IAMC Weekly News Roundup – August 8th, 2016
In this issue of IAMC News Roundup
- 2002 post-Godhra riots: 11 get life term for killing a man, daughter in Mehsana
- Sri Rama Sene activists ‘Raid’ at Karnataka school over Urdu, Arabic classes: 13 more arrested
- No links between Naik, terror outfits, govt tells House
- Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin ‘fake’ encounter case gunned down
- Court rejects plea of Akhlaq’s family
- Punjab: Crackdown on ‘cow vigilantes’, Gau Raksha Dal chief booked
- 15 policemen suspended over Dalit’s death
- Dalit scholar demands action against Hyderabad University VC, takes on Sangh forces
- In one voice, opposition says Modi’s anguish about atrocities against dalits is ‘fake’
- ‘Fake’ cow vigilantes extort money in MP
Opinions & Editorials
- Why Modi’s Lambasting Of Cow Vigilantes Was Mere Lip Service – By Sanam Sharma
- Narendra Modi’s brotherly words for Dalits make his silence on Muslims ring louder – By Shivam Vij
- Open Season for Bullies – Editorial
- RSS man who said Una Dalit thrashing was a “law and order problem” is the new Gujarat chief minister – By Rajiv Shah
- Quit India Movement And The Hindutva Gang: A Story Of Betrayal – By Shamsul Islam
- GST passed: How fierce conflict between Congress, BJP changed into total consensus
- Indian Nationalism versus Hindu Nationalism: Politics of the RSS Combine – By Ram Puniyani (with and Introduction by Richard Boney)
2002 post-Godhra riots: 11 get life term for killing a man, daughter in Mehsana (Aug 5, 2016, Indian Express)
The Gujarat High Court Thursday awarded life imprisonment to 11 convicts for burning a man and his daughter to death in Mehsana district during the 2002 post-Godhra riots. The High Court reversed the order of a fast-track trial court which had acquitted all the accused in June, 2005, for want of evidence. This was challenged in the Gujarat High Court by the complainants and the state government.
The division bench of justice A S Dave and justice B N Karia pronounced the quantum of sentence while awarding life imprisonment to all the 11 convicts – Mukesh Amritlal Patel, Narendra Chimanlal Patel, Dinesh Jaswantbhai Patel, Kirit Somabhai Patel, Kirit Chandubhai Patel, Girish Ambalal Patel, Girish Chunnilal Patel, Mukesh Mahendrabhai Patel, Nilesh Naranbhai Patel, Janak Rameshbhai Patel and Mukesh Somabhai Patel.
The bench said that the sentences should run concurrently and not consecutively and ordered the convicts to surrender in 10 weeks.… The court supported the prosecution’s claim that the man and his daughter were chased by the mob, dragged from their Hindu neighbour’s house and burnt to death. According to the case details, the victims tried to douse the fire from a water tank in the compound of the Hindu neighbour, but the mob came back again and killed them.
- Guj govt moves HC against ex-IPS officer in 2002 riots CD case (Aug 2, 2016, India Today)
- Communal violence deprive minorities of their sense of belonging: SC (Aug 4, 2016, The Hindu)
- Bilkis seeks HC to consider her arguments against convicts (Aug 2, 2016, India Today)
- MP: Tension in Raisen town after Bajrang Dal men assault teen (Aug 7, 2016, Hindustan Times)
Sri Rama Sene activists ‘Raid’ at Karnataka school over Urdu, Arabic classes: 13 more arrested (Aug 2, 2016, Business Standard)
Thirteen more Sri Rama Sene activists were today arrested in connection with the “raid” on a school near here over alleged forcible teaching of Urdu and Arabic languages, taking the total of arrests in the case to 16, police said.
They were arrested on the charge of trespassing into the St Thomas Aided Higher Primary School in Bondantila near here on July 30. Around 50 Sri Rama Sene activists had raided the school for ‘forcibly’ teaching Arabic and Urdu to students. On a complaint from the school headmaster, three activists were arrested yesterday.
