Category Archives: Nation

Mecca Masjid Blast Case

11 years after the blasts at Mecca Masjid, on 16th April, 2018,  a special NIA court acquitted Swami Aseemanand and others in the Mecca Masjid blast case. This was after examining over 200 witnesses and over 400 documents.

It is unfortunate that the then Congress government chose to use the blasts to create a bogey of #HinduTerror and popularising the word  #SaffronTerror coined by the commie mag Frontline. The dragged the name of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh into it.

In 2010, we had written about how some sections of media playing into the hands of their political paymasters was happening through our article ” RSS, Bomb Blasts & Media Credibility

Some of the accused like Swami Aseemanand were held captive without a chargesheet for years together on multiple cases . Swami Aseemanand was especially targetted for the extensive work he was doing among the tribal communities and working as a bulwark against the Christian missionary organisations which were allegedly also the key funding agencies for the Congress party.

In their attempt to somehow discredit the Hindu organisations, clear terror links to outside the country were brushed aside .  Read – The Enigma of Aseemanand

 

Now, the task of the government is to find the real perpetrators of the blast so that those & whose families who have suffered the blasts get solace.

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Interrogating Macaualay’s Children

A new book titled as “Interrogating Macaulay’s Children” was released on 4th March 2018 at Jagriti Bhavan, Kachiguda. This book focuses on the positive aspects of Bharat as documented by scholars from across the world in the last 5 centuries. It also thereby negates the low image of India as propagated by forces motivated by British officer Macaulay and his idea of India.

“Interrogating Macaulay’s Children” is written  by Sri Satyadeva Prasad and published by Centre for Integral Research, SAMVIT KENDRA.  Dr. Gopal Reddy Member UGC, Sri Venugopal Reddy Chairman Jagriti Prakashan Trust and Sri Prasanna Deshpande released the book.

Sri Satyadeva Prasad ji is a regular contributor of articles to AriseBharat.  The book is available at Sahityaniketan, Barkatpura, Hyderabad.

Contact : Sri Rajgopal – 9290127329

The Grit of Mothers of Rajguru, Sukhdev and Bhagat Singh

“The afternoon of 23rd March, 1931. It was the day to meet Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. Rajguru’s mother and sister came from Maharashtra to Lahore and stayed with us for a few days. All three families went to the jail. At the jail, we came to know that Bhagat Singh’s grandparents and aunts were not allowed to meet him. In protest of it, Bhagat Singh’s parents also stayed away from meeting him. Rajguru’s mother and sister and Sukhdev’s mother were allowed to meet their sons. But, they also put themselves on the side of Bhagat Singh’s parents. It meant not being able to meet their children in their last moments.
What a sacrifice by these mothers ! Our history is replete with incidents of sacrifice of heroes, but isn’t the sacrifice of these mothers really unequalled ! ” – Smt.Virender ji Sandhu, Excerpt Translated from her book – Yugdrashta Bhagat Singh

२३ मार्च १९३१ की दोपहरी छाई ही थी. वह दिन भगत सिंह, राजगुरु और सुखदेव से अंतिम मुलाकात का दिन था. राजगुरु की माँ और बहन महाराष्ट्र से लाहौर आई थी और कुछ दिन हमारे परिवार में रही थी. इस दिन तीनों परिवारों के सदस्य अंतिम मुलाकात के लिए जेल के द्वार पर पहुंचे. वहाँ पता चला के अँगरेज़ सरकार ने सिर्फ माता पिता को ही भगत सिंह को मिलने की अनुमति दी है, दादा दादी और चाचियों को नहीं. इसके विरोध में भगत सिंह के माता पिता ने मुलाकात करने से इनकार कर दिया. राजगुरु की माँ, बहन और सुखदेव की माँ को मिलने की स्वीकृति प्राप्त थी, पर इस हालात में इन्होने अपने को भगत सिंह के माता पिता के साथ जोड़ दिया था और अपने बेटों से अंतिम मुलाकात करने से इनकार कर दिया था, जिसका अर्थ था अपने लाडले बेटों से अंतिम दर्शनों से वंचित रहना.
हमारा इतिहास वीरों की बांकपन से भरा पड़ा है, पर राजगुरु, सुखदेव और भगत सिंह की माताओं का यह बांकपन क्या निराला नहीं है ? ”
– वीरेंद्र संधू जी, “युगद्रष्ट भगत सिंह – पुस्तक की लेखिका.

