False equivalence to hide self loathing by Ram Guha

One cannot judge an organization and its character by a few statements at few occasions.

I had a colleague once who hailed from a small village and whose father was an average farmer. The father worked hard to put his son through school and good engineering college. The son got a good job and like many others went to US. He got married to a girl from a wealthy family of an industrialist. I was invited by my colleague one day to the naming ceremony of his son where he proudly introduced me to his father in law and wife and mother in law and we spent the next hour talking about the business.

I assumed his father was not well and enquired about his health. In response, he pointed to his father, who was sitting alone in a chair in the huge garden, without bothering to introduce me to him.

The incident got buried in my mind and I had forgotten all about it, till I read Ramchandra Guha’s article recently in HT, desperately trying to draw an equivalence between Islamism and Hindutva, and trying to force fit two very different narratives.

My friend is better than Ram Guha. He was clearly ashamed of his parents and was trying hard to ingratiate himself to the wealthy family he had married into, but he did not say anything to discredit his parents. It was clear though that he was trying to distance himself from them as much as possible.

It is not possible to cut yourselves off from your roots, for you may die, just as a tree would if you cut it off from its roots.

Ram Guha has spent decades trying to ingratiate himself with a deracinated class of elite who can see no good in the glorious tradition of India and Hindutva. They find their redemption in criticizing everything Indian and ancient and lapping up everything western.

It was easy for them all these decades to constantly deride RSS and Hindutva for the state patronage was in their favor and the alternate view was suppressed by the English language media.

With social media challenging the narrative, and a BJP government in power, the older equations are being upset and that has rattled Ram Guha like it has all other pseudo intellectuals, many of them “Eminent Historians” whom Arun Shourie has written about so beautifully in his book.

eminentsIn his article in HT, Guha essentially tries to draw a false equivalence between Islamism and Hindutva and seeks to raise the bogey of RSS patriarchy and bigotry and says it is an affront to constitution. He quotes the opinion of a French novelist and opinion of a couple of other individuals and shares a few points from his side. In terms of facts what he shares is but a few anecdotes and a speech which Narendra Modi is said to have made a few years back.

Take Hindutva first – while the article talks about RSS and BJP and Modi, it is cleverly titled as parallels between Hindutva and Islamism.

Much as I like BJP and RSS, Hinduism and Hindutva is a glorious tradition which dates backs thousands if not lakhs of years. A RSS born less than 80 years back or a BJP born a few decades ago is one of the symbols and maybe in some way representative of Hinduism. It is foolish to equate what BJP or RSS say or do with Hindutva or Hinduism and link their actions to drawing parallels between Hindutva and Islamism.

It is clear that Hinduism has never attempted to draw people to itself through either force or guile. It has been a religion and path which advocates countless roads to the divinity, which is the only worthy goal of a human being and never claims “sole rights” to the god as some other religions do.

So much as Guha may want his readers to believe, Hinduism can in no way be equated with any other religion which claims itself as sole pathway to the only God who will send the rest of believers of other paths to hell or damnation.

kbhNow come to RSS. RSS was set up by Hedgewar in 1926 with a simple goal. It was to unite Hindus under one umbrella. Hedgewar, a fierce patriot was associated with revolutionaries, had been part of underground, and was also a member of Congress. He deeply thought and deliberated over the question of India’s enslavement and came to the conclusion that independence from British could not be the ultimate goal as India had been enslaved by many many invaders with British only being the last of them.

He realized that Hindus suffer from a lack of self-esteem and lack of unity and till they are united and take pride in their heritage, they will always be subject to a threat of foreign invasion so he focused on building an organization which was dedicated to building a strong India, starting with unity of Hindus.

He could have named it Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh but he chose to name it Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh because the ultimate goal was a strong Indian nation true to its roots.

It was a worthy goal and not to be criticized or ashamed of.

Of course I would love to live in an ideal world where there are no barriers of caste, creed, religion, nationalities, there are no passports and no visas and all the world is one great family. “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” as they say in Hindu tradition.  I know a few spiritual organizations who are working hard towards that goal.

However, in the real world of today, people find comfort and solace in their identities and roots and form organizations and groups around these identities. So we have countless organizations which champion castes, communities and religions, each of them trying to look after well-being of those who belong to that group.

If the goal to have an organization which unites Hindus under an umbrella is unconstitutional, then all those organizations in Hindu, Islam, Sikh, Jainism, Christian religions which organize people in various groups and sub groups are unconstitutional.

