Modi is rid­ing the Hindu char­iot: Mihir Bose

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - City - - LIFESTYLE - Oin­drila Mukher­jee oin­drila.mukher­jee@htlive.com

The theme is “70”. Au­thor Shob­haa De talked about turn­ing 70 this year. A ses­sion dis­cussed Khush­want Singh’s in­sights for Indians at 70. The for­mer sports edi­tor of BBC, Mihir Bose, at 70 is from the gen­er­a­tion of the mid­night’s chil­dren. As old as in­de­pen­dent In­dia, Bose is at a stand­point from where he has a clear view of the In­dia to­day. His lat­est book, “The In­dian Spy: True Story of the Most Re­mark­able Se­cret Agent of World War II”, was dis­cussed at the open­ing ses­sion of the con­clud­ing day of Khush­want Singh Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val in Kasauli on Sun­day. Au­thor of over 20 books, rang­ing from Bol­ly­wood to cricket, Bose has no love lost for the in­creas­ing in­tol­er­ance in In­dian so­ci­ety un­der the Bharatiya Janata Party rule. His ar­ti­cle, “70 years af­ter in­de­pen­dence, the In­dia I know is los­ing its way” ap­peared in The Guardian, a Bri­tish pub­li­ca­tion. In it, he talked about how “since Naren­dra Modi’s as­ton­ish­ing elec­tion vic­tory in 2014, the coun­try seemed to be turn­ing its back on the tol­er­ant, sec­u­lar so­ci­ety In­dia’s found­ing fa­thers wanted”. “A man emerged by con­vinc­ing peo­ple that Hin­dus haven’t done well. What has the ma­jor­ity com­mu­nity lost?” he ques­tioned. Ac­cord­ing to Bose, the In­dian in­tel­lec­tual class, pos­si­bly in­flu­enced by Pan­dit Jawa­har­lal Nehru and the Congress, thought that In­dia should be a sovereign so­cial­ist re­pub­lic in line with what is stated in the Con­sti­tu­tion. He added, “The BJP, on the other hand, is try­ing to con­struct a dif­fer­ent in­tel­lec­tual class that is not in­flu­enced by west­ern­ised no­tions.”

RE­CLAIM­ING HIS­TORY

Bose is also the au­thor of “From Mid­night to Glo­ri­ous Morn­ing? In­dia since In­de­pen­dence”. His out­look on the cur­rent sce­nario is sim­ple. “Modi is rid­ing the Hindu char­iot with­out ad­her­ing to the true be­liefs of Hin­duism. Hin­duism has sur­vived be­cause there’s no cen­tral point in it and it’s the ul­ti­mate fed­eral re­li­gion. But Modi is en­cour­ag­ing that there is a cen­tral Hindu be­lief,” he said. He added that the PM was try­ing to build a new In­dia, by re­claim­ing his­tory and veer it from the dom­i­na­tion of the Congress.

Mihir Bose

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