Veerashaiva-Lingayat community is One !

Virabhadra Daksha.jpg

Background & History of Veerashaiva-Lingayats

  • Lord Veerabhadra, son of Lord Shiva is believed to be the founder and propagator of the Veerashaiva philosophy. The complete philosophy of Veerashaivism is explained in the text Siddhanta Shikhamani.  Scholars of Veerashaivism trace their roots to Hindu traditions and practices.
  • It is believed that the Jagadguru Panchacharyas of the Veerashaiva cult (The Five Sages) emerged from the Lingas at the commencement of each Yuga and established the Veerashaiva Dharma. The Five sages set up Five Peethas of this philosophy at Rambhapuri (Karnataka), Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh), Kedar (Uttarakhand), Shrishailam (Andhra Pradesh) and Kashi (Uttara Pradesh). These five mutts have been carrying on great work in the field of spiritual, social and religious upliftment of people. Many of these mutts are managing renowned temples which have Hindus of all faiths and traditions as devotees.

Historical Facts & References about Veerashaiva-Lingayats

 There is a reference to the philosophy of Lingadharanam (wearing of Linga around the neck) made in the Anushasana Parva of Mahabharata during a conversation between Yudhishtira & Bheeshma. It clearly shows that such a practice existed even before the birth of Guru Basaveshwara.

  • The Director General of Archaeological Survey of India (1902-1928), Sir John Hubert Marshall oversaw the excavations of Harappa & Mohenjodaro cities of Indus Valley Civilization. In his work published in the year 1931, he made observations that the statues resembling Ishtalinga & Taavaralinga dating back to 3rdCentury were found during the excavation exercise.
  • There is a reference in the “Guruvamshakavya” published by the Sringeri Sharada Peetham that the sacred Chandramouleshwara Linga (Shiva Linga) that is one of the presiding diety of the Sringeri Mutt was given by Jagadguru Renukacharya of the Rambhapuri Peetham to Adi Shankaracharya in 8thCentury BC. This is clear evidence of the fact that there existed no distinction between Veerashaiva-Lingayats and other Hindu practices.
  • In the year 1941, the High Court of Allahabad made an observation regarding the existence of the Veerashaiva Pancha Peethas prior to 574 AD (6th Century) while adjudicating the dispute between Kashi Peetha and its creditors. The High Court also had made an observation regarding the contribution made by the Kashi Peetha for the development of Banaras Hindu University.
  • All the above historical references, evidences the existence of Veerashaiva Philosophy which includes worshipping of Shiva Linga and Lingadharanam (wearing of Linga around the neck) prior to 3rd It also points towards the indistinguishable commonality between the Veerashaiva-Lingayat cult and Hindu traditions.

Basavanna and the Veerashaiva-Lingayat Philosophy

  • Basavanna is one of the most respected spiritual & social reformer of Karnataka, who rejected gender and social discrimination and played a pivotal role in spreading social awareness through his Vachanas. He is known for his progressive views and is considered to be reformer in the larger Hindu faith.
  • Basavanna was born in the 12thCentury in a Brahmin family and he later embraced the already existing Veerashaiva tradition. A detailed study of the “Kalachuri” inscriptions reveals that Basavanna was not the founder of any religion but a reviver and reformer of an already existing spiritual tradition.
  • Basavanna promoted the concept of wearing “Ishtalinga” around the neck (Lingadharanam), the practice that the Veerashaiva cult which was already in existence. Never in his vachanas or other writings has he used the word ‘Lingayat’ nor has he written anything that indicates that he started a religion distinct from the Veerashaiva tradition.
  • In the year 2016,the State Government of Karnataka published the 3rdedition of “Vachana Mahasamputa” under the principal editorship of scholar MM Kalaburgi. It is recorded in there that Basavanna in his Vachana No. 1092 states that he had become a true Veerashaiva from a mere Shaiva.
  • The Encyclopaedia Brittanica considers Basavanna as a Hindu religious reformer and as a subject of Basava Purana (a sacred text of Hindu Lingayat Sect)
  • Basavanna always believed that Veerashaiva is indicative of a philosophy and that the word Lingayat is indicative of a religious practice within the philosophy. Attributing a distinct religious tone to his teachings when they originally do not have any such connotations is impermissible.
  • The Akhila Bharatiya Veerashaiva Mahasabha was founded in the year 1904 and in its first resolution passed at Dharwad, it stated that Basavanna was not a founder of any distinct religion but was only a reviver of the already existing Veerashaiva philosophy.

