Supreme Court ruling on Novartis’ Plea to prove
This case of Swiss MNC, Novartis, challenging Indian patent law in Supreme Court, has invoked worldwide protests against it.
Dr Bhagwati Prakash Sharma
If the Swiss MNC Novartis wins the patent case scheduled for hearing in the Supreme Court of India on July 10, 2012 it would: * Spell a death knell for blood cancer patients in India and abroad * Pave the way for evergreening of patents and for grant of frivolous patents there by leading to manifold increase in prices of hundreds of life saving drugs* Endanger the pharmaceuticals industry in India as well as education and research in pharmacy, ultimately making India foreign dependent in health care and pharma sector.Protest growing world over against NovartisThe ultimate ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) on plea of the Swiss pharma company, Novartis, challenging the validity of Section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act and scheduled for hearing on July 10, 2012, would be crucial to stop evergreening of patents in India, which otherwise, is likely to seriously jeopardise availability of life saving drugs at affordable prices. Acceptance of the plea of Novartis would also endanger the Indian pharmaceutical sector, comprising 20,000 plus pharma companies, besides, undermining the R&D and education in the field of Pharmacy in India. The Supreme Court has to decide, whether the government had the right to deny a patent to Novartis for its anti-blood cancer medicine, Glivec, which it is selling at the rate of Rs 1000 per capsule in India vis a vis the generic versions being made available by Indian generic manufacturers at a price as low as Rs 90. If the Novartis plea is accepted, all generic manufacturers offering this drug between Rs 90 to 130 per capsule in India shall be stopped from manufacturing this drug and eventually, it (Novartis) may start charging Rs 1400 per capsule as is being done by it elsewhere. This would deny access to this life saving medicine to almost 90 per cent of the 40,000 plus blood cancer patients in India and more than 2 lakh patients worldwide. Recently, it has also been found very effective against gastrointestinal cancer. So, it is the potential ray of hope for around a million cancer patients. Poor patients in more than 60 countries are also dependent on the imported generic versions of Indian origin, as it is not available for less than Rs 1400 per 100 mg tablet, which they cannot afford, and shall have to wait for a painful death. Even, for almost 1,70,000 patients spread into 16 countries this cheaper generic version of Glivec, available at less than Rs 90 per tablet is also not affordable. Therefore, they are dependent upon a French NGO ‘Medicines Sans Frontiers’ (MSF), which imports it from India and distributes free of cost. A much bigger number of patients are being treated worldwide by Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA). But, It would be out of reach for such philanthropic associations too to keep this vast number of cancer patients alive by distributing free medicines, if the Novartis wins and generic manufacturers are stopped from producing and selling it at affordable prices. Even in India alone, where the generic version is available, almost 18,000 people die a very painful death every year, as the treatment cost per day comes to Rs 360 a day, with 4 pills a day which they cannot afford (while, the Navartis charges Rs 1420 per tablet so treatment cost would be Rs 5680 per day and Rs 1,70,400 per month). The question, therefore, arises is that if the Novartis wins, then how many of the 24,000 patients contacting blood cancer every year will be able to continue their treatment at Rs 1420 per tablet and moreover when the treatment cost would shoot to Rs 5680 per day. Moreover, the Novartis might then charge much higher price up to 7-10 thousand also if it acquires monopoly.A Novartis victory in this case would equip all the multinational pharma patent holder companies with the right of perpetual evergreening of their patents. They would then keep on extending their patents by introducing minor changes in their drugs and shall permanently inhibit introduction of cheaper generic molecules at affordable costs. This would also deprive many of the generic manufacturers who have introduced medicines at less than 1 to 3 per cent of the original price being charged by the patent holder for that medicine.India is the only country producing and selling costly life saving medicines at just 1-3 per cent of the prices being charged by the monopoly patent holders worldwide, and therefore, NGOs like MSF (which treats 40 per cent of AIDS patients worldwide free) buys 80 of their