Meanwhile, the headmaster said that classes (in Urdu and Arabic) were being conducted for 40 students everySaturdayon the request of parents. Chief Whip of the Congress in the state Legislative Council Ivan D’ Souza condemned the raid by the activists. In a statement, D’Souza said he had asked the city police to be tough against groups trying to disturb peace and tranquility.…
- Muslim groups to unite against uniform code (Aug 7, 2016, Deccan Herald)
- Congress opposes govt reference of uniform civil code to Law Commission (Aug 4, 2016, Indian Express)
- Hindu Groups Oppose Entry of Islamic Finance in India (Aug 4, 2016, VOA News)
- Christian pastor brutally murdered by hundreds of militants in India (Aug 5, 2016, Christian Daily)
No links between the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and terrorist organisations have come to notice, the government informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
In a written reply, Minister of State for Home, Hansraj Ahir, said reports indicated that some known terrorists have reportedly been inspired by Naik, the president of IRF.
He said IRF was registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act, 2010, and foreign contributions and their utilisation were checked. In case of violations, Ahir said, action will be taken under the provisions of the Act.…
- Dr Zakir Naik objected to these statements made by Arnab Goswami (Aug 2, 2016, Twocircles.net)
- Home Ministry issues notice to Zakir Naik’s foundation (Aug 9, 2016, The Hindu)
- After TimesNow, Dr. Zakir Naik to send legal notices to other media houses (Aug 1, 2016, Twocircles.net)
- We were not converted forcefully, claim group of Muslim women (Aug 8, 2016, India Today)
Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin ‘fake’ encounter case gunned down (Aug 8, 2016, Times of India)
Renegade Maoist Md Nayeemuddin, wanted by CBI in Sohrabuddin Sheik’s fake encounter case was gunned down by Telangana police at Shadnagar town near Hyderabad on Monday morning.
Late on Sunday night, the special police team of Telangana State police had rounded up a house located at millennium Township in Shadnagar town of Mahbubnagar district after receiving an alert about the movement of renegade Maoist Md Nayeemuddin.
On Monday morning, a gun man of Nayeemuddin opened fire on the police and in the resultant encounter, Nayeemuddin was gunned down, Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma said.…
- Family of soldier, who died in Naugam encounter refuses to accept Rs 20 lakh cheque (Aug 8, 2016, Indian Express)
- Seshachalam encounter: 51 held for protest against Chandrababu (Aug 7, 2016, Times of India)
- NHRC chairman Dattu’s intervention sought to end “violent repression” of NGO monitoring extra-judicial killings (Aug 7, 2016, Counterview)
- Sohrabuddin encounter: Supreme Court dismisses plea against clean chit to Amit Shah (Aug 1, 2016, Times of India)
The Fast Track Court of Gautam Buddh Nagar on Tuesday rejected the Akhlaq family’s petition for further investigation into his lynching. Yusuf Saifi, the counsel for Bishahra lynching victim Mohammad Akhlaq, had in his petition requested further investigation in view of the, “fresh facts revealed by the villagers’ petition for a case of cow slaughter” against Akhlaq’s family.…
Mr. Saifi said three more residents of Bisada, who testified during the hearing of cow slaughter petition and had confessed to having been present at the spot during the time of the incident, should be included in the list of accused. “Three people, Sanjay Rana, Kancchi and Ompal, had confessed during the proceedings that they were present at the spot. Kancchi and Ompal testified in the court that they had caught hold of Akhlaq, while Sanjay said he called the police,” said Mr Saifi. “We brought it to court’s notice that it should direct the police to add their names in the FIR.”
Eighteen persons, including three juveniles, have been arrested on charges of murder and assault in the case. “Interestingly, while trying to prove that Akhlaq slaughtered a cow, the three above named people had actually confessed to their role in the crime as well. Sanjay Rana is the father of Vishal Rana, who is an accused in the case,” he added.
- Akhlaq murder case deferred to August 31 (Aug 8, 2016, Times of India)
- Modi’s statement on cow vigilantes came too late for Akhlaq, says UP minister (Aug 8, 2016, India Today)
- ‘This Isn’t A Scar On My Forehead, It’s A Scar On My Heart’ Says Akhlaq’s Son Danish (Aug 1, 2016, India Times)
- Repeat of Dadri? Mob attacks Muslim family house on suspicion of ‘cow slaughter’ in Muzaffarnagar (Aug 1, 2016, India.com)
In a crackdown on pseudo cow vigilantes, the Patiala Police on Monday lodged an FIR against ‘Gau Raksha Dal’ chief Satish Kumar in connection with a social media video showing organisation members “brutally” thrashing people in the name of cow protection.…
An FIR was lodged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC); however, Kumar is yet to be arrested.