 Genesis of the demand for a separate Lingayat Religion Status in 2013 & its rejection by UPA Government.

  • The Akhila Bharatiya Veerashaiva Mahasabha under the Presidenship of Shamanur Shivashankarappa(Congress Leader from Karnataka) made representations to the then AICC President Sonia Gandhi and Petroleum Minister Sri Veerappa Moily in the year 2013 to recognize Veerashaiva-Lingayat as a separate independent religion. Smt. Sonia Gandhi had forwarded the request to the Minister of Home Affairs Sri. Sushilkumar Shinde to adjudicate the request. However the UPA led Union Government had rejected the representation of the Mahasabha stating that “The Veerashaiva-Lingayat are a sect of Hindus and not an independent religion”.

Divisive politics of Congress in Karnataka

  • Being fully aware of the fact that the previous representations were rejected by the Central Government led by Congress and knowing fully well that the efforts to recommend a separate Lingayat religion shall not pass legal muster, Karnataka’s Chief Minister Sri Siddaramaiah devised a ploy to divide the monolithic Veerashaiva-Lingayat community with an ulterior motive of gaining unjustly during elections. In pursuance of his plan, he engineered a minuscule faction of Lingayats to make representation requesting to declare Lingayat as an independent religion and also to accord Minority status.
  • These requests were forwarded to the Minority Department of Govt. of Karnataka which in turn forwarded the same to the Karnataka State Minority Commission.
  • On 22ndDecember 2017, the Karnataka State Minority Commission constituted a 7 member Expert Committee headed by Retd. Justice Nagmohan Das to study the representations and submit a report. The members of the committee included Political scientist Muzaffar Assadi, former Chairman of the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission CS Dwarakanath, Head of the Kannada Chair at JNU Purushothama Bilimale, Chairman of the Kannada Development Authority SG Siddaramaiah and senior journalist Sarjoo Katkar. Most importantly, none of these committee members belong to the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community.
  • It is also pertinent to note that all the six members of the said committee were hand-picked to suit the ideological convictions of the Chief Minister. It was clear from day one that the committee and its consultations with stakeholders was a mere procedural formality and that its mandate was prefixed by the Chief Minister.
  • On 6thJanuary 2018, the committee met for the first time and addressed a press conference and stated that the committee would need a minimum of 6 months to study the representations and submit a report. There was also a demand to add a women member to the expert committee which was not even taken into consideration.
  • However, due to the extreme pressure from Chief Minister Siddaramaiah himself, the committee declared to take up the public representations on 2nd & 3rdof February 2018. The committee further decided to scrutinize the public representations on 26th, 27th and 28th of February 2018.
  • Thereafter, without further consultations or deliberations, the committee submitted a report recommending a separate minority status for Lingayats on the ground that they do not form a part of Hindu religion and that they must be accorded the status of an independent minority religion. This recommendation was hurriedly accepted by the cabinet on 19th March 2018 and the Cabinet has taken a decision to –
  1. To accord Lingayat/VeerashaivaLingayat/ believers in Basava Philosophy as religious minority under the Karnataka State MinoritiesCommission Act.
  2. Apart from this, the State Cabinet has also decided to recommend to the Central Government for declaring Lingayat/VeerashaivaLingayat/ believers in Basava Philosophy as religious minority.
  • The decision of the cabinet shows that the intention of the Congress government is to balkanize not only the Hindu community but also to divide the monolithic Veerashaiva-Lingayat community into two. It is clear that this is done with the sole intention of breaking the powerful Veerashaiva-Lingayat vote bloc which has traditionally favored the BJP and nothing else.
  • The cabinet note also clearly mentions that the granting of independent – minority status to the Lingayat community will not provide them with constitutional benefits at the cost of upsetting the already existing minorities. The State Government has stated that the Lingayats will be eligible for reservation only under 3B category which they have already been enjoying. Thus, it is clear that in the existing reservation scheme in Karnataka, the Lingayats will not get any additional benefits that the minority status would otherwise have accrued. It goes to show that this whole exercise is mere eyewash.
  • The matter relating to recognition of a religion has always been outside the purview of the State. Religion and religious matters have to be decided by the leaders of the said community itself and not by the State. However, with an ulterior motive to gain unjustly during the upcoming elections, Chief Minister Siddaramiah has tried to divide the monolithic Veerashaiva- Lingayat community and also has made efforts to divide the Hindu society.
  • It is quite ironical that the Basava philosophy and its believers are not confined to a religion or a caste, but it is a universal philosophy applying to everyone through all walks of life. It may be pertinent to note that many persons in different social groups including SC / STs are followers of Basavatatva. But the present Congress Government, by giving it a religious colour, has sought to destroy the very basic universalism of Basava philosophy and also deprive the SC / ST their constitutional rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.
  • Veerashaivas and Lingayats have been one entity ever since its existence. This was further reiterated by the 111 year old Pontiff Dr Shivakumar Swamiji of Siddaganga Mutt that Veerashaiva and Lingayats are one and the same and that there was no difference.

