NOTE: This is my translation of Pratap Simha’s piece titled Hindugale Haedigalaagiruvaaga Anyarannu Doori Phalavenu that appeared in Kannada Prabha on August 25, 2012. As always, comments and criticism are welcome.
It has been called brain drain or flight of talent. Much noise has been made against it. It has been held responsible for this nation’s continued backwardness. But then, no matter what, in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s decades, people who had dreams of building a bright future for themselves, people who embarked on a quest to find career opportunities, people who thought that there were no avenues in India to showcase their talent, people who desperately wanted to escape the noose of Reservations…people…Indian doctors and engineers and scientists and other professionals who wanted to leave their own mark migrated abroad. And once they migrated, they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, settled there, and became citizens of those foreign nations.
…. but…despite achieving such outstanding success, they experienced a vacuum…the sort that makes you feel empty in an atmosphere where everything is aplenty. The sort that brings you emptiness.The sort that leaves you feeling orphaned. These and similar experiences tormented these Indians. Which is what gave rise to the “You can take an Indian out of India but you can’t take India out of an Indian!” expression. Indians who have permanently settled abroad, who have imbibed their social mores, still visit India religiously, year after year. India is for them a binding force. Sunita Williams, presently somewhere in Outer Space, sent her Independence wishes on August 15. She unfurled the Tricolour in her Spaceship and said, “As you all know, I’m half Indian. My father is Gujarati. That’s how I’m familiar with Indian customs and traditions. I feel proud to say that I’m also part of India!”
The same Sunita Williams who feels so proud to say that she’s part of India…will that India remain India as we know it, as the world knows it? Will this India remain intact? Will this India, in just a few decades not break into splinters again? Besides, what kind of conditions are being fomented in India today, even as we speak? What sort of religious-fundamentalist abyss is this nation being pushed to today? At a future time, forget Indianness, forget Indian ethos, forget even the expression, “"You can take an Indian out of India but you can’t take India out of an Indian,” forget even the concept of a Hindu country…ask: will this nation even remain India? Aren’t we witnessing a threat to the very existence of India? In its wake, shouldn’t we ask, from whom does this threat arise? Who do we need to blame this on?
I’m sure all of you are aware of Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq. Mir Sadiq was a minister under Tipu Sultan. You equally know what Mir Sadiq did. He entered into a secret pact with the British and, under the pretext of collecting taxes, he diverted the troops under him, thereby enabling the British to win the Fourth Anglo-Mysore war. In plain language, Mir Sadiq was a betrayer. Let’s turn to the Battle of Plassey. This battle, which laid the foundation of the British Empire in India was the handiwork of Mir Jaffar, Siraj-ud-daullah’s trusted lieutenant. Another traitor-Muslim, who backstabbed his own Muslim king for the sake of a few pennies of British money. The Battle of Plassey effectively ended Muslim rule in India.
But then, who are the betrayers, who are the traitors in our midst, in our own time? Who are those who are pushing India to the brink of yet another Partition for the sake of a few votes?
Badruddin Ajmal, the man who is provoking violence in Assam, and Asaduddin Owaisi with his inflammatory, communal, and treasonous speeches in Parliament…who or what is the force that encourages and feeds such divisive and anti-national elements?
August 21, Azad Maidan, Mumbai:
Raj Thackeray, chief of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) held a massive and hugely successful rally at Azad Maidan protesting the Muslim vandalism that occurred at the same spot and in its vicinity, on August 11. In his crowd-mesmerizing speech, Raj stringently criticized the Muslim mob that vandalized property, destroyed media vehicles, and attacked Mumbai police. In his speech, he expressed solidarity with the 50-odd policemen who were targets of this vandalism and sympathized with the plight of the policewomen who were molested by the Muslim mob. His speech also sent out a stern warning to these vandals. Police constable Pramod Tawde, who listened to this speech climbed up the dais after the speech, congratulated Raj Thackeray, and handed him a flower. This was his way of expressing gratitude to the man who spiritedly spoke in a manner that uplifted the morale of the police force. Pramod Tawde’s gesture broke all established police protocols.
Why did he do that?
