Open Letter To Indian Cricket Team Captain Rahul Dravid
By Shamsul Islam
13 February, 2007
Dear Rahul Dravid,
You, presently, lead the
cricket team of India and wear the National Flag, Tri-colour while playing
for India in different parts of the globe. You must be well aware of
the fact that this Tri-colour represents a Secular-Democratic India
and team led by you which includes players from different religions
and regions of the country, undoubtedly, symbolize the same reality.
I hope you are familiar with the glorious heritage which the National
Flag and a Secular-Democratic polity represent. These are the products
of great anti-colonial struggle and ruthless fight against theocratic
politics represented by organizations like the Muslim League, the RSS
and the Hindu Mahasabha. Despite the partition of India on the basis
of religion mainly forced by Muslim League and dastardly killing of
Father of the Nation by persons affiliated to the Hindu Mahasabha and
the RSS, India chose to remain a non-theocratic state. That is the significance
of the Nation which you and your team represent and the Flag which you
display on your costumes.
I am sorry to write that
by participating in the birth centenary programme of M. S. Golwalkar
(Guruji), the ideologue of the RSS, in Nagpur on January 20, 2007, you
have not only violated the trust which this country has put in you but
also saddened large sections of your fans who love and adore you because
you and your team represent a Secular-Democratic India. According to
a report which appeared in the Hindi organ of the RSS, Panchjanya (February
4, 2007, p.11), 'Indian cricket captain inaugurated the Surya Namaskar
Mahayagya programme in the Vidarbh region (of Masharashtra)'. This campaign
was organized by RSS 'to commemorate the birth centenary of Shri Guruji'
who happened to be the second chief and the most prominent ideologue
of the RSS.The cover page of Panchjanya also shows you lightening the
lamp before the garlanded photograph of Golwalkar.
I do not know who led you
to join this programme of the RSS but I feel duty-bound to bring to
your notice few crucial facts about the RSS and Guruji who led it from
1940 to 1973.
The first Home Minister of
independent India, Sardar Patel, held the RSS responsible for the assassination
of Gandhiji. He in a letter to Golwalkar, dated 11 September 1948, clearly
stated that it was communal poison spread by the RSS which was responsible
for this tragedy. Without mincing words he wrote: 'As a final result
of the poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable
life of Gandhiji. Even an iota of the sympathy of the Government, or
of the people, no more remained for the RSS. In fact opposition grew.
Opposition turned more severe, when the RSS men expressed joy and distributed
sweets after Gandhiji's death.' I hope you know that consequently the
RSS was banned for its role in the assassination.
Dear Rahul Saheb! Golwalkar
whose birthday centenary programme you inaugurated was a die-hard fascist
who rejected any talk of a democratic-secular India. In 1939 he penned
a terrible book We or Our Nationhood Defined which ousted minorities
like Muslims and Christians from the Indian nationhood. Even after Independence,
in another book his Bunch of Thoughts, Golwalkar declared Muslims as
enemy number one and Christians as enemy number two of the country.
I wish you had
boycotted such a programme as you can vouch to the fact that many Muslim
and Christian players playing cricket with you have done proud to the
Golwalkar also glorified
dictators like Mussolini and Hitler and insisted on adopting their methods
for cleansing minorities in India. In his 1939 book while eulogizing
Hitler he wrote: 'German race pride has now become the topic of the
day. To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture,Germany shocked
the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races - the Jews.
Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also
shown how wellnigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences
going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson
for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.' It is really astonishing
that a renowned sportsperson like you went to be part of programmes
dedicated to such a nasty person.
I also would like to draw
your attention to what RSS thinks about the Tri-colour which you so
proudly wear. When the Indian Parliament decided to have Tri-colour
as the National Flag, the English organ of the RSS, Organizer, ('Mystery
behind the Bhagwa Dhawaj', August 14, 1947) denigrated this great choice
in the following words: 'The people who have come to power by the kick
of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour but it never [sic] be respected
and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag
having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological
effect and is injurious to a country'. The RSS has been demanding the
adoption of saffron flag as the National Flag of the country. It also
needs to be known that when the Constituent Assembly of India finally
passed the Constitution on 26 November 1949, the RSS demanded that it
should be replaced by the Codes of Manu (Organizer November 30, 1949)
which openly glorified Casteism, upheld persecution of Untouchables
and denigrated women.
Dear Mr. Rahul! You went
to commemorate the birth centenary of a RSS leader who hated democracy
and declared (while addressing the top cadres of the RSS at its Reshambagh
headquarters, Nagpur in 1940) that Hindu India of his dreams needed
only 'one flag (saffron), one leader and one ideology'.
Let me end with the hope
that a great cricketer like you who stands as a symbol of Democratic-Secular
India will not betray the trust the country has shown in you and fall
prey to the designs of Hindu Separatism.
Wishing you all the best.
February 6, 2007.
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