Legal Validity of this exercise.

 As per the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992, it is for the Central Government to recognize a pre-existing religion as a minority religion. The State Government cannot recommend the Centre to treat the Lingayat sect as a minority religion when the same is not even recognized as a distinct religion in Karnataka.

  • The Supreme Court in Bal Patil V/s Union of Indiahad observed in its Judgement dated 8.08.2005 that the primary objective of the Commissions set up for Minorities is to is to create social conditions where there remains no necessity to shield or protect rights of minority or majority. It also observed that “The Commission instead of encouraging claims from different communities for being added to a list of notified minorities under the Act, should suggest ways and means to help create social conditions where the list of notified minorities is gradually reduced and done away with altogether”
  • The extract of the Supreme Court observation is extracted hereunder –

 The constitutional ideal, which can be gathered from the group of articles in the Constitution under Chapters of Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties, is to create social conditions where there remains no necessity to shield or protect rights of minority or majority.

 The above mentioned constitutional goal has to be kept in view by the Minorities Commissions set up at the Central or State levels. Commissions set up for minorities have to direct their activities to maintain integrity and unity of India by gradually eliminating the minority and majority classes. If, only on the basis of a different religious thought or less numerical strength or lack of health, wealth, education, power or social rights, a claim of a section of Indian society to the status of ‘minority’ is considered and conceded, there would be no end to such claims in a society as multi-religious and multi- linguistic as India is. A claim by one group of citizens would lead to a similar claim by another group of citizens and conflict and strife would ensue. As such, the Hindu society being based on caste, is itself divided into various minority groups. Each caste claims to be separate from the other. In a caste-ridden Indian society, no section or distinct group of people can claim to be in majority. All are minorities amongst Hindus. Many of them claim such status because of their small number and expect protection from the State on the ground that they are backward. If each minority group feels afraid of the other group, an atmosphere of mutual fear and distrust would be created posing serious threat to the integrity of our Nation. That would sow seeds of multi-nationalism in India. It is, therefore, necessary that Minority Commission should act in a manner so as to prevent generating feelings of multinationalism in various sections of people of Bharat.

 The Commission instead of encouraging claims from different communities for being added to a list of notified minorities under the Act, should suggest ways and means to help create social conditions where the list of notified minorities is gradually reduced and done away with altogether.”

 Therefore it is very evident that the Congress has continued the dangerous British policy of divide and rule. Planting and instigating artificial divisions amongst the various sections of society has been practiced by the Congress since long. The recent Patel reservation movement in Gujarat and the blind support that the Congress offered and now the conspiracy of dividing the Veerashaiva and Lingayats from Hindu religion and from each other in Karnataka is a classic example of its insidious agenda of sowing seeds of divisiveness in society for petty political gain.