As regards his views about patriarchy and bigotry, I am reminded of a quote by Plato – ‘The youths of today have no respect for their elders, they have no discipline.”

Elders have always criticized younger generation (sometimes rightfully) and that is not going to change.

One cannot judge an organization and its character by a few statements at few occasions. The appropriate measure of an organization is the proof of the work it has done in society and the positive or negative effects it generates in the larger society.

On both counts, the nation will judge RSS and it is wise enough to dump it if their philosophy or ethos are against the well-being of the nation.  RSS and its organizations have grown from strength to strength because of their positive and constructive work inspite of adversarial governments and negative propaganda in media.

Guha also talks about RSS and BJP focusing on education as if it is a crime. This especially is hilarious coming from a left liberal historian who is part of an elite which ensured a stranglehold on entire educational establishment and curriculum and continues to do so even after the change of government.

In fact the UPA government had approved a course for class XIth and XIIth which details out the advances in ancient Indian systems in medicine, astronomy, metallurgy and so on. This was by UPA 2  and the creators of this course are aghast that the RSS backed government is not taking steps to introduce this already approved course into CBSE curriculum.

It is clear that Guha’s article is less about Islamism or about Hindutva or about RSS but more about himself.

It is a cry from Ramchandra Guha, of being increasingly feeling irrelevant, of not being heard, of losing the connection to power. When in acute pain, a person moans in his mother tongue.

For Guha, the mother tongue is self-loathing and criticism of Hindutva.

Unfortunately, he is not alone. Fortunately, Hindutva is too grand to be threatened by rantings of a pretentious intellectual like him.

Anirudh Joshi is a Bangalore-based IT professional for over 20 years. He is a staunch nationalist in his beliefs and a regular contributor to national and international magazines on topics of IT, business, governance and politics. Follow him on Twitter @Bharatiya01
  • Silent Observer

    There are intelligent people and then there are “intellectuals”. Intelligent people are good at something, seek intellectual pleasure but are otherwise like everyone else and they can certainly distinguish between good and bad. “Intellectuals” are attention seeking sick morons. May be slightly intelligent but certainly not very smart. Their sick minds propel them to speak and write BS packaged as “bold ideas” hoping to grab attention. Their underlying motive is always fame and/or opportunities for getting laid and to a lesser extend money. These morons are so not intelligent they will struggle to pass a competitive exam. Their niche areas are “humanities”, “history”, “journalism”, “political science”, “literature”, “art”, “modern art”, “social work” and such spooky areas where there are no solid ideas or firm logic and everything is “open to interpretation”. Unlike math or hard sciences, one can survive with just BS in these faculties. They are morally challenged and will sell their mothers for the right price. That would just be a “difficult decision”. Many of the rebels without cause like indian communists, Arundhati Roy, “Eminent historian” Romila Thapar, this idiot Ram Guha etc. belong to this category. These traitors have always been prime candidates for recruitment by external intelligence agencies working on political subversi0n.

  • R. Singh

    Mr. Joshi

    Small correction, if you will.

    Hinduism is part of Dharma,- The righteous path, a philosophy., goal- self enlghtenment

    It is not a Religion.

    The term Religion applies only to the Abrahamic streams, which are based on ‘faith, revelation, divinity, scriptures”

    Religion and Dharam are incompatible and irreconcilable.

    Terminology is important.

    We should not have the debate framed on Abrahamic terms!

  • Jana krish

    Brilliant, well articulated…guha, pack up…Saudi Arabia is calling…

  • Hipo

    I think BJP must create an intellectual kshtriya team to puncture these type of Guha balloons.

  • N S Raghavan

    Mr Guha is not a trained Historian but a self styled one. The so called intellectual gang consists of a few persons,who indulge in ‘you scratch my back I scratch your back variety. A will call B an intellectual or Historian. B will call C the same C will do so for D. This will go on till the circle is complete. The entire English media will give credence to it. It will be interesting to see the list of journalists overstaying/evicted from Govt. bunglows in Delhi. Will you publish?

  • Shreevalsan

    why waste so much time and words over a parasite?

  • Pat

    You are speaking utter nonsense – It was not named Hindu Rashtra Sangh because it wanted to show that it was not an offshoot of Hindu MahaSabha of which Hedgewar was a prominent member. You are hiding all the facts like RSS had no role in Indian independence – they even opposed all efforts of Gandhi /Congress and Nehru /Patel to gain freedom from British.. Hated by everoone for playing a direct and indirect role in killing Father of Nation, RSS came back only in 1992 after Babri.

