Thursday, October 14, 2010

Imagine all living for today

hould we allow the end to justify everything? If so, one has to justify the communal riots going on in India. Because one of the major political parties, LK Advani-led Bharatiya Janata Party, has been using religion as means to their end. As general election is getting  nearer, Indians are doomed to witness more and more of such atrocities.No doubt, a party formed out of communal ideologies will always stand for their end-purpose. For BJP it is Rama Rajya, a welfare state deep-rooted in what they call righteousness.

But BJP looks like not knowing real essence of Rama and his welfare state. The party may be considering Rama as a Hindu deity or God who ruled ancient India. So for them Rama Rajya is just a “rajya” or country ruled by Rama. According to historians and scholars, Rama Rajya is far above petty politics. Rama or Ramachandra was definitely a legendary Hindu King. But it should also be remembered that, rather than being a religion, Hinduism was considered as a way of life in those times. So Rama Rajya could easily be attributed to Plato’s Republic and Thomas Moore’s Utopia. The world came to know Rama through the verses of Kalidasa, a renowned classical Sanskrit poet.

Kalidasa describes Rama Rajya in his epic poem Raghuvamsa in just four lines. Of the innumerable translations one goes like this: “As he (Shri Rama) was incorruptible, people were prosperous: as he provided then complete security, they were able to engage themselves in creative and productive activities; as he offered them leadership by example, he was like a father unto them; and as in their hour of distress he was by their side to wipe their tears, he was like a son.”

But the recent developments across India show that party is not bothered about Rama or his Rama Rajya, but the five letter intoxicating words POWER. The people of India gave them three chances and finally in 1999 they managed to form a stable government in Delhi and successfully completed the five-year term. What the country witnessed during their term was not Rama Rajya, but an extension of the Congress-led governments that ruled the country for decades. So when it comes to the efficiency of governance there is not much difference between Congress and BJP. The difference is that BJP’s ideology is rooted in religion.

It is an accepted fact that BJP managed to attain popular support and power through the Ayodhya episode, which led to shameful incidents of communal tensions that gripped the entire nation. Advani led the chariot of communal division during that time; now it is the turn of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi has begun his chariot-ride of riots to capture Delhi, the seat of power. As elections are getting nearer, Modi is taking the centre-stage and BJP and its allies are intensifying campaign. The outcome-communal clashes that erupted first in Orissa are spreading to other states. Reports are coming from other states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc. For argument sake the party could easily deny their role and hold Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) and Sangh Parivar for the atrocious acts. Why don’t they condemn? But it is no secret that RSS and Sangh are their allies and that BJP too has an active role in flaring up the riots.

Moreover, some even see dark hands of the very communal party at the terror attacks that recently struck the Indian capital. There are reasons to believe this theory too. Of the series of blasts that hit Delhi, the first terror attack came when BJP’s national executive meeting was about to conclude. And the first reaction of the party was their poll campaign-Strike against terror. So were they expecting a terror attack while they were winding up the party conference? Which makes one to think that plot to make terror attacks across the country was entirely the communal partyís agenda. Simultaneously communal riots appeared in Orissa, parts of Karnataka bordering Kerala. Most of them were unprovoked and one-sided. And the latest of them all is the massacre of a six-member family in Andhra Pradesh. On Sunday, a family including a two-year-old was burnt alive inside their house in a communal riot. Two days before this incident, on Friday 8 people died and 18 injured in Madhya Pradesh riots.

But not a single action of responsibility has come from the Sonia-led UPA government. Home Minister Shivraj Patil, for whose resignation BJP was crying for, is not opening even his mouth. Like a Bollywood star, as always, clad in two-piece suit and well-gelled shining hair, he visited riot-hit Orissa villages. Now the role has been taken up by junior minister Shakeel Ahmed. Why Congress is keeping mum? Sorry, we should not forget the “tireless effort” of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi to make the nation energy sufficient. Let us amass nuclear wealth. But leaders, is not the masses the real wealth? Or letting loose BJP to go on with its gimmicks is what Congress aiming at to build up their platform to go before people once the election dates will be announced.

The Left, who deserted UPA for making a deal with US, at last broke their silence. The party was engaged in opposing the Indo-US nuclear deal on the grounds of inability to make nuclear explosions. The report of six-member family burnt alive in Andhra Pradesh came up the party woke up from its slumber. Is it to please Telugu Desam whom they have announced political alliance with Telugu Desam Part? So, all are engaged. So who will look after the poor people who have fallen upon the hands of politricks.

All this gimmicks will go on because dividing common man communally is easy. The only salvation lies at the hands of people themselves.  Because as Marx said, “Religion is opium of the people.” Nothing can extinguish flares of religion-sparked tensions. Let me wind up with John Lennon lyrics: “Imagine all the people / Living for today/ Imagine there’s no countries/ It isn’t hard to do/ Nothing to kill or die for/ And no religion too/ Imagine all the people/ Living life in peace / You may say that I’m a dreamer /But I’m not the only one /I hope someday you’ll join us /And the world will be as one.” 

(The Gulf Today-Oct 14, 2008)

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