी जैसी खतरनाक राजनीति को अपने राष्ट्र के विवेक से रोकने की वकालत है। यदि हम में यह दम नहीं है तो न हम लोकतंत्र की रक्षा कर पाएंगे न ही संप्रभुता की।