ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Of Dharma and Artha

Of Dharma and Artha

How will the king (Narendra Modi) be guided by his raj guru (the RSS)?

Gujarat 2002, India 2014: numbers seem to sanctify. Well, Gujarat 2002 did give the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) an absolute majority in Gujarat and ever since the rule of law has been on trial and found wanting. Manipulation of the investigations and legal machinery has made sure that the charges of gross criminal misconduct against the most powerful politicians in office would not even be allowed to come to trial. Now the most powerful of these politicians, Narendra Modi will soon, once more, be sworn into office, this time at the centre, with an oath to safeguard the Indian Constitution, including the goal of a “secular” republic that is enshrined in the Preamble, and, of course, the “Fundamental Duties” to “develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”. Will he then, having taken such an oath, help subvert these provisions, just like the previous incumbent, A B Vajpayee, did, especially in the realms of home, education and culture?

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, who played a key role in the electoral victory of the BJP candidates, seem to have receded into the background for now. Varanasi, however, remains an important part of Hindutva’s symbolic narrative; who knows when the demand for the reinstatement of the icon of Vishwanath in the Gyanvapi mosque will return? They may once again manufacture “evidence” just like they came up with the archaeological “evidence” that the Babri masjid was built on the ruins of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

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