For centuries, Bharat has been an embodiment of diverse cultures and languages. The salient feature of the country is that it is home to different communities representing a variety of cultures. One territory, one region, but each of them represents a distinct lifestyle and diverse culture in the society. Eating and drinking habits, dressing styles, etc. have been dissimilar from each other, still, this is such a distinctive quality of Bharat, which is not seen in the entire world. History is a witness to diverse communities, people from different strata and races living in Bharat with their distinct cultures.
Religion is not the only factor responsible for the change in culture, rather people belonging to the same religious denomination have dissimilar cultural practices based on the ground of race, territory and region. The culture of the Hindus of the South is diametrically opposed to the culture represented by the Hindus of the North. In North India, we witness conspicuous variations in culture on account of caste affiliations. Differences and variations notwithstanding, Bharat has been experiencing unity, amity and mutual cooperation. Despite variations in culture, all are living together for years, enriching the social fabric. This togetherness despite diversity forms the salient feature and identity of Bharat. Alas, at this time efforts are being made to erase this salient feature and efface this identity. The RSS’s conspiratorial plan aims to impose the culture of a particular hue on the entire country which has been boasting of unity in diversity for centuries, subjugating all the people to adopt one and the same lifestyle and deal with social affairs with one bent of mind. There is the insistence that marriage ceremonies, after-death rituals, celebrations on child-birth and all other social occasions should be conducted in one fashion. This is a typical RSS idea that is opposed to the disposition and identity of the country Bharat is and impossible to implant. It can never happen in Bharat that the Indian people coming from different communities, races and castes embrace one lifestyle and establish one social order. RSS can never succeed in this enterprise. Even after the British occupation, people from all castes and religions came together to throw away the yoke of slavery.
Citizens with distinct cultural and religious affiliations united to form a common platform against the British, forcing them to quit India. The blood of every Indian community is blended in our struggle for freedom. Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Dalits, Adivasis all participated, overcoming all hurdles, in the freedom struggle. People with diversity in culture, ideology and region rose from different directions to join the freedom struggle, but now the history of freedom struggle is being distorted; there is a conspiracy to push the heroes of the War of Independences into oblivion. Instead, those with a tainted character who evaded joining the freedom struggle and had even supported the colonial rule are being projected as heroes; their so-called sacrifices are being projected with utmost calculation, while the sacrifices Muslims made are forgotten, names of Muslim freedom fighters are being erased, their sacrifices and services are being obliterated from the pages of history. This is just one of the worst RSS conspiracies. So far as a distortion of history is concerned, this is not confined to the treatment being meted out to the Muslim mujahideen of freedom and tarnishing the image of the Muslims and their misrepresentation, distortion is being extended to the entire history of Muslim rule in India; historical facts are being twisted; false history is being created about the Muslim rulers; movies based on fictitious stories are being produced and in this way our new generations are being made distrustful of the Muslim rulers; minds of new generations are being polluted by falsifying history to the effect that the Muslim rulers were tyrants and oppressed the indigenous people and drove a wedge between Hindus and Muslims, though the truth and historical facts are contrary to the RSS oriented misrepresentation. Muslim rulers never discriminated against on grounds of religion. During the medieval period, Hindus occupied important offices under the Delhi Sultans- Slave/Turkish, Khilji, Tughlaq, Lodhi, Sayyid – and Mughal regimes – Hindus were appointed as ministers, commanders and governors.
Even today, the example of India is presented globally that people belonging to different religious denominations, castes and cultures are settled in India for several centuries living in harmony with each other with great intimacy. However, the RSS has drafted an inclusive ideology that envisages the erosion of diversity in culture and insists that all the citizens should consider themselves as the representative of a single culture; all of them should uphold the identity of the Hindu nation; the RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat is consistently focusing on this idea. For the last few years, he is repeatedly uttering in his speeches that all Indians are Hindu, sharing one ancestry and carrying the same DNA and therefore they should be looked upon as one nation. The objective behind this RSS position is to introduce the idea of one Hindu nation to the entire world. Until now, the idea of a Hindu nation has no recognition in today’s world. Moreover, the inhabitants of India have never been known as a Hindu nation; they have been identified so far as Brahmins, Rajputs and Dalits. For religion, the word Sanskrit appears in ancient records. Hindu and Hindutva have never been used for nation, religion and culture. The reality behind the word Hindu is that it is derived from ‘Sindhu’ which is also the root of Hindustan. No culture or nation has any relation with the word Hindu, but for the past two hundred years, a strategy is in place that declares the adherents of Sanskrit dharma as the followers of Hindu dharma. Gradually, Dalits were told that they too were included in the fold of Hindutva. Then, attempts were made to merge Buddhists, Jains and adherents of other religions into the Hindutva category. To top it all, now efforts are being exerted to represent Muslims as a permanent constituent of the Hindu nation; at the top of the agenda is the theory that all the citizens born in India are Hindus, but this theory of Mohan Bhagwat is contrary to reality, contradicting Indian traditions and is nothing but falsehood. The word Hindu has never been used for the nation, nor does the word Hindu possesses the ability to form the identity of a nation, Nation is built on the foundation of culture and civilization. Attempts are being made to trample on our rights and guarantees enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Freedom, equality, justice and fraternity are under threat. Plans are afoot to curtail the right to equality to all guaranteed by the Constitution. All resources are being employed to impose Manu Smriti and to relegate the Dalits once again to the position of slaves. In such conditions, it is necessary to follow the path of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation.
It must be conceded that the country is confronted with grievous state of affairs. The spirit of the Indian Constitution is getting eroded; instead of admitting that all the citizens of India are entitled to justice, equality and freedom, these rights are being treated as the prerogative of a particular group of people. There is a conspiracy to enslave Dalits and Adivasis and hatred is being implanted in the minds of the people in the majority against Muslims, Christians and other minorities. The names of the Muslims are being erased from the pages of history. Certain individuals who didn’t make any sacrifices are being projected as heroes of the War of Independence. In this kind of environment, can we conceive India as a cradle of peace; can the oppressed get justice, and can respect and honour of humans be maintained? At the top of all, there is a question that why at all the unique identity of Bharat is being effaced? Why this salient feature of Bharat is in jeopardy? Will these acts being committed with malaise to lead to development in Bharat, or enhance the country’s image across the world, or will the country suffer humiliation, disgrace and regret? At a time when the world is talking about pluralism in culture and diversity in religion, moving ahead with vigour towards secularism and democracy, why then RSS is behaving contrarily to these global trends to the detriment of the country’s development, success and distinctive identity?
Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alamis General Secretary, All India Milli Council