  • It may be concluded that the entire exercise of engineering representations from a sponsored set of people; setting up a hand-picked expert committee without a single representation from Veerashaiva-Lingayat community; the hurried manner in which the so-called expert committee submitted a report recommending independent Lingayat religion with minority status; and the Cabinet almost on cue, accepting the recommendations of the committee knowing fully well that this demand was earlier rejected by their own party led government in 2013 is a mere political gimmick with far reaching disastrous consequences for the society.
  • It is clear that this exercise is done with an ulterior motive of gaining unjustly during the upcoming assembly elections by dividing the broader Hindu community by creating unrest & uncertainties in the minds of public.
  • The BJP in Karnataka has taken a stand that both Veerashaiva and Lingayats are one & the same and that there is no difference at all in any respects between the two. The party has also taken a stand that it shall support any decision of the Veerashaiva Mahasabha and the 111 year old Siddaganga Seer on this issue.

Cultural Studies – The Academic Discipline of Anti-India Politics

  • By Prasanna Deshpande

The foundation of the academic discipline called ‘Cultural Studies’ is perhaps the most long reaching and futuristic intellectual investment of the Western Academics. Under the garb of an ultra-modern, empirical, realistic academic theories of Humanities, this discipline attempts to offer a subversive, anti-establishment, anarchist, rebellious, Marxist and communist philosophy to the young aspirants of higher education system in India.

This subject called ‘Cultural Studies’ is an engaged academic discipline which follows the legacy of the radical leftist theories and the metamorphosed versions of Marxist cannon wrapped in a culturally adaptive and workable ideological modules of communism as created by the NEW LEFT thinkers like Stuart Hall, Richard Hoggart, E.P.Thompson, Raymond Williams and few other founders of the Birmingham Centre of Cultural Studies in England. This discipline has been studied and ‘practised’ all over India through following universities, most being Central Universities and research Centres or Post-Graduate Departments of Social Sciences, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Economics, Political Science, International Relations, Education Science, Humanities, Philosophy,Literary Studies, Women’s Studies, Social Change Studies , all IIT centres with Humanities Departments and so on. These centres are:

  • Department of English and cultural studies Punjab university Chandigarh.
  • Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University for art and Culture, Thrissur, Kerala
  • Jawharlal Nehru University
  • Delhi University
  • Jadhopur University.
  • Aligarh Muslim University

The discipline works towards the motto: “Cultural Studies does not study culture, it makes one.” This pithy sentence sums up the project of cultural studies. That is, it resists the existing culture of the nation like India, subverts it, questions it, challenges the norms and deconstructs its existing discourse and establishes the ‘alternative’ of what is commonly believed on the basis of faith or tradition or what is even commonly known as history of the people or a nation. The critical writings of thinkers, researchers, theorists, scholars and professors of Cultural Studies in universities across the world (list given at the end of this paper) have been prescribed in the syllabi, either in the form of books or ‘critical essays’. Although Cultural Studies is known to be an extremely interdisciplinary academic activity, it is still grounded on some of its fundamental preamble. This fundamental commitment is nothing but the same old idea of locating an intellectual and political space for the communist ideology. The model of resistance and subversion is applied to all the ‘academic engagement’ of Cultural Studies. Be it philosophy or medical science,  music or film studies and even technology to ethics, Cultural Studies applies its model of offering an ‘alternative discourse’ to almost all the established principles of a discipline. It basically reveals the power structure of the established knowledge of a discipline and resists the ‘deterministic’ approach of ‘knowledge production’. It holds a view that all eternal, timeless values of a culture are of the ‘established’ kind which could be contested only by ‘contemporary’ modes of culture as the ‘contemporary’ modes are mostly the ‘deviant’ forms of a culture. They exploit the rebellious minds of youth by pushing them further to resist against the established mores of a culture. Cultural Hegemony can be discarded only by overemphasizing the distinctiveness of these ‘sub-cultures’ or ‘youth cultures’. Frederic Jameson, the American thinker of the same mode says, “One man’s idea of nation is another man’s hell.”             This is a camouflaged attempt of the sympathizers of communism and such divisive and anti-national tendencies of academicians to offer a more ‘customized’, culture specific modifications of Marxist, Communist political ideologies through academics. The aim of cultural studies is to destroy the indigenous culture of Bharat by creating a totally negative atmosphere in all the walks of life.

