AS POLITICAL NATIONALITY DWINDLES, KANDHAMAL RECAPITULATES TO COMMUNAL NATIONALITY: SHOULD WE NOT START FOR A REMEDY?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Political nationality has become so irrelevant for Orissa Government that when a Christian communalist leader, John Dayal, was allowed free passage into Kandhamal, a former Chief Minister of Orissa, Mr. Hemanand Biswal, though a Hindu Tribal, known for his spotlessly clear secular conduct and gentlemanly manners amongst politicians, was debarred from paying a visit to the district of Nature’s simplicity that is now burning under communal conflicts between the Christians and the Hindus.

The Central Government under Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh is no less responsible for such impasse. With Sonia, born Christian, as the uncrowned Empress of the set-up that Dr. Singh runs as the PM, Christian communalists have seemingly emerged as dictators of the terms of administration. Had it not been so, the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil would not have left Kandhamal without meeting the affected Hindu tribes.

Patil seems to have committed himself only to the Christians under pressure from the Congress leadership. By telling the Congress party secretary Tom Vadakkan, who met him with a Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) delegation on December 31, “If you insist, the government will consider” for an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), he has given enough indication that his ministry is ready to comply with any request if that suits the Christians.

He had not enquired from the Congress Secretary as to who was really responsible for the precipitation and what loss the other side of the tussle, the Hindus had suffered; as if trying to know of that would have been unbecoming of him! But he had lost no time in assuring the Christian delegation led by the Congress Secretary that all necessary steps to ensure protection for their members in Kandhamal would be immediately taken and proper compensation to the affected would immediately be paid.

With this mindset when he visited Kandhamal on January 2, he acted such clumsily that suggested that his only mission was as if to express solidarity with the Christian community.

Had he acted as the Home Minister of India he should have met all the rival communities and all the political parties to determine the reasons and remedies of the instant impasse. But he acted a Congress minister committed to confirm that the Christians being the minority community are the victims.

He embarrassed everybody who is against communalism by making the ministry he presides over a stooge of minority communalism.

Sycophants of Sonia are no doubt in the central ministry; but the central ministry becoming a protector of minority communalism is a misfortune for the country.

The country needs a ministry that will not protect any communalism: majority or minority.

But this is not possible in the present regime when the Prime Minister of the country is dancing to the tune of minority communalism that the Christians are playing!

Singh lent his ears to Gladys Staines, wife of Christian conversion activist Graham Staines, who the world believes to have been killed by Hindu fanatic Dara Singh, as she alleged that the Christians in Kandhamal are victims of communal conflict and lost no time in assuring her on the same day, i .e. 31 December 2007, that his Government “will not tolerate any efforts aimed at disturbing the communal harmony or secular fabric of our country”. If such calculated words of Singh were not meant against antagonists of minority communalism, his Home Minister could never have dared to completely ignore the Hindus during his assessment tour in Orissa.

India as a country is unique. It is the only country in the world where majority community has rejected the party of majority communality.

An USA interest server – as evidenced in the nuke deal – Man Mohan Singh could never have got the chance to become the country’s Prime Minister had majority Hindus of India not rejected BJP, the party of Hindutva, as to them, majority communality was also dangerous to democracy.

But it is also a country that has lost its limbs to the minority communality while extricating itself from foreign yoke. Alarmingly, the same minority communality has started asserting itself again against Indian sovereignty by test-attacking Bangladeshi authoress Taslima Nasreen at Hyderabad, by three MLAs of the Muslim Ittehadul Muslimeen (MiM) when she was addressing a press conference on August 09, 2007, even though she has practically been given Indian asylum. To say the least, the MiM action was an affront to Indian sovereignty; but to our bewilderment, MiM continues to enjoy partnership with Congress in enjoying power in Andhra Pradesh even after this assault on our sovereignty.

It would be wrong not to note that Muslim intellectuals have condemned the MiM attack on Taslima in no uncertain terms.