In his first comments on the violence against Dalits by cow vigilantes, Prime Minister Modi has also asked the state governments to prepare dossiers on the so-called cow protectors as 80 percent of them do illegal activities at night and become cow protectors in the day.…
- Activists want ‘cow vigilantes’ booked for instigating riots and under SC-ST Act (Aug 4, 2016, Times of India)
- Cow death rumour sparks communal tension, 4 held (Aug 3, 2016, Indian Express)
- Muslim clerics slam PM Modi’s gau rakshak remark, urge him to read history (Aug 8, 2016, Catch News)
- Una Dalits’ flogging: PUCL, Dalit body submit fact-finding report to National Human Rights Commission (Aug 4, 2016, Indian Express)
Fifteen policemen were suspended and some of them booked for murder in Kanpur district after a Dalit youth was found dead in custody under suspicious circumstances on Thursday.
A case has been registered against the police personnel under the stringent Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the IPC Section 302 (murder) after relatives of the Dalit youth lodged a complaint.
Kamal Valmiki, in his mid-twenties, was reportedly picked up by police in Chakeri area late on Tuesday night along with his brother for questioning in a looting case. Another person, Raju Mistry, had also been apprehended along with them. On Thursday, Kamal was found dead in custody by his sister.…
- Dalit man dies in custody in Kanpur; family alleges ‘police brutality’ (Aug 5, 2016, First Post)
- ‘Beaten Like Footballs,’ Says Brother Of Dalit Who Died In Kanpur Cops’ Custody (Aug 5, 2016, NDTV)
- 3 of Hindutva group held for Bhatkal attack (Aug 6, 2016, The Hindu)
- Rs 200 per cow – the rate to let a truck through in Punjab (Aug 7, 2016, Indian Express)
Dalit scholar demands action against Hyderabad University VC, takes on Sangh forces (Aug 8, 2016, New Indian Express)
Dalit scholar Kancha Ilaiah today lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking a stand on the ‘gau rakshak’ forces but said that the latter must immediately sack Hyderabad University’s vice-chancellor Appa Rao if he is really serious and ensure that the Rohith Vemula issue makes justice.
Ilaiah, however, said that the Prime Minister’s statement has come too late as a large number of attacks on Dalits are happening in the country.… “And this was the place where Rohith Vemula was killed and then Raja Singh has been creating problem around ‘gau rakhshak’ in this very state from his own party which has become a national issue. So, I think if the Prime Minister is really serious, he has to immediately remove at least Mr. Appa Rao from his position and see that the Rohith Vemula issue makes justice,” he added.
Ilaiah also demanded action against BJP MLA Raja Singh, who had defended the cow vigilantes with his assertion that those who consume cow meat are bringing “disgrace” to the entire community and should be “taught a lesson”.…
- Gujarat govt “denies” Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia to Dalits killed in Thangadh police firing, as was paid to Patel victims (Aug 2, 2016, Counterview)
- Gujarat Dalits to dump ‘armed’ gods, says activist Prakash Ambedkar (Aug 6, 2016, Hindustan Times)
- Cow vigilantism sting operation ‘EXPOSED’ VHP, Bajrang Dal (Aug 6, 2016, Siasat)
- Protest Demonstration against Atrocities on Dalits (Aug 7, 2016, Peoples Democracy)
In one voice, opposition says Modi’s anguish about atrocities against dalits is ‘fake’ (Aug 8, 2016, Times of India)
Opposition parties on Monday said they were unimpressed with PM Narendra Modi’s speeches over the weekend when he dramatically urged that instead of committing atrocities against Dalits people should just shoot him.
The BSP, SP and the Congress said his anguish about atrocities against Dalits is not real. “PM Modi and the BJP kept quiet for two years. How have their eyes opened now? Uttar Pradesh and other states have elections soon, and they knew that Dalit people are not going to vote for them, that’s why the statement has come,” Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said.…
The Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav accused the PM of political opportunism. “Now that he sees that it’s going to cost him, then he brings the (dalit) issue to the forefront,” said Akhilesh, Uttar Pradesh chief minister.… The opposition Congress party also criticized him for evading questions in Parliament about atrocities against Dalits.…
- By speaking against ‘gau rakshaks’, Modi trying to save BJP in Gujarat: Congress (Aug 7, 2016, Indian Express)
- Mayawati attacks PM Modi over his statement that anti-social elements turn into ‘Gau rakshak’ (Aug 7, 2016, Times of India)
- Translate words into action : AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi to PM Modi (Aug 7, 2016, Indian Express)
- Gujarat CM change fails to impress, Dalits say nothing will change (Aug 7, 2016, Hindustan Times)
Police and some Muslim cattle traders have said that certain people posing as cow vigilantes in Madhya Pradesh are indulging in extortion, especially from the minority community, an allegation dismissed by those affiliated to Hindu outfits, who distanced themselves from those indulging in violence and extortion.…
“This has developed as a business in the last few years. Many of them have turned ‘crorepatis’. Some lower level policemen are also involved in this activity and get a share from these gau-rakshaks,” said another senior police officer, requesting anonymity.
