பாயும் வேகம் ஜெட் லீ தாண்டா
பன்ச் வெச்சா இட்லி தாண்டா
Rated PG - for Pseudo-DK, DMK, Liberals, Marxists....
ஊர்ல சொல்றது சொலவடை
உண்மையைச் சொல்றது இட்லிவடை

Thursday, August 09, 2007

RSS, VHP பற்றி ராமசந்திர குஹா

ராமசந்திர குஹா பற்றி பலர் அறிந்திருப்பீர்கள். இன்று CNN-IBN Live Chatல் RSS, VHP பற்றிய கருத்துக்களை பேசியுள்ளார்...

Why are you against RSS?

Ramachandra Guha: Because they seek to make India a Hindu Pakistan. I also oppose the Naxalites because they seek to build a totalitarian state. I am a liberal democrat, opposed to all kinds of extremists and bigots.

மற்றவை கீழே...


Eminent historian, academician and columnist Ramachandra Guha was the guest on IBNlive chat room for our 'Freedom Chat' series on Thursday. He engaged IBNlive readers in a thought-provoking discussion on the topic 'India after Gandhi', which is interestingly one of his famous book titles.

Here we reproduce the full text of the chat (without any editorial touch).

Chat Moderator: Hello and welcome to IBNlive Freedom Chat. Eminent historian, academician and columnist Ramachandra Guha is here to answer your queries. Here you go.

Debabrat: Gandhi or Ambedkar — who is more relevant to Indian society now?

Ramachandra Guha: Both Gandhi and Ambedkar remain relevant to the removal of caste disabilities —Gandhi to help broaden the minds and hearts of upper castes and Ambedkar to inspire the Dalits to educate and organise themselves. Likewise, Gandhi and Tagore, and Gandhi and Nehru, can be followed and admired in complementary ways. These four men were all great and visionary thinkers. Unfortunately, partisan politics ask us to choose one and demonise the others rather than see how we can collectively build on their ideal of a democratic and plural India.

Harendra PS Raghuwanshi: Many Hindutva idealogues often, of course in the defense of their divisive anti-other religions policies, quote Gandhi as one who always kept his religious beliefs in public domain and talked about the conversions by Christian missionaries. How do you differentiate between these two stands?

Ramachandra Guha: Gandhi believed that all religions are a mixture of truth and untruth. He promoted inter-religious understanding; while being opposed to conversion. He asked that each of us interpret our own religion in the most open, just and non-violent way. That makes him different from all kind of dogmatists, whether Hindu or Muslim or Christian.

Abhishek: Do post-Gandhi, Nehru’s economic, foreign and social policies helped India or has it hurt India?

Ramachandra Guha: On balance, they have helped nurture a democratic framework and a unified country.

Babu: Hello, don't you think that it’s a myth that our country is true democracy, because we were never ruled by a majority govt. If a party gets 25 to 35% of votes, they can come to power. So we have only had govt which only minority of people wanted. There has been a silent majority which has been never heard. What do you think about it?

Ramachandra Guha: It is for us to deepen this democracy by participating more actively. All democracies are imperfect; still, with their imperfections, they are to be preferred to totalitarianisms of left and right.

Arun M: Hello Mr Guha, India after Independence departed from the Gandhian era to move towards the ‘Gandhi family’ era. One cannot ignore their contribution to India. But they are also responsible for many ills that our country is facing. Do you see the history repeating itself with rise of Rahul Gandhi or would India finally choose a leader who is actually a leader?

Ramachandra Guha: Dynastic rule is bad for democracy — tragically, Indira Gandhi’s promotion of her children has been reproduced across the political spectrum, from the DMK to the Shiv Sena. Gandhi never promoted or favoured his own children — it should also be said that Nehru himself never hoped or desired that Indira Gandhi would succeed him.

Venkataraghavan: By pursuing nuclear bombs, globalisation and unabashed consumerism, has India inexorably strayed from the Gandhian way or do you think there is still hope that we will catch Ganshian ethos in a modern world?

Ramachandra Guha: The Gandhian ethos can still act as a brake on excessive consumerism, as a moderating influence which also will lead to an environmentally sustainable path of development.

Akhil: I have a real sensitive question for you to ask on this forum. I have always idolised the teachings of Gandhji and always felt his thoughts close to my heart, but the majority of the people nowadays don’t seem to think this way. Selfishness, dishonesty, acquiring anything by force seem to be the values that the generation of now seems to live by. It took a film like Munnabhai to rekindle those values inside the common man. But will it really last long? What kind of society are we moving into?

