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India-Bharat: Open letter to the RSS chief

Namaskar Shri Mohan Bhagwatji:

I am a citizen of India. My passport, driving licence, ration card, PAN card, election card, all say so. In two languages.

My immediate reaction to your comment on Bharat being a better place than India was to get befuddled. That you too joined the raucous rape bandwagon to capitalise on such tragedies ought not to have surprised me.

Having said this, we are indeed missing out on a larger divide. Let me first quote you:

“Crimes against women happening in urban India are shameful. It is a dangerous trend. But such crimes won’t happen in Bharat or the rural areas of the country. You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or sex crimes. Where ‘Bharat’ becomes ‘India’ with the influence of western culture, these type of incidents happen. The actual Indian values and culture should be established at every stratum of society where women are treated as ‘mother’.”

I don’t even need to emphasise that you’ve got it wrong. People have said so, and there are statistics to prove it.

It is more important to see how you don’t see the difference between Bharat and India where development, access to health, education and basic facilities are concerned.

There have been discussions in the past of a more realistic appraisal where India is the varnished face of the left-behind Bharat.

You are on a different trip, though, and not interested in such pragmatic concerns. In fact, you are dividing the country for your version of Utopia, where some simplistic values pass of as tradition.

Do not deride India for western culture. Not all urban Indians ape the West. If using technology is a criterion, then India has electricity; much of Bharat lives in the dark. And it is this darkness that you exploit. How many of your RSS shakhas operate in villages and forests? We don’t hear about the RSS trying to understand what Naxalism is about. I specifically mention this because the urban-rural divide is blurred sometimes.

Will you be able to urge your friend, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, to drop his westernised module of development? How many Dalits has the RSS taken into its fold? Pardon my saying so, but why do the RSS pracharaks not wear dhotis instead of those khaki shorts? What is the position of women in your organisation? Why are those ‘mothers’ you want in society invisible faces in the RSS?

You cannot lay claims over Bharat or India if you choose to live on past glory and destroy the nation to reclaim it. Culture is not heritage sites or mimicking mythology.

Perhaps if you travel by the local train in the cities sometime, you’ll see that poor kids defecating on the railway tracks are no different from those in the villages sitting over dug-up mud holes.

Where is the western culture here? Why does India have to suffer for regressive ideas and Bharat be denied the benefits of growth.

Next time, think about this: when you try splitting the country for the filthy lucre of opportunism you’ll see mirrors everywhere.

Your Shubh chintak,

Hindustan. Bharat. India.