It is clear the honeymoon period enjoyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming to an epic end, at least in the domestic front. The highly ineffective Parliament which even in the best of days is one of the most underperforming government body in this country has received blow after blow from the ruling BJP and its ministers. The latest comes from a highly unlikely quarter of the External Affairs Minister Ms. Sushma Swaraj who wants Bhagwad Gita to be India’s National Scripture and also it helps fight depression. No will ever dare question her Hindu Nationalistic Credentials and she is indeed one of the stalwarts of BJP and was even in the reckoning of being considered as a Prime Ministerial candidate if the whole Modi experiment did not work. But now it seems all hell will break lose in the Parliament after Ms. Swaraj declared that the Hindu holy book Gita be given the designation of National Scripture. This declaration was made when she was speaking in an event hosted by the RSS affiliate Global Inspiration and Enlightenment Organization of Gita. Now with approval coming from such high political office the Hindu Right Wing are going to have field day.
Though anyone who has read Bhagwad Gita will never dispute the wisdom human race has derived from it, but to turn this holy book into a National Scripture goes against the very sprit of our constitution and its guiding force the preamble. The opening words are enough to give someone Goosebumps. The words of our preamble are the very essence on which India stands as a nation of “WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation.” Nowhere it is mentioned let us give reverence to a holy book and in a country like India there are so many and we have a proud history of showing reverence to all of them.
Barely we have managed to recover from the Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s diatribe and use of unmentionable words she used in a speech for which there is no defense and saying she is from a rural background is an insult to all those people who live in villages who always speak with all the decency and dignity. Also who can forget Ramesh Pokhriyal who famously declaring India was the first country to conduct nuclear test and astrology is grater then science and so many people even in his own party were running for cover. Manohar Lal Khattar the chief minister of Haryana is pro Khap the extra judicial body in the state of Haryana which will help preserve the moral fabric of our society and he wants the Gita to be considered above the construction which in itself should be a penalty for his dismissal as Chief Minister of a state. Even if one decides to ignore the above statements it would not be possible for the Modi government to stop the opposition from taking full advantage of this situation. It may be impossible for Modi to take a centrist road to have a successful term.
I simply do not have any respect for those politicians and political parties which hides under the cloak of secularism and Mahatma Gandhi rightly said “It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.” Leaders like Mamata Banerjee who herself is known for using colorful language and extreme rhetoric when she speaks has no moral right to politicize this issue, but she already has. The Congress party who are the experts in the art of divide and conquer also have no moral standing since they themselves have taken decisions on religious lines and Shah Bano case stands out where Practicality, Pragmatism and rights of Muslim women was trampled, all in the name of vote bank politics was as wrong as is trying to make Gita as the National scripter. Parties like the TMC, Congress and Samajwadi party have always hidden in the cloak of secularism and has played dirty politics.
What would surprise most people would be why Ms. Sawraj would make such claim that by reading Gita it will help fight depression and is there any clinical evidence of Gita curing depression. Is the government running clinical trials? Now if by reading the infinite wisdom of the verses in Gita gave Sushma Swaraj semblance of peace and focus during a period of crisis, then good for her. Again as a Hindu and as someone who has studied Gita at an armature level and it would be foolish to even think I know more, it is with profound fear I ask this question, is the BJP in the guise of social and economical development taking India to theocratic state and who would the high priest? Are we going to be next Saudi Arabia and who knows we could be heading the Israel’s way of calling us a Hindu Nation? If that happens we will be no different than Pakistan which is now running blind due to its eyes covered by religion. I am just waiting when a BJP leader will call India the world’s first Hindu Nuclear Power. Why not.