generic AIDS drugs from India. Novartis victory would cause a lethal blow to health care worldwide, besides, jeopardising the future of generics industry in India, which is making available, all medicines at just 1 to 3 per cent of their international prices in India and in many countries abroad. Almost, more than 90 per cent of all medicines are 10 to 60 times costlier in all the other 200 countries except India. The amendments in Indian Patents Act in 1999 and 2005 have already deprived Indian generic drug manufacturers from their right to manufacture any drug molecule invented after January 1, 1995 by evolving their own processes. Therefore, all newer molecules would continue to be unaffordable for common masses for years to come. Since, 97 per cent of the drugs being prescribed in India by the doctors are older molecules, invented before January 1, 1995 so, they are better affordable. But, gradually, when the older molecules would lose their efficacy or be banned or better newer molecules emerge, these newer molecules would be out of reach of masses jeopardising public health.This single case of astronomical difference in the price of Glivec (Rs 90 v/s Rs 1000 per capsule), out of hundreds of such examples reflecting the dangers of ‘Product Patents Regime’ is enough to arouse the public opinion against this new ‘Product Patents Regime. This case of Novatise began, when the Indian Patent office granted exclusive marketing rights (EMR) to Novartis for its anti-cancer drug Imantinib in pursuance of an amendment in the Indian Patents Act in 1999 to comply with the agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the WTO, with effect from January 1, 1995. Novartis was having an international patent for this molecule since 1993. So, it was neither eligible for an EMR nor for a product patent for this product. But it (Novartis) began enforcing the EMR for Glivec (Imantinib) by asking Madras High Court to restrain generic manufacturers, like Cipla, Ranbaxy, Sun and Hetero, from manufacturing, selling, distributing and exporting this anticancer drug Imantinib (branded as Glivec). The Court, unfortunately granted an injunction in January 2004, which was later made absolute by a single judge of the High Court. To comply with this Court order, the generic manufacturers had to stop producing and selling Imantinib and the price of it jumped from Rs 90 per 100 mg capsule to Rs 1000 per capsule in India. It is being alleged that thousands of patients suffering from chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), a life threatening form of blood cancer, had to succumb to death from this disease, who could not continue the treatment after this jump-over in price due to Novartis monopoly.Since, EMR was a transient arrangement, that too under a mailbox facility defying any scrutiny till December 31, 2004, so, in 2005 India amended its patent law to comply with agreement on TRIPS (of the WTO) to provide for product patent. However, on the apt counsel of the late BK Kaeyla and pressure campaigning of the organisations like Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the Parliament had simultaneously introduced a significant provision to prevent evergreening of patents and also to prevent frivolous patents – ie the Section 3 (d), which disallows patents on incremental research without any meaningful improvement in the original product covered by an earlier patent. So, after the transient arrangement for EMR was over and the application of Novartis for grant of patent on Imantinib (Glevic) was pending in the patent office, the CPAA and four generic manufactures which were earlier selling this medicine at better affordable price, filed a pre-grant opposition to oppose the grant of patent for Imantinib to Novartis on the plea that Novartis has a patent on this molecule since 1993, so, this molecule is older than 1995 and the newer version for which it had filed an application in 1997 into the Indian Patent Office has no marked difference. So, in January the Patent Controller in Chennei, in a landmark decision, refused to grant Novartis a patent on Imantinib (branded as Glivec) agreeing with the contention that the product under consideration for grant of patent lacked novelty over its earlier patent of 1993, was obvious and not patentable under Section 3(d). Novartis, thereafter, had lost its case before the Intellectual Property Appealtate Board (IPAB) as well, when it appealed against the rejection of its patent application.With the rejection of patent application by the Indian patent office, generic companies got free to produce and sell the generic version of the Imantinib molecule in India and abroad. So, they resumed supplies at just 1/11th of the Novartis’ price in India, and at 1/20th of its price abroad. Now the case is pending in the Supreme Court, wherein the Novartis has requested to scrap Section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act, as its patent application was rejected under this Sections which disallows patents on incremental research without any marked improvement in original product. Worldover, more than 2 lakh blood cancer patients are surviving, painlessly, by consuming this medicine being made available at affordable price by the Indian generic companies, solely by virtue of Section 3(d) of the Indian Patents Act. In India alone, 24,000 people are afflicted by CML (blood cancer) every year and 18,000 succumb to the disease, mainly because they cannot afford to buy even these cheaper generic brands.Therefore, the awakened sections of society have already begun to fortify world over against the Novartis case in India. Recently, during the run up to the annual general meeting of the shareholders of Novartis company in Basel (Switzerland) on February 23, 2012, protests were held in various cities of US and Europe demanding Novartis to drop its case in Indian Supreme Court. Demonstrations were organised in Cambridge, Massachuselts, Basel and so on in front of Novartis office world over. More than 50,000 signatures have been collected on an internet petition as part of a social media campaign.But, unfortunately these protests organised worldwide have gone unnoticed in India and protests against Novartis in India are lack luster. While, scrapping of Section 3 (d) of the Indian Patents Act would not only eliminate affordable generic versions of this anti-cancer drug Glivec alone, but, would lead to evergreening of hundreds of patents of other life saving drugs, now and in the years to come. Not more than 10 per cent of the total 24,000 pharma firms of India would survive beyond 2020 if the Section 3(d) is scrapped. Consequently, people in India would find it hard to have access to better and effective drugs, invented not only after 1995 but even before 1995. Majority of the medical practitioners too would be deprived of practice on and prescribe newer molecules, which would be beyond the reach of common man. Majority of Indian middle class shall have to siphon out 10-15 per cent of their monthly income on health insurance to get access to the newer molecules, as many MNC pharma lobbies would not hesitate to sponsor fake researches to generate evidence against the patent older molecules for a ban against them.Therefore, activists and organisations should launch a powerful mass movement against Novartis to compell it to withdraw the case. Organisations of patriotic and humane medical practitioners, should also put pressure by the threat of total boycott of Novartis products if it insists on scrapping of the Section 3 (d) of the Indian Patents Act. Medical practitioners’ associations should also appear as intervener in the SC to counter the controversial claim of Novartis that there is any marked novelty in the beta crystalline form of Imantinib mesylate, for which it has applied for a patent in 1997, over the Imantinib mesylate of the free base, Imantinib patented in 1993. The Novartis’ claim for a fresh patent is liable to be rejected if the medicos can prove that beta crystalline form of Imantinib mesylate is not a novelty worth grant of a patent over its earlier patent of 1993.
The haranguing and the intense backroom operations evident in the run-up to the Presidential election, if one may call it that, are in preparation for the 2014 general elections which the UPA at the Centre would in all probability be losing miserably. And that has added so much fervour and lobbying for the top post and a pliable President might have to clinch the deal for the Congress then. When BJP announced its support for PA Sangma, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha and former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member, the ground rules were drawn and it was clear that the Congress would not have a walkover.At the end of it all, Congress is busy trying to woo Mamata Banerjee, the mercuric chief minister of West Bengal, as she steadfastly remained anti-Pranab Mukherjee in spite of all the machinisation by the Congress. Even the one-day team with Mulayam Singh Yadav in their support for former President APJ Abdul Kalam was short-lived even as Congress tightened the screws on Mulayam Singh who has been involved in nearly half a dozen cases with CBI. If Mayawati has also joined the UPA’s party the reasons are not far to find. Jaganmohan Reddy who is now embroiled in a series of CBI cases for unaccounted wealth in Andhra Pradesh is a case in point. Similar or worse cases