A rebuttal to an article titled ‘The gigantic Trojan Horse in Narmada district’ published in ‘The Hindu’ authored by Ruchir Joshi
Recently I came across this article titled ‘The gigantic Trojan Horse in Narmada district’ published in ‘The Hindu’ authored by Ruchir Joshi. While the essay was centred around the ‘Statue of Unity’ it ended up being the only Launchpad to talk baselessly foul about BJP and RSS. I thought if not replied back these irrational, bags of lies would only rust the nation and its values. So here goes my point-wise rebuttal which Mr Ruchir can feel free to respond to.
The author initiates the articles itself by saying that Sardar would have been revolted by the amount of money that has been wasted to craft the statue. Because he seems to be reading the minds of the great departed souls, I’ll request him to throw some light on Gandhi’s opinion about the Statue of Gandhi located in Patna.
If I haven’t mistaken Bapu was way more modest than Sardar (as the great historians like Ramachandra Guha say). So how would have he reacted for 22m high Statue that too for 35 cr in such a prime location of Gandhi Maidan? Let’s now do some maths on it. Refer attached images below where I have done quick mathematics for comparison between the two statutes:
While doing basic maths (as done in images above) it can be concluded even by a layman that we are saving around 1000 cr when compared with Gandhi’s statue. So in the current design is definitely more efficient economically. Also, the cost of bronze is 1.3 times higher than when the statue of Gandhi was built.
Now if the author really wants to perceive it as oppressive symbolism, then he needs to compare the economics of total memorials built for Nehru & Gandhi as there are null for Sardar Patel. I can provide the list with the cost of land if the author fails to arrange. So then the question arises is that if there was no problem for scattered pieces of symbolism for past 70 years then why a sudden hue and cry even though the total cost of this project is way lesser than all memorials of Gandhi family &Bapu put together? I honestly wish to question author if there lays an agenda?
Author further claims that Sardar Patel would have never approved of it and I totally agree to it. No respectful leader will ever approve of self-glorification unless they come from the Nehru Dynasty. Has he forgotten Indira Gandhi awarded Bharat Ratna to herself? The citizens are so enthusiastic about this statue just for the fact that Sardar Patel was so modest that he would have never approved of it. If we have symbolised traitors like Nehru, who snooped Netaji’s family why can’t we symbolise the one who knitted India as one? I seek an explanation from him on this ground.
Author naively goes on to say that the Statue doesn’t symbolise Sardar but Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Mohan Bhagwat, Dr Hedgewar, Golwalkar, Sawarkar&Nathuram. The very statement has done no good to him or his agenda but has clearly exposed the hatred and abysmal knowledge he carries about all names he took. It’s really interesting when Memorial should be compared with memorial author selects to put across names which are loved by the majority of the country with exception of Nathuram. It would have been great if the author could have compared combined assets of all the names he took with only respected Sonia Ji & Rahul Ji’s assets. Maybe then he would have refrained from putting across this abysmal point. The asset comparison will clearly be a litmus test to find out who the simplistic Sardar’s idea of living gels with: With the names he hates or with whom whose expensive memorials he can’t even care to talk about? I hope he is aware enough what life NaMo’s family leads & what Nehru family do?
Let’s imagine a scenario If after 20 years people visit the place, what the guide shall say? Does he thinks that Guide will say ‘It is Statue if NaMo& Amit Shah’? Rather Guide will say this is the largest statue of the world built in honour of the Iron Man. The guide shall further say, ‘Statue’s scale clearly states that he was the tallest leader ever country got, who sculpted Modern India by bringing 562 states together.’ Imagine how proud an Indian will be if a British listens to this.
Author further talks about Gandhi’s statue hypothesis in1950 while Sardar being the PM. Then I first want to suggest him to better look at the history that has actually resulted people to ideate & realise the Statue of Unity. In past 70 years, INC has always given the best to eliminate Sardar’s legacy. One of the best examples of that ignorance comes from the fact that Indira G conferred herself Bharat Ratna while Sardar had to wait 41 years post death. Though we all know while former gave us emergency, later gave us the United India still people end up questioning the grand deserved memorial to Sardar. The ignorance is also reflected by the fact that every kid drew portraits of Nehru, Bapu& Indira but hardly anyone drew Sardar. Isn’t that appalling that who brought the country together wasn’t revered for 70 years?
I must tell the author that it’s pointless to compare a resultant of 70 years with a hypothesis set for three years post-independence. Then grew at 3.5% in 1950 the current GR is 7.4%. We were overloaded with debts. We had to pay Pakistan which later was used to wage war against us. Sardar Patel won’t have even envisioned the crooked nature of the INC. Why does Author forget that Gandhi suggested to disband Congress post-independence? Please stop giving hypothesis when we have better historical cases to refer to. Damn this liberal idea of ‘ye hota to wohota.’Author again brings in Sardar Patel’s perspective & questions what money could have fetched. Then, in that case, he should ask this question to INC first for the amount of money put to symbolise Gandhi & Nehru Family as the party claims to be subscribing Gandhian way? Didn’t Gandhi too gave away Barrister’s cloak& led even more minimalistic life? I wonder if the author has heard of Laurie Baker. He was more Gandhian than any Congressi whose expensive Smaraks are scattered all around. So instead of batting for INC quiz them for money wasted in prime locations of Delhi. Maybe his strong quiz give the country some good money back.
