I am surprised by the sudden surge of love for the supposedly ‘Hindutva agenda’ in BJP state governments and state units. Supposedly, because ‘Hindutva agenda’ is not limited to a shallow view about what people eat.
If one notes carefully; since the time Modi has taken charge of the government, stress has been on development agenda with an underlying flavour of Hinduness. This has been welcomed by people at large. The latest elections show clear approval of this approach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While core problematic area of education seems to be on the backburner at the Centre as well as at state level, stress on meat and beef and similar issues have taken centre stage now. Let me underline the fact that I am a strict vegetarian and like to persuade people to give up meat etc. as a human act and environment-friendly habit. In the West, such sensitization has weaned large sections of society away from meat consuming and made them vegans.
We know that huge number of Hindus is vegetarian too. So, this sudden love for converting a state into a vegetarian state, like Gujarat Chief Minister has been quoted as saying, and groups roaming the streets shutting down meat shops in different states sounds strange.
There has been a sudden rush by some within the BJP in other BJP-ruled states to call for stricter laws on cow slaughter, making meat business almost a crime. Cow-protection is central to Hindu psyche both on religious and environmental grounds. Simple solution lies in applying existing laws strictly, not making tougher laws. If tougher laws were an antidote, we would have seen a drop in heinous crimes like rape, but we have seen the rise in brutality. People also confuse beef with cow meat, though cow meat is also beef, but so is buffalo meat. This confusion is further compounded by media that talks of cow meat and beef in the same breath, vitiating the atmosphere further.
To me, this shift in BJP style seems like an easier way of satisfying hot-tempered and emotional Hindu groups. Because, core problems like changing school textbooks that still teach toxic defeatist history; and syllabi that have no scope for ethical, moral education or religious education are not even being touched. How damaging these books are, can be understood by stupid tweets of the supposedly learned lawyer like Prashant Bhushan, just to give an example.
I have noted elsewhere that such utterances tell us about the success of Left-Secular irreligious education model that leaves people rootless and bereft of self-respect. No nation has risen without pride in its culture and history. There are no such examples in the world. With 7 decades of damaging academic and intellectual exercise, we are the only nation in the world that is still debating about its nationhood and doubting our own heritage and history.
If efforts are being made to rewrite NCERT textbooks, they seem to be very superficial. It seems that the same left cabal is still ruling the education departments. An article by a pro-Hindu academic like Koenard Elst and others about the exchange of letters regarding glaring mistakes and misrepresentation in history books and poor defence offered by faceless babus of education department or ‘experts’ tell us about poor focus HRD ministry has on this core issue. An effort is being made in these supposedly revised books to whitewash Islamic invaders’ atrocities by bringing in false equivalence of rare deviations by a couple of Hindu kings. This is just one example. This happens right under the nose of concerned ministry.
Three years of present Central government have passed without any fundamental review of education system built brick by brick since 1948 by Nehruvians and Marxists. I doubt if the BJP state governments have done anything seriously about their state education books. Examples that proliferate social media tell us that nothing has happened.
It is accepted widely that 93rd amendment to RTE has sounded the death-knell for conventional mainstream charitable schools run by non-minority trusts or organisations that have been around for decades. Many of them have closed or offered closure, or are on the verge of closure. By exempting minority institutions from RTE, previous government has kept away a large number of good institutions out of bounds for deserving poor students. This has also resulted in many communities vying for ‘minority statuses’ in various states. This affects Hindu society most as it is being broken up with the help of such laws.
BJP government or the party has not yet shown any inclination to touch RTE and its obnoxious 93rd amendment. Maybe, party fears that it will be pilloried by left and media controlled by the left if it takes up such contentious issues. BJP forgets to learn from current history that whether it does something or not, it will be abused and criticised anyway by the Left groups of various shades, who’s ultimate aim is to break India.
Demonetization is one such example that exposed the Left who opposed it bitterly though their assumed constituency of poor fully supported it.
Not only with regards to this serious and tough issue of education, the BJP governments have not even tried to free temples from government control. In fact, Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, has recently taken over 100s of Hindu temples in Madhya Pradesh through an ordinance.
Compared with such core issues, making noise about meat seems so easy. Shutting down all illegal businesses is a right step for a law abiding society, but extending this idea without proper planning to pander to noisy, over enthusiastic Hindu groups, who claim to be working for Hindu society, will alienate all major sections of the society across various faiths. Such populist noises about meat etc. without homework will dilute governance issues tackled well by BJP governments and cloud the positive environment created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It is in the interest of the BJP to go for reforms that have crippled our society’s mental faculties and work for better governance, enforce equality before the law and organise a good education system. Short term propagandist acts will not benefit anybody, including BJP. Time is running out.