Stuart Hall, one of the founders of Cultural Studies advises students of Cultural Studies across the world that “they should not aim only at gaining ‘theoretical fluency’ in this subject. They must make an attempt to ‘practise’ what they learn and apply it to life. They must always engage themselves with what is ‘contemporary’, since the contemporary is devoid of the fundamental or eternal value system of a culture. These students should engage themselves with a process of offering derisive and subversive forms of ‘resistance’ to dominant mode of a mainstream culture.” For doing this, Cultural Studies forms a presupposition that the culture of the majority or the mainstream culture is ‘produced’ by the dominant class and is imposed on the weaker classes of the society. Hence “these identities should remain in a permanent ‘confronting’ position in its relation with its counterpart,” is the essence of the social studies of this discipline.

Any contemporary mode of culture is manifested through the youth. This manifestation is usually somewhat deviant from the primordial, eternal, timeless values of culture. So, the followers of established cultural norms would perceive this contemporary modes as somewhat ‘valueless’ or ‘casual’. This difference in the perception and execution of culture by two different generations is exploited by cultural studies as ‘suppressive established, socially controlling determinism’ of the older generations. This difference is manipulated into ‘subversion’ of cultural norms and a strategy of creating ‘alternative’ culture.

It is also important to know why this discipline is named as ‘Cultural Studies’. Knowing the academic engagement of cultural studies it is easy to understand that it mainly works on the ‘social’ aspect of everything, practically everything. For example, Cultural Studies undertakes the task of ‘socializing’ science. But it understands single logic of the ‘social’, and that logic is the denationalizing, culturally disintegrating logic of Marxist, communist’s view of the world. Hence the only ‘alternative’ that it could offer is that of the same ‘socialist revolution’. So, its primary concerns are social, with a focus on ‘power of knowledge’ and ‘knowledge of power’. In short, it aims at the incorporation of the social principle of everything and anything by exposing the power structure in order to resist and subvert it and establish the authority of the ‘communist’ point of view in the processes of nation as well as that of the state. The question still remains unanswered that why is it called ‘Cultural’, then? And also that if the world already has innumerable disciplines that study the ‘social’ why was this discipline founded? The search of answer to this may require us to understand Cultural Studies’ view of the traditional disciplines of social sciences or studies. Cultural Studies’ founding fathers maintained a stance that these traditional disciplines of Economics, Sociology, History, Political Science, Anthropology, and Philosophy maintained and projected themselves as ‘objective’ in the production of knowledge. Cultural Studies looks at the ‘objectivity of knowledge’ as a myth. According to Stuart Hall, these traditional social studies and sciences failed at many levels. They could neither ensure change nor reformation. They were highly dominated by the Western academics and hence the ‘discourse’ largely became ‘unrecognizable, unidentifiable, alien and strange’ to the non-western world. Hence these disciplines largely remained restricted to their academic and intellectual consumption. The insistence on ‘objectivity’ of this knowledge also always maintained the supremacy of the western logic through its projection of universality. Hence, these disciplines became infertile as far as the ‘leftist’ goals were concerned. Moreover, the Western academics, through these disciplines maintained the superiority of ‘an intellectual’ which largely widened the gap between actual, social realization and execution of the theories they brought out and hence people from different countries like those from India, in a majority, could never relate themselves to the ‘academic theorization’ of social politics or social change which was promised by these traditional sociological disciplines. Their ‘universality’ and ‘global’ identity largely became a hurdle in the process of absorption of diverse cultures across the world. This insistence on ‘theoretical accuracy’ narrowed the scope of actualization of these theories or of the ‘knowledge’ produced by these disciplines. Hence, a new alternative, unconventional, subversive, ‘anti-discipline’ became an intense need in the perception of these founding fathers of the Cultural Studies. Stuart Hall envisioned this discipline to be ‘subjective’ in its rationale. It is this ‘subjectivity’ of Cultural Studies which provides it a scope to customize ‘knowledge’ under its rubrics. Since the traditional ‘sociological’ disciplines and social sciences were ‘objective’ and since they failed in their pursuits, or they maintained a rational distance from Communism and Marxism, the name ‘Cultural Studies’ would seem as an ‘alternative’ to the unproductive apolitical disciplines and would adapt ‘political subjectivity’ instead of ‘academic objectivity’. So, ‘Cultural’ sounds more subjective and recognizable and identifiable than ‘social’ and also that it is concerned with the everyday life of the people(s) of the world. Stuart Hall has openly acknowledged in his essay, “ Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies”, that ‘Cultural Studies is a political discipline and it does cultural politics’. That is why the discipline is called “Cultural Studies”, which does not engage itself with the study of cultures as they are or as they have been knowing by preserving the most desired distinctiveness of them but ‘Cultural’ because it establishes a ‘new, alternative, subversive culture’ of its own ideologies and perceptions.