Pramod Tawde was on security duty when the Muslim mob went on a rampage on August 11. He did his bit to restrain and control the mob at great risk to his life. But that’s not all. He apprehended two rioters. But thow did the then Mumbai Police Commissioner respond to this heroic act? “Don’t try to act smart because you look like Subash Chandra Bose!” But that’s still not all. Here’s what Commissioner Arup Patnaik told a Deputy Commissioner of Police who was trying his best to do riot-control: “bastard!” and then proceeded to order the release of a few rioters the poor DCP had caught. Instead of commending the DCP for the good job he did by apprehending the rioters, Arup Patnaik insulted his junior in gutter language. If Arup Patnaik isn’t a nation-betrayer, we don’t know what else we need to call him. If people like Arup Patnaik hold the reins of the Police force, what does it do to the morale of the entire force?
People like the Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil and Commissioner Arup Patnaik who reported to him are worse than the divisive and treasonous leaders like Badruddin Ajmal and Owaisi. On the one hand there are people like the MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar who has announced a reward of Rs. 5 Lakhs to anyone who gives information about the traitors who desecrated the Amar Jawan Jyoti Memorial. On the other, we have Chief Ministers like Prithviraj Chauhan who order the release of Azad Maidan rioters who were arrested by the Mumbai police.
Tell me, who are the real traitors, who are the folks feeding anti-national feelings? Aren’t these practitioners of vote bank politics the Mir Jaffars and Mir Sadiqs of today?
And now, Asaduddin Owaisi!
On August 8th, when Owaisi thundered in Parliament over the Assam violence that "I warn the honourable Members over here… If proper rehabilitation does not take place, you be ready for a third wave of radicalisation among Muslim youth,” every Hindu Member of Parliament watched the treacherous spectacle with pursed lips. Doesn’t the Congress feel even an iota of shame to ride on the support of such a divisive man both in the Centre and in Andhra Pradesh? Isn’t the Congress aware of the sordid record of Owaisi’s party, All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM)? In 1947, this party was christened Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM). When the Nizam of Hyderabad refused to join the Indian Union, Sardar Patel sent the Indian army to make him see reason. MIM was the organization that mobilized the band of Razakkars tasked with the mission of fighting the Indian army. It’s a different story that the Nizam lost and Hyderabad became part of India. In its wake, the Government of India banned MIM. In 1957, in a bid to express its solidarity with India, MIM prefixed “All India” to its name. Maulana Abdul Wahid Owaisi, grandfather of Asaduddin Owaisi took over AIMIM and established a Muslim vote bank in Hyderabad. His son, Sultan Salauddin Owaisi took control of AIMIM after his father’s death. Blogger Piyush, at Thinker’s Pad has a detailed saga of the Owaisi clan. Thus, with anti-nationalism as the roots, what else can one expect from the Owaisis? More importantly, what do we call the UPA, which, despite being fully aware of Owaisi’s treasonous tendencies, has still appointed him as a member of the Standing Committee on Defence?
When L.K. Advani characterized the UPA government as illegitimate, the entire might of the UPA forced him to retract his statement. Now, why did the BJP, which behaves as if it has exclusive rights to patriotism and nationalism not force a similar retraction from the UPA when Asaduddin Owaisi made his traitorous speech on the floor of the Parliament? How do we even begin to define the moral cowardice of our leaders?
This is what Mahatma Gandhi said several decades ago: “My own experience but confirms the opinion that the Musalman as a rule is a bully, and the Hindu as rule is a coward.” This holds truer today. Which begs the question: what’s the point in blaming Muslims for the cowardice of the Hindus? Who were/are responsible for the growth of people like Owaisi and Badruddin Ajmal? In the wake of the 2010 High Court judgement on Ram Janmabhoomi, Akbaruddin Owaisi—Asaduddin’s brother—in a provocative speech said this to a large gathering of Muslims: “where all did Ram’s mother Kaushalya go and give birth to Ram?” How would the Muslim community react to a speech by a Hindu leader who said similar things about figures Muslims revere? When Karunanidhi taunted, “which Engineering college did Rama study at?” in the context of the Rama Setu affair, Hindus muttered nary a protest. Forget that. When Wikileaks revealed the fact that Rahul Gandhi considers Hindu “fundamentalism” as the greatest threat India faces, Hindus remained undisturbed in their slumber.
When the saintly Mahatma Gandhi said “the world has no place for the weak,” when the glorious Greek and Roman civilizations perished, will India be any different? Especially when we continue this way, when we remain inert, is there any doubt that this nation will go to the dogs?