Taking a swipe at BJP for alleging that the Left was behind the return of awards by scholars and others over “growing intolerance,” CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury on Thursday thanked Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu for bracketing the Left with stalwarts like Rabindranath Tagore who had started such a form of protest. Responding to Naidu’s charges the ongoing protests were a joint campaign by Congress and Left-leaning intellectuals, he said “the return of State awards as a form of protest is nothing new. During the course of the freedom struggle this has happened on many an occasion.
“Recollect that Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore returned his knighthood in protest against the atrocities of the British colonial rule in India. … We are thankful to Shri Venkaiah Naidu Garu for bracketing the most exalted and enlightened Indian minds with the CPI(M).”In the same vein, Yechury said “when it comes to saying that in the past why did ‘so and so’ not protest and why protests are taking place now, the RSS has to answer why it did not join the national struggle for freedom? “Even Nanaji Deshmukh, a respected RSS leader, has asked in his book why the RSS had not participated in the freedom movement as an organisation? Yechury said the British Home record, on the basis of intelligence reports telegraphed to London by the Bombay Police department, had noted that the Sangh has “scrupulously” remained within the law. “Has the RSS ever answered why they cooperated with the British during the course of the freedom struggle,” he asked, adding that Sardar Patel ordered the ban on the RSS saying “the cult of violence spearheaded by the Sangh” that had claimed many lives including that of Mahatma Gandhi.Yechury said “till date the RSS has not retracted or apologised for their Guru Madhav Sadhashiv Golwalkar’s observation that we should learn from the methods used by Hitlerite fascism and that India should ‘learn and profit’ from this.” “Has there been any apology from either the RSS or the BJP for the 2002 communalgenocide in Gujarat,” he asked. The CPI(M) General Secretary said the hallmark of the current intolerance was the violent attacks that are being unleashed all across the country. Yechury said while the issue was being raised in Parliament from the first session since Narendra Modi government took office, “till date, forget any action, no assurance (to check such assaults) has been forthcoming from the Prime Minister.” http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-returning-awards-to-protest-was-started-by-tagore-sitaram-yechury-2142470