Masood Ahmed Khan, secretary, coordination committee for Indian Muslims, MP unit, said Muslim meat traders were being harassed by the so-called gau-rakshaks.… “Most of the people who are stopped on highways are from Muslim community. The aim is to extort money,” said a Muslim leader of Nimar, requesting anonymity. “There are some people who earn 50,000-60,000 per month just by intercepting these trucks. Most of the victims fear to speak against them and hence the issue never reaches police. Police also know what is going on, but they get their cut,” he said.…
- At receiving end of cow vigilantism, RSS-affiliated Muslim body suspends gaushala plans (Aug 9, 2016, DNA India)
- Attacks by cow vigilantes higher in BJP-led states: AAP leader Sanjay Singh (Aug 6, 2016, India Today)
- 8,122 cows died since Jan at Hingonia gaushala: Rajasthan govt (Aug 6, 2016, The Tribune)
- Gau rakshaks disappear as nearly 500 cow carcasses stink of hypocrisy in Rajasthan (Aug 6, 2016, First Post)
Opinions and Editorials
Why Modi’s Lambasting Of Cow Vigilantes Was Mere Lip Service – By Sanam Sharma (Aug 8, 2016, Huffington Post)
…Tall promises were made about a potential “Modi Sarkar” and the people bought in. Narendra Modi’s claim to power was built on two significant pledges. First, he professed to having a “56-inch chest” necessary for fronting a nation such as India. Second, he made a solemn promise to usher in “acchhe din”, or good days, for India and all Indians. More than two years on, Mr Modi and his government have miserably failed on both counts.… Honourable Prime Minister of India, you have remained markedly absent as the leader of the nation in taking a meaningful stance against the growing communal tensions within India. To be brutally honest, such tensions seem to have grown under your government.
So it was a bit surprising when recently, for the first time, you chose to denounce the so-called “cow vigilantes” and spoke up for the Dalits and the marginalized. That you chose to publicly speak against this breed of hooligans is worthy of appreciation, but, the message itself came across as half-baked. It came across as a token rebuke uttered by a Prime Minister who perhaps was advised by his media experts to “say something” before it all gets out of hand.
Your castigation, Mr. Modi, of the “self-styled cow vigilantes” is an arbitrary, bracketed tirade towards one creed of criminals. If one was to read between the lines, you continue to remain silent about the bigger outfit of thugs and bigots who propagate such communal crimes and are affiliated to your political party. Your derision does not identify this matter as a law and order issue where citizens are being insulted, injured, and lynched. Instead, through carefully placed words, your message tries to demarcate the “correct” way of retaining communal divisions.…
- Why I’m not convinced with what Modi said about Gau Rakshaks – By Ashok Swain (Aug 7, 2016, Dailyo.in)
- Listen to the PM – Editorial (Aug 8, 2016, Indian Express)
- Hold back – Editorial (Aug 9, 2016, The Telegraph)
- Stung by Dalit Backlash, Modi Eats His Own Words on Cow Slaughter – By Siddharth Varadarajan (Aug 7, 2016, The Wire)
Narendra Modi’s brotherly words for Dalits make his silence on Muslims ring louder – By Shivam Vij (Aug 8, 2016, Quartz India)
India’s hyper-communicative prime minister is known to keep his lips sealed on the misdeeds of his Hindu nationalist fellow-travellers. Last weekend, he made a departure in light of the brutality in his home state, Gujarat, where self-styled cow protectors flogged seven Dalitswho were skinning a dead cow on July 11.…
This rearguard action may not have been needed if Modi had spoken up earlier when Muslims were being killed – not just flogged – by a similar set of thugs.… In September 2015, a mob in Dadri, an hour’s drive from Delhi, lynched 52-year-old Mohammed Akhlaque on suspicion of eating cow meat. Like with the Una incident, it took Modi many days to comment.… It didn’t matter to him that the accused in Akhlaque’s lynching were associated with his Bhartiya Janata Party. Nor was he outraged at his own ministerial colleagues trivialising the incident.…
Such vigilantes have been assaulting Muslims increasingly often. On July 30, a mob in Muzaffarnagar in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) attacked the house of a Muslim family over cow slaughter. On July 26, a mob at a railway station in central India’s Madhya Pradesh state beat up two Muslim women suspected to be carrying beef. On March 18, two Muslim cattle traders were killed and hanged from a tree in Jharkhand state, neighbouring UP. Last October, a suspected cattle-smuggler – again, a Muslim – was lynched in Himachal Pradesh. At least four Muslim deaths in the name of the cow within a year and Modi was blaming state governments.… In short, Modi’s words of concern for Dalits, while appreciated, make his silence for Muslims ring louder.
