By K.P. Sasi
29 September, 2013
I have returned after five screenings of our documentary film `Fabricated’ in Chennai recently. There are thousands of innocent people suffering in Indian jails as under trials belonging to Muslims, adivasis, dalits and activists of people’s movements. The film focuses mainly on the case of Abdul Nasar Maudany with references of many other such cases of under trials.
After the first screening in Chennai, a fundamentalist organization called Hindu Makkal Katchi complained to the police in Chennai to stop further screenings. A BJP newspaper published their version, saying that the film was justifying a `terrorist’. No court has ever proven that Abdul Nasar Maudany was guilty so far, even though he has spent more than 13 years of his life in two jails as under trial. In such a situation, the Sangh Parivar agenda has been to replace the function of the courts by judging an innocent man as a `terrorist’. It will be only a matter of time that this game will be fully exposed. The police in Tamil Nadu visited the organizers of the film screenings in order to question them several times and took copies of the film from two places of screenings. But due to strong support of various organizations in Chennai as well as some of the sensitive sections of the mainstream media, they did not take any further action. I am grateful to many individuals and organizations who expressed their courage to stand by this cause. I also express my gratitude to Hindu Makkal Katchi, since because of what they did, more people are watching the film in Tamil Nadu now.
It is time that the communal fascist organizations who represent religions themselves without any ground, be unmasked before the believers. For example, the members of the Hindu Makkal Katchi had joined with other Hindu fundamentalists to beat up the anti-nuclear protestors at Koodankulam, a couple of years back. Even the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, which is a rubber stamp of the Department of Atomic Energy, has stated that there should be no nuclear power plant 20 kilometers next to a tourism site. The distance between Kanyakumari and Koodankulam is only 16 kilometers. Millions of Hindu tourists visit Kanyakumari every year on the basis of their faith. If the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant becomes a reality, a spiritual centre like Kanyakumari has every chance to be threatened by radiation as the first affected zone. If the Hindu Makkal Katchi had anything to do with Hinduism, they would have tried to save the lives of the umpteen number of Hindus who come to Kanyakumari for spiritual purposes. But instead, they chose to support the nuclear power plant and beat up the anti-nuclear protestors. This is also like the BJP in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, playing an active role in the construction of Narmada dams which have already submerged Surpaneshwar Temple, Hapeshwar temple and many other places of worship of the indigenous people. Therefore, it is high time that the people of this country realize that the real interest of such forces are `against Hinduism’, and not just against Islam and Christianity.
The `secular forces’ in India is yet to document properly the role of Muslims, Christians and their institutions in supporting Hindu faith and their institutions. Such documentations are the need of the hour at a time when politics is used to divide religious faith in India. Around 4 kilometers next to my home town Guruvayoor, there is a Hindu temple where the festival is managed and conducted by HMC Committee (Hindu, Muslim, Christian Committee). I am sure that many of the readers are aware of thousands of such examples all over the country where co operation and harmony is expressed between all religions, in contrast to the divisive politics of the communal forces. If such actions of harmony could be documented and publicized properly, the concept of `enemy’ and the `other’ would have changed drastically. In such a context, many under trials who spend their lives in prison for no reason, will have no social justification for their torturous periods in jails.
While Abdul Nasar Maudany on whom none of the charges are proven in any of the courts so far, is spending his time in jail for no reason, not even getting bail on the grounds of various health reasons, Mr. Narendra Modi who is responsible as a Chief Minister for the murder of over 2,000 Muslims during the Gujarat Genocide is not spending his time in jail; but is slowly getting accepted as a `potential’ Prime Minister for future India. In this context, the secular framework of this country called India has to be immediately re-examined. Even U.R. Ananthamoorthy, with all his distinctions of being a nationally reputed writer with many awards like the Gyan Peeth Award, felt threatened by such a possibility of India being ruled by Modi, an effort organized with huge advertising efforts from the tax payers’ money of the Gujarati people. Murthy said that he would leave the country if Modi comes to power at a national level, since he instills fear on all those who dissent. U. R. Ananthamurthy is coming from a Brahminical background unlike the nationally famous M.F. Hussain who had to flee the country due to the threats of the Sangh Parivar. Perhaps, Ananthamurthy and M.F. Hussain can afford to flee the country, but thousands of others who express their dissent will not be able to afford such a venture. But the real question before the Indian democracy today is, if a well known writer from a Brahminical background is contemplating to flee the country due to the threat of his freedom of expression, what will be the status of ordinary Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis, members of people’s movements and secular and human rights activists?
Kerala Government has deployed 600 policemen for the protection of Narendra Modi for his visit with Maata Amritanandamayi. With all the `secular’ pretensions, the civil society in Kerala has remained as just `onlookers’. They are still more concerned about the `revolutionary past’ of the 40s and 70s in Kerala! For them, the revolution is only a part of a historical nostalgia, than an agenda for the present and the future.
While Modi’s communal genocide is well-known in Kerala and the failure of his `development model’ is also known to some, the recent panel headed by Raghuram Rajan, now the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, has exposed the claims of Modi’s development model. As per the report, Gujarat is only at the 12th position from top on the development index. The real question to be asked today is: how many Hindu victims have been created by the `Development Model’ of Narendra Modi? It is unfortunate that the secular forces have not really documented how the communal forces have converted the members of their own religion as `victims’. A real investigation into the functioning of the communal forces in power, will lead us to understand that there may be more victims from their own projected faith than the opposite faith, due to the imposition of a linear and centralized model of development under the times of Globalisation, without any sanction or participation of their own community they pretend to represent.
I do remember the beautiful mural paintings of the Hapeshwar temple on the banks of Narmada valley which we shot for our film called `A Valley Refuses to Die’ during the late 80s and a very warm and old Hindu priest of the temple who gave us hot Kitchedi for dinner, before sleeping in the temple at 12 pm at night. This Hindu priest was also part of the movement against the Narmada dams while the communal forces like BJP in power who claimed to represent the Hindus, brought the temple to destruction by arrogantly supporting the construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam. Therefore, it is not just a Babari Masjid in Ayodhya or the 295 churches belonging to Dalit and Adivasi Christians which were destroyed by the communal fascist forces. When they were in power, they have proven that they will destroy the Hindu temples also by their strong support to a destructive model of development under globalization. The agenda is loud and clear: Destroy the members of other faith in the name of Ram Temple or any other forms of Hindu worship on the one hand and destroy the temples of your own faith as well as the members of the Hindu community in the name of `development’ and `globalisation’ on the other hand!
For all we know, we will have to wait and see if Narendra Modi is elected as a Prime Minister of this `secular, sovereign republic’, how many temples will be destroyed as per his advocated model of development under globalization! The question before those who believe in Hinduism is, whether Narendra Modi and the Sangh Parivar represent the `temples of modern India’ (like large dams as per the definition of Jawaharlal Nehru) or the temples of ancient India. It is time now for the Hindus in this country to wake up and decide!
K.P Sasi is an award winning film director and a political activist. He is also an Associate Editor of Countercurrents.org. He can be reached at [email protected]