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Akhand Bharat: RSS builds burnt bridges with Pak

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By Akash Shukla

credit: www.bharatdarshan.info
credit: www.bharatdarshan.info

In one-of-a-kind initiative, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) suggested on continuing dialogue with our neighbours, particularly with Pakistan.

This caused uproar among many rational scribes, secular thinkers and political analysts. As believed to be a staunch Hindu proponent, RSS extended its support to Modi government at the end of the just concluded three-day marathon ‘Samanvaya Baithak’ in New Delhi.

The intellectuals are less disturbed and more perturbed as the RSS referred to Pakistan and Bangladesh as ‘brothers’ in the extended South Asian family. They have reaffirmed the stance and want Modi government to resume dialogue to sort out issues between the two.

RSS Sahsarkaryawah Dattatreya Hosabale said Pakistan and other neighbours were “formed out of the same body that is India” and that there was a “need to discuss how to improve relations with people related historically and geographically vis-a-vis India’s neighbours”.

All and sundry hailed RSS for taking a stance of solidarity between two nations; but at the same time it also sparks off an intellectual debate. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), adopted RSS ideology officially in 1989, but the latter’s views by far have been verging on the extreme.

Sighting Wiki on the same and I quote: “It has been criticised as an extremist organisation and as a paramilitary group. It has also been criticised when its members participated in anti-Muslim violence and has since formed militant wing Bajrang Dal.”

The apparent contention is change in ideology that appears to be more of a transition than radical transformation. RSS donning a secular cap has come as a shocker to many-a-intellectual.

Nipping the pervasive animosity and acrimony between the two neighbours in the bud, Hosabale said: “such things happen in a family… between brothers but one should move on and work for improving relationship.”

Now to consider it merely as a change of heart for RSS would be naive for any level-headed individual. Forging alliances on the global front has always been on Modi’s agenda. To a great extent, RSS did not subscribe to these endeavours when it came to Indo-Pak ties. Cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations have shaped the India-on-Pak views majorly. RSS, till now, has been pretty staunch about it. But, this turn over a new leaf for RSS has somewhat sprung a pleasant surprise locally and globally.

Here is how RSS chooses to justify its newly-found stance

Hosabale explained this with a parallel in Mahabharata where Kauravas and Pandavas were brothers and the efforts were made to establish the order and peace between them for the ‘greater good’.

He said: “India is part of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and has filial cultural relations with neighbouring countries, namely, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan or Bangladesh. It was one body which was divided to form Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is natural and justified to accept that people living there are part of the same family.”

Since the perceived stance of RSS, till now, on Muslim issue in India was different, this new suggestion has definitely raised many-a-eyebrow among the Hindutvavadis.

Akhand Bharat

RSS believes in the concept of Akhand Bharat. Talks with Pakistan, therefore, would not find any takers within the RSS at any point of time, they believed. RSS-inspired organisations observe ‘Akhand Bharat Diwas’ to sustain and recollect the memories of partition so that the dream of ‘Akhand Bharat’ can be realised. But, those who know and have followed RSS closely are aware of the truth that this suggestion is not a digression but actually resorting to their original ideology.

The idea was propelled by late MS Golwalkar alias Sri Guruji, who gained recognition for his strong views against the bifurcation of motherland many years ago.

In an interaction with the mediapersons in New Delhi in April 1966, Golwalkar said: “We were one in the past. Because of some unfortunate developments, we have become two. Let us become one again. That will solve the problem.” On similar lines, his successor late Balasaheb Devras voiced on normalising ties with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The 1857 War of Independence was fought by Muslims and Hindus jointly as Indians. Religion never came in the way. Many moulvis and sadhus spread the message of freedom to the soldiers and common men alike, inspiring them to sacrifice for the freedom for the motherland. The unfortunate divide between the two communities resulted in tragic partition of the country causing huge devastation of human lives and material property.

At present when India has a government that is run by people fully entrenched in the Hindutva ideology, the efforts to normalise relations were initiated by the Prime Minister right from his swearing-in ceremony.

Strained relations with Pakistan await a desperate repair. The RSS suggestion, therefore, has come at a proper time. It would help clear the air between the two nations and ensure support to the government to pursue the rightly-envisioned approach towards Pakistan.