- Killing Muslims OK! Hope this is not what Prime Minister Modi wants to tell Gau Rakshaks – By Aleem Faizee (Aug 8, 2016, Ummid.com)
- Dadri Lynching: FIR Against Akhlaq’s Family a Conspiracy? – By Poonam Agarwal (Aug 10, 2016, The Quint)
- Lessons in prevarication – By Neera Chandhoke (Aug 9, 2016, The Hindu)
- Why Gandhi opposed legislative ban on cow slaughter – By Saswati Sarkar, Shanmukh and Dikgaj (Aug 8, 2016, Dailyo.in)
The lynch mobs of right-wing Hindu nationalists have become more brazen than before. Lynching is defined as an act of extrajudicial punishment by a group, usually an informal one. Vigilante gangs who take the law into their own hands have been rather active in recent times: from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh when a mob killed Mohammad Akhlaq in September 2015 for allegedly storing beef in his home to July 2016 when four young Dalit men were publicly flogged in Una, Gujarat, on the unsubstantiated suspicion that they had killed a cow.
The lynch mentality that pervades sections of the current ruling regime has gone beyond turning a blind eye towards their supporters who physically attack the weak and the vulnerable. Those in positions of power and authority are tacitly and overtly encouraging the intimidation of those whose views are different from theirs. The message that is being sought to be conveyed is loud and clear: do not meddle with us; we can make your life miserable.…
The likes of Parrikar and Goswami, different as they may appear, are emboldened because of the deafening silence of our otherwise loquacious Prime Minister.… The clear pattern that has emerged today has a context. The “teach them a lesson” mentality led to the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in November 1984, the killing of Muslims in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, especially in Mumbai, and the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002 and in Muzaffarnagar in 2013. When such an attitude is endorsed by those who rule, it becomes open season for those who threaten, maim and murder. Cyberbullying mirrors and becomes reflections of what happens on the ground. The question that needs to be raised: Does Modi’s silence suggest complicity?
- Torture and backlash – By Anupama Katakam (Aug 19, 2016, Frontline)
- Bolder by the day – By G.T. Satish (Aug 19, 2016, Frontline)
- The dalit factor in Indian polity – By Poonam I Kaushish (Aug 3, 2016, The Hans India)
- With Narendra Modi govt under fire, is BJP afflicted with a ‘Dalit problem’? – By Prakash Nanda (Aug 3, 2016, First Post)
RSS man who said Una Dalit thrashing was a “law and order problem” is the new Gujarat chief minister – By Rajiv Shah (Aug 5, 2016, Counterview)
…An RSS cadre jailed during the Emergency, one who strongly believes that there has to be a Hindutva backdrop to every political action and developmental policy, Rupani, as state BJP president, however, is seen to be a failure in establishing direct rapport with Dalits, protesting against the thrashing of four Dalit boys for skinning a dead cow on July 11.
