DR. S. AUSAF SAIED VASFI presents a critical analysis of the brutal assault on the senior lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan in the name of Patriotism and Nationalism, and appeals to political parties, social activists and whistle-blowers to take serious notice of it.
In this Section
Patriotism too, like secularism, appears to be a hat that has lost its shape and can now fit on any fifth columnist’s head.
Otherwise, how would you explain the brutal assault on Mr. Prashant Bhushan in his chambers in the Supreme Court of India on October 12 by three thugs, belonging to a hitherto unknown fascist outfit, the Bhagat Singh Karanti Sena (BSKS).
Impudent and unashamed, the admirers of the assailants, the following day, battered the supporters of the lawyer-activist in the premises of Patiala Court in the police presence.
The senior lawyer and social activist was ferociously slapped, punched, kicked and dragged from his chair to the floor to belabour him at will. The plural nation was appalled to the barbaric scene on TV cameras as the anti-corruption crusader was giving an interview to the Times Now channel. What surprised the country was the audacity of the unrepentant criminals performing their gory job confidently in the premises of the heavily guided Apex Court in the broad-day light. The same scene was repeated the next day.
The anarchists, obviously drawing inspiration from the Hindutva philosophy and motivated by pseudo-patriotism, were three. Two of them, after the public beating of Inder Verma, took to their heels. It was Verma who had played key role in the assault. He is president of Sri Ram Sene of the Delhi unit. Rajeder Pal Bagga is the chief of BSKS, and has the (dis)-credit of disturbing the release of Ms Arundhati Roy’s book at Habitat Centre and climbing the bonnet of Mir Waiz Farooq’s car heading towards the Foreign Press Correspondents’ Press Club and once creating chaos during Syed Ali Gilani’s speech at a seminar in the capital. Little is known about the third attacker Vishnu Gupta, who is the vice president of BSKS.
What was the provocation behind the attack?
Mr. Prashant Bhushan had, allegedly in a speech at Varanasi, pleaded for support for the demand for the withdrawal of security forces and a referendum to gauge public opinion. In it the crypto-nationalists smelt dis-integrity of Bharat. They also disapproved of those who, with so much time elapsed after the pronouncement of capital punishment, want transportation of life for Afzal Guru.
The uncles, aunties, nephews and nieces of the said fringe outfits galore. Some of them are Sri Ram Sene, Sanatan Sansthan and Abhinav Bharat. They are the children of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Shiv Sena, etc. They are all birds of the same feather.
The mother of evil, as far as the ideology is concerned, they all owe their existence to Mr. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who gave a nationalist garb and patriotic idiom to Hinduism, a simple philosophy believing in moksha or the ultimate redemption of soul. Savarkar, for political purposes, gave teeth, claws and horns to the otherwise popular religion, Hinduism. He injected into Hinduism patriotism tempered with nationalism, totally aligned to the religion.
For a bird’s eye view, it seems appropriate to recall that the Sri Ram Sena is the party that allegedly organises riots for monetary considerations. The Sena vandalised the late Mr. M.F. Husain’s paintings in 2008. They opposed the Valentine’s Day and beat up boys and girls found in proximity to each other. The Sene played a diabolical role in the Malegaon riots. What deserves to be noted is that the RSS maintains distance from the Sene and it is alleged it would not mind penal action against it.
Abinav Bharat is a secret organisation founded by Savarkar in 1904. It was and is manned by radical elements of our brethren belonging to the majority community. It is influenced by the Italian cynic Mazzini, who believed in the use of arms for any revolution. Its admirer Abhinav Bharat stands for armed revolution. To it also, like communism, power emerges from the barrel of the gun. The Abhinav is said to have been behind the blasts in Ajmer, Samjhauta Express, Malegaon and Mecca Masjid. At last Swami Aseemanand spilled the beans and is now facing the music in jail. The Abhinav produced fascists like Lt. Col. Srikant Prasad Purohit. Aseemanand revealed during the interrogation that the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI cooperated with the Abhinav. The FIR against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur says she arranged men who planted the bombs. Aseemanand admitted the role of the RSS in the lethal activity supported by the ISI, which helped in the provision of logistics. It stands for a secret Hindu State with its own constitution. He also alleged that a group of Muslims was used in the procurement of RDX.
To cap it all, the outfit tried to kill the former RSS chief, Mr. Mohan Bhagwat for the RSS failure to build a splendid temple at the site of the vandalised Babri Masjid. It is the zenith of hate that this outfit does not hesitate in enjoying Pakistani help for the fulfilment of its petty ambitions. Do the Abhinav activities not run into the face of Patriotism and Nationalism? The outfit owes a cogent reply.
We gave this overview to drive home the point that a variety of naked fascism has now dawned on the national horizon and should be taken note of by the political parties, the social activists and whistle-blowers.
REFUGE OF SCOUNDRELS
That ultra-patriotism and ultra-nationalism are at loggerheads with the Constitution of India as a whole, especially the fundamental rights, directive principles and civil liberties as well as the special privileges that have been given by the statute to the various minorities is not the point. The point is where this diseased, decrepit mindset will take the over a billion strong plural Bharat to? Things have reached to a sorry pass where our lawyers show aversion to plead the cases of the victims of a particular community, accused of grave crimes by the motivated sections of the police. Add to it cases of foreign invaders like Ajmal Kasab, who has ultimately found a helping hand in the morally and legally upright, the Supreme Court of India.
Is or was the said attitude of utter intolerance, un-civility and what not shown to Mr. Prashant Bhushan a demonstration of patriotism or nationalism? To the level-headed citizens of Bharat, it is unvarnished jingoism, it is naked barbarism, it is unalloyed chauvinism, it is anything but patriotism or nationalism. If it is at all something, it is the handiwork of crooks, cynics and felons. It is crypto-nationalism and pseudo-patriotism. It deserves nothing but contempt, derision and rejection. The place of those who practise it is jail, not society.
It is really sad that now Patriotism and Nationalism have become the first and last refuge of scoundrels.