BJP has warned that the Congress government is working itself into the same paranoia that gripped it just before Indira Gandhi imposed the National Emergency in 1975.
Party Spokesperson pointed out that statements from the home minister — portraying peaceful protests against corruption as a threat to Parliamentary democracy and calling them political blackmail, destabilization of the government etc.. — point to a government fast losing its grip on reality. She warned that it is working itself into a delusional world like another Congress government did 35 years ago.
“Jaiprakash Narayan [who led a social justice movement in the 1970s] was called an RSS agent.. VP Singh [who fought corruption] was called an RSS agent… It is the same phobia that they are showing now. The ministers talk in the same way. Congress’ phobia never changes,” Seetharaman said.
To its credit, the Government has never openly accused the anti-corruption movement launched by Anna Hazare as a front for the RSS [the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or National Volunteer Brigade.] However, it has deemed such satyagrahas and protests as ‘blackmail’, not in accordance with democracy, threat to the country’s stability etc..
The Congress, in its current left-of-centre avatar, is philosophically opposed to the RSS, which advocates a return of core “Hindu” values and culture.
“When the Congress does not have answers to charges of corruption, they resort to calling it communal agenda,” Seetharaman pointed out.
The warning is not the first or the only one that the Government may be working itself into a paranoia. Others, including Justice Santosh Hegde and other legal and political luminaries too have compared the statements coming from the Government to those made by Indira Gandhi just before she imposed the emergency.
Similarly to Gandhian Anna Hazare, in the early 1970s, another Gandhian Jayaprakash Narayan had been agitating in Bihar for a change in provincial government, and increasingly resorted to direct popular action against the Central Government through satyagrahas, like Anna.
Narayan and his supporters sought to unify students, peasants, and labour organisations in a ‘Total Revolution’ to nonviolently transform Indian society. Indira’s party was defeated in Gujarat by a coalition of parties calling itself the Janata Party (People’s Party), and even faced an all-party, no-confidence motion in Parliament.
At that time too, the Congress blamed the RSS, which was seen close to opposition leaders, as crucial to using its large organizational base and cadre to organize protests against the Government. It was banned and thousands of its workers were imprisoned, even as the cadre-based organization continued to urge its members and supporters to participate in Satyagraha (peaceful protests) against the emergency.
The RSS is often blamed by the Congress for having inherited the legacy of pre-independence Hindu right wing political groups, one of which assassinated the father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. RSS is also portrayed as anti-minorities due to its emphasis on creating a more traditional, nationalist, aggressive India.
The current BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party) is an offshoot of the Janatha Party formed during the 1970s — the first credible opposition to the Congress in India’s heart-land. BJP continues to take “ideological guidance” and direction from RSS, which also conducts programs to prevent conversion of Hindus into Muslims and Christians and ‘reconversion’ of such converts.