Rupani calls the thrashing incident a “law and order problem” which has been “blown out of proportion”, adding caste is “not an issue in Gujarat.” Said a party insider, “The BJP’s Dalit leaders are unhappy, despite belonging to a region where the incident took place (Saurashtra), Rupani never visited Una, nor did he meet the four Dalit victims when they were under treatment in Ahmedabad.”…
Even before a chief minister was announced, (Nitin) Patel ensured that his profile was sent out to newspaper offices, posters welcoming him as chief minister were put up in Mehsana, his home district, and his wife began distributing sweets.…
- Gujarat’s change of guard – Editorial (Aug 8, 2016, The Hindu)
- Gujarat: Make or mar battle for Vijay Rupani – Editorial (Aug 8, 2016, Free Press Journal)
Quit India Movement And The Hindutva Gang: A Story Of Betrayal – By Shamsul Islam (Aug 7, 2016, Countercurrents)
This August 8, 2016, we are commemorating the 74th anniversary of the Quit India Movement [QIM].… However, what role the then Hindutva camp – consisting of the Hindu Mahasabha and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – played in the QIM is under wraps for reasons unknown. The Hindutva camp not only opposed QIM but also provided multi-faceted and multi-dimensional support to the British rulers in suppressing this historic mass upsurge. In this connection shocking documents are available; these should be read to be believed. ‘VEER’ SAVARKAR JOINED HANDS WITH THE BRITISH RULERS & MUSLIM LEAGUE IN SUPPRESSING QIM…
While the Congress cadres and large sections of the Indian masses were facing immense repression of the colonial rulers and decided to boycott the state institutions, the Hindu Mahasabha decided to cooperate with the British rulers. The other flag-bearer of Hindutva, the RSS, was not different in its attitude towards the QIM. It openly sided with its mentor ‘Veer’ Savarkar against this great revolt.…
These historical documented facts make it clear that Hindutva gang led by RSS not only betrayed QIM but also rendered great service to the British masters…. Shockingly, this gang is ruling India today describing itself as a symbol of Indian nationalism. We need to convey these facts to the Indians so that these traitors are exposed and charged for crimes committed against India.
- Free speech means right to dissent – By Olav Albuquerque (Aug 5, 2016, Free Press Journal)
GST passed: How fierce conflict between Congress, BJP changed into total consensus (Aug 3, 2016, First Post)
The Monsoon session of Parliament 2016 will go down in history as the one which passed the landmark The Constitution (122nd Amendment) (GST) Bill, 2014 with 203 Ayes and 0 Noes. The AIADMK which had wanted six amendments, as expected walked out after registering their point. All present and voting in Rajya Sabha were for passage of the Bill. No one opposed it.
That meets the constitutional requirement for a constitutional amendment bill – that it shall be passed by no less than half of the members of total strength of the House and no less than two-third of present and voting. Since the Rajya Sabha introduced a few amendments while passing the bill, the Lok Sabha will now have to pass the revised bill before the Monsoon session ends on 12 August. But given the numbers of the NDA in Lower House and all parties arriving at a larger consensus, its passage is not expected to be problematic.
With Congress and BJP moving from totally conflicting positions on the bill over the past few years to arriving at a virtual unanimity, the passage of the bill shall forever be quoted as a test case to all students of politics, economics and law.…
- Constitution Amendment Bill, Not GST – By Political Commentator (Aug 7, 2016, People’s Democracy)
Author: Ram Puniyani (with and Introduction by Richard Boney)
Reviewed by: Dr V Krishna Ananth
Available at: Pharos Media & Publishing Pvt Ltd, D-84 Abul Fazl Enclave-I, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi 110025 INDIA, 2016. Price Rs. 250.. http://www.pharosmedia.com/
History And Nation Making (Aug 5, 2016, Countercurrents)
…Ram Puniyani’s recent work, which is a revised and expanded version of his earlier work titled Fascism of Sangh Parivar is indeed one that belongs to the league of studies that seek to reiterate the importance of history as well as the pressing need in our times to save history from the hands of the negationist school (the followers of Konrad Elst in other words). That this school is now blessed with resources at the disposal of the state and a wide section of the media has turned into their handmaiden is a reality that calls for concerted attempts on the part of those who care for the democratic foundations of our nation. Puniyani certainly should be counted among those and the book under review is indeed a need of the times.
The concept of nationalism had assumed a lot of importance in the political discourse in the past two decades. L.K.Advani, who had emerged into the prime spokesperson of the Bharathiya Janata Party in the early 1990s (riding the Rath Yatra and thus placing the Ayodhya dispute on the centrestage of the nation’s politics) did not shy away from declaring that the struggle he led was between two approaches to nationalism; and that he represented the idea of cultural nationalism.
Puniyani’s work is an account of these conflicts and the distinct role of the RSS, since its inception, vis a vis the rising tide of nationalism spearheaded by the Indian National Congress. While most of these have been dealt with in works on the nationalist struggle in yesteryears the fact that the nation today is once again confronted by concerted attempts to deny the democratic foundations of this struggle and thus a rewriting of history to represent the idea of India as merely a cultural notion rooted in the Hindutwa context makes such a work necessary as well as a weapon in the struggle for democracy and the centrality of secularism in this trajectory.…