By Shaheen Nazar
NewDelhi: Days before his retirement, a senior officer of the Indian Police Service has raised questions that may be music to the ears of the present-day rulers. But, for those who believe in the rule of law, his rants raised a question of propriety.
M.Nageswara Rao has held as high a position as interim director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Currently director-general of Fire Services and Civil Defence, he is a known sympathiser of ‘Hindutva’ and a controversial officer because of his style of functioning.
On Saturday, he tweeted a series of four slides titled “Story of Project Abrahamisation of Hindu Civilization”. Supporters of Hindutva have described Abrahamisation as the process by which tenets of Hinduism are modified to have features of monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam).
He named Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and all the Muslim and ‘leftist’ leaders who headed the Ministry of Education and said that they “were in charge of Indian mind space” from 1947-77. These ministers engaged in “widespread distortion of history” and “whitewashing of bloody Islamic invasions” and other activities, he claimed.
His tweet attracted considerable criticism.
Prof. Mohammad Sajjad of the Department of History at AMU, when contacted by Clarion India, said there was no need to go into history. “It’s crude vilification of Muslims. In fact, to have debate on these topics is uncalled for.”
He said certain kinds of people holding high offices made a political profile for themselves by uttering such divisive words, and the regime of the day often rewarded them with certain favours. “That’s the incentive they seek. Since this is coming out from a very high officer of the government rather than a political worker, it is, therefore, much more tragic,” he added.
Prof. Sajjad said these things were happening so recurrently that “it no longer shocks us. That is even more tragic.” He was of the view that saner elements within the Hindu majority should fight out such evils.
Saying that “as nation we have become sick,” he asked: “Should one derive a conclusion that the BJP has got nobody else other than these kinds of people with a foot-in-the-mouth disease?”
Through his tweets, Rao listed six points: “1. Deny Hindus their knowledge, 2.Vilify Hinduism as collection of superstitions, 3. Abrahamise Education, 4. Abrahamise Media & Entertainment, 5. Shame Hindus about their identity, 6. Bereft of glue of Hinduism, Hindu society dies.”
Retired diplomat K.C. Singh tweeted, “He may yet live to regret such bigotry. But the nation is already a loser to have such persons in uniform.”
Other Twitter users questioned Nageswara Rao’s adherence to “constitutional values” expected of a government servant, while some asked whether he was bidding for a post-retirement job.
“Four more days left for retirement. Tried to extend his ‘service’ and even for DCBI Chair claiming ‘Date of Birth in service records is wrong and am much younger’ but didn’t work. So, now for post- retirement jobs. Best wishes sir,” tweeted Arvind Gunasekar.
Following his Tweets, The Indian Express approached him, but Rao said he was “busy” and would “get back”. But he did not despite repeated reminders, said the newspaper report.
Rao was appointed CBI interim director on October 23, 2018, following a turf war between the then director Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana. Shortly after taking charge, Rao ordered more than 100 transfers, including that of the investigating officer for the high-profile ‘ICICI Bank loans case’ a day after the FIR was registered. He was given his current posting in July last year.
Rao has had a controversial career with questions over his perceived proximity to Hindutva ideology, and about his wife’s alleged financial transactions with a Kolkata-based trading company. He had denied charges of “unaccounted money” being held by his family.