Old RSS: Anti-Gandhi, Anti-Tagore. New BJP: Corrupt, Violent, and Dangerous.

RSS Kolkata

This is what I have seen in my long, personal association, and study, of India’s Hindu chauvinist forces. RSS — the mentor, umbrella organization. BJP — its political wing now in the seat of power. ABVP, VHP, etc. — other powerful RSS outfits.

Pratik Ghosh translated the following from my Bengali article I posted in Facebook.

I have always found RSS, BJP and ABVP supporters to be of lower aptitude. Not much to talk home about their knowledge, thinking ability or analytical skills. They can be aptly called headstrong.

Like, my father used to say, they were not just anti-Gandhi but also anti-Tagore. My father despite having a golden opportunity refused to meet Rabindranath Tagore in Benaras. Now he regrets. What can be done regretting now – it is too late. At his young age, my father was just like that. In the fifties he moved to Kolkata and started reading Tagore.

But his Tagore was confined to Shivaji Utsab (Celebrating Shivaji – a Maratha icon), Bandi Vir (An Imprisoned Hero – a Sikh guru) and songs from the poet’s Devotion and Patriotic bouquets. Like the way hardliner Muslims from Bangladesh and Pakistan abuse Tagore without reading his works. They haven’t read Tagore’s Wife’s Letter, The Laboratory, The Crisis of the Civilization, or The Petrified Place. They have not heard his speeches, read his essays, letters, or his missive from Russia. They know a tiny sliver, a fragmented Tagore. And with that utterly limited knowledge they judge the Master Poet.

Yet during my intense association of some sixteen years with RSS-Jan Sangh-BJP-ABVP I always noticed that despite not being very clever, they were genuine human beings. I saw my father Jitendranath. How selflessly he spent his entire life with the Sangh family! In return he asked for nothing. Had he asked, he could have gotten a lot. Since 1939 he had been with national RSS/BJP leaders like Advani and Vajpayee. He too was jailed at the aftermath of assassination of Gandhi [when a Hindu zealot Nathuram Godse killed Gandhi, and the organization was banned]. Subsequently, being on the Congress blacklist he couldn’t get a proper job and spent his life in poverty.

I have written about these in my Bengali memoir, “Ghoti-kahini”. I have seen with amazement how for years the RSS proselytizers worked half fed from their third floor office at 26 Bidhan Sarani. They were racists, anti-Islam, anti-Christian. They depicted a laughable history of India. They knew hardly anything about the world history. They were awfully anti-socialism. Yet, they were nice guys. Like affectionate elder brothers. Even after I left RSS, I could never forget these men.

But now I see with the smell of power, BJP is filled with evil degraded men. Blood in their eyes. Poison at their tongues. Killing machines at their hands. I feel sad seeing them because they haven’t seen people like my father. They haven’t seen how to sacrifice life at the altar of idealism.

I have also seen at the other end how for the sake of idealism the followers of Communist Party of India (Marxist) or Marxism sacrificing their lives. I remember how my CPIM following in-laws’ family didn’t get on with my father. There was never any political discussions between them but there was a mutual respect. The Bengali characteristic of respect, civility, modesty and love is no longer found among the BJP supporters in Bengal. A few good ones keep shut for the fear of the obscene mayhem the rest can unleash upon them. They don’t have the backbones to withstand it.

I have been in politics for long. Politics of getting thrashed on the road. Politics of putting my own life at risk. I have done that in India. In the U.S. as well. Those who know me, know it. Those who don’t, can check it out on my Wikipedia page. The perpetrators of these atrocities are that foolish that they don’t even realize that they are only revealing their true self to the society. People with brains know that civility, gentleness are humane quality. Possessors of a sub-human brain have no understanding of that. Ironically, those without a brain, don’t realize that they don’t have brains because they need brains to understand it.

Anyway, there is no place for communal violence and slander in Bengal. Not for the Hindus. Not for the Muslims. Neither for CPIM, nor for the Trinamool Congress, now in power of West Bengal. And I shall carry on with my mission. My mission of making people think differently. To teach how to think. I am trying to steer away people from the brainwashing by the media. Steering my students in the US, people in India, in Bengal.

I have always been by the side of the oppressed. By the side of women, men, and children. I will always write against injustice, dishonesty, corruption and thuggery. I will protest — BJP or whoever the perpetrators might be.

Violence, intimidation, coercion or dirty abuses cannot bottle me up.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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gandhi-indian-express

From: Indian Express.