Now he quotes Patel & talks of his desire to make India a big producer. He further says India is still unable to feed the poor. So I will like to give uninformed author few cases as below:
India is to grow at 7.9% while currently grows at 7.4%. I think he has forgotten Nehruvian era when Indian growth rate was mocked as Hindu GR & it never went beyond 3.5 for 45 years. Then how he says that we are not capable to feed the poor? Has he done survey personally in villages and deemed to be poor zone?
Author has completely failed to understand the art movements. Had he read them he would have known that idea he practices is called ‘Postmodernism’ & postmodernists built maximum symbolic structures. Eg: Jews Museum, Berlin. Even architecture style is Deconstructive (a postmodern idea).
France used 0.73% GDP for Statue ofLiberty though their growth rate was 1.2% &was running through ‘Long Depression’. India used 0.017% GDP for StatueofUnity while GR is 7.4% & 3rd largest economy by GDP (PP). The author must ask any French or American to better understand what the very symbol play in making them what they are today.
Human interface is an emotional being & has ever been drawing inspirations from symbols since time immemorial. Had France witnessed sadist like the author one can imagine where they could have stood. Author weeps for what this money could have achieved & claiming it as the utter waste. Below lay a few explanations for his illogical anti/development mindset:
An agricultural tool each was collected from around 7, 00,000 villages across India, melted and used. So doesn’t that speak of Farmer’s support to the notion?
Total 250 engineers and 3,700 workers were engaged in the construction.
100 cleaners will be deployed to keep the premises clean and about 80 trained tourist guides.
I wish to know from the author if he has any idea how much revenue & employment the hospitality project shall contribute to? If he hadn’t done that analysis then what gives him the courage to make such bold statements? It’s idiotic & naïve, and it’s really appalling that The Hindu didn’t care to run a check of it.
The author says that it’s all about the advertisements of Modi & Amit Shah, so I must remind him what Atal ji said
“Sattakakhel to chalega, sarkareaayegi..jaayegi…partiyabanegi..bigadegi… Magar Ye deshrahnachahiye, is deshkaloktantra Amar rahnachahiye.”
Narendra Modi will go someday, but this Statue will be there forever unless razed by hatred. People will remember Sardar’s greatness by this statue. Imagine this. Every child in the world is taught ‘largest statue of the world is the Statue of Unity located in India’.
Sardar Patel and RSS
He talks of Sardar Patel’s hate for RSS, so I give him certain facts as below:
He praised the RSS in a speech at Jaipur in Dec 1947 & later in a speech in Lucknow in Jan 1948. He said that the RSS is patriot & that the restrictive laws are meant for the goons and not patriots.
Yes, the RSS was banned for four days after Gandhi’s assassination, i.e. on February 4. As the murderer of Bapu was by ‘an’ individual with some relations with RSS, the RSS too became a suspect. Shri Guruji was arrested on February 2. Do we know under what Article of IPC?
He was arrested under Article 302, as if Shri Guruji himself had gone to ‘Delhi’ and fired at the Mahatma! The blatant foolishness was subsequently realised and after about a couple of days his incarceration was shown under the preventive measure.
Many other RSS leaders also were arrested under preventive laws. About 20000 houses of RSS functionaries were searched but not an iota of proof was obtained to involve the RSS in the conspiracy to murder Bapu. After 6months confinement, all were released. But the ban continued.
Sardar Patel was convinced that the RSS had no part in the conspiracy to kill Gandhi. But Pt. Nehru and his so-called Leftist supporters were apprehensive that the Home Department under Sardar Patel was not doing its duty earnestly and diligently. This is revealed from a letter that Nehru wrote to Sardar Patel. It is dated February 26, 1948. The following are few gems from the letter:
There appears to be a certain lack of real effort in tracing the larger conspiracy.”
“Bapu’s murder was not an isolated business, but a part of a much wider campaign organised chiefly by the RSS.”
“A considerable number of their (RSS) key men are still abroad or underground or even sometimes flourishing in the open. Many of these people are in our offices and in the Police. It is hardly possible to keep anything secret from their group.”
“I think that the police and the local authorities have to be kept up to the mark. They have a habit of slackening off after the spurt. What is more dangerous is that a number of them appear to sympathise with the RSS. Hence an impression is created that nothing very effective is being done.”
This was how Sardar Patel’s integrity was questioned indirectly.
