Shashi Tharoor is in the limelight, not for being accused again of involvement in his wife’s death, but for warning the Indians that BJP, if they win 2019 election, will establish ‘Hindu Rashtra’ in India and thereby turn it into ‘Hindu Pakistan’. He further said BJP will tear apart the constitution and rewrite a new one. Even Congress has reportedly warned him on his choice of words.
Hindu Rashtra proponents have repeatedly clarified that by Hindu here they mean all citizens of India irrespective of their caste, creed and religion and therefore do not exclude religious minorities like Muslims and Christians. Hindu Rashtra actually means a Hindu nation. The dictionary defines a nation as, “a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.” Indians should all recognise that it was a Hindu identity that was at the root of their cultural expression.
Yet, Shashi wants them to renounce any thought by this name ‘Hindu Rashtra, as it is, he says, unconstitutional and undemocratic.
Again, this govt. is a democratically and constitutionally elected govt and for Shashi, such elected govt has no sanctity. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the French Revolution. Modern constitutionalism was born with the political requirement that representative government depended upon the consent of citizen-subjects and through the election process, the citizens decide on their representative govt.
Shashi belongs to the Congress party. It is during Congress rule ‘Emergency’ was imposed. The Government used police forces across the country to place thousands of protestors and strike leaders under preventive detention. Vijayaraje Scindia, Jayaprakash Narayan, Raj Narain, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, Jivatram Kripalani, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Arun Jaitley, Satyendra Narayan Sinha, Gayatri Devi, the dowager queen of Jaipur and other protest leaders were immediately arrested. Organisations like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Jamaat-e-Islami along with some political parties were banned. Numerous Communist leaders were arrested along with many others involved with their party. Congress leaders who dissented the Emergency declaration and amendment to the constitution such as Mohan Dharia and Chandra Shekhar resigned their government and party positions and were arrested and placed under detention.
In Tamil Nadu, the M. Karunanidhi government was dissolved and the leaders of the DMK were incarcerated. In particular, Karunanidhi’s son M. K. Stalin was arrested under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act.
The Sterilization campaign during the 21-month long Emergency primarily involved getting males to undergo a vasectomy. Quotas were set up that enthusiastic supporters and government officials worked hard to achieve. There were allegations of coercion of unwilling candidates too. In 1976–1977, the programme led to 8.3 million sterilisations, most of them forced, up from 2.7 million the previous year.
Was all this constitutional? Was it democratic?
Further Congress was actively associated with the 1984 Sikh massacre, an act neither constitutional nor democratic but ghastly to say the least. Official Indian government reports numbered about 2,800 killed across India, including 2,100 in Delhi. Independent sources estimate the number of deaths at about 8,000 including at least 3,000 in Delhi.
It’s Congress that has infringed our constitution and democracy and been partly responsible for the partition of India when up to 1 million people (perhaps many more) died; while untold numbers of women suffered a fate worse than death — they were raped, sometimes tortured, gang-raped and murdered.
Yet, he has no compunction in belonging to Congress party.