Ramachandra Guha: I wouldn’t be so pessimistic. There are many Indians of integrity and commitment, sometimes in civil society, at other times in the corporate world, although fewer and fewer in public service.

Rtseh Kumar: What do you think would have happened if Sanjay woulld have become PM?

Ramachandra Guha: The prospect is too horrible to contemplate!

MKBajaj: What would be Gandhiji’s reaction if he were to visit India in 2007?

Ramachandra Guha: He would give us a 50% report card — he would appreciate the fact that we are still united and still somewhat democratic, but the corruption in public life and the growing income disparities would have not pleased him.

Prithu: I liked the chapters on Emergency and 1984 Operation Bluestar. Do you think Indian economy would have been better served had Nehru not been such a socialist? Or do you think it was the need of the hour?

Ramachandra Guha: Nehru’s socialism was merely the spirit of the age. Fortunately, he was a democrat, and his nurturing of a democratic polity must be his greatest contribution. I think the time to liberalise would have been the early 1970s, by which time our industries needed no protection.

Divisha: India is a country of great institutions, you say. But isn't it true that most institutions — barring democracy — are in ruins. So what must be our immediate priority — more institutions or people who can run them?

Ramachandra Guha: Both — the renewal and revival of now corroded institutions and the re-entry of men and women of intelligence and integrity in public and political life.

Rajat: After the Emergency, India had a wonderful opportunity to move away from one-party rule. But the options available at that time failed miserably though they too had leaders of great stature. What do you think went wrong at that time?

Ramachandra Guha: Difficult to say — the petty vanities of the competing leaders came in the way of Janata persisting as an alternative to the Congress.

Prafulla Athale: Hello Mr Guha, would Sardar Patel have been a PM instead of Panditji ? I ask this in reference to the Indo-Pak situation today.

Ramachandra Guha: Actually, Patel never wanted to be Prime Minister. He recognised that Nehru was better able to represent India to the world, and also that Nehru was more acceptable in South India. That Nehru and Patel were rivals is a myth promoted on one side by the Congress of today and on the other by the BJP. Actually, as I show in my book, they were both great men, and collaborated in the building of a united and democratic India.

Shankar V: I am from the South, and can you tell me how connected or disconnected was the Mahatma to the issues, realities and culture of the South in the process of getting freedom? Meaning, he for many times had issues with people like Periyar, RK Shanmugan Chettiar etc. on issues like the various varnas in the community etc.

Ramachandra Guha: There would always be disagreements between individuals — since we are a democracy, we should glory in the fact of dissent. That Periyar and Gandhi differed on specific issues should not worry us! Periyar wrote a wonderful obituary when Gandhi died, for he knew that the greatness of Gandhi was that he was never a sectarian leader. He belonged to all of India, in fact to the whole world.

Deb: Why the vision of Gandhi that villages should be empowered has remained unfulfilled? Why the Congress politicians failed to believe in this Gandhian ideal of empowering village panchayat? Why the Congress failed to live up to the expectation of Gandhi to live a simple life and high thinking?

Ramachandra Guha: It is not just the Congress — all major parties, all state governments, and the bureaucracy are loath to empower the panchayats and municipalities. This is a pity, for the deepening of Indian democracy depends on effective local government institutions.

Abhinav: Hi Mr Guha, I am one of your admirers and readers. My question is what in your opinion on the problem of the division in Indian society. Hindu Muslim, Hindi, non-Hindi, Kashmiri, non-Kashmiri etc. And how good or bad is the increase in this divide over past few years and what in your opinion is the solution?

Ramachandra Guha: In a democracy divisions and differences will always be present. The important thing is that differences should be dealt with in a non-violent way, by state and rebel alike. To answer your specific question, some divisions have been healed (as for example on the language question, or on Punjab), others remain unresolved (notably, Kashmir). But we are still a young and evolving nation, and given our size and complexity we can never have a hassle-free ride!

GKD Karuna Sagar: I request you to tell me about Harilal Gandhi. Gandhiji’s elder son.

Ramachandra Guha: Read the biography of Harilal by CB Dalal, recently translated into English.

Saikia: The Time magazine in its current issue says India, the world's largest democracy, is living up to the dreams of 1947 on the 60th year of her Independence. How much would you agree with this?

Ramachandra Guha: I found the Time magazine story too optimistic. In my book India after Gandhi, I say we are a '50-50' democracy.

D P Satish: You don't seem to be objective whenever you talk about or write about Nehru?