But despite that, in Kolkata, the activists of another outfit of minority communalism, All India Minorities Forum, unleashed such violence on its streets in demanding her ousting from there that the left front government had to pack her off with an air ticket to Jaipur, Rajsthan, on November 22, 2007 where later she alleged that she was not informed of her destination before reaching the airport. This indicates how alarming was the situation precipitated by a body of minority communalism in Kolkata, the citadel of left wing politics. But no sooner she reached Jaipur than she was shunted out to New Delhi as, of course, a guest of Rajsthan under insurmountable pressure from another organization of minority communalism, the All India Milli Council that had threatened the State with dire consequences if she was allowed stay any longer in Jaipur. On November 29, 2007, responding to her insistence that she should be taken back to Kolkata, as she alleged that she was as if in a prison in Delhi, Government of India told her stoutly that she should stay in Delhi in the condition she was required to stay or face deportation to Bangladesh from where she has come. Such a response from Government of India run by Dr. Man Mohan Singh is not surprising taking into consideration the Congress alliance with MiM that was the first to have physically assaulted Taslima at Hyderabad.

When Muslim minority communalism has in such a style asserted against Indian sovereignty in Taslima context, Christian minority communalism has not fallen behind. With the Central Government being steered by Sonia Gandhi it has become so very awesomely strong that the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil could not dare to meet the worst affected Hindus during his tour to Kandhamal lest he earns wrath of the Christians.

It is the Christians who precipitated violence. They erected a pendal on December 24, 2007 on the main road of Brahamanigaon to celebrate Christmas. The Hindu community of the locality objected to encroachment of the main road and advised the Christians to keep the road free. Christians dismissed them, which precipitated a showdown. Hindus destroyed the illegal pendal in retaliation to which Christian militants, armed with firearms, attacked the Hindus of the locality on December 25. Hindu houses were set on fire and a Hindu activist Laxmananda Saraswati was attacked near Daringbadi when he was heading for Brahmanigaon to perform a scheduled yagna. Sensing trouble, the Police rescued affected Hindus from Brahmanigaon and sheltered them in the Police Station. But Christian militancy has become so menacing that a mob of over 500 armed Christians attacked the PS with guns to kill the sheltered Hindus precipitating a gun-battle between them and the Police in which three of the Police personnel were severely injured when four of the attackers were reportedly killed. Infuriated, the Hindus, obviously the majority community, have reacted by making Christian prayer houses the objects of their rage.

Kandhamal district has a population of about 6,00,000 out of which Christians have succeeded in converting 1,50,000 into their fold and now through militancy as witnessed on December 25, 2007, they want to expand their hegemony. So, if anything, the ongoing impasse is the outcome of Christian minority communalism in Kandhamal.

Unfortunately the Union Home Minister did not allow himself to look into this reality.

The minority commission, the official apparatus for appeasement of minority communalism, also did not look into this side of the episode where agony of the affected majority community is lying unnoticed.

Smaller political parties like the Communists or the Samajvadi Party, under political compulsions (the party of the hoarders, black-market operators and private profiteers being also the party of Hindutva), are lenient to minority communities. This helps minority communalism in a major way, as has been our latest experience in the case of Taslima Nasreen in Kolkata.

So, India has now become of favorite prop of minority communalism. Though majority community in India is Hindu, majority of Indians are averse to the party of Hindutva as being a perpetrator of majority communalism that strangulates democracy, it is also the party of black market and private profit and is of narrow outlook. So very mean-minded is this party of vested interest Hindutva that when the institution of Sikh communalism, Akal Takht recognized the assassins of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (as she then was) as martyrs, it rather enjoyed that affront to our sovereignty.

This is another blot on India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.), which has, no doubt, decided to look the other way simply because honoring the former Congress leader’s killers fits splendidly with its unprincipled and partisan agenda,

commented even the Sikh Times.

It is known to history that the proto-stars of this vested interest party of Hindutva had done everything to increase intensity of majority communalism during the days of freedom movement, which had conversely flared up Muslim minority communalism that precipitated the partition.

It was then the outfit of Indian traders who were eager to replace the British traders in power so that the liberated country should provide them with their cherished market.

And without communalizing the majority they had no chance of grabbing power as majority of the freedom fighters as well as the people of India had adopted socialism as the creed on which the country was to be constructed. Therefore, they had tried to communalize the Hindus, as they were the majority.

They succeeded in pushing the country into partitioning but could not succeed in taking over power from the British. In power politics the party of majority communalism i.e. Hindu communalism was not supported by majority of Indians.

