How the right-wing Hindu press defended Nupur Sharma’s controversial Prophet’s remarks
New Delhi: Nupur Sharma, former BJP national spokesperson I only dared to repeat what Islamic preacher Zakir Naik had said, read an op-ed in Rashtriya affiliated newspaper Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Panchjanyareferring to the suspension of the first of senior party member on his remarks about the Prophet Muhammad.
Besides the diplomatic row sparked by Nupur Sharma’s remarks, the pages of the right-wing Hindu press were filled last week with extensive coverage of the Gyanvapi Mosque affair, the murder of singer-rapper Sidhu Moose Wala and the 348th anniversary of the coronation of Shivaji.
Important mentions also include an op-ed by RSS leader Ram Madhav in which he writes that the only challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi may come from the Prime Minister himself.
Panchjanyain a editorialalleged that some people were engaged in a “deliberate attempt to smear the name of India” by saying that Hindus have become intolerant.
“Propaganda is spreading and allegations are being made that Hindus are becoming intolerant and violent. Their behavior towards Muslims is not good. So-called intellectuals frequently raise this issue in the international media. But is it really so?
“The picture is the opposite. Some people are deliberately engaged in spoiling the name of the country. This game is being played through the media and academia,” the editorial read.
“A BJP spokeswoman and her family were threatened with rape, death because she dared to repeat what the Islamic preacher Zakir Naik said. On the other hand, a muslim leader said that if he was aware of Shivling, he would already broke it,” he added.
Citing the examples of Delhi University professor Ratan Lal and Marathi actor Ketaki Chitale, the editorial went further to argue that one can get away with targeting Hindu symbols. Ratan Lal was arrested and subsequently released on bail for allegedly making an offensive joke related to the Gyanvapi Mosque row, while Chitale remains in custody for sharing an allegedly derogatory message about the leader of the Nationalist Congress Party ( NCP), Sharad Pawar.
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“Only challenge for Modi”
In a editorial he wrote on Tuesday for the India timesenior RSS official Ram Madhav said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “the BJP and the government”.
Dev Kant Baruah’s “India is Indira” was an exaggeration in the 1970s, but “Modi is the BJP and the government” is no exaggeration today… Modi’s rise to power in 2014 was due to his own popularity coupled with the support of his party and the ubiquitous Sangh Parivar and the strong opposition in power against the UPA government.
“But his continued dominance after eight years is singularly due to him. Everything about the past eight years has been about Modi,” the editorial read, adding that the Modi juggernaut “could keep rolling for many more years and could also break Nehru’s record.…The only challenge could be Modi himself.”
“Once ticked off by world powers for the Gujarat riots and written off by the Indian political establishment as an inconsequential regional satrap, Modi has forged his way through national politics over the past two decades in the most determined and diligent manner. Using his popular goodwill, he made a fait accompli for his party to appoint him prime minister,” he wrote.
Ram Madhav further argued that Modi’s rise to power cannot be attributed solely to Hindutva. “He (Modi) had the support of the Hindutva movement, but this movement could bring Lal Krishna Advani, one of its greatest leaders, to over 140 seats just five years ahead of Modi,” the RSS leader wrote.
Addressing the controversy over the remarks made by former BJP officials Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal, Madhav wrote, “Controversies, like that over the statements of some party spokespersons, are not new to Modi. Over the decades, he has traveled through them and mastered the art of converting them to his political advantage.
“Gyanvapi was a temple, it will remain one”
The cover story of Hindu Vishwa, the bimonthly magazine of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), reiterated the claim that the Gyanvapi Mosque is a temple. “Gyanvapi mandir tha, mandir hai, mandir hi rahega (Gyanvapi was a temple, is a temple and will remain a temple),” the magazine cover said. June edition.
“Hindu aspirations suppressed for centuries are now manifesting. Courts have now begun to understand the religious rights of Hindus. The way is paved for the reconstruction of Hindu values destroyed by the invaders. It has become clear that the coming era is the era of Hindu pride,” reads the cover story.