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The Hindu Temple of Gulyana and Sikh Samadhi in Pakistan

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Gulyana, Pakistan

By: Wali Imran (Hindu Council of Australia)

900 years old Gulyana town of about a 50,000 people, just a few kilometers South of Gujar Khan, was raised to the ground once several centuries ago, by raiders from the West. The second time it was destroyed during the 1947 partition riots.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Before 1947, the Gulyana town center was mostly Hindu and Sikh. The Hindus and Sikh owned all the businesses in the town center and Muslims were their tenants, peasants and laborers. Muslims sold their lands to pay off their debts and also handed over their crop of wheat. The Dewan, Dutt, Mohyal Brahmin, and Singh families were always part of royal elite.

Bollywood Star Sanjay Dutt is from the same branch of warrior Brahmin Dutt and belongs to the same place.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Land owners were guaranteed protection from military’s presence in Gujar Khan from the North and a rivulet from the south. This land produced sheer gold and wealthy Sikhs and Hindus lived like kings in mansions make of stone, several storey high.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Bakshi Tek Chand, Dewan Prithvi Chand Dutt, Bakshi Moti Ram and Tara Singh were the dominant names of those times.  They built temples, dug up wells for the 30-50 kanal holdings each and distributed these lands amongst their permanent serfs. They did however, treat their serfs with respect and gave them a good share of the crop — what do you expect from absentee landlords.

Gulyana, Pakistan

The Sikh had a timber business. Logs from Kashmir valley were dumped into Jhelum River and recovered downstream near Jhelum city to be sold at Gujar Khan.

The Hindus were mostly traders, money lenders and retailers.

Gulyana, Pakistan

Muslims were mostly illiterate and poor and were destined to stay that way considering the only quality boarding school in nearby Gujar Khan had 95% non-muslim attendance.

During the 1947 riots, one Sikh Bali Singh and one Hindu Lady Banto were killed in the riots but the rest were whisked away with their gold, in the safety of Gorkha soldiers. The Muslim riot crowd burnt to the ground the several symbols of oppression and got rich in the process, during the looting.

One Hindu tehsildar had the magistrate’s powers to jail someone for 6 months.

Gulyana, Pakistan

When the British left suddenly in 1947, the carefully crafted social experiment in native subjugation came crumbling down within days.

Otherwise, one 100 years old resident of Gulyana tells me, “the Hindus and Sikh were very friendly towards the Muslims, their women played around with the boys, molvi were not trouble makers then; they cared about their serfs and neighbors’, built schools, hospitals and wells for the general public. No Muslim was allowed into their kitchen however. Balraj, Sita, Beera, Ramu Shikari, Gujrati, Peecha Singh, Mangat Singh, Jawals Singh, Raab Singh, Gurdyal, were the well-known Hindus and Labbu, Gurra, Jagdev, Santa, Paacha, Chatru were the known Sikh of the time. One Tek Chand Never left for India and embraced Islam. His wife and three sons left for India. Tek Chand married a Muslim lady and had seven children. They are all in poverty now. Several of the old mansion, one dhramsala, one temple, several bowlis (watering hole) have been lost to time.

Gulyana, Pakistan

The surrounding farms around Gulyana were refreshing. The old styled spoke wells, Sikh Samadhi, Hindu temple and 100 years old Gujarati’s mansion still survives.Gulyana, Pakistan

I went into the temple inner sanctum and saw the most beautiful frescos of mixed Hindu and Sikh religious figures like hanuman, Krishna, Sita, Baba Guru Nanak, Bala, Mardana, etc.

Gulyana, Pakistan

 

Pakistan government build a dam 5 km upstream, called the Ugahaun; it’s a lovely place to fish and boat around.

The union council in 1947 had more financial powers than it does today.

In short, all the entrepreneurs, educators, administrator, jurisprudence people, revenue people, land record people and large scale farmers left in 1947.

Gulyana, Pakistan

I am astonished how Pakistan survived with an illiterate mass of people, steeped in poverty — traumatized by exploitation and mass killings.

Other interesting places in Potohar region are:

Also Read: Protecting The World, The Hindu Way

Bedi Mahal, Pharwala fort, Malot fort, Sangini fort, Rawat fort and Mankial Stupa. (Hindu Council of Australia)