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The attack against Agnivesh

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The attack against Agnivesh
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Only the Sangh Parivar in India can claim the degradation that makes it possible to publicly attack an 80-year old in saffron robes during broad daylight before the television cameras, tear his clothes and later justify their act.

The attack in Pakur, Jharkhand led by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Swami Agnivesh, an Arya Samaj leader, social activist, a Hindu religious scholar and a former Education Minister of Haryana should be condemned in all possible words. It is surprising that it was the same brigade who champions the glory of a saffron robe that attacked an elderly person who has been living a life of an ascetic and

engaged in Hindu renaissance activities. Swami reached Jharkhand to attend a function organised by a tribal outfit. It should be noted that this attack in Jharkhand occurred on July 17, the same day the Supreme Court took a firm stance against mob lynching taking place across the country since Narendra Modi government came to power. The apex court's direction that the Centre should form a new law to curb mob lynching was actually a blow to the Modi government. All are well aware of the circumstances under which the Supreme Court passed such an order. However, the attack against Agnivesh proves that Sangh Parivar has not been sincere in the matter of curbing such mob lynchings that tarnished the reputation of India before the world.

As expected, the BJP state faction has come out with the disclaimer that they have no role in the attack against Agnivesh. But BJP spokesperson P. Shahdeo who made that specific statement, also made another remark: "the reaction does not come as a surprise considering Agnivesh's 'track record'." The BJP spokesperson said in effect that the activist deserved the attack that occurred. Those who have a clear idea about Sangh Parivar organisation's real nature, might not be surprised. It was BJP leader and union Minister Jayant Sinha who received the BJP workers involved in the lynching of Alimuddin Ansari in Ramgarh, Jharkhand with garlands when they returned from prison obtaining a bail in the case. Rushing to receive the persons punished by the court in a brutal murder case as soon as they are released on bail, is usually seen as a wrong practice by the civilised society. But the Sangh Parivar culture sees it as a glorious act. When Jayant Sinha's actions raked up a controversy, he expressed a public apology. However, the BJP leader in Ramgarh described the above act as 'honourable'. Considering this backdrop, there is no surprise in the Sangh Parivar attacks against Swami Agnivesh.

The issue warranting serious analysis is: what is it that emboldens the Sangh parivar to persist in such attacks even after extensive criticisms made by courts, the citizenry, intellectuals, free media and international organizations? Firstly, they adhere to an unrefined and antidemocratic political ideology which does not allow them to take the criticisms raised by a civil society seriously. It is a defiant attitude of 'whatever the people say, we will go ahead with our agenda'. Secondly, they calculate that if they proceed with this pugnacious approach, they can reap political fruit through inciting majority sentiments. In other words, we have to presume that in the background of the country going to face elections early next year, they will continue their attempt to whip up such sensitivities and bellicosity. If one closely examines the speeches of prime minister Narendra Modi in his rallies in Uttar Pradesh, one can see through this line adopted by them.

What the Jharkhand incident reiterates is that the Sangh parivar has not retraced an inch their belligerent politics. This sends a serious warning about the future of the country. The warning is that if this camp gains victory in the next elections too, our India may become another India to a point of no return. The pertinent question is whether the Opposition is willing and ready to recognize that and make necessary preparations.

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