In an article he wrote for the In the same edition of VHP’s bi-monthly magazine, journalist Ravi Parashar hailed the Calcutta High Court’s order directing the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate religious conversions in West Bengal.
The article went further alleging that cases of religious conversions go unreported in the state due to “settlements” between the Trinamool Congress Volunteers (TMC) and the West Bengal Police.
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“In the Modi era, only PMOs and CMOs are powerful”
In his editorial for IndiaRight-wing journalist Hari Shankar Vyas has questioned the tight grip of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on policy-making.
“The entire political system, from the Center to the States, has become irrelevant. Now only two institutions are relevant. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the Center and the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in the States. There are over 75 ministers in the central government but most ministers are irrelevant,” Vyas wrote.
“Thanks to the charisma of a person, all members of the ruling party won elections and became ministers by the grace of this person – therefore, this person has the right to think and make all decisions.
“It’s not that government cabinet ministers will be unhappy with this arrangement. They will be happy to have nothing to do. They receive instructions from above and, accordingly, they prepare the file and transmit it. Everything is governed by the Prime Minister’s Office and the credit for everything also goes to the Prime Minister and his cabinet,” Vyas wrote.
“India should follow the Swaraj of Shivaji”
In a editorial to mark the 348th anniversary of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, RSS affiliate newspaper Organizer praised the concept of “Swaraj” from the Maratha ruler.
“Marxist historians who try to make Aurangzeb and other Muslim tyrants a saint should know how Shivaji haindavi swaraj treated minorities and women. Although he fought several battles with the Islamic sultanates of the Mughals, the Qutub Shahi and the Adil Chahi, he never harbored a grudge against the Muslim people. Several Muslims have been inducted into key positions in the administration and the army.
“After independence, Bharat had the opportunity to follow Shivaji swaraj and rebuild our nation on the civilizational foundations. But those who have taken the reins of power have chosen to take a different path. Our abandonment of our national ethic and the slavish adoption of imported ideas have led us to social, intellectual and economic deprivation,” reads the editorial.
Referring to the murder of singer-rapper Sidhu Moose Wala in broad daylight, right-wing journalist Rajiv Tuli wrote in a editorial for India ahead that the people of Punjab have been betrayed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government they elected earlier this year.
“They (the people of Punjab) thought they had made a date with fate by giving a chance to a political phenomenon which gave them hopes, aspirations and dreams,” the editorial read.
“Imagine, Punjab’s most famous singer is killed in broad daylight in Bollywood movie style with the most coveted weapons not even readily available to the [sic] armies. And despite the fact that the town of Mansa where he was killed had only two exit routes and it takes four to five hours to cross the borders of Punjab, the killers escape the clutches of the law.
“It indicates the naivety and inexperience of the AAP in handling the administration of the state, especially law and order which is the precondition of any other business or social activity. State law and order has touched the nadir,” Tuli wrote.
He went further to say that the handout promises of the AAP government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann are putting more pressure on the Punjab economy.
“To deflect the pressure of rising expectations that have been fueled by the AAP, devious issues such as Chandigarh Civil Service Rules and old issues with Chandigarh are being raised. The ‘projection’ of so-called ‘good government deeds’ backfires,” wrote Rajiv Tuli.
Column “Other religions and beliefs” in the census
In a article for the official website of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Prof. Anand Paliwal criticized the “Other Religions and Beliefs (ORP)” column of the census.
“Is it to show that the tribal society, which is an integral part of the Hindu society, is different by inventing a different terminology for them? asked Professor Paliwal, who is a member of the ABVP’s central working committee.
“Is there a historical and social legal essence behind the above notion or did it start as a conspiracy…Whether it was Lord Macaulay or Christian missionaries, everyone knew that religion and Hindu culture are so advanced that without attacking them, conversion seems impossible.
“The work of conversion, which they found easily carried out in the tribal societies of America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc., has become a great challenge here because of religion and Hindu culture. This is the reason why attempts are made to disintegrate Hindu society by inventing different terminologies,” he argued.
(Editing by Amrtansh Arora)
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