It is this ‘subjectivity’ which equips this discipline with an ability to resist, subvert, distort and deter the traditional, eternal, timeless values of the Hindu society. The process is simple. They simply apply the Cultural Studies or NEW LEFT ‘models’ of ideas to the ‘reality’ of Indian societal norms, beliefs, faiths and modes and manners and try to deflate and destroy the popular views of men and their work.

For example, the popular image of the great ShivajiMaharaj as a Hindu King and a saviour of Hindu people against the tyranny of a Muslim ruler is questioned, resisted, refuted by applying the ‘deconstructive’ practice of ‘reading against the grain’ and a new, alternative ‘knowledge’ of ShivajiMaharaj is being established for the last 20 years. (This politics of ideology over ShivajiMaharaj coincides with the introduction of Cultural Studies in India). So, the ‘new knowledge’ about Shivaji (They drop ‘Maharaj’) would require you to understand him as a secular, socialist leader who was utterly sympathetic to the ‘minorities’ and the ‘downtrodden’ (which is not shown by the traditional knowledge-makers). This ‘new knowledge’ would take a radically critical stand (for the sake of it because resistance is the ‘norm’ under Cultural Studies) about the existing, traditional history and go to the extent of saying that the “popular image of Shivaji as a Hindu icon was manufactured’ by the upper caste Brahmin historians who had wanted their own dignified position in the caste structure to be intact. Hence, they ‘manipulated’ facts about Shivaji and made him a saviour of ‘the cow, the Brahmin and the Dharma’. If Shivaji is long understood as a Hindu icon, Dharma will remain as supreme value and if Dharma lasts, upper castes will continue being privileged forever.” There have been attempts also to co-opt this ‘knowledge’ by the film industry and entertainment and media circuits. A similar logic of Cultural Studies is extended to the ‘alternative’ readings of Swami Vivekananda. This methodology reads the literature of Swami Vivekananda with a purpose in mind. This purpose is commonly to locate the loose strings of logic in a text and to exploit the possibility of multiple interpretations. This multiplicity results into a substitution of discourse. This is what is called ‘reading against the grain.’ This substitution is actually a political strategy of reading the text against what is primarily conveyed by it and holding the alternative meaning as its ‘deconstructive meaning’. For example, there are certain statements in the writings of Vivekananda in which he has written against the excess of rituals by Hindus, how the excessive ritualistic traditions isolate a human from the social cause, the poor and the downtrodden and so on. Such ideas in Swamiji’s writings are exploited to show the ‘socialist’ discourse in Vivekananda’s writings and to foreground and focus this ‘alternative meaning’ of Vivekananda’s writings. This is a process by which Cultural Studies attempts not to mobilize its followers on motivation sought by mentioning the names of the Western thinkers but it mobilizes them by identifying the local, culture-specific icons of nationalism and faith with an ‘alternative’ readings and understanding so that the masses would be prepared to receive this ‘new knowledge’ of the ‘known ideals’.

This relationship of the Marxist, leftist ideologies and academics has got so firmly rooted now that it will not be a surprise if the word ‘leftist’ would mean ‘academic’ in coming years (which has almost taken place even in the current times). The sheer loss due to this stronghold of ‘leftist’ academics is that the fine brains of the nation are being diverted to a divisive and socially harmful activism (of which the JNU recently provided an example). Will it not be a loss of the nation like Bharat that the talent of hundreds of thousands of promising young boys and girls of our country has been misdirected and invested into an absolutely unproductive social activism which neither ensures change nor education? Is it not detrimental to the fabric of life in Bharat to allow such dubious ideologies to spoil the career of innumerable fine youth of the nation for the realization of some preposterous idealism of ‘revolution freaks”? If we must avoid this, which we must, some fundamental reforms need to be done in the ‘social studies’ discipline. Otherwise, the college youth, whose prowess could be our strength as a nation, if not properly groomed up in its ‘ideological orientation’, may soon become our weakness. This is not just to play a victim but if we fail to address this now, even our families will not possess the strength enough to rectify this social malady.

Prasanna A. Deshpande, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Fergusson College, Pune.