Published On : Mon, Feb 12th, 2018

The method behind the madness… why dark clouds of inglorious past are hovering over us again?


The release of controversial film Padmavat and the heated discussions on the medieval custom of Sati/ Johar woke me up to a scary fact. There were actually educated and elite people who were speaking up in defense of these customs! Unbelievably, even women.

I look around me and I see more and more educated people believing in ‘matching of horoscopes’, lengthy havans and pujas, wearing of ‘auspicious stones’ on every finger of their two hands… (Yes, and believing in, and practicing in subtle and not so subtle ways the caste system which as a result seems to be getting more rigid.)

These were the very customs of Hinduism that two centuries ago social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and his wife Savitri Phule followed by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar worked hard to repeal.


Roy pressured the ruling British government to outlaw Sati. The Brits till then were very reluctant to interfere in the religious beliefs and practises of Indians, but Roy still prevailed on them to have this inhuman practise banned.

Savitribai and Jyotiba began schools for girls where females of all castes, Brahmin as well as SC came to study. They began orphanages for the unwanted offspring of upper caste widows, impregnated by their own relatives. This couple persuaded the barbers of Mumbai and Pune to stop chopping hair and shaving of the heads of widows.

Dr. Ambedkar, who was born the same year as Phule died, thought of Jyotiba as his ‘hero’ and his Guru. But while Jyotiba, in liberating lower caste Hindus from the chains of slavery had rejected books of Hindu scriptures Ambedkar went a step further and extolled his SC followers to give up Hindu religion itself.

“You were born slaves but you shall die free men and women” he said as he inspired lakhs to give up Hinduism and embrace Buddhism.

Why are the dark, medieval customs being revived?

It is happening not by chance but by design. The sinister planning and scheming of some very well managed organizations pretending to be loosely strewn but actually very well connected like a spider’s net, enticing Indians belonging to a particular religion. Namely, the religion of the majority – the Hindus.

They would like to turn the clock back and take Hindus to the days of Manu and his scripture the ‘Manusmruti’ – which is blatantly anti women and in favour of Brahmin supremacy. (One of his gems of advise was – ‘women and domestic animals need to be thrashed regularly’.)

In enticing their ‘target’ group to ancient Hinduism they must do two things:

Create hatred and antipathy in their minds towards other religions like Muslim and Christianity.

Make the majority religion feel insecure and under threat of decimation in their own country unless they revert to age old Hinduism.

The modus operandi to achieve these twin aims

The creation of many ‘Babas’ who then fan out into mofussil hinterlands of the country gaining disciples aplenty. The younger the better.

Under the guise of giving spiritual advise and ‘tips’ on living gainfully and happily they indoctrinate their disciples with doses on Hindu customs which ought to be appreciated and revived.

They disseminate ‘facts’ on how the minority religion people are multiplying faster than Hindus and – unless we are careful – their populations will take over our own numbers in some decades.

They ‘caution’ and warn Hindu youth about how their sisters, their friends will be wooed and married by Muslim youth so that they and their families can be converted to Islam.

They recount details of how Christian priests operate, ‘helping’ the poor only so that they can convert them to Christianity. How vast sums of money come to India from foreign lands for this purpose.

(Not that sporadic incidences of conversions haven’t happened, but these are used to create a false sense of fear…)

You understand that this is mass indoctrination and not a person giving vent to his/ her feelings when they mouth the same sentiments often using the same words!

Unfortunately, even offspring of fair and secular minded parents seem to be turning minority-hating radical ‘Hindus’ with this coaching they seem to get from friends, classmates or watching videos on You tube.

The game plan

This has not happened overnight or even since 2014 when Modi won a land slide victory. It has been going on for decades before that and in fact BJP’s big win can be attributed to this.

It began with partition of the country when some Hindutva brigades began blaming Gandhi-Nehru for it, without quite understanding the background properly. (Partitioning their ruled terrains was a done thing for British – just as they created Pakistan from India, they created Israel from Palestine and other middle eastern Muslim countries, leading to two permanently unstable situations.)

But it seems to have begun in a concerted way after BJP was reduced to 2 in 1984 general elections. The brain of the party seem to have come to the conclusion that unless they script a narrative that will bag them the majority votes by playing the communal card, there will be nothing to differentiate them from Congress with its populist slogans.

The Rath Yatra of Advani was the launch of this course

BJP, earlier known as the Jan Sangh had tasted power when all the opposition parties had united to oust Congress after Mrs. Gandhi lifted Emergency. That party had been called Janata Party but it soon split up largely due to what was perceived as RSS influence and interference via Jan Sangh.

Even the post 1996 period when Vajpayee became PM for just 13 days showed the ‘political wing’ of RSS the need to up the ante where communalizing the Indian polity was concerned.

Advani’s Rath yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya, the ‘kar seva’ batallions and finally the felling of the Babri Masjid were all towards that end.

But the fact remains that despite all his grand gestures, Advani, with his origins in Sindh could not be a pro active minority hater. (Though he played a big part in the Babri Masjid demolition.) He was a ‘secular’ in his heart of hearts. Neither was Vajapayee.

The Modi – Shah model

It is with this government that they are trying to finesse the model of ‘ you run with the hare I’ll hunt with the hounds’. Or playing Jekyll and Hyde.

So while Modi in his speeches harps on development and industrialization etc. the BJP cadre headed by Shah sings the Hindutva tune. Often of course they inter change roles as well, when days before the UP elections Modi begins speaking of ‘samshan vs kabrasthan’. Local politicians protect Gau Rakshaks even after Modi ‘lambasts’ them once in a while in public speeches.

The dilemma of how to handle the Dalits

In this pandering of Hindus while exacerbating their insecurities, the stumbling block are the Dalits. RSS wants to bring them into the Hindu fold which is a contradiction in terms.

They want to glorify Ambedkar, but downplay his act of rejecting Hinduism and embracing another religion.

They want to uphold the rule of and by the upper caste, but do not want Dalits and OBCs to feel left out in the cold. So the solution is simple – get everyone under the umbrella of orthodox Hinduism redefined!

Will their inner contradictions become their undoing – again?

These contradictions have always been the undoing of RSS and its ruling wing – call it by any name.
With the saffron brigade tasting absolute power for the first time, at Delhi and in 19 states, it is futile to hope that they will give up the strident Hindutva model.

It is for rest of Hindus and Indians to decide if they want to be part of this sinister game plan.

Do they want to turn the clock back and go back to a glorious past that never really existed? Do they want to undo what our Reformers had striven to do in giving us a modern, liberal educated India?

Or do we want to reduce ourselves to being a Hindu Pakistan?

It is for our voters, specially the young ones, to decide.

Sunita Mudaliar, Executive Editor