Integration by propaganda: Meetings on “Akhand Bharat”, Mumbai

Meetings being organised for more acceptability of government’s move to abrogate Article 370

Akhand Bharat

A rather curious public meeting on the subject of “Akhand Bharat”- One Nation, One Constitution took place in Tardeo yesterday at a “strategic” location; on the main road to Haji Ali dargah in South Mumbai.

On the condition of anonymity, a person who attended shared details with Sabrangindia: the meeting had been called to ‘spread awareness’ on Article 370 and assailed Article 370 as being “Nehru’s mistake”, spread awareness on the “lack of development in Jammu and Kashmir” and the need for “women’s emancipation.”

The government of India abrogated the Article 370, an instrument of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India on August 5, 2019. On the midnight of August 4, an indefinite curfew and lockdown was imposed in the state and Kashmir still remains under the lockdown with no local media operating from the state.
The meeting had been called by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary from Maharashtra, Sunil Rane, who has been a member of the party since 1998. The person who attended also noted that though the meeting tried to give an impression that the content delivered there was based on “facts”, it was actually “one sided” and “propagandist”. The meeting had heavy police bandobast and was attended by approximately 300 people.

“Different people came and just lauded the government’s move. The tenor of the speeches ran like this: “Kashmir is ours;” “We should remember, our youth should know and remember that 370 and 35A were terrible moves,” said one of the speakers. The organisers and speakers asked the public for support and hailed PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for this step. There were also slogans raised about Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s dream coming true!

Earlier, Shah had reportedly directed BJP- led state governments and local bodies to pass resolutions and felicitate prime minister Modi and himself for their “determination, firmness and courage” in scrapping the Article 370 provision that accorded a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
He had also directed all BJP party units to hold press conferences and “enthusiastic programmes” to propagate how “Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Home Minister Shri Amit Shah and the central government have fulfilled the dream of Dr Syama Prasad Mukherjee”. Syama Prasad Mookerjee was the founder of the Jana Sangh.

This propaganda, when historical documents clearly stablish that Mookerjee who was part of the Constituent Assembly along with stalwarts like Nehru and Patel did not even formally oppose the inclusion of Article 370 for special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

BJP national secretary and RSS pracharak Ram Madhav has, on several occasions emphasised on the idea of “Akhand Bharat”, in which he says, “The RSS still believes that one day these parts, which have for historical reasons separated only 60 years ago, will again, through popular goodwill, come together and Akhand Bharat will be created.” It has been RSS’s belief that Pakistan and Bangladesh belong to India.

It’s a view that the RSS, which was formed in 1925, started propagating in 1947, after Partition. At a press conference in Delhi on August 24, 1949, after the government lifted the ban on the RSS — imposed on it for its role in Gandhi’s assassination — M S Golwalkar, the organisation’s second sarsanghchalak, termed Pakistan an “uncertain state”. “As far as possible, we must continue our efforts to unite these two divided states…Nobody is happy with Partition,” he had said. He had repeated this