of unaccounted wealth have been registered against Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav, all of who are conveniently either sympathisers of UPA or partners in the alliance. But the only difference between these political stalwarts and Jaganmohan Reddy is that the latter refused to play ball with Congress.That being the way Congress has managed support from its allies and non-allies, the party thinks that the election of Pranab Mukherjee to the President’s office is a foregone conclusion. It is credit worthy that even if Mulayam Sngh Yadav changed his stance to suit Congress’ game, Mamata Banerjee stuck to her gun. She has flatly refused to support Pranab Mukherjee at least till now, in spite of his Bengali origins. It is in the light of these developments of blackballing support for the Congress candidate that the BJP’s choice of supporting PA Sangma looks like a God-sent relief.What most political analysts overlook is the fact that there is still some hope that the Presidential race cannot be a foregone conclusion. If UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has been making such a valiant effort to garner political support for Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature for the President’s post and if Mamata Banerjee has openly said that there is so much of money and blackmail involved, the constitutional mandate of “secret ballot” which permits MPs and MLAs to defy their party line and resort to conscience vote can queer the Congress’ pitch. The party whip might simply not work if the Opposition is able to push the envelope and lobby hard for PA Sangma.The President and Vice-President of the country just as the Members of Council of States (Rajya Sabha) are elected in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote as mandated in Articles 55(3), 66(1) and 80(4) of the Constitution, respectively. Even if the corridors of power in Delhi are riff with rumours of money exchanging hands, theories of the beneficiaries of the Presidential election are also abound.PA Sangma’s campaign for President’s post has been supported by AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa from the beginning which took a turn when Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy met him to pledge support for his candidature. Sangma resigned from NCP soon after and the support for him has been growing since. Now it is only to be seen if the politics of money power, blackmail and insidious campaign gain an upper hand against democratic principles.
GVL Narasimha Rao
Does the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) need a ‘liberal’ leader to present a softer image to the Muslims? This is the demand made by Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar. In my view, this Muslim centric thinking is not only flawed but a treacherous attempt to isolate the BJP and its parent body the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and push them on the defensive.The moot question is whether the BJP should pander to such demands for a liberal leader to increase its acceptability among Muslims. To my mind, the answer is a firm no. I cite two reasons in support of my stand. Firstly, Muslims have never voted for the BJP in any parliamentary election. Even when Atal Behari Vajpayee was projected as the prime minister, Muslims vehemently opposed the BJP in every single parliamentary election. So, presenting a liberal face for blunting Muslim opposition is a foolish idea. Second, it makes eminent political sense for the BJP to stick to its core ideology of non-appeasement for it benefited it immensely. Let me cite the instance of two minority dominant states namely Uttar Pradesh and Kerala to elucidate this point.Muslim opposition helps BJPThe widely propagated theory that Muslim consolidation against the BJP hurts it electorally is bunkum. It is a bogie raised by BJP’s opponents and its own apologists. There is ample evidence to the contrary. Muslims’ rabid opposition to the BJP has indeed proved to be beneficial to it electorally. Take the case of Uttar Pradesh. In the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, held three years after Babri demolition, the BJP bagged 52 of 85 seats in Uttar Pradesh. Again, in 1998, the BJP bagged 57 seats. If vehement opposition from Muslims and their tactical voting against the BJP could defeat the BJP, it could not have performed well in UP in both these elections. The outcome of 1996 and 1998 elections in Uttar Pradesh shows that the opposition of Muslims does not adversely affect the BJP. On the contrary, the Muslims’ opposition to the BJP has been beneficial to it electorally by consolidating Hindu votes in its favour. Hindu polarisation hurts CongressLet me