She must find fault with anything, everything the husband does. And that is exactly what, like a nagging wife, the opposition seems to be doing. The latest is the din raised by the opposition over the public broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) relaying live the customary Dussehra address by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat.
The criticism was based, primarily, on two grounds. First, Shri Bhagwat was a non-entity and by relaying his Dussehra speech DD provided him a platform he otherwise didn’t deserve. Secondly, what he spoke on the occasion hurt the sentiments of the nation an individual, a group, a caste, creed, or region. But there is nothing of the sort. His address was tinged with the spirit of swadeshi, nationalism and nation’s pride. But what for is the opposition, like the ever-complaining wife, if it doesn’t find fault with the government? But surprisingly and comforting for RSS chief is that none of them criticised him for the contents of his Vijayadashmi speech. Consequently, the comments of the critics turn wanton without substance and their rhetoric get reduced to opposition for opposition sake.
Their (il) logic
CPI-M leader Dipankar Bhatta-charya puts forward a strange logic. “Modi on AIR, thugs on streets, trolls on twitter.” He argues, “Let the mind still be free and without fear.” As if, in traditional communist mindset, flow of different opinions from all shades and sides is not a hurdle to the mind being “free and without fear”.
To the erudite Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi’s mind it “reinforces the fear that the country is ruled for and from Nagpur…..Misusing official broadcaster to mandatorily cover RSS head with no official locus; a taste of times to come.” The same Singhvi had no objection when the “official broadcaster” was used to give wide and live coverage to Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi’s visits to their parliamentary constituencies out and out a political campaign. Not to speak of non-Congress MPs, even other Congress MPs were denied this very special “privilege” the mother-son due was singled out for special treatment, as if the DD belonged not to the nation but to the two individuals of Congress alone.
History is an objective, fair and impartial document. But our historian Ramchandra Guha could not hide where his sympathies lay in his research when he commented: “This naked state majoritarianism must be resisted.” The majoritarianism he despises he doesn’t elaborate. As a historian of his clan he believes in being autocratically authoritarian to the exclusion of majority of facts and opinion. Obviously, he wishes people to believe, as he does, that democracy is not ruled by majority but by self-righteous opinion holders like him.
The RSS function was obviously an important event which DD viewers had all through been denied by the Congress rulers all these years. The other private channels availed themselves of this opportunity and added to the viewership and the resultant ad revenue. It is here that the DD was the loser on both counts. Diatribes of the critics are a clear indication why DD remained a losing institution all these years.
Nobody can deny the fact that RSS is the world’s largest voluntary organisation which has done a Yoeman’s service everywhere whenever the country was in distress–in recent Jammu & Kashmir floods, Kedarnath tragedy, tsunami catastrophe and what not. Why should DD shy away from reporting their activities which are of interest to a vast majority of the people? In a way, it has benefitted RSS critics because it has provided them fodder for criticism. They should welcome it.
Amba Charan Vashishth (The writer is a Delhi based columnist)