Skip to main content

Objecting to opposition alliance name 'India' against inclusive values of our civilization

By Ram Puniyani* 
BJP has been in power for the last nine years. The opposition parties have gradually realized that it is not ruling on the lines of the Constitution and neither for inclusive India which should be based on Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Justice. BJP has also been using the agencies like ED, CBI as the major tool to weaken the opposition parties apart from its policies which on one hand have given boost to the Crony capitalists, and also has been undermining the democratic freedoms. Its politics is centered on the issues related to identity, Ram Temple, Love Jihad and many other jihads, Cow-Beef and hyper nationalistic postures against one neighbor. Its policies have increased the sufferings of the average and poor sections of society, be it the demonetization. Covid 19 lockdown at short notice or be it the rising unemployment, problems of farmers, increasing atrocities against dalits, Adivasis women and religious minorities. One can go on and on.
The selective use of Central agencies is one of the major concerns apart from realization that BJP is the richest national party, enhancing its riches through electoral bonds. PM care fund is another of the mechanisms which is disturbing the applecart of our system. To cap it all BJP has vast support of manpower from the various affiliates of RSS, which without fail; work for this party during elections. All this has made the non BJP parties to come together and form an alliance, INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance). This got formulated in their second conclave in Bangalore where 26 opposition parties met, to save democracy and constitution and to take on the might of BJP, whose organization goes from booth level to national level and works as a well oiled machinery.
As their coming together is becoming more and more realistic, BJP woke up to the march of the opposition parties. The first thing they did was to bring the NDA from the freezer and tried to put together some38 parties, few known and most unknown rag tags, together under the umbrella of NDA. Most of the party leaders were bowing to the supreme leader, whose photo was the only one which was on the banner. They were deeply stung by the brilliant acronym INDIA. Apart from denigrating these opposition parties some of their leaders also said it is improper to use this acronym. As per them use of the name of INDIA will have undue influence and will be a personation at elections," news agency ANI reported. They also filed a police complaint at Barakhamba police station in Delhi.
Assam Chief Minister Hemant Biswa Sarma has tried to take comment at different levels. As per him, our civilizational conflict is pivoted around India and Bharat. The British named our country India and we must try to free ourselves from colonial legacies. Our forefathers fought for Bharat and we will continue to work for Bharat.”
Responding sternly to him, Jairam Ramesh of Congress tweeted, “His (Sarma’s) new mentor, Mr. Modi, gave us Skill India, Start-up India and Digital India—all new names for ongoing programmes. He’s asked CMs of different states to work together as ‘Team India’. He even made an appeal to Vote India! But when 26 political parties call their formation INDIA (Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance), he throws a fit and says use of India reflects ‘colonial mentality’! ...”
Stung by this he changed ‘BJP for India’ to ‘BJP for Bharat’ on his twitter handle! As such civilzational conflict and values, which he is mentioning, are being articulated by many pro Hindutva writers. JNU Vice chancellor Shantishri Dhulipudi Pandit pointed out “Reducing India to a civic nation bound by a Constitution disregards its history, ancient heritage, culture and civilization” Many other writers from this stable are saying that civilizational values, should be given preference over values of Indian Constitution.
Their interpretation of Indian civilization is narrow; it harps on mainly Brahmanical traditions of Hinduism. The interaction with Greeks, Huns is ignored and the coming of Islam and Christianity is looked down upon as being a ‘foreign’ invasion on our civilization. This narrative is totally in contrast to the understanding of Indian civilization aptly put by Jawaharlal Nehru, “She was like some ancient palimpsest on which layer upon layer of thought and reverie had been inscribed, and yet no succeeding layer had completely hidden or erased what had been written previously…”
The worldview of Hemant Sarma and company is fixated on the glorious past where the Brahmanical values ruled. In their view even the great Indian traditions contributed by Charvak,Buddha, Mahavir, Emperor Ashok, the contributions of Bhakti-Sufi traditions have no place. Their immense hatred for ‘left’ historians like Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, Ramsharan Sharma, Harbans Mukhia and the like is also rooted in their view of the civilization revolving around birth based caste and gender hierarchy. These professional historians brilliantly brought out the deeper dynamics of society, they were concerned not just about the ‘religion of the ruler’ but deeply outlined the lives of dalits, women, Adivasis among others, the real diversity of Indian civilization.
As such the colonial legacy is carried on today by the likes of rightwing stream which looks at history through the constructs of colonial masters. Their goal was to divide the society along religious lines so they introduced ‘communal historiography (looking at history ‘though religion of the king). This is the premise of the likes of Hemant Sarma. Capping the communal historiography they have added the upper caste-patriarchal notions in their narrative and have made this the basis of their exclusive politics.
Their main obstacle is the Indian Constitution. As Indian nationalism started growing they began glorifying Manusmriti and its laws and labeled ‘Muslims, Christians and Communists’ as the internal threat to their nationalism. The opposition to the Indian Constitution has been openly articulated by this politics, most clearly by K.Sudarshan, previous RSS Sarsanghchalak, who said the constitution was of no use for the people of the country”.
Undoubtedly the opposition to INDIA of the opposition parties is a major step to oppose the inclusive values of our civilization. As such, the Indian constitution itself is an outcome of evolving Indian civilization. The opposition to the INDIA alliance is also rooted in the thesis which sees ‘civilizations in clash’ (Samuel Huntington), in contrast to what UN report which emphasizes on Alliance of Civilizations, well articulated in Nehru’s above quote. Hope INDIA prevails over the divisive politics of the likes of Hemant Sarma.
*Well known political commentator. On Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest Website, App



