Don’t diminish Lord Ram, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti – Madhav Nalapat

Sri Rama

Prof M.D. Nalapat“Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti has done a disservice to Lord Ram by assuming that only a segment of the population of this country has a right to him and his legacy. The reality is that Lord Ram belongs to every citizen of India, just as Julius Caesar belongs to every Italian, Napoleon to each of the citizens of France and Alexander to all the Hellenic tribes, whether they be Greeks or Macedonians.” – Prof Madhav Nalapat

Narendra Modi with ministers at Parliament HouseIf we regard goodwill as a bank, then it has become clear over the past months that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been making huge deposits into the BJP’s “Goodwill Bank”, several of his colleagues are busy draining its coffers through incompetence and intemperateness. On 26 May 2014, those gathered in Rashtrapati Bhawan for the unveiling of Team Modi witnessed instead a pastiche, which has been characterised as “20% Modi, 40% Vajpayee and 40% Manmohan Singh”. Unless there is at least “50% Modi” in the government run in his name, it will prove difficult for the Prime Minister to achieve the level of performance which the voting public expects of him. It would be best for the BJP to focus on good administration and let the politics take care of itself, rather than make ministerial choices dependent on calculations of political advantage. The large proportion of entrants in the Council of Ministers from states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh could not protect the BJP from substantial losses in by-elections in these two states. Empirical evidence across decades proves that there is little positive effect in giving weightage in ministerial choices to states and communities regarded as politically significant. After all, each minister is bound by his or her oath to work for the entire country, for each citizen of the country, rather than serve only a sectional interest. Those focusing on the latter usually prove to be indifferent administrators, and when this is the case, the effect on governance will be negative, as will soon be the impact on politics.

Sadhvi Niranjan JyotiSadhvi Niranjan Jyoti has done a disservice to Lord Ram by assuming that only a segment of the population of this country has a right to him and his legacy. The reality is that Lord Ram belongs to every citizen of India, just as Julius Caesar belongs to every Italian, Napoleon to each of the citizens of France and Alexander to all the Hellenic tribes, whether they be Greeks or Macedonians. Prime Minister Modi has done what was needed, by disapproving of the remarks made by the minister, thereby signalling to his team that he would not countenance attempts at segmenting the population for political reasons. Modi was elected because of the confidence of voters across castes, regions and communities that he would ensure good governance, and certainly he has worked with speed and efficiency to clear away cobwebs and ensure that governmental services delivered to the average citizen are of a better quality than the abysmal level that they have been stuck in since the 1960s. Goodwill for Modi is still intact, despite the negative effect of some of his ministerial colleagues, who ought to know better. The Sadhvi seems to have fallen into the colonial-era trap of looking at Lord Ram in exclusively religious terms, when in fact he needs to be viewed also in historical and national terms (italics added).

RamayanaJust as Alexander, Napoleon and Julius Caesar get studied in textbooks across the globe, especially in their homelands, so should Lord Ram in schools across India. Study of his life would be immensely helpful in awakening in not just giving our people a pride in our composite civilisation, but teach them to emulate his example. Combined with the creation of a governance system which makes human endeavour easier rather than more difficult, such a re-discovery of India’s historical roots would help in making people resident in India achieve true same levels of performance as they do in locations with more citizen-friendly governance systems, such as in the US, the UK or Singapore. It was wrong on the part of the “Nehruvian secularist” brigades (who adopt a different standard for different communities rather than a uniform scale) to consign Lord Ram into a sectarian box, when the qualities he represents are valid for the whole of humanity. Each citizen of India has the right to be called a civilisational child of Lord Ram, irrespective of his or her faith, and it is this truth that Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti needs to keep in mind when she feels the temptation to adopt the colonial view and place Lord Ram in a restricted rather than in an inclusivist way. Whether his name be Rahim, Vibhav or Lawrence, each citizen of our country has a legitimate right to be the inheritors of the legacy of Lord Ram. – The Sunday Guardian, 7 December 2014

» Prof Madhav Das Nalapat holds the UNESCO Peace Chair and is Director of the Geopolitics and International Relations Department at Manipal University, an international private university headquartered in Southern India. 

4 Responses

  1. Every one has some expectation from Modi; I and many people like me had worked ” PRODUCTIVELY’-not simply pushing the papers as procedures-against very many odds for this country, sacrificing the needs of our children and family; except a small flat in which I live, I do not have any other asset of my own; now, with the very high cost of living, we are unable to simply live in this country; the post Indhra Congress government did nothing to redress our sufferings; but, where ever there is either a good vote bank or powerful labour ( includes IAS, IA& AS, Banks, Judges and the like ) union, the Governments have been raising the salaries, perks,pensions and retirement benefits;the BJP Government under Vajpayee had constituted standing pay commission to automatically do this! People, who were arrested and sent to the Jail, even for a couple of days, are being given the ‘thyagi’ or freedom fighter pensions;the so called poor people are given ‘poverty’ pensions! we are not against these people; but, in pacifying them, the Government is ‘WANTONLY’ raising the cost of living and making our living miserable; to put it crudely, the Governments have been murdering the productive intelligentsia of this country; they have liberalized-unless there are powerful lobbies- the import of all products and making a glittering India with foreign products; this too has substantially reduced the job / employment opportunity of retired ‘productive’ executives; The sum substance is that we also have some expectation from Modi; most of the Hindu intelligentsia long for the reestablishment of Sanatana Dharma; the traders want more and more scope for their ‘returns’; the Congress has always been playing the game of putting the Muslims, the Hindus, the Christians, the Sikhs etc. one against the other-perhaps, they did not know how else to manage the people; the politicians and the members of the party also want to make Hay, by any means, while the sun shines; being an MP, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti also has been aspiring to do ‘that’ for which she has been working all along; may be her presentation was not as refined as that of many others, who have in reality been playing havoc; Mr. Modi has done an excellent job in going to her rescue; not only that, he is superb in winning over the Muslims too; I wish that he undoes the harm done by the Congress in dividing the people and in creating hatred; at the same time, I and people like me long to have an honorable living in this country. For this, he has to simply drive the officials to find out a way and not just pose only objections.