now cite the case of Kerala where excessive minority wooing has hurt the Congress party severely. In 2011 Assembly polls, Congress party’s coalition partners namely the Muslim League (MUL) and Kerala Congress (M) aggressively wooed their Muslim and Christian vote-banks respectively. A reverse polarisation of Hindus resulted in Congress party’s poor tally of 38 of the 87 seats it contested. Polarisation of Hindu voters in favour of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) ensured that it did remarkably well in Hindu dominant regions. The Congress party faced a similar experience in the 1980s when Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress party attempted to woo Muslim voters aggressively by pursuing appeasement politics. When the party feared a Hindu backlash, he was forced to backtrack from his efforts. Generally, Hindus who constitute over 80 per cent of India’s electorate do not vote as a bloc. But whenever Muslims were wooed aggressively by some parties to the point of causing aversion among Hindus, a reverse consolidation of Hindus happened as a natural reaction. Hindus vote as a community only under strong provocation or in a rare reaction to community-wise intensive build-up by the minorities. The massive electoral wave of 1984 in favour of Rajiv Gandhi following Indira Gandhi’s assassination was a Hindu reaction to the killing of the then prime minister by the Sikh extremists. “Secular” leader The demand for a (pseudo) secular leader is not just an anachronistic idea but a smokescreen for pursuit of old style vote-bank politics. Pursuit of such politics maybe the pathological compulsion of some parties but their appeal in contemporary politics is highly limited as even Muslims are realising the self-serving designs of political leaders.Congress and other parties can be expected to intensify “anti-Narendra Modi” rhetoric as 2014 election draws closer. Every attempt to target Narendra Modi would consolidate the Hindu votes in favour of the BJP without the BJP doing anything to cause such a reaction. It is the common ‘mass psychology’ to support someone opposed by everybody and that too without justification. Would attempts targeting Narendra Modi not have the potential to derail the campaign focus from mis-governance of the UPA? No. With a leader like Narendra Modi at the centre of the BJP campaign, the focus would automatically be on development and corruption free governance. If the Congress party and allies seek to communalise the campaign; that would be an added ‘bonus’.The nation is reeling under mis-governance of the Congress led UPA regime at the Centre. What it needs is a capable leader who can give the country a corruption free, development oriented high quality governance. The whole nation is eagerly awaiting a leader and a progressive agenda for the next Lok Sabha polls to steer it out of the inertia that grips the country. The BJP must remain focused on this national imperative and not stray into archaic debate on secularism vs communalism. The BJP, as a national party of governance cannot let itself be held hostage to the vote-bank considerations of its “secular” allies, much against its own core values and beliefs. Should such allies choose to go their own way, the BJP must be prepared to fight elections on its own. I am certain it would have nothing to lose going it alone. Even if it does, isn’t it better to lose elections temporarily rather than lose your soul!(The writer is a noted political and poll analyst).
Guruji: A drishta-VI
The convergence of views between Guruji and Supreme Court on the meaning of Hindu, Hinduism, Hindutva and Hindu culture is unbelievably profound and comprehensive. The earlier part had brought out some critical aspects of the convergence. Now this part brings out the more significant aspects of the convergence of views between the Supreme Court and Guruji. “Way of life of the people” Guruji repeatedly referred to Hinduism as an “all embracing” “way of life of the people of this country” (Bunch of Thoughts, p72/137). The Supreme Court, decades after Guruji’s time declared that Hinduism “may broadly be described as a way of life and nothing more”. (Hindutva Case, p 1127), reiterating: “Ordinarily Hindutva is understood as a way of life or state of mind and it is not to be equated with or understood as religious Hindu fundamentalism” (Hindutva Case, p1130) It concluded: “..the words ‘Hinduism’ or ‘Hindutva’..... indicate a way of life of the Indian people...”