Ramachandra Guha: I disagree. In my book India after Gandhi, I have talked of Nehru's failures with regard to China and his cultivation of sycophants. But he remains a great man, along with Patel and Ambedkar — a true founder of Indian democracy and pluralism. I do however think that the current demonisation of Nehru by free-marketers and Hindutva-vadis is ignorance and not based on facts.

Arhan Writwik: When history is taught in schools, even today the Northeast of India hardly finds any mention in the textbooks. While there is hero-worshipping of Rana Pratap and Shivaji, who fought against Moghuls, there's hardly any chapter on Assamese General Lachit Borphukan who decisively beat Aurangzeb’s army in the Battle of Saraighat. Forget about medieval history, even I could not find any chapter on Gopinath Bordoloi because of who Assam is part of India today. Nehru had comfortably allowed Assam to be clubbed with Dhaka. This is about academics. The national media rarely highlights NE. So, don't you think it's genuine for the north-eastern people to feel alienated? The neglect by Central government and the constant influx of Bangladeshis will soon change the demography of the region. How can the local fight this menace? What's the correct way? Do you plan to write a comprehensive history of the Northeast of India?

Ramachandra Guha: You are right. The Northeast is not given its due in academic and popular discussion. Apart from history textbooks even the media hardly covers the region seriously. In India after Gandhi I have tried to address this deficiency, although surely I too have not completely succeeded!

Sudhir: what do you think is the difference between the true secularism followed during the time of Gandhi and the present day pseudo-secularism which is in fact an appeasement of certain minorities?

Ramachandra Guha: Gandhi would have been opposed to minority-appeasement, but he would have opposed the BJP and the RSS even more. They seek to promote a narrow-minded and bigoted faith, which is totally at odds with Gandhi's inclusive and open-minded Hinduism.

Sohil Bhatt: In your book, ‘How Much Should a Person Consume, you talked about moderation in consumption habits to protect the environment and reduce pressure on the scarce resources. But the modern wave of consumerism talks about more production, more consumption, ‘living life king size’, all will lead to more job creation, creation of wealth and its distribution. What is your take on it?

Ramachandra Guha: A crucial question, possibly the most important one of the coming century. There is no question that we have to move towards cleaner and more energy-efficient technologies if we want to make development sustainable.

Venkat: I've read somewhere that it took something like six years to write ‘India after Gandhi’. Could you tell us if you divided the book into specific chapters and then did the research, or did the research and then decided on the chapters?

Ramachandra Guha: The research and the conceptualisation went on simultaneously. To make sense of the complicated and tortuous history of the most complicated and tortuous country on earth was both a daunting and a thrilling experience.

Sohil Bhatt: Once I heard you, speaking on BBC India programme 'Question Time India' compered by Prannoy Roy, saying that there should be two Indias, one exclusively comprising of South Indian states, as they would be better off seperating from present India (something like that. Please do correct me if I am wrong). Don't you think this would be divisive and opportunistic thing to do? If not, clarify your point further.

Ramachandra Guha: That was a jocular remark. Of course, I believe in a united and, more importantly, a democratic India

Benkat: In your dreams, what are your hopes from your book ‘India after Gandhi’? What sort of legacy would you like it to impart?

Ramachandra Guha: I hope that younger historians will take up some specific themes from my book and write deeper and more penetrating studies on them. Our historians are obsessed with the period of the Raj and the freedom struggle; our fascinating and still unfolding history as an independent nation remains to be properly explored or understood.

Venkat: What are you working on now?

Ramachandra Guha: A biography of Gandhi, actually, although it will take years of research and writing before it will be done.

Vikas: Hi Mr Guha. I am a big fan of yours. But I certainly fail to know why your published articles only bash ‘Hindu' extremism when such extremism is not even peanut when compared to Islamic terrorism. Are you afraid of Islamists to speak the truth or such articles of yours do not get published in 'secular' newspapers?

Ramachandra Guha: I have attacked Islamic fundamentalists and even Christian bigots (among them those who currently run my old college St. Stephen's) several times in print. But as a Hindu myself living in a Hindu-majority country, I do feel that Hindu communalism is the greater threat in India, just as Islamic communalism is the greater threat in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.

Suresh G: Hi , you are my favourite living intellectual. I read most of your writings/works etc. Please find my queries below: (1) Can Mahatma be really called the Father of the Nation? Majority sections of Indians did not like his ways like Ambedkher, EVR from anti-Congress viewpoint, Bose from anti-moderate viewpoint, RSS, Hindu Mahasabha from anti-Muslim viewpoint. Also Muslim too used him. Even now Dalits who form 25% of India do not have good opinion about him.