Crucial to revisit roots, embrace core Hindu principles: love, compassion, harmony

A note on religious leaders'  Satya Dharam Samvad in Haridwar: *** In a groundbreaking gathering, more than 25 religious leaders including Swamis, Acharyas, Pujaris, Gurus, and Sadhvis from all over India convened to discuss the tenets of Hinduism on September 16th, 2023, in Haridwar, to discuss and discern the current trajectory of Hinduism. This brand new initiative, the Satya Dharam Samvad, was inspired to organize its first assembly in response to the December 2021 Dharma Sansad, where hate speech and calls for violence against the Muslim community contravened the essential principles of Hinduism. Religion is being used to incite riots among Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, etc. In the face of such hatred, Swami Raghavendra felt that something meaningful should be done in the present climate. 

Commodification of road accident deaths: The hidden health hazard of motonormativity

By Chandra Vikash*  Jahnavi Kandula, an Indian student from Andhra Pradesh, studying in America was killed in a road accident by a police motor car in January 2023. Now, 8 months after the accident, a bodycam video of Daniel Orderer, who is the vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, has gone viral on social media. He was laughing at her death and saying that “she was 26 years old, anyway… she had limited value… just give her $11,000 (ie Rs 9.13 lakh)”.

Maoist tendency of mechanically adhering to Chinese path ignores Indian conditions

By Harsh Thakor  The C.P.I. (Maoist) formed in 2004 with merger of the C.P.I. (M.L) Peoples War and the Maoist Communist Centre has demonstrated courage in intensity compared to any great revolutionary struggle in the history of the world. It leads the largest armed movement of a Peoples Guerrilla Army in the world today and proved themselves as the true torch bearers of the Indian Communist movement.

We need to resurrect Neruda, give birth to poets of his kind amidst neofascist rampage

By Harsh Thakor  On 23rd September we commemorate the 50th death anniversary of Pablo Neruda, whose contribution to revolutionary poetry was path breaking. Pablo Neruda’s poetry manifested the spiritual essence of revolutionary poetry and how poetry was a weapon for a revolutionary struggle. The story of his life illustrated the spiritual transformation undergone a human being to transform him into a revolutionary and how environment shapes the lie of revolutionary.

Understanding universe, time, space: A crucial, unresolved question before humanity

By Prof Sudhanshu Tripathi*  A crucial question before humanity, still unresolved, is to comprehend the true nature and expanse of Time and Space in Universe. If both are indeed limitless, there is no question then to go beyond them. Because both Time and Space are indeed the two key determinants in this mundane world which define the very expanse of the life period of all living organisms and non-living entities and their relative spatial area producing mental and extra-mental consciousness. 

Abrogation of Art 370: Increasing alienation, relentless repression, simmering conflict

One year after the abrogation by the Central Government of Art. 370 in Kashmir, what is the situation in the Valley. Have the promises of peace, normalcy and development been realised? What is the current status in the Valley? Here is a detailed note by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties , “Jammu & Kashmir: One Year after Abrogation of Art. 370: Increasing Alienation, Relentless Repression, Simmering Conflict”:

Informal efforts to help children of remote Bundelkhand village unable to go to school

By Bharat Dogra  Rajaram Ka Purva is a remote rural hamlet in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh inhabited by the poorest of the poor. Almost none of the children in this hamlet are able to go to school. The reasons relate to poverty, distance of the nearest school as well as the unsafe path to school.

2024 elections in India: An agenda for justice, peace, democracy and environment

By Bharat Dogra  As debates leading up to 2024 union elections in India preceded by some important state assembly become intense, it is not enough to talk about election alignments among various political parties and their seat adjustments; the questions relating to the most important priorities and a future agenda based on justice, equality, peace, environment protection and democracy must get the most importance.

Job opportunity in unexplored territory... to bulldoze hurdles on way to Akhand Aryavart

By Abdul Puncharwala*  Baba and Mama the Jai-Veeru Jodi of Shuddh desi politics bring an excellent opportunity of employment to all the bright matriculate drop-outs busy with their Insta and YouTube reels. Keep your phones aside for a moment and read this advert carefully. It is going to change your life forever.

By undermining Dravidian politics, can Tamil Nadu regain glory of Kamaraj governance?

By NS Venkataraman*  For over fifty years now, Tamil Nadu has been ruled by two Dravidian parties namely DMK and AIADMK alternately. Before the Dravidian party came to power, Tamil Nadu was ruled by the congress party and had experienced the golden rule by K. Kamaraj who was succeeded by Bhaktavatsalam for a short period.