To this letter, Sardar Patel, the next day that is February 27, 1948, sent a long reply. The main points in that reply were:
“I have kept myself almost in daily touch with the progress of the investigation in Bapu’s assassination case.” “From their (the arrested accused) statements it is quite clear that no part of the conspiracy took place ‘in’ Delhi. The centres of activity were ‘Poona’ Bombay, Ahmednagar and Gwalior. …….. It also emerges from these statements that the RSS was not involved in it at all.”
“As regards the RSS ‘in’ Delhi, I am not aware of any prominent men or active workers whom we have left out.”
“I am assured that practically all the important workers of RSS in ‘Delhi’ have been rounded up.
“Delhi’s quota of RSS arrests compares favourably with that of any other place or province.”
After his release from preventive detention on August 6, 1948, Shri Guruji wrote to Sardar Patel about his desire to come to ‘Delhi’ and meet him in person. Shri Guruji, who was prohibited from leaving ‘Nagpur’, was allowed to come to ‘Delhi’. He wanted to meet Pt. Nehru also, but Nehru declined to meet him.
On September11, 1948, Sardar Patel replied to Guruji’s letter of August 11. The letter reads:
“You are very well aware of my views about RSS. I have expressed those thoughts at Jaipur in December last and at ‘Lucknow’ in January. The people have welcomed those views.”
“There can be no doubt that the RSS did service to the Hindu society. In the areas where there was a need for help and organisation, the young men of the RSS protected women and children and strove much for their sake.”
“I once again ask you to give your thought to my Jaipur and Lucknow speeches and accept the path, I had indicated for the RSS. I am quite certain that therein lays the good of the RSS and of the country and moving on that path we can join hands in achieving the welfare of our country.”
“I am thoroughly convinced that the RSS men can carry on their patriotic endeavour only by joining the Congress not by keeping separate or by opposing.”
In his letter of September 26, Sardar Patel again reiterates the same feeling. He writes “After viewing all the things, my only suggestion to you is that the Sangh should be brought to adopt fresh lines of technique and policy. That new technique and new policy can only be according to the rules of the Congress.”
Shri Guruji when he refused to leave Delhi, till justice was rendered, was arrested and put in jail. The Sangh, to make the Government lift the ban started its Satyagraha from December 9, 1948. In the beginning, it was ridiculed. But when 70 thousand swayamsewaks courted arrest, it caught the attention of eminent persons in the public life. First, G V Ketkar, the then chief editor of the Kesari, a Marathi paper started by LokmanyaTilak, came on the scene. He met the Government representatives. The Government said that unless they stop Satyagraha, no talks can be initiated. Shri Ketkar met Shri Guruji in jail and on his request the protest was stopped from probably January 22, 1949. But even then the stalemate continued. Then Shri TVR Shastry, former Advocate General of Madras Presidency, came on the scene. The Government insisted that the RSS should give its constitution in writing. Shri Shastri met Guruji in Jail and requested him to give the constitution of the RSS in writing. Shri Guruji countered, ‘was the ban on the RSS imposed, because it had no written constitution?’ But respecting the view of such an elderly eminent person, the written constitution was given. But instead of lifting the ban, the Government started finding faults in it. Shri Guruji stopped writing to the Government. Shri Shastri too was disappointed by the tactics of the Government and issued a statement that his mediation was not fruitful. The Government was caught in a fix. Then it secured a mediator in the person of Shri Moulichandra Sharma, and on the basis of a personal letter written to Shri Sharma, the ban was lifted. It is interesting to note that on the day Shastry’s statement appeared in the morning newspapers, in the evening the All India Radio announced the Government’s decision to lift the ban on the RSS.
From the facts mentioned above, it will be evident, that Sardar Patel and many other Congress leaders yearned for the cooperation of the RSS. As a result of this attitude, the Congress Working Committee passed a resolution asking RSS men to join the Congress. When this resolution was adopted, Pt. Nehru was in London to attend the Common Wealth Conference. Pt. Nehru and his Leftist supporters were aghast that such a resolution adopted by the CWC. So when Panditji returned, he saw that the resolution is withdrawn. CWC obliged. If that resolution had remained, there was a possibility that a few RSS men who were interested in working in the political arena would have joined the Congress. But Sardar Patel did not want to split the Congress; therefore he acquiesced in the withdrawal of that resolution. As for the RSS, it is to be understood that it would never have merged in any political party. Its mission is so pervasive and inclusive that it is impossible for shallow and scratchy people to comprehend it.
Shri Guruji had made it a point to be present at the funeral of Sardar Patel and Pt. Ravi Shankar Shukla; the then Chief Minister of Central Province and Berar was good enough to take Shri Guruji along with him for the funeral in Bombay.
I request the author to burn away the unnecessary hate he carries for the RSS as a whole which ultimately shadowed the premise for essay which ideally should have been ‘Constructive Criticism’ of the Statue of Unity. Constructive criticism is the only flavour that can run this beautiful multi-flavoured democracy called ‘India’. Hate shall only make loser out of us. With this note I rest my keyboard and look forward to hear back from the author.