The worst possible thing for the Indian nation has been the politics practiced by Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. It has been unprincipled, placing personal aggrandizement over national resurgence, and rooted in corruption. Today due to what I call as Nehruism, the nation is at the weakest. India’s adrenalin has almost been drained.
We mutely witness terrorist attack, ensure that there is no retaliation by us, and treat captured terrorist as State Guests. What recently happened in Pune and Kokrajhar should awaken any patriot. I met several “moderate” intellectuals who dismissed this huge affront to our sovereignty as of “low grade explosives in Pune” (the IEDs did not explode) or “ethnic clash in Kokrajhar” as if that is inevitable, or that the murder of innocent Sikhs in Wisconsin USA as Sikhs’ fault for having beards like Osama Bin Laden. Indians have been programmed by Nehruism to be bereft of patriotic feelings.
Today Ms. Sonia Edwidge Albina Antonia Maino Gandhi has destroyed the Prime Ministership by creating diarchy of the PMO and the NAC. Manmohan Singh and his Cabinet colleagues perform much like circus lions do before a ring master. This in my opinion is the most dangerous phase of our national history.
Question is what do we do? Patriots must force an early election; in any case 2014 is not far off. To me, committed to democracy, we must eschew stunts like fast unto death staged with ayurveda treated water. Indian democracy survives because the broad masses are still with profound common sense as we saw in 1977.
General Election to the Lok Sabha is the only cure we have to get out this Nehruvian morass. As Jaiprakash Narayan told me in 1977, the existence of the organisational network of the RSS is still the bulwark on which we can base an assault against the Nehruvian skullduggery.
But coming to power is not enough if the next Prime Minister is a cheap imitation of Nehru or imbibed with Nehruism as we have seen in the past. Nehruism is capitulation for personal aggrandisement. We need a new style of politics now. Politics is the art of governance of an organised and civilised society. The rules of politics vary with the ideological foundation adopted by such a society. These rules therefore differ between democratic and authoritarian ideologies of governance. Hence the principles that guide politics will also depend on the ideology we adopt.
I advocate here today that politics with principles in India is possible only if each of us make an unshakeable commitment to a clear concept of the Indian identity.
My call today for protecting our democracy with its fundamental right to human freedoms is first and foremost for undiluted unity of Indians, a unity based on a mindset that is nurtured and fostered on the principles of human rights.
That will require for us Indians to be able to identify ourselves with this land, rivers, and our civilisational past of thousands of years. For this identity to flower, we need to commit to the following:
First, the definition of the identity of India. India is Hindustan, a nation of Hindus and those others who proudly accept that their ancestors are Hindus. Muslims and Christians are a part of the Hindustan if they accept this truth and revere it. This means we then become inheritors of a long continuous and glorious civilisational history.
A rudderless India, disconnected from her past, as a consequence, becomes a fertile field for religious poachers and neo-imperialists from abroad who paint India as a mosaic of immigrants not as a nation but much like a crowd on a platform in a railway station. India is connected to her hoary past because this India is a nation of Hindus and those others (such as Muslims and Christians) whose ancestors were Hindus. That definition applies to Jews and Parsis too because of inter-marriage and now proved by DNA testing.
It is this acknowledgement that remains pending today, which delays the unity of the nation on a historic identity based. We can accept Muslims and Christians as part of our cultural family when they proudly acknowledge this fact and accept that a change in religion does not require change of culture or values. Thus the cultural identity of India is undeniably, immutably, and obviously its Hinduness, that is rooted in Vedic values.
The concept of a collective Hindu mindset is being ridiculed as chauvinist and retrograde, even fundamentalist. The BJP is regularly advised by its enemies to purge out Hindutva from its poll plank to become more “acceptable”. This fatuous advice from enemies however deserves to be thrown into the dustbin where it belongs. There is nothing to debate in this because such a debate would only be dysfunctional and will disrupt the synergy between voter appeal and cadre morale that is necessary for electoral success of the patriotic forces.
Otherwise we may be numerous like goats and sheep but run helter skelter at the sight of just one tiger or hyena. Or we can be individually strong and well fed like circus lions, but obey the commands of a physically much weaker circus ring master. Hindu society today lacking a cohesive corporate identity, is thus in the process of becoming fragmented, and hence increasingly in disarray. This fission process is on simultaneously with the reality of millions of Hindus going to temples regularly.
We need today a mindset committed to retaliate when attacked. This defensive retaliation must be massive enough to deter future attacks. If terrorists come from training camps in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka, India must seek to carpet bomb those training camps, no matter what the consequences. If 5 lakh Kashmiri Hindus are driven out of the Valley by Islamic terrorists, we must arm and financially equip 10 lakhs of the able-bodied ex-servicemen Hindus to go with their families and settle in the former residences of the driven-out Hindus to keep the Constitutional guarantee under Article 370 of not maintaining the religious composition of the state.
If Bangladesh permits its population to infiltrate into Hindustan, then India must demand territorial compensation within the meaning of the Indian Independence Act of June 1947 passed by the British Parliament to legitimise Partition. The Act was framed on the principle that Muslims not wanting to live under what Jinnah called as the ‘hegemony’ of the Hindus, be carved out of undivided India, called as Pakistan, in proportion to it. One-third of Bangladesh Muslims now, after six decades after Partition, have already infiltrated back into Hindustan to live under Hindu ‘hegemony’.
That basic strategy of those who want to see a weak and pliant India remains the same as before: Making Indians to lose their self esteem by disparaging their tradition– the strategy of British imperialists for the conquest of India. Only the tactics have changed.
At the same time, the lack of Hindu unity and the determined bloc voting in elections by Muslims and Christians has created a significantly large leverage for these two religious communities in economic, social and foreign policy making. Thus, although Uniform Civil Code is a Directive Principle of state policy in the Constitution, it is taboo to ask for it because of this leverage.
It is not as if Muslims will not accept uniform laws when it suits them, even if it is against the Sharia. For example, Muslims accept Uniform Criminal Code under the IPC in India even though it infringes the Sharia, but resist Uniform Civil Code because it violates the same Sharia. Muslims accept Uniform Civil Code in Australia and USA, and now Germany and Japan.
Hence, in a democracy fighting elections are very important part of the struggle for implementation of an agenda for national renaissance. For this it is necessary for formation of a bloc vote of all those who cherish the Sanatana Dharma values. In India even if half of the Hindu population decides to vote as a bloc in elections, a government will be formed by a two-thirds majority. Therein lies the salvation for us who cherish our ancient values and aspire for a national renaissance.
Towards this end, I would suggest in my individual capacity, that the next election be fought by the NDA by seat adjustments and not by ideological compromise. Of the six parties in the NDA, five accept the Hindutva formulation for national integrity and progress. The sixth can then have seat adjustments with the five, and join on a Common Governance Programme to form the government later.
But the five parties of the NDA should vigorously campaign in the next general elections to Parliament on two issues: Fighting corruption credibly, and espouse Hindutva for national integrity. Muslim and Christian voters should be wooed on promise of fairness, co-option and security and not on appeasement. The broad masses of these minorities ache for co-option and justice, but the Congress has always chosen to court the Mullahs, Bishops, and foreign controlled intellectuals in their communities. NDA must not follow the same route. In any case if half the Brihad Hindu voters can be aroused to vote together for the NDA, majority in Lok Sabha is certain. The masses of the minorities would join anyway then.
(The writer is former Union Law Minister, Harvard University Professor and President, Janata Party).