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Using National Heroes For Party’s Advantage – What BJP needs to stop doing now!

The galloping ahead of identity politics of the majority in present day India is nothing surprising to the progressive masses. They had repeatedly cautioned the fellow countrymen that once they elect someone hungry for the expansion of the right-wing school of thought to run the country, whimsical and massive changes in the country’s fraternal dynamics are bound to happen. The BJP, once it attained power in 2014, has brought about a string of neo-liberal and anti-people reforms, but that is not their own flaw. Along with that something more derogatory is also taking place, and that is the usage of national symbols and characters for the BJP’s benefit. The BJP has been repeatedly highlighting  singular aspects of many of our national heroes just for their own profit.  The “sangh parivaar” is frequently found constructing the past based on the requirements of the present.

The BJP’s stint till now has been one show of neo-liberalism and community politics. While it has stressed on the “Make in India” campaign, it has sold stakes of major public sector companies to private players. On one hand, it has been found preaching for development of the public-private partnership sector while on the other hand,  government employment has been paused for a year.

But the government is too clever to do such contrasting acts directly, many endeavors by the present government, which are against the people of the country, are carefully camouflaged by pomp and grandeur. Such as, The Prime Minister’s recent “Swachch Bharat” campaign, which met with a huge fan following. Celebrities poured in from above and below to get their so called “footage”, but has it really helped the cleanliness and sanitation scenario of the country? The answer is “no”, these NGO-type activities are the products of the liberalization of the economic policies of the government. The government of India has funds to publicize the campaign, but it does not have the necessary infrastructure to appoint sweepers at district and ward levels. In a country such as ours where unemployment is such a huge problem, such a step by the state would have been a revolutionary one in the employment of the uneducated sector. But instead, the BJP spent all its energy in trying to canvass the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi as someone, who had only spoken about one thing all his life and that is “sanitation”. They forget to attach necessary importance to Gandhi’s writings and speeches about communal harmony and continue bringing about reforms to suit the flavors of the majority, calling every Indian, irrespective of the religion one practices, a DNA-HINDU.

The fact that Mahatma Gandhi had fasted for the unity of the Hindus and the Muslims, has not been once highlighted in all the speeches delivered on his vision for  India. That Mahatma Gandhi had dreamt of an India free from communal clashes, such as the Hindutwa backed Godhra riots and the demolishing of the Babri Masjid, has been stored away in the depth of books, inaccessible to 90 percent of the country’s population.  The tolerance for religion that was so evident in Gandhi is absent totally in our present rulers, who claim to be his followers, they have been repeatedly stressing on the cleanliness agenda of the great personality neglecting these much important traces in his personality.  The BJP, being at the helm of power, is continuing to frame policies, favorable only to the Hindus, which is in direct contradiction to Gandhi’s policies. The recent demand of  construction of a temple of Nathuram Godse, who had assassinated Gandhi for Gandhi’s decision to financially help Pakistan, and was himself one of the pioneers of the Hindutwa Movement in the country, which had formed the roots of the BJP, leaves a black dot on the country’s respect for the Father Of The Nation.

But Mahatma Gandhi is not the only personality trapped in this web. The RSS and ABVP, both wings of the BJP, have even proposed Bhagat Singh’s relation to them, without any proof. In a report by THE HINDU, we can see,  ‘the Wikipedia page on Bhagat Singh underwent many editing changes on February 13 and 14, Valentine’s day ’. Many news channels even stated the wrong date of Bhagat Singh’s hanging on air. The BJP has been awfully silent on such matters.

But they have been vocal on matters relating to Bhagat Singh whenever it could influence their election plans.  Such as, when Warwick University professor David Hardiman, at a lecture in Surat, described the work of Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad as terror activities and addressed them as “terrorists”, just before the 2014 elections, the BJP landed a full throttle vocal attack on the professor claiming that if they come to power, they will see to it that the name of Bhagat Singh be written as a “martyr”. However, it is worth mentioning here that LK Advani, the BJP stalwart, had once misrepresented the fact about Bhagat Singh’s hanging in one of the writings and termed him a terrorist.

Bhagat Singh was an atheist and he has enumerated his ideals in his most famous essay “Why I am an atheist”, and since the RSS is based on a strict Hindu ideology, we can easily deduce that Bhagat Singh’s attachment to it cannot, in any way, be taken on their word unless proved by them in public. In his jail notebook, Bhagat Singh never proposed the practice of religion, but rather stressed on the class struggle imminent in the post-independence India,  he did not believe in any religious sentiments, he was a “people’s martyr” by heart and mind. Bhagat Singh, who is at times preached by the right wing as their own, had clearly written “I deny the very existence of that Almighty Supreme being… My grandfather under whose influence I was brought up is an orthodox Arya Samajist. An Arya Samajist is anything but an atheist. After finishing my primary education I joined the DAV school in Lahore and stayed in its Boarding House for one full year… Later on, I joined the revolutionary party… My previous faith and convictions underwent a remarkable modification… I had become a pronounced atheist.”. But sadly, these aspects of the martyr’s personality  are never brought to light in the RSS’s many rallies featuring Bhagat Singh.

These absurd claims of the ruling class have become possible because of the youth’s shortcomings in reading the writings of our heroes. The hype created by the ruling classes gets accepted easily by the masses under the massive liberalization and commoditization of the media, which forces them to view what the rulers want them to view.  The masses know about the great ideals that our national heroes lived by, and should be vigilant so that no cheap publicity stunt can shun their knowledge.

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