(2) Why do upper caste people have so much of hatred for lower caste people in this 21st Century? Does this hatred have its root in Hinduism? Can all Indians live without any caste feelings and still follow Hinduism?

(3) Can Hinduism survive for another 500 years? Missionaries are very active and I assume by 2050, 50% of SC/STs will be in Christian camp. I am saying this because I have read many reports from mission field. Recently in Kerala, one organisation has started 37,000 churches as of 2006.

(4) Are Indians hypocrites? They do not want racism against them (e.g. Shilpa Shetty in Big Brother) but they will continue to keep Dalits belwo them.

(5) Why efficient(?) and non-corrupt(?) people like Arun Shourie, Cho and Gurumurthy believe in caste system? I think they are good examples of people who Ambedkher called ‘A person can be intellectual, but also be a crook’.

Ramachandra Guha: You have raised many important questions — I will need a whole book to answer them! But I will comment on your last point — yes, the obsessive minority and Dalit-baiting of a man like Arun Shourie is truly distressing. My article on ‘Gandhi's Ambedkar’, which is I think on the site www.ambedkar.org could be read in this regard.

Satya: Why are you against RSS?

Ramachandra Guha: Because they seek to make India a Hindu Pakistan. I also oppose the Naxalites because they seek to build a totalitarian state. I am a liberal democrat, opposed to all kinds of extremists and bigots.

Flyingaxe: You are a resident of Bangalore. In reference to the earlier question of regionalism, Karnataka, especially Bangalore is seeing a small revival of linguistic forces. This is of course in retaliation to similar movements in other states like TN, and so it invariably flares up when sensitive issues like Cauvery are raked up. Karnataka CM HD kumaraswamy too has been playing on the pro-Kannidaga and linguistic sentiment specially by conducting an Assembly session in Belgaum etc etc. This linguistic chauvanism/parochialism or regionalism is already there to some extent everywhere. How far do you see this becoming more and more important politically, in both Karnataka and in other states in country? And are you concerned about it?

Ramachandra Guha: I am indeed concerned about it, since it has some material basis — in the fact that the real money spinners in Bangalore/Bengaluru are not Kannadigas. Tolerance is called for on both sides — if the Kannada chauvinists are prone to over-react, on the other side I think it was foolish to oppose the renaming of the city in line with local usage.

Just Visiting: What do you make of the blatant pro-China tilt of Indian Left as characterised by Frontline’s issue recently?

Ramachandra Guha: A pity — as an intellectual, I thank my stars daily that I live in a democratic country and not in China. The Marxist left has always been hypocritical in this regard.

Agneepankh: Mr Guha, I am a big admirer of your writings and I am here to ask you a very simple question, I consider myself a very moderate for I am able to accept different faiths and religions. But what pains me is that so called pseudo-seculars are nowadays all over the place. They are even made heroes by presenting them Padma Shris, Bhushans and Vibhushans. What pains me is that people talk of Godhra and Mumbai blasts, but they fail to mention the genocide of the Kashimiri Hindus for I am one of those who had to flee the valley. People talk of the sufferings of Mumbai Blast victims and the riots, but they fail to mention the worst ethnic cleansing that has taken place ever. People mention BJP, RSS and others as national evils but what about Jamaat-e-Islami, SIMI and others. I know that those who commit acts of terror don't belong to any faith and these people are dangerous to an extent I think of such peudo-Seculars as the cancer of the Nation. Please comment.

Ramachandra Guha: I have answered these legitimate queries already — do read my book India after Gandhi where the violence promoted by Muslim and Hindu extremists since 1947 is fairly and fully described.

Harendra Pratap: There are already many books on Gandhi, both by Indian and foreign writers. What aspect of Gandhi, do you think, still remain unexplored which you would be dealing with in your forthcoming work on him?

Ramachandra Guha: A good question — but you will have to wait five or more years for an answer!

Divisha: While researching for ‘India After Gandhi’, what was the biggest surprise of India you stumbled upon?

Ramachandra Guha: I guess the sustenance of its linguistic pluralism, which I believe to be our greatest contribution. A second surprise was finding that Nehru's socialist economic views were shared by almost all thinking people in India in the 1950s — even by JRD Tata!

Atul: Dear Mr Guha, so many movies are coming on Mahatma. Which one is the closest to your heart and why?

Ramachandra Guha: Film is a very dramatic but also superficial medium — it has to simplify. Still, with these caveats I think Attenborough’s Gandhi remains the most watchable!

Saurabh: Is proportional representation a viable option for the Indian democracy?

