RSS questions Mother Teresa – why BJP backing? Why not taking action?
Dr. John Mohan Razu, CTC, Mokokchung
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is cat and mouse play. BJP and RSS keep playing by uttering atrocious and damaging statements and then keep quiet. This type of game has been going on and on and on since BJP came to power in May 2014. On and off, the ultra-right fundamentalist organizations utter provocative and insinuating statements against the Christians and the Muslims leaving in between some breathers. They play the game with perfect coordination, impeccable rhythm, game rules and outcomes clandestinely worked out between RSS and BJP the two major actors that are involved. However, in this game they are other side actors such as RSS, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Munanni and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). Their game by and large involves uttering/making controversial statements against the Indian Christians and Indian Muslims and catch fishes in troubled water. All their utterances have indeed created insecurity and unease amongst the Christians and Muslims.This time RSS’s Chief Mohan Bhagwat picked a noble soul and made the most callous remark against Mother Teresa. His remark against Mother Teresa was unwarranted and has drawn lots of criticism and condemnation within the country and across the world. Mother Teresa, a Nobel laureate and a recipient of the nation’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna is widely known as a symbol of sacrifice and selfless love; being praised for her relentless service to the weak and the neglected for many decades. She is no more and yet is now being questioned for her conversion motif. Mohan Bhagwat is known for his subtle games and cunning moves. Notably, she cared for the people and struggled to bring respect and dignity for those who were ostracized and neglected by the society.
Her philosophy was that the poor and the needy long for respect and love. So, she went all out by extending due dignity and self-esteem. She mocked the idea of conversion. She was vociferous in her belief that her notion of conversion was to make better Hindus, better Muslims, better Christians so on and so forth. More importantly, Mother Teresa had left to the discretion of individuals to find God and follow in whatever religion they are comfortable. She firmly believed that the moment they find the way vis-à-vis God it was up to them to followers to choose their own path. But the ultra-rights and the fundamentalists baselessly concoct all sorts of allegations by bringing Vatican and say that its sole purpose is soul-harvesting. Further, they say that she collected millions of dollars from all sorts of people for the purposes of conversion.
RSS should reckon with a fact that conspiracy theory does not work. The theories these fundamentalists create and float are baseless, illogical and without substance and material. More importantly, it is a well-known fact that Mother Teresa firmly believed in secularism and mutual co-existence of diverse religious and faith persuasions. A question that arises: Is RSS the supplier and provider of reason for Modi and BJP? The fringe elements have no other work, but keep inventing new theories and frivolous ideas such as Ghar Wapsi, Love Jihad and now Mother Teresa. These frivolous and lumpen elements have no productive work except creating division within and between communities. Let me raise a few questions: Is spreading the words of Jesus tantamount to conversion? If a Hindu priest quotes from Ramayana or Maharabharatha or other scriptures, is he automatically involved in conversion? Mother Teresa was crystal clear in her view that once anyone found God it was better for him/her. Nevertheless, she was very much influenced by the words and works of Jesus Christ and so she in turn in her words and actions spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How is it spreading the Gospel of Jesus tantamount to conversion?
Who is RSS to question Mother Teresa? What is their locus standi on this? Mother Teresa was involved in the spreading of the good news of Jesus by showing love and respect to those who were deprived by cutting across the socio-religio-cultural and economic barriers and divides. She was following the foot-steps of Jesus and till her death she continued with unconditional love and unflinching faith in Jesus. If a Hindu priests quotes from the Hindu scriptures it is not conversion, but a Christian quotes from the Bible it is conversion. Why this double-speak and why double standards: one for Hindus and the other for Christians.
PM Modi employs double standards and wears two masks. Not even a week passed by PM Modi promised the minorities that he would not allow those who hurt the religious minorities and promised the Christian leaders that they would be protected and asked them to enjoy the freedom of religion. PM Modi and co is unwilling to contain the RSS! Why playing Jackal and Hyde. Is BJP backing indefensible and invincible RSS? Why is BJP backing, why is BJP not acting? It is a known fact that Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Urban Development Minister Venkiah Naidu categorically said that his allegiance to RSS cannot be questioned because he belongs to RSS and even PM Modi too confirmed his RSS leanings and PM Modi owes to RSS because what he is now is certainly due to RSS.