. (Hindutva Case p1131). “Not just tolerates, but accepts other faiths”Terming the Western idea of religious tolerance as bereft of respect for other religions, Guruji said that Hinduism “‘does not just tolerate”, but “accepts all other faiths” (Bunch of Thoughts p51). Decades after Guruji, the Supreme Court judicially recognised this virtue in Hinduism, quoting Dr S Radhakrishnan and declared that the knowledge of Hindu religion bred “willingness to understand and appreciate the opponent’s point of view’. (Hindutva Case p1128)“Respect for all faiths”Guruji had repeatedly pointed out that Hinduism respected all faiths (Bunch of Thoughts p51), meaning that it did not see them as just inevitable. Insisting that “we must respect...other faiths’ (Ibid p644), Guruji declared: ‘According to our way of religious belief and philosophy, a Muslim is as good as a Hindu. It is not the Hindus alone who will reach the ultimate Godhead. Everyone has a right to follow his path according to his own persuasion” (Ibid p641). Decades after, the Supreme Court endorsed, in substance, Guruji’s views saying: “This philosophical approach of understanding, co-existence and tolerance is the very spirit of our ancient thought” (Ibid p 628), adding that ancient Indian thought provided for “developing Sarva Dharma Samabhav or secular thought and outlook” which enlightenment is the true nucleus of what is now known as Hinduism.” (Faruqui Case p629) “No animosity to other faiths, minorities”Guruji clearly ruled out any hostility towards non-Hindu minorities in Hindu view and way of life. Guruji declared: “ The Hindu, even in his dreams, cannot hate a person merely because he belongs to another faith” (Bunch of Thoughts, p 673). Decades later, the Supreme Court said that Hinduism or Hindutva cannot be equated with “narrow fundamentalist religious bigotry” (Hindutva Case 1129), adding: “To view the terms ‘Hinduism’ or ‘Hindutva’ per se as depicting hostility or enmity or intolerance towards other religious faiths or professing communalism” is an improper appreciation of the true meaning Hinduism or Hindutva (Hindutva Case 1131).“Welcomed, protected other faiths” Guruji had repeatedly declared that Bharat is land of religious generosity; it had always welcomed and assured all religious groups a free, honourable and secure life (Bunch of Thoughts p 421). Guruji cited how in Maratha and Vijayanagar empires, which rose to defend the nation against Muslim onslaughts, Muslims were given some of the highest positions of trust and responsibility, (Ibid p211/12 &421/22). Decades later, minority judgement of the Supreme Court in Faruqui’s Case (judgement delivered by two judges who incidentally belonged to Parsi and Muslim communities) accepted Guruji’s views in these words: “Hinduism is a tolerant faith. It is that tolerance that has enabled Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism to find shelter and support upon this land.”(Faruqui Case p 658)“Religion-positive secularism” Disagreeing with Nehruvian view of secularism as negating, or being neutral to, religion, Guruji declared decades earlier that “the Hindu thought did not stop at the negative aspect of retraining one religion from infringing upon another” and said that it mandated that rulers should “respect and encourage every single religious thought however few its adherents” (Bunch of Thoughts p215-16). Decades later in famous SR Bommai case the 9-judge bench of the Supreme Court accepted, without naming Guruji, his exposition of positive secularism and redefined secularism under the Constitution thus: “Secularism is more than a passive attitude of religious tolerance. It is a positive concept of equal treatment of all religions.” (Faruqui Case p 629). Guruji had disapproved of the religion-negative and religion-neutral secularism of Pundit Nehru and defined secularism as religion-positive, decades before Supreme Court over-ruled the Nehruvian view of secularism in Bommai case. “Protects secularism, minorities”On the protection of minorities in Hindu society, Guruji repeatedly declared: “He cannot be the son of the soil who is intolerant of other faiths” (Bunch of Thoughts p208) and said that it is “the Hindu thought alone” that “has respected, protected and encouraged all types of cults and creeds to grow and blossom to their fulfilment” and concluded that Hindu nation was the best guarantee for the minorities in this country (Ibid p213). This is precisely what the Supreme Court also said decades after Guruji. If the protection of the minorities is the fundamental concern of secularism, the Supreme Court said, “the use of the terms ‘Hindutva’ or ‘Hinduism’ may be to promote secularism or to emphasise the way of life of the Indian people and the Indian culture or ethos, or to criticize the policy of any political party as discriminatory or intolerant” (Hindutva Case p 1132).