Having lost hope of winning the assembly elections to the five states and haunted by the ghost of bleak prospect of coming back to power at the centre in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, RSS is seriously contemplating to resort to the design of rousing the sensibility of ultra-nationalism.and foreign bogey Though RSS leadership is primarily concerned of the Lok Sabha election it is also intending to use it for the assembly elections in five states. Of course a belated move, first phase of voting has already taken place in Chhattisgarh, the RSS leaders nurse the feeling that even at this stage it may yield some result.
RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya carrying an edit about possible foreign interference in Indian elections to weaken Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the guideline. More than being a baseless proposition, it is basically alarmist and intends to arouse the ultra-nationalist sentiment. But the strategists and think tank of the RSS erred and committed a major mistake. In their hurry to arouse the Hindutva and Nationalist spirit, they pointed towards the foreign powers. They ought to have realised that world is certainly not interested in getting India, which under Modi has already surrendered to the diktats of US.
It would be wrong to say that US is an ally. The fact is India under Modi prefers to be treated as an ally of US. The developments in the internal politics during the last one year make, it explicit that Modi looks towards US and is entirely dependent on its wishes. It is significant to watch that India was quite hostile towards Canada and even severed its diplomatic relations to a major extent. But it never broadly accused US of throwing its weight behind Canada and endorsing its stand.
For obvious reasons, Panchjanya editorial refers to allegations made by Justin Trudeau, ‘threats against Hasina govt’ in Bangladesh, ‘pressure’ on Nepal and Pakistan opening fire at border in Jammu. It is widely known that these three countries have been facing problems due to unwarranted interference of the US in their internal affairs.
A pertinent question arises in this perspective; why should US or any other foreign force try to weaken Modi and the BJP? In fact the hypothetical character of the Panchjanya editorial “foreign interference cannot be ruled out not only in the elections of these five states but also in the general elections to be held in 2024” and questioning Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Uzbekistan are being used to hype the status quoist feelings.
Panchjanya’s edit enforces the belief that RSS treats the people, the Hindu voters as fools. Had it not been the case, the RSS would not have indulged in this nature of propaganda line.. The editorial read; “events happening outside the country can be connected to the attempt by outside forces to “create a sense of despair and apprehension among the people of India before the elections. Consider it a matter of logic, or perception, the indication is that the possibility of foreign interference cannot be ruled out not only in the elections of these five states but also in the general elections to be held in 2024”.
The fact of the matter is saffron ecosystem, especially RSS is seen with suspicion around the world. Its activities, formation of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh consisting of the members of the Indian diaspora and instigating the members of HSS to target the Indians who are against it, have exposed the real intentions and true character of the RSS. Of late the Indian diaspora community across the world stands split into pro-RSS and anti-RSS groups.
The anti-RSS has been sympathetic to the Congress and other opposition parties in India. Naturally they have earned the wrath of the RSS. With Rahul visiting foreign nations, the situation has substantially changed across the globe. It is quite revealing that Panchjanya editorial has singled out Rahul’s visit to Uzbekistan last month. It mentioned “In this backdrop, the timing of Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Uzbekistan raises serious questions. When the election campaign is going on for five states in India and Congress is at least the main rival in all the five states and Rahul Gandhi is definitely the top leader in Congress, then can it be considered a mere coincidence that Rahul Gandhi is visiting Uzbekistan at the same time?”
Referring to Gandhi’s Uzbekistan visit, the editorial said, “Did it feel more important to travel? Especially because at the same time, an American official was also present in Uzbekistan, who is a part of the quartet creating political instability around the world.” The scheming mind of RSS has put its best brain to establish a corelation between Rahul’s visit to Uzbekistan and attempt to destabilise the Modi government. The editorial conjectured; “it was not important to get into the details of that person. Everything is self-evident. Perhaps this is a ‘powerful’ indication of what may be happening behind the scenes and beyond the country’s borders”.
One thing is absolutely clear that RSS targeting US would invite much problem for the beleaguered Modi, who is willing to antagonise China and Russia for the sake of preserving the US interest. This stance of RSS towards US is manifest in the editorial; “First Canada accused India [in the Nijjar killing case] and then America joined the controversy by making reference to ‘Five Eyes”, an intelligence alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. When India retaliated diplomatically, Qatar sentenced former naval officers to death. Meanwhile, Pakistan opened fire on the border and suddenly incidents of ‘target killing’ started in Kashmir which was becoming peaceful and progressive.”
RSS finds Maldives assertion of its identity as an affront to its hegemony. “On the other hand, there was a change of power in Maldives. And there was talk of removing only a few dozen Indian soldiers. The fact that the person who wins the elections in Maldives gets the full support of some Islamic countries for winning the elections is such an open secret that no one considers it necessary to even discuss it”.
The most surprising portion of the editorial has been RSS showing its deep concern to Bangladesh and especially to its prime minister Hasina. It reads; “it has come to light that Sheikh Hasina’s government is being continuously and openly threatened by foreign powers. Incidentally, the Indian media has not made any mention of this either”. But it has a rightist orientation which is clear from the edit itself; “we cannot ignore the fact that for all the anti-India activities that are going on or have been going on by Christian missionaries in the North-East of India, it is an essential requirement for them to have a government of their choice in Bangladesh. These elements need a supportive government in Bangladesh.”
The edit also points to the displeasure of US towards Hasina. The reasons are obvious. Though US has a cordial relation with Hasina, her democratic and secular approach to the national issues has often been the reasons for US getting irritated. The US sees them as neglect of their interest. Some time back the US had slapped punitive measures to check its ‘democratic backsliding’. But it did not spell out in clear terms the areas where the Hasina government faulted. Bangladesh would be having parliamentary elections in 2024. Hasina is battling pressure from Europe and the US over electoral malpractices, intimidation of opposition leaders, and the creation of an atmosphere of fear surrounding the elections.
In May this year, the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, announced a new visa policy in Bangladesh which says that the United States will be able to restrict the issuance of visas for any Bangladeshi individual, believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh. US showing its dissatisfaction with the human rights and democracy situation in that country is purely an attempt to encourage the rightist forces and warn Hasina to provide space to these forces. Yet another factor which has strained US relationship with Bangladesh is Hasina’s nursing soft corner towards China.
Purely with the intentions to show Hasina her place and also to inflict public humiliation, Bangladesh was left out of President Biden’s Democracy Summit for the second time after the first summit in December 2021. Only a year back Biden while asking Hasina to maintain human rights and democracy, literary cautioned: “As Bangladesh approaches its next election, I am reminded of the deep value both of our nations’ people place on democracy, equality, respect for human rights, and free and fair elections.”
Despite these developments Bangladesh continues to be dependent on US for its economy and development, more than ever, as it aspires to leave behind its Least Developed Country status and emerge as an upper middle-income country by 2026. It is in the case of Bangladesh that all the seven countries including United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, and Japan have urged Hasina and opposition to “exercise restraint, eschew violence, and work together” for a free and fair vote. Nevertheless, Hasina on her part has categorically said; “Elections will happen like it happens in countries such as Canada and India … like it happened in 2018 in Bangladesh”.
It is likely that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be taking some actions to rouse hypernationalism before the Lok Sabha elections and try to establish his bonafides as the leader who has only India’s interests in mind. At the same time, the PM can not follow the all out attack on US as advised by the RSS mouthpiece. But without mentioning, PM can continue his jehad against the conspirators who are trying to weaken India. It is to be seen how the PM and the RSS gameplan are coordinated in the course of the BJP poll campaign before the Lok Sabha polls. (IPA Service)