BJP is reluctant to condemn what RSS chief said. His statement is obnoxious and posits insanity. There is no use of pleading and always be at the mercy of PM Modi. BJP and RSS have larger game plan. Former PM Atul Vajpayee’s BJP government that ruled the centre 12 years ago was much stronger in governance than the present BJP government with 282 MPs. The present government is spineless because RSS chief Bhagwat is the boss and BJP should dance according to RSS tunes. PM Modi appears and disappears as per the dictates of the RSS. Nagpur is ruling and certainly not Delhi. Some fringe elements ask for the funds that Mother Teresa collected? Who are they to ask? Let the government and the departments involved should initiate if there is misappropriation or dubious deals and not these outfits. What then is VHP’s budget? How much BJP received as part of international donations? All these prompt me to ask these fringe elements that they should clear their mind-sets. People voted for BJP and certainly not for RSS. Cleaning the lepers, rescuing children from the gutters and bins, helping the poor and the needy are considered as service. Taking a person or a community promising them they would get BPL card, Adhar card and others incentives are nothing but conversion. PM Modi should condemn it and should not back it. Who is the boss: Modi or Mohan Bhawat?
BJP is tolerating bigotry and venom spewed on minorities. It has lost its moral credibility and sense of governance. This government is not keen in pursuing development and growth rather interested in going after Missionaries of Charity. Not keen in bringing back black money stashed in European countries, rather keen in promoting ghar wapsi, love jihad and others. BJP is not interested in curbing corporate corruption, but encouraging people to taint the services Mother Teresa rendered to the global humanity. Does PM Modi have the courage to take on RSS chief Mohan Bhawat? PM Modi should condemn it, not back him. PM Modi is not Vajpayee because Vajpayee kept sangh parivars in their place and he concentrated on governance. PM Modi who is heading the BJP has no spine because he is accountable to RSS and other ultra-right outfits and not the people of India who elected him.
There is no depth in their logicality and rationality of sangh parivars. They only show their shallowness in their arguments. Mother Teresa clearly pointed out that people of various religions are saved according to their faith and beliefs. People believe in Rama, Allah, Jesus Christ or Buddha seeks their path for salvation. She never make their compelled anyone to embrace Christianity or get converted to Christianity but left to the individuals to make their own choice. Mother Teresa was keen in spreading Jesus’ words and works in her words and actions. What is the problem? She had all the right to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Mohan Bhawat’s utterance shows sheer ignorance and lacks depth.
Her actions symbolized the unconditional love and deeper spirituality. She was one amongst those who were unwanted, unloved and uncared. She embraced those who lived in squalid conditions, filth, sick, dying, orphaned and neglected. She in dynamics ways transcended all the human laid barriers and divides. For her religion never came in the way. She lived in a pluralistic context like India and thus served people from all persuasions. She was indeed a global humanitarian and served the global humanity with unconditional love and total dedication. There is no iota of doubt that Mother Teresa was associated in the spreading Jesus’ self-giving, self-emptying and self-sacrificing love to all human beings irrespective of caste, creed, color and race. What was wrong in it? Would anyone point with data and empirical evidence that Mother Teresa involved in conversion?
Mother Teresa is a symbol of simplicity, service, dedication and love. She cannot be constricted within certain frameworks and boundaries. She is global and continues to revered and imitated by many for her service to the world wide humanity. In such a context petty-minds think in small ways and do not see the worth of any person such as Mother Teresa. Now it is a proven fact that RSS is ideological mentor for BJP. PM Modi we now know your game. Jackal and Hyde play can never go on and on. People of India have now understood your intentions. Minorities should never beg him asking for few protective packages. It is our right and he should respond failing which the struggle for our rights continues.
RSS-BJP programs intrinsically meant to divide the country on the basis of minority and majority. Like fascist Germany at the time of Hitler they tend to systematically attack the political parties that have the inclusive leanings and the Indian constitution which is entrenched on the ideals of secularism and socialism. Further, the sangh parivars’ verbal and physical attacks on the Muslims and the Christians show their perversion and corroded mind-set. By making this sort of utterances they think that minorities and other secular parties would give in to their anti-conversion agenda and the passage of enacting a law in the Parliament be realized.
The secular minded people and inclusive Indians should never give-in to their ploy because constitutionally we have the right to proclaim and profess our religion. It is our constitutional right and nobody has the right to question. While on the other we should question BJP to enter into debates on national issues. It is apparent that BJP continues to duck to debate on important problems that our people are undergoing. For instance, take the recent bill on land acquisition that was tabled in the Parliament. BJP Government has been under attack by its allies and opposition parties on many aspects that seem to against the interests of the farmers.
In addition, BJP in its manifesto promised many things, but having come to power BJP has hardly translated except meddling with the constitutional guarantees given to the people of India. BJP-RSS and their affiliates keep adding more insults and appalling remarks time and time again. There is no reprieve from those who cause verbal hurt to people. PM Modi too seems to have given them the tacit support and approval to them. The only option is to intensify our struggles thereby aligning with other secular forces thwarting these nefarious forces that come in our way.