“Harmonises heterogeneity into unity”While explaining decades earlier how heterogeneous elements could constitute one Hindu society, Guruji gave the example of how a tree with branches leaves and flowers looks heterogeneous, but it is all part of the same tree (Bunch of Thoughts p131); again the Supreme Court approved this very concept of Hinduism being a tree and the various Hindu philosphic streams being the branches by cited the same tree example mentioned by Dr S Radhakrishnan who said that “the several views set forth in India in regard to vital philosophic concepts are considered to be the branches of the self-same tree” (Hindutva Case p 1128) “Validates all faiths”Guruji had repeatedly quoted the Vedic verse ‘ekam sat, vipra bahudha vadanti’ (meaning ‘truth is one, sages call it variously’) [Bunch of Thoughts p51] to point out that “our spiritual masters have upheld this all-comprehensive aspect of religion” (Ibid p134) indicating how Hinduism has evolved universal view of the validity of faiths. Decades later, the Supreme Court quoted precisely the same Vedic verse from Dr S Radhakrishnan’s work on Indian Philosophy, namely, “truth is one but wise men describe it differently” and further quoted Monier Williams, that Hinduism “was based on universal receptivity” (Hindutva Case p1128), thus endorsing the view of Guruji that Hinduism has universal view of all faiths. “Indianisation as solution for minority issue”Guruji’s exposition of the concept of Indianisation was heavily questioned and criticised in his times as communal. But Guruji was clear that Indianisation did not mean making all people Hindus. (Bunch of Thoughts p 645). He emphasised it as a concept to unite the minorities and said, Indianisation meant that all Indians realise that “we are all children of the soil coming from the same stock, that our forefathers were one, and that our aspirations are also one.” (Ibid) The secular leaders and intellectuals used to label this noble idea as communal, anti-secular. They repeatedly targeted Guruji as spreading communal divide in the garb of Indianisation. But, surprisingly, decades later, in 1990s, the Supreme Court approved Guruji’s views and rejected that of secularists. The Court cited Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s book Indian Muslims – the Need for a Positive Outlook in which the author wrote that Hindutva or Indianisation “aims at developing a uniform culture by obliterating differences between all the cultures co-existing in the country” for “communal harmony and national unity” and to end “once and for all”… “the minorities problem”. Approving the Maulana the Supreme Court said: “The word ‘Hindutva’ is used and understood as synonym of ‘Indianisation’” or “development of a uniform culture by obliterating the difference between all cultures co-existing in the country”. (Hindutva Case p1130) Actually, Guruji’s concept of Indianisation is superior. It does not obliterate differences. It ensures they co-exist with the larger consciousness that the forefathers of all people in India are one. “Other religions practised narrow concept” Guruji used to contrast the Semitic faiths with the Hindu view of seeing all faiths as different ways of reaching God (Bunch of Thoughts p 51, p 136) and pointed out that Semitic faiths practised narrow concept of religion, followed one prophet, one scripture other than which, they believed, there was no path of salvation. Guruji had said that this approach “bred intolerance and divided the people in the name of religion” (Ibid p137). Because of his critique of the Semitic faiths Guruji was accused of dividing Hinduism and non-Hindu faiths. But decades later, the Supreme Court expressed critiqued the “other religions precisely for their narrow features. The Court said: “unlike other religions in the world, the Hindu religion does not claim any one prophet; it does not worship one God; it does not subscribe to any one dogma; it does not follow any one set of religious rites or performances; in fact, it does not satisfy the narrow traditional features of any religion or creed. (Hindutva Case p 1127). So the Supreme Court has also agreed with Guruji’s views that the other religions are narrow. The most critical aspect of Supreme Court’s views which are comprehensively convergent with Guruji’s expositions is that the Court had arrived at them by independent inquiry. In substance, the Court has judicially validated Hindu cultural nationalism – the core RSS ideology. For three decades Guruji had ceaselessly travelled across the county to articulate this very concept, braving all unfair criticisms and abuses. His sincere appeal to the future conscience of the country to realise the truth of its being has found echo in the judicial ruling and constitutional law, but after his lifetime.