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Tail Wagging the Dog

Tail Wagging the Dog

Yes, it does happen. It is the day of the ‘fringe.’ The ‘fringe’ is no more the fringe. It is no more at the periphery. It is right there as integral part of the nucleus. It is dictating to the powers that are. It defines the mainstream and defies all rationality. It defines India’s nationalism. It acts as dictator and executioner.

That is how today most sensible Indians view the so-called fringe elements, the hoodlum groups that are on a terror rampage. They are on a do or die operation terror. To destroy Indian democracy; To introduce their version of democracy and nationalism; To do away with socialism and secularism; To uproot the Indian Constitution and replace it with the Vedic mantras; To attack and wipe out rationalists; To spread the tentacles of terrorism nationwide!

It is absurd to describe these sinister elements as ‘fringe’. They are not. A section of the Indian media, with their own compulsions and lackey allegiance, may describe them as ‘fringe’ even when they are a national menace by upholding their birth-right to vandalize, lynch, kill or burn human beings and destroy private and public property. They do all this and go scot-free. As someone has rightfully said, they give Boko Haram the backseat!

With what benevolence can we christen outfits like Rajput Karni Sena, Hindu Yuva Vahini, Hindu Sena, Hindu Makkal Katchi, Bajrang Dal, cow vigilante groups, and such other hardcore outfits as fringe elements? We have seen them in action. There is venom in their eyes, hatred in their steps; they spit terror. When they are a law unto themselves, how can anyone write off their terrorist gyration as just ‘law and order problem’? Not when they enjoy the benediction of the political party in power. Not when they enjoy the ‘fond gaze’ of the political leaders and politically powerful fundamentalist religious leaders.

It is no secret that Rajput Karni Sena’s founder president is Lokendra Singh Kalvi, a BJP member. He was BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate from Bermer. Hindu Yuva Vahini is Hindu youth militia founded by U.P.’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in 2002. The Bajrang Dal, founded in 1984, is the youth wing of the Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP). Vinay Katiyar, Rajya Sabha member and firebrand proponent of Hindu Rashtravad, is a member of this organisation. RSS was banned on 4 February 1948 as a terrorist organisation following Nathuram Godse’s assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in January 1948. Today, its followers want Godse hailed as national patriot!

The proximity of these outfits to the ruling party and the benevolence of the political leaders they enjoy show that they are not fringe elements. They are the ‘Gestapo’, the ground militia in action to execute the policy of the Hindutvavadis. Hence, they are no more ‘fringe.’ At their cremation ceremony they get draped in the national flag for their ‘noble’ act of killing, under public gaze, people like Muhammad Akhlaq for the mere rumour that he had cow meat at home.

These hardcore groups are holding the nation to ransom. When these right-wing outfits are dictating with majoritarian might and authoritarian assertion to every minority national, to adopt Hindu nationalist culture and customs, they act as the vehicle of fanatic nationalism. They are acting on behalf of the planners and policy makers, right-wing legislators and politicians. They enjoy tremendous clout with political leaders and even dictate to them terms of reference and forms of fury. It is not the dog wagging the tail, but the tail wagging the dog!

Anyone taking a compromising position with their ideology and practice needs to be viewed as suspect in the eyes of every true Indian national. The ministers and politicians who fondle and favour them need to answer to the nation not just at the hustings but anywhere and everywhere.

(Published on 12th February 2018, Volume XXX, Issue 07)