Ramachandra Guha: Possibly — but I don’t see it being seriously debated.

Kishan: The ideologies which Gandhiji had applied, were only suitable for getting freedom and independency. To run and develop the country, we need some hard ways and rules to be followed which I think, would not be applicable in today’s scenarios. This is just my own opinion about the Gandhism. But I want to know the consequences (merits and demerits), if we are not following the Gandhism in post-Independent India. Thanks.

Ramachandra Guha: Yes, no person or ism has all the answers — Gandhi promoted a secular and plural ethos which we rightly adopted after 1947, but just as rightly we made the individual and not the village as the focus of our democracy.

Ram Soulitudes: How can we make ‘India After Gandhi’ a part of our school curriculum where history is taught in such a listless fashion? How can we make history in schools interesting, vivid and insightful?

Ramachandra Guha: A great question, Ram. Actually, the new NCERT textbooks, out later this year, make history vivid and interesting for children — an outstanding group of my fellow historians, led by Neeladri Bhattacharya, has prepared them. I hope political bigots will not stall their publication and promotion — they are truly fantastic.

Prafulla: Have you ever seen the better side of RSS? I mean their social services, their discipline, their network, the selfless working of their pracharaks? Or you simply think they do not exist just because they talk of a Hindu nationalism?

Ramachandra Guha: Hezboollah and Hamas also run schools and hospitals —they are merely the RSS in an Islamic guise, bigots pretending to have a human face!

Just Visiting: If you were to choose among the two — land reforms or focus on education. Which one would you go for upliftment of Indians?

Ramachandra Guha: Both are crucial — I think among Nehru's failures was the lack of emphasis in the 1950s on these two aspects.

HRV: Nitin Pai, in the magazine Pragati, called for a free-market Mahatma. The premise being the freedom movement started as an idea of intellectuals before people like Gandhi made it a mass movement. Is the time ripe for a Gandhi-like leader to champion a new movement, a free-market Mahatma in other words?

Ramachandra Guha: Free-marketers can be as dogmatic as the state socialists, alas!

Praveen: Vaajpaye was rated as the best prime minister after Nehru. what is your take on that?

Ramachandra Guha: No, the accolade should go to Lal Bahadur Shastri, a remarkable and under-rated and now forgotten figure, who laid the seeds of the Green Revolution, among other things. I have tried to restore him in India after Gandhi.

Sidd: I have read most of yours books on cricket and politics you are one of my favourite authors. ‘India after Gandhi’ was the most fascinating and eye-opening book. It gave rare insights into various problems faced by our nascent democracy and the greatest thing was ‘still India survives’. As we reach 60, what do you foresee to be the biggest test for India in next decade?

Ramachandra Guha: The tests ahead include rise of Left-wing extremism (the Naxalites), the persistence of right-wing extremism (RSS, VHP, etc), environmental degradation and political corruption. We remain a 50-50 democracy!

Ritesh Kumar: Do you think JP failed as a revolutionary?

Ramachandra Guha: JP’s great contributions were his tireless work to bring peace and justice to Kashmir and Nagaland — we should remember him for that, rather than for his movement of 1974-5 which was unfocused and escalated the violence in Indian society. Of course, Indira Gandhi remains the bigger culprit for enforcing the Emergency.
( நன்றி: CNN-IBN )

5 Comments:

Boston Bala said...

இந்த மாதிரி மொத்தமாய் காபி- பேஸ்ட் செய்யும் போது ஒரிஜினல் சுட்டி கொடுங்கப்பா! எனக்கும் சுட வசதியா இருக்கும் :)

IdlyVadai said...

பாபா தந்துவிட்டேன்!

ராமசந்திர குஹா said...

"RSS, VHP பற்றி ராமசந்திர குஹா"

இட்லிவடை இந்த தலைப்பு ஒரு மாதிரி இருக்கே. மகாத்மா காந்தி இதை விரும்பமாட்டார் என நம்புகிறேன்.

"மகாத்மா காந்திக்கு பின் இந்தியா" - ராமசந்திர குஹா

இந்த தலைப்பு எப்படி இருக்கு இட்லிவடை?

Anonymous said...

Yes, he is famous in secular media because he is more tolerance towards culture and tradition.
This is our problem.........Because western mindis completley other way around.
See the general indian has:
1. more competive enough in his job
2. more competive enough in his marriage alliance search
3. more competive enough in his son school admisson
4. more competive enough in his car selection
etc...
when it comes to his culture and tradition......he is shy away.....
Why this disorientation?.....Because western education......

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