  2. Prime Minister Modi will have to build the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and ban cow slaughter if he wants to keep his Hindu constituency.

    He should remember that Atal Bihari Vajpayee also focused only on development and ignored Hindu demands for a temple in Ayodhya and ban on cow slaughter. Vajpayee lost his seat.

    Hindu society desperately needs leadership that can articulate Hindu cultural and political goals and save it from the predations of Mosque and Church and their powerful international mentors. Still we do not see any such formation in the present Modi government.



  3. Proposed Ram Temple at Ayodhya
    Kashi’s Muslim women back Ansari’s ‘free Ram Lalla’ desire, want Ram Temple built in Ayodhya – TNN – December 5, 2014

    Varanasi: A group of Muslim women of Varanasi has come out in open support of Babri Masjid case litigant Mohammad Hashim Ansari, who is no more keen to pursue the matter and wants “Ram Lalla to be free”. These women have also submitted a petition to MP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

    Supporting Ansari’s assertion, they said, “The construction of Ram Mandir would end hatred and strengthen Hindu-Muslim unity and harmony.” These women are also planning to travel to Ayodhya to meet Ansari.

    Muslim Mahila Foundation president Nazneen Ansari along with Bharatiya Awam Party Najma Parveen and others submitted the petition with Modi’s local office in Ravindrapuri Colony on Thursday. The petition was also sent to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and senior RSS functionary Indresh Kumar.

    “Yadi Musalman apni tarakki chahate hain aur Hinduon se izzat chahate hain to Ram janmbhoomi par mandir nirman ke liye pahal kare kyunki duniya janti hai Ayodhya Sri Ram ki hai, (If Muslims want prosperity and respect from Hindus, they should take lead in constructing temple at the birthplace of Ram, as the world knows that Ayodhya belongs to Sri Ram),” said Nazneen adding that construction of temple would permanently resolve the hatred between the two communities.

    “Ram se yudh karne wale Ravan ko logon ne aaj tak maaf nahi kiya toh Ram mandir todne wale Babar aur uske samarthakon ko log kaise maaf karenge, (When people have not forgiven Ravana for fighting with Ram, how can they forgive Ram Mandir destroyer Babar and his supporters)”, wondered Nazneen. Describing Babar as Mongol invader, she wrote that his ancestor Halaku killed thousands of Muslims and Khalifa in Baghdad in 1258, and Babar sowed seeds of hatred by destroying Ram temple in 1528. “Everybody knows that Indian Muslims have no connect with Mongols,” she said adding that those who oppose the construction of temple were not well wishers of Muslims.

    Bharatiya Awam Party president Najma Parveen said that time was ripe for Muslims to set an example of communal harmony by contributing to the construction of Ram Mandir. “No one can play with the sentiments of crores of Hindus attached with Ram,” she said.

    Muslim women associated with MMF and BAP had openly campaigned for Modi during the parliamentary election. Besides, these women had also sent Rakhi to Modi on the occasion of Rakshabandhan and prayed for his well being during the holy month of Ramzan.


  4. Ram Temple in Ayodhya: The dignity of Hindus — Dr. Pravin Togadia

    Hindu Unity Conference by VHP was organized in Chennai as a part of its Golden Jubilee Celebrations. Dr. Pravin Togadia, International Working President of VHP addressed the gathering.

    Addressing firmly to the audience, “Only 100 crore Hindus survive today all over the world compared to 700 crore Hindus living everywhere including the countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Sri Lanka, Arab. Ethnic cleansing of Hindus was seen in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Hindus were rich in trade, education, politics and medicine. But today we have lost pride in the last 2000 years and were suffering from malnourishment of woman, lack of nutritious food, medicine, education etc. Though VHP could succeed to some extent to these problems, it is also true that we could not protect ethnic cleansing of Sri Lankan Hindus, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Kashmiri Hindus. Today there are 70000 Hindu widows in Sri Lanka”.

    “VHP resolves to bring back the lost Hindu dignity and pride. It focuses on four aspects: to see that every Hindu family gets nutritious food; every child gets education; no Hindu woman suffers from malnourishment and every Hindu gets a good job”.

    Speaking on the service activities, “VHP is giving free education to 20 lakh children in 53000 villages. 50000 students were benefited through 157 free hostels run for boys and girls for higher education. 5000 Doctors were providing some free service in the field of medicine. One handful of grain kept aside by millions of Hindu families feed the Hindus in hunger”.

    “Hindu dignity will prevail only when Ram Mandir is constructed at Ayodhya. Cow slaughter should be banned totally in our country. He further stated that even in Kandapuranam which is recited here in Tamilnadu, also claims that the cow should be protected”.

    Earlier Sri Ramagopalan, founder of Hindu Munnani appealed to the audience to fight against casteism and untouchability.

    Sri Duraishankar, RSS Vibhag Sanghchalak highlighted on the evils of untouchability and casteism prevailing in the society.

    Sri Balachander, former DGP, TN inspired on the ideology spoke on the service activities carried by VHP.


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