The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) today painted with the same brush the recent protests by Shiv Sena in Mumbai, concerns raised by Pakistan about minority rights in India and writers relinquishing awards saying they are all agitating to “create Modi-phobia” and “save their own respective spaces”.
RSS organ ‘Organiser’ has said these forms of protests by writers and Pakistan have a common goal of creating phobia against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We are witnessing different protests across the nation criticising the Modi-led NDA government for its track record on religious tolerance and freedom of speech and expression. In Mumbai, Shiv Sena, political ally of BJP, protested against the book launch of Pakistani leader Kasuri. Pakistan raised concerns about ‘growing intolerance’ and ‘status of minority rights’ in Bharat.
“Some ’eminent’ literary personalities expressed outrage over the ‘attacks on the freedom and secular fabric of Bharat’ by returning their awards. These protests may look different in their content but their intent seems to be the same u2014 create Modi-phobia to save their own space,” the editorial says, lashing out at the wave of rebellion by Indian writers returning their awards in protest against the lynching of Mohammad Ikhlaq over suspicions of cow slaughter in Dadri.
The RSS publication has gone further to accuse the protesting writers of encouraging “ideological intolerance” by branding everyone talking in the name of Hindus as “Hindutva forces”.
While noting that the protest against Kasuri by Shiv Sena is understood as it has done so in the past and is driven by municipal election motives in Mumbai, the RSS organ says it is “intriguing by the manner in which eminent literary figures and intellectuals attempted the same goal as Shiv Sena and Pakistan”.
The Organiser editorial said, “Ideological bracketing by secular intellectuals and media has always been flawed in Bharat. They always tried to bracket everyone talking in the name of ‘Hindus’, including Shiv Sena, Hindu Mahasabha or even non-political outfits like Sanatan Dharma and Sri Ram Sena in the same category called Hindutva forces.
“Conveniently, so-called ‘ultra-left’ (Naxals) is different from mainstream Communist parties. These Left liberal intellectuals and literary personalities have now joined hands to further their agenda of ‘ideological intolerance’.”
Justifying its bracketing of protesting writers with Shiv Sena and Pakistan, the RSS editorial says that all three are “fighting to save their space”.
“‘Secular’ media and intellectuals are not leaving any chance to question the government policies, which means, unlike Emergency, the freedom of speech and expression is intact in Bharat. Instead of using it effectively, why these literary figures opt for the award returning spree? Do they have any political agenda or they are afraid of losing their ’eminence’ acquired through political patronage? These are the obvious questions any democratic society would ask.
“The literary figures should answer these questions raised by many youngsters through social media platforms. Otherwise, they would be equated with Shiv Sena and Pakistan, crying foul to save their losing space, instead of playing a constructive role in nation building.”