While the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections were at the origin of the BJP’s decision to repeal agricultural laws, as the leaders of the opposition parties as well as the leaders of Samyukta Kisan Morcha believe, the The question arises as to why Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose The Birthday of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak to announce the decision.
This especially when Uttar Pradesh does not have a significant Sikh population and Punjab, the heart of Sikhism, does not offer much electoral prospects for the BJP?
This is because Sikhism is an integral part of the ideological parent of the BJP, the Hindutva Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) program, or “Hindu cultural nationalism,” a senior RSS ideologist told Outlook on Saturday, emphasizing the ‘anonymity.
The RSS and its affiliated organizations, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, consider all religions born in India – such as Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism – as part of the Hindu cultural identity, as opposed to Islam. , whom they consider to be the “invaders”. ‘religion’.
This is precisely why the RSS did not want to upset the Sikhs beyond a certain degree.
“The anxiety of the Sikh community over agricultural laws brought them closer to Muslims. We had specific comments about how the organizers of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests were approaching the Farm Bill protesters. Also consider the recent example of a Gurdwara in Gurugram urging Muslims to use their compound to offer namaaz. These were alarming trends, given our long-term plan to unite all faiths born in India, ”the ideologist said.
Officially, the RSS denies having influenced in any way the policies of the government led by the BJP.
In 2014, a meeting of Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha in Madhya Pradesh categorically described Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists as “part of Hindu society”, as did many books published by RSS and its affiliated organizations.
In RSS literature, while Buddha is frequently described as the 10th avatar of Lord Vishnu, the Sikh value against Muslim invaders finds a very prominent place.
In the Bodhmala book series published by the Vidya Bharti Sanskriti Shiksha Sansthan related to RSS and compulsory for all teachers and students of all schools run by the Vidya Bharti Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha sansthan, the struggle of Sikhs and the Hindu community of Rajputs and Marathas, against Muslim rulers or aggressors, were repeatedly placed in the same parenthesis with the fight against the British.
Take this question in a book for class 5 students for example. It was under the subtitle “history of martyrs”.
Q. Who are the sons of Guru Govind Singh who agreed to be buried alive in walls rather than changing their religion?
A. Joravar Singh and Fateh Singh
In the same book, under the subtitle “Inspirational Quotes from Great Men”, the series of quotes begins with that of Guru Nanak: “Move my leg to any direction where your Kaba does not exist! “
Researchers may argue that placing the quote without context, and the way it was written, makes it misleading. Nanak had no intention of disrespecting the Islamic sacred site of Kaba in Mecca but tried to explain that God existed in all directions.
Camp Hindutva’s concept of placing any Indian-born faith against Islam and Christianity stems from the writings of 19th-century literary pillar Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, which the leaders of the RSS and BJP, including the Home Secretary Amit Shah, have described it as ‘the source of Hindu cultural nationalism.’
The Bengali novelist had identified both the British and the Muslims as colonial forces, the latter being the worst. It was he who began to place the struggle of the Maratha, the Rajputs and the Sikhs against the Muslim rulers as a struggle for freedom, or an anti-colonial struggle.
However, later “Mahatma” Gandhi and “Netaji” Subhas Chandra Bose in their versions of Indian history identified Muslims as fully integrated with India and the British as the only colonial force. This is clear from Gandhi’s 1909 book, Hind Swaraj, and Bose’s many writings, including those compiled in “The Background of Indian Polity, Collected Works of Subhas Chandra Bose, Vol 2, The Indian Struggle (1920-42).
But in the idea that the Hindu nationalists have of India, the Muslims remain “invaders”.
“If we were to retreat, what better way than trying to end the animosity with the Sikhs at the same time? There was no reason for Sikhs to approach Muslims. It was a purely economic reason which was at the origin of this, declared an organizer of Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, the peasant wing of the RSS, who did not wish to be named.
A BJP leader from the RSS explained that during the movement, “some over-enthusiastic supporters of government policy” had dubbed the protesters “Khalistani” – in reference to a former separatist movement – who had upset a marginal section of the Sikh population against the forces preaching Hindutva.
“Our idea of Hindu identity includes Sikhs. “Guruji” (Madhav Sadashiv) Golwalkar used to say that every true Sikh is a Hindu at heart. But this protest was detrimental to one of our main goals to unite all Hindus, ”the leader told Outlook.
No leader of the BJP and the RSS has agreed to speak officially on this subject, claiming that it was being treated “from the top” of the organizations.