    • Jana krish

      Father of the nation, my foot…this guy gandhi was prototype version of lallu and mulayam…i think, its high time the nation can see through this. It’s unfortunate that we still have people calling gandhi as Mahatma, he was at best a durathma..

  • Rajesh K

    आज रविवार है। सुबह सुबह थोड़ी फुर्सत इसलिए भी है क्योंकि कल शनिवार था और कल भी छुट्टी थी जिससे सप्ताह के काम निपटाने के लिए अच्छा समय मिल गई थी।
    इसलिए आज मैंने एक हिंदी अख़बार को ठीक से पढ़ने का मन बनाया है।
    सिर्फ एक दिन के अंक को पढ़कर, और ठीक से पढ़ कर, मैं आपको बताता हूँ की ये अख़बार वास्तव में क्या , क्यों और कैसे लिख रहा है।
    मेरे हाथ में है “NBT संडे नवभारत टाइम्स” है
    मैं अपने चश्मे से आपको पढ़ कर बताता हूँ कि इस अख़बार ने कितनी चतुराई से मेरे और आपके जैसे सीधे सादे सामान्य जनो के सोच को प्रभावित करने के उदेश्य से शब्दों का कैसा खेल खेला है।
    मैं आज के अंक के संपादकीय, वरिष्ट संवाददाता, विस (विशेस संवाददाता) के नाम पर छपी रिपोर्ट का गर्हित अन्वेषण कर रहा हूँ।

    आज के अंक में NBT ने JNU घटना पर रिपोर्टिंग के क्रम में मुख्य पृष्ट पर मोटे शीर्षक ” मुझे पुलिस के सामने पीटा गया” (एजेंसियां/वरिष्ठ संवाददाता) के साथ अख़बार सनसनीखेज तरीके से लिखता है “जाँच पैनल के साथ बातचीत का नया वीडियो सामने आया”। जबकि यह जाँच कमिटी के सामने कन्हैया के बयान का एक हिस्सा है। यह अलग और गंभीर प्रश्न है कि जाँच कमिटी कि रिपोर्ट सर्वोच्च न्यायलय की संपत्ति है और अभी तक इसे सार्वजानिक नहीं किया गया है।
    अख़बार इस लेख में इन आरोपियों को सम्मान जनक रूप से उधृत करते हुए ” हैं ” का प्रयोग करता है जबकि वहीँ मानव संसाधन विकाश मंत्री श्रीमती स्मृति ईरानी को बार-बार “स्मृति” या “ईरानी” से संबोधित कर रहा है।
    यह स्पष्ट रूप से बहुत ही प्रचलित और कुटिल उपचार है, जनमत को प्रभावित करने का जिसमे ब्यक्तित्यों के अंतर का समतलीकरण किया जाता है। इस सूत्र का प्रयोग कांग्रेस कई अवसरों पर सार्वजनिक रूप से करती हुई पकड़ी गई है। “हाफिज सईद जी” वाला प्रकरण सबको विदित है।
    यद्यपि यह बुद्धिजीवियों और राजनीतिज्ञों के अंतःपुर की खिचड़ी (क्षमा) है जिसे दिग्विजय सिंह और अखबारी संवाददाताओं जैसे सतही रसोइयों ने पकाना और परोसना सुरु कर दिया है।
    आज के अंक में ही दूसरे लेख में विशेष संवाददाता ” ईरानी पर सीधी जंग – कांग्रेस, लेफ्ट, JDU लाएंगे विशेषाधिकार हनन प्रस्ताव’
    इस लेख में अचानक अख़बार लिखता है-

    सरकार ईरानी के साथ:
    -सरकार फ़िलहाल (?) इस मुद्दे पर एचआरडी मिनिस्टर के ईरानी के पक्ष में खड़ी रहेगी।
    -विपक्ष को करारा (जवाब) दिया जाये, आरोप लगाया जाये की सरकार को काम नहीं करने दिया जा रहा है।
    -जेएनयू मामले को हवा देकर साबित करने की कोशिश की जाये कि विपक्ष राष्ट्र विरोधियों का पक्ष ले रहा है।

    यह है कुटिल पत्रकारिता और सड़यंत्रकारी सोंच का नमूना।
    ” फिलहाल..” , “आरोप लगाया जाये…”, और जेएनयू मामले को हवा देकर साबित करने कि कोशिश की जाये….”
    क्या ये भारतीय जनता पार्टी के रणनीतिकारों ने इस पत्रकार को बताया है। क्या ये तथाकथित विस्वस्त सूत्रों से इस संवाददाता को पता चला है। या फिर इस विस ( विशेष संवाददाता ) की खुराफाती और पूर्वाग्रही दिमाग की कुत्सित चाल है।
    जनमानस के सोच को प्रभावित करने के उदेश्य से शब्दों का चयन और वाक्यों का विन्यास स्पष्ट रूप से परिलक्षित करता ये अख़बार अपने अंतःकरण में कितना कलुषित है, समझ से परे है।
    अखबारी पत्रकारिता में भाषाई और शाब्दिक कुटिलता पर एक चिंतन।।
    क्लिष्ट (?) हिंदी के लिए क्षमा।

  • N.Paramasivam

    Guha is a curse to Historians. This kind of historians, told false history of India and two generations of Indians were fed with false history of our glorious past. Atleast this fact has to be registered in books for the benefit of future generations.

  • Saffronwarrior

    If & when any islamic pig or a christian mercenary bullshits Hindus bout drinking cow urine, tell these fucktards that they not only drink urine but eat sweat shit & piss of carcasses every damn day. I’ve stayed in Mideast now in New York, chrislamic fucktards suffer from nastiest diseases ever. Chronic kidney disease, liver & pancreatic diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s , Crohn’s disease, colon & prostrate cancers, anorectal cancers, there’s a huge health crisis going on in the west & Mideast. Serves them right.

  • Subramaniam Narasimhan

    Respected Sir,
    The success of the likes of Ramachandra Guha and Rahul Gandhi lies wholly in the hands of the current ruling dispensation led by Mr. Modi. If they do not take the right steps to show them their place, their lies shall sell and sell well too and they may be back on the saddle at the first available opportunity.

    This Government must follow all the corruption cases earnestly and spare no-one, including the congress president Pranab Mukerjee, if he is found involved in the scams of those 10 years of UPA. If they do this, their re-election is guaranteed.

    Resorting to special, fast track courts and tougher tactics should be explored. They must also seriously pursue the dubious citizenship issue of Rahul Gandhi. No CEO of an international company is foolish enough to file successive income tax returns as British citizen and claim that it was a printers’ devil! The BJP and this Government have swallowed this blatant lie hook, line and sinker.

    They should also be vocal about their ideas and when taunted unfairly on Mohandoss Gandhi’s assasination, they should taunt them back with facts related to the suspicious deaths of SP Mukerjee, Dindayal Updadyaya; and the failures of Jawaharlal Nehru on the China front, accommodating Pakistan to the point of committing treason and sedition, all the way to the jeep scandal, Mundra scandal, the internal Emergency of 1975-77, Mohandoss Gandhi calling the soldiers to sweep toilets, and his sexual-experiments.

    They should relentlessly expose these shysters and fraudsters. Mr. Modi should have a full-time media secretary and he himself should on occasions, come down the aisle to talk to the media and common man. They have to, at the earliest, dispel the doubts in the minds of the public that they are going easy on the corruption cases. They should not resort to politeness or playing by the rule when their enemies are ready to cut their throats.

    • Jana krish

      Well said, you hit it right. Bullseye👍👌

  • “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” as they say in Hindu tradition.

    Contrary to the popular myths, the verse is neither located in Rigveda nor in MahAbhArata, neither in ManusmRiti nor in the purANa-s. Thus far, we have seen the verse in the following SaMskRita sources: hitopadesha, panchatantra, certain compendiums of ChANakya and BhaRtrihari, MahA-upaniShadam, certain versions of vikrama-charita,
    and finally in the works of the great KAshmIraka poet BhaTTa UdbhaTa.

  • Victor

    What are these parasites afraid of? That their favourite Mughals will finally lose out and India will regain its lost lustre? What a shameful character this RaGu is. The writer has exposed him well.

  • Gobinda Baruah

    I recommend this story to be read out to Rahul Gandhi.This genius came visiting Assam the other day and went via a Satra (Vaishnovite place of worship)named Barpeta Satra. The ladies of the Satra gathered there in the front gate to have a dekho of the Yuvraj and lo & behold! He saw the ghost of RSS among them and bolted out to give a statement that RSS were blocking his entry into the Satra! The idiot should have known that there is no ladies wing in the RSS!!

    • TruthAlWins

      Durga Vahini , the lady wing. Its actually of VHP but its one and the same.

  • krishnakumar

    Its a slap on a bigot who roam around like an elite. This R guha who pretends to be a historian has been peddling lies with the patronage of corrupt and anti national congress. Ofcourse, he was not alone. He had many brothers and sisters from his commie camp. Their patronage has exhausted. Their stranglehold over the the intellectual space through suppressive and paid print and visual media is abruptly challenged by Social Media where they dare suppress the opponent voices. And that gets reflected in all the rona dona JNU mein matam marna vaghaira vaghaira.

  • Kris Varanasi

    Thanks Anirudh, Good one

  • Rajesh K

    The problem lies not with Congress or communists but it is with BJP and RSS. You can not imagine how the Communists are pursuing their agenda to destabilize this country.
    Here is my Case Study of an Ex-ABVP leader who was won by the Communists oparating in and around JNU.
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=691083434366994&id=100003960309482

  • Jitendra Desai

    It is now becoming clear that these fliberals are becoming irrelevant.Fliberals themselves are becoming aware of this.Reason why their screams are becoming louder and shriller.This Guha man wants to eqaate RSS with ISIS.While a Rajdeep sardesai has written a piece declaring him to be an anti national.A Burkha Dutt has written an open letter to Narendra Modi.They don’t know what to do? Voters have dislodged their ” leaders” and pay masters.Social media have taken away their powers to influence the minds of people.What can they do? They have to dramatise their positions.don’t be surrpised if they appear one day at Jantar mantar – in their birthday costumes.

  • Infinite Wisdom

    Guha is a well known Congi pimp and not worth wasting any time on, now that The Congress is gone and nobody pays any attention to Guha.

  • JustSaying

    These people have spent their entire lives promoting fraudulent theories and now at the fag end of their life they see that the chickens have comes home to roost. It is but natural that some of them might lose the ability of reasoning. The article by Guha is such an example.
    Please stop calling them intelligentsia/intellectuals . They are like any other snake oil salesmen .

  • Badal

    Strangely when we discuss Intellectuals in the context of Country’s Political climate automatically the image that one conjures up is Individuals with background in literature , economics , human sciences .Such has been the dominance in the Media columns of these people that it is difficult to imagine any other Individual with any other background like Technical , Medcine , Business administration as representing the sane voice of intellectuals .
    This Image is seriously getting challenged with the platform provided by the Social media . Views which went unchallenged are very logically busted by people who never spent their life attending literary festivals / writing articles or columns etc . The strength of the new brigade which is taking on the domains of these sterotype intellectuals are their reliance on strong inner conviction to a large extent assisted by availability of vast world of information at the ouch of a key board button . The stereo type intellectuals were not really stretched by the need to present facts and views logically and convincingly and they got away with vague references and conclusions with Mastery over the language .Not any more with all their views and conclusions and inferences getting sawed through with rationale and logical insight of the other group , they are writhing with discomfort . With media fast losing its control as opinion maker , these intellectuals too are facing testing period . New order is emerging which needs to be satisfied with facts and reasoning and solid precedence .Kudos to India fact team .

  • kumar

    This “intellectual” (self proclaimed) has been eating out of the hand of Nehru Dynasty. You can not expect anything better from him.These people will sell the country for a bottle of scotch.

    • Shubhangi Raykar

      He is a favourite number with Sadhana – a Marathi weekly established by Sane Guruji

  • Indian

    Kindly go through this http://blog.sureshchiplunkar.com/. Please do not ascribe ANY respectability by giving these naked money hungry parasitic street dogs, by ascribing any so called ideology to these Italian street dogs. They are just gutter pigs good for nothing but Filthy rich BHADWA Dalals and FAMILY provides them for Huge money to JUST BARK . They are insidious, evil and dangerous who will Break India and create blood bath IF PRICE IS RIGHT. THEY AND FAMILIES HAVE TO BE EXTERMINATED or they will exterminate India. Offcourse BONGO monkey faced loud mouth uncultured louts are best at it, no doubt whole of India is infested, even small towns by these parasites

  • Krispy K

    It’s important to note that whilst people are gushing over Arnab Goswami because he has provided such publicity to the JNU students saga, he is guilty of making exactly the same kind of equivalences as this rat-faced insect Guha. People who do this immediately sacrifice any credibility they might have had.

  • K.Harapriya

    In these days of internet where everyone can check up on facts and criticize ideology driven revisionism that passes for history in India, Ramachandra Guha, Romila Thapar, Ifran Habib are becoming irrelevant. Hence the shrillness of the arguments.