Around a fortnight back, The Times of India was prompted to publish a lead editorial, commenting on the "bizarre cover story" in the RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya. The saffron publication had portrayed the three top Khans of Bollywood – Shahrukh, Amir and Salman – as "henchmen of Dawood Ibrahim who comprise a gang which dominates Bollywood… This domination is achieved through intimidation because producers are hounded up into signing the Khans while Hindu actors are blocked by an ‘international conspiracy’. Panchjanya would even have its readers believe that Muslims drink only Pepsi now because that’s what Shahrukh Khan guzzles and not Coke which is promoted by the Hindu Hrithik Roshan. The Times found the Panchjanya story bizarre because, in the first place, the star value of any hero or heroine is determined by crores of cinema lovers from across the country. The ultimate worth of an artiste is determined not by producers, directors or financiers sitting in Mumbai or Dubai but by millions who vote with their note at cinema halls across the country.
Yet its not just Panchjanya and the RSS which sees the Khan conspiracy at work. Around the same time that Panchjanya was rolling off the press, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, too, was thundering before his sainiks in Mumbai: "We have tolerated the Khans of the film industry for too long. How long are we going to tolerate them?"
Are the editor of Panchjanya and Thackeray idiots to talk such nonsense? Our answer is that anyone who thinks so is a fool. For make no mistake, they are both very shrewd, if not wise, men in their own right. Let’s not forget that no so long ago we also found it absurd when they decided that the poor rickshaw–puller from Muslim the basti was actually ‘Babar ki aulad’. Whether the Khans of Bollywood are in fact henchmen of Dawood Ibrahim is of no consequence. It is, after all, a question of ‘Ways of Seeing’ and helping fellow Hindus "see" how there is danger lurking in every corner. The ways of perverse propaganda have nothing to do with the laws of truth.
If a Muslim man gets married to a Hindu woman, who says its love? The Hindu woman has been abducted or kidnapped only to be "sold in Muslims countries". "Revenge … is necessary against such abduction of our girls." (See pg 12). Hindu men are not safe either for "Christian girls entice Hindu boys" for marrying them and then converting them to Christianity (See pg 11). And what’s worse, there is a ‘foreign hand’ behind both: If the Muslims have Dawood Ibrahim and the ISI behind them, Christians have their Pope and the entire Christian world backing their dubious design. Hindus better beware of the global conspiracy, recognise the "anti–Hindu", "anti–national" (in the saffron lexicon, Hindu equals nationalist, while Muslims and Christians are the exact opposite) forces and prepare for the defence of Hinduism and Punyabhhoomi Bharat.
The treachery of the Indian Muslim and Christian is not something in need of proof or evidence, it’s a given that you merely assume. As the new RSS sarsanghchalak, KS Sudarshan declared on the very day of his coronation some months ago, India is presently engaged in "yet another epic war – between Hindus and anti–Hindus, a veritable Mahabharat".
Is there no connection between the RSS chief’s talk of an ongoing ‘epic war’, the hate campaign against Christians that the VHP and the Bajrang Dal has launched nation-wide – directly or through the numerous front organisations they have spawned –, the open threat of violence against Christians and Muslims, and the arms training being imparted to Bajrang Dal activists in UP and elsewhere in the country? Is it genuine confusion or deliberate intent that prompts the Sena mouthpiece, Saamna, and other protagonists of Hindutva to increasingly use the words "ISI", "anti–nationals", "Muslims", "Bangladeshi infiltrators" as if they all mean one and the same thing?
Even if it were to be assumed that those directly involved in attacks on Christians and Christian institutions in the last two years are not identified karyakartas or kar sevaks of saffron, is it not possible to recognise the pattern of violence that is being insidiously women by different segments of the saffron parivar? Nathu Ram Godse may not have been a member of the RSS when he pumped bullets into the Mahatma’s body. But can RSS deny its role in creating the atmosphere of hate that precipitated the violence?
But our Prime Minister will not see the connections. And the VHP wants a special consultative status at the UN!