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Why Mohan Bhagwat’s meeting with Muslim intellectuals was long overdue.

A nation torn by internal contradiction and inner turmoil, despite its military strength, cannot attain the status of ‘ One Nation’ and ‘ One People’ unless its stakeholders –both Hindus and Muslims–join hands together in a fraternal bonding. Hence against this backdrop, Mohan Bhagwat’s latest attempt to forge a consensus with Muslim intellectuals is a long desired step towards reuniting the nation.

RSS Sarsanghchalak Mr Mohan Bhagwat unfolds a nationalistic vision for both Hindus and Muslims as the common cause for Mother India.

Vivekanand Jha Ranchi: Indeed a pioneering initiative of Mohan Bhagwat to meet the Muslim intellectuals, some of whom were Umer Ahmad Iliyasi and S.Y. Quarashi, the former Chief Election Commissioner, one of the most vocal Muslim intellectuals, is the new development which has been long overdue. Significantly, my overwhelming concern pertaining to the nation being torn apart by this accentuating differences between the two communities, was the trigger behind my visit to Sangh Headquarter in Nagpur in 2019 as the concerned citizen of Bharatvarsha. Such was my humongous concern for the deteriorating state of affairs of the nation that I wrote a piece warning Mohan Bhagwat for the catastrophe which awaited to happen within the country, if the situation was not arrested from escalating further. Significantly, my Hindu nationalism envisages Hindu- Muslims as equal citizens, yet with a rider: The Hindu civilisational glory of Bharatvarsha should be an integral part of this constitutional India. Thankfully, what I have been staunchly propagating that the majority of Muslims today are converted from Hindus, hence, DNA is same; in fact, the only fundamental difference is this: The gods for worship and the process of worship. This remains a private affair. The reconciliation of differences which showed no abatement, rather it showed an obvious aggravation, needed to be bridged on a fire fighting mode. This is where I wrote a severely scathing piece that, if the situation was not contained or arrested from escalation, India risked its further disintegration.

The new aphorism of ‘ Rashtra Pita’ conferred upon Bhagwat, by Iliyasi, albeit a premature one, yet it has its authentic significance attached to it: The role of ‘ Rashtra Pita’ indeed symbolises the significance of the nation’s custodian of its rights, duty and the safety of citizens. The fake ‘Rashtrapita Pita’ we had in the past, engendered the unprecedented bloodshed in the polity, hence, to stave off its duplication yet again, the new ‘ Rashtra Pita’ if Bhagwat is to be the one, has to ensure that the fraternal bonding between Hindus and Muslims are not sabotaged by the vested interest, for there are saboteurs, both within and without, who have deeply entrenched roots within the polity to jeopardise peace and communal harmony. Paradoxically, when Bhagwat was talking sense with Muslim intellectuals for bringing rapproachement between two estranged brothers, Owaisi, ever frightened of his own diminishing role, in the event of the wisdom dawning on Muslim community, was crying foul, the rationale behind the same was obvious to one and all.

With the benefits of hindsight, notwithstanding the repudiation of my contention, the fact remains that the former Sarsanghchalak, Balasaheb Deoras had genuinely made an honest attempt to rope in Muslims within the nationalistic vision of RSS. Yet, unjustifiably though, he was shot down by those surrounding him, floating a logic instead that he should experiment whatever he intended outside RSS, not within it, compelled Balasaheb Deoras to give a decent burial to his grandiose plan to bring Muslims too within the mission and vision of RSS. Rashtriya Muslim Sangh, another wing of RSS, was conceptualised by Balasaheb Deoras( The lost years of RSS by Kelkar). RSS should note that India, only to its detriment, can think of alienating Muslims from the national mainstream.

Mohan Bhagwat deserves kudos, despite having taken this initiative a little belatedly, for India can seldom afford to alienate its another arm. Unequivocally, Swami Vivekananda’s vision of ‘ Vedantist mind and Islamic body’ shall constitute India’, was equally pertinent then, as it is now. Small wonder then, all aggressive speeches by new Hindutava demagogues like Pushpendra Kulshreshtha, whereas they might be true, yet has no potential to unite the nation; instead it has the smouldering impacts to set the polity ablaze. The only solution which I have been advancing –my telephonic conversation with Sri Sudheendra Kulkarnijee, brought about by my deeply anguished feelings of a divided nation ending up as a fodder for the domestic as well as foreign enemies–had set me on to a path of a deeply disillusioned thinking citizen of Bharatvarsha. Now, the latest cheerful news, amidst darkening cloud is the move initiated by the topmost Sangh leadership to bring Hindus- Muslims together, is all the more welcome, for a bruised republic like ours needs an immediate balm for healing. Unequivocally, Indic civilisation can never be consummated unless Hindus and Muslims join hands for lending the collective strength to Bharat Mata. Thus whereas BJP has a vested interest to divide the nation for vote bank politics, RSS, the votary of cultural nationalism, whose raison d’etre and summum bonum lies in inextricably linking the destiny of Mother India with that of RSS, cannot afford the voice of secessionism to gain ascendancy and currency in the polity. Hence in this backdrop, Mohan Bhagwat gets a thumbs up from 1.30 billion fellow citizens of Bharatvarsha.

Vivekanand Jha, an Author, Academician and a Public Intellectual is mighty concerned about the fate of the nation and, therefore, he applauds Shri Mohan Bhagwat’s grand initiative to bring the nation together. Better still, what I have been highlighting through my writings, Mohan Bhagwat has begun sincerely to implement them.

Vivekanand Jha, author of Delhi Beckons: RaGa for NaMo, 56 Inches and The Making of Narendra Modi, Unmaking of Jawaharlal.

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