An ambitious but unstable Narasimha Rao having occupied Prime Minister’s chair, USA got a tremendous chance to use its stooge Man Mohan Singh to sabotage our Constitution and to subject our country to its hegemony by tagging us to GATT behind back of our Parliament, ushering in an era of scams and subterfuge, the like of which the country had never experienced. Had this frustrating experience not pushed our people into a panic and confusion, they would never have acquiesced into a circumstance where the vested interest party of Hindutva that prides over termination of Ganhiji’s life in the hands of a criminal like Nathuram and continues to pride over his posthumous denigration, could never have come to a position of heading a coalition government in the Center. Once in power, this party of private profiteers played such havoc with the life of the majority of Indians that its government opting for a premature death, a Hobson’s choice has ushered in the Congress to power again whereupon treacheries against our people like the nuke deal with USA are being projected as Indian decisions!

Hurt again and again under such treacheries, our peoples, mostly illiterate and unemployed, are resigned to fate and as refuge under fate leads into faith in the unknown and unknown is approachable only through religion, religious nationalism is slowly but steadily replacing political nationalism that had come to us through our struggle for freedom.

Knowing this process of metamorphosis, the vested interest elements are now active in transforming religious nationalism to religious passion. Religious passion gets expression in aggressive communalism and aggressive communalism in its natural course of applicability gets expressed in communal militancy and gives birth to communal nationalism. So, all sorts of religious nationalism in India are sharply changing into communal nationalism with devastative threat to political nationalism. When political nationalism becomes weak or irrelevant, imperialism gets it convenient to grab that nation. Agents of imperialism precipitate this situation by siding with communal nationalism, be it majority nationalism or minority nationalism.

Kandhamal is one of the laboratories of this mischief.

If you love India, defeat this mischief. Reject the agents of imperialism. Reject religions. Refuse to subdue your social entity to communal nationality.

And, to do this, you are to rise in revolt against accumulation of property in private hands. The founding fathers of our constitution had regretted that under unavoidable situations prevalent in the time of our independence they were compelled to keep right to property as a fundamental right as they were to finalize the Constitution not by “consensus” but by “accommodation” of the interests of the “propertied class”. Giving vent to his awareness of the shortcomings of the Constitution due to “accommodation” of “Right to property” as a “Fundamental Right”, Dr. Ambedkar, in his reply to the debate on the third reading of the Constitution, had said,

On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into life of contradiction. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic rights we will have inequality. In politics, we will be recognizing the principle of one man and one vote, one value. In our social and economic rights we shall by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny one man one value…We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up. (Constituent Assembly Debates, Vol.XI, p.979)

The inequality, to which our countrymen are subjected to, the mischief of denial of one-man one value in social as well as economic strata, is a mischief that is protected by the Fundamental Rights over Right to property. All the communalists are the protectors of this mischief. As Ambedkar had rightly predicted, unless this mischief is removed, India will fail to retain its relevance. And, then, who, other than the imperialists, would gain?

Faith in religion, belief in fate amongst the general public helps safe accumulation of property in private hands and the inequality that spreads needs more faith in religion and more belief in fate that the religious teachers or preachers ensure. These religious teachers or preachers cook up communalism, as this is the only device to keep the exploited people divided. With people divided, a country succumbs to imperialism.

So, if you love India, if you want our motherland to retain our independence and sovereignty, understand that faith in religion, belief in fate and collaboration with communalism are the weapons of imperialism that are in use against our political nationalism.

Rise against it. Defeat this design. Raise your voice against accumulation of property in private hands. Rise to remove the contradiction imbedded in our Constitution in form of Fundamental Rights to property, the contradiction on prompt removal of which the founding father of our Constitution had put so much stress, leaving the responsibility to post-independence generation of Indians.

If you rise against inequality and rise against communalism, agents of imperialism belonging even to your own generation, espousing shamelessly the interests of foreign and inland capitalists in India, may not be in dearth to oppose you.

But do not bother. Your motherland needs you.

Kandhamal is just a point wherein you can assess this need.

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  1. your article,sir, has now helped me understand dr ambedkar little more clear(little, of course,i know about him). the rest of the article contents are no-less than a pile of dynamite i suppose. i do not want to comment any further while admitting that i am for a wholesome living condition for all citizen of all countries of the world. sorry,though, it might seem to be a wishful thinking only. i am no Gandhi, let the future generation take care of the situation or perish as they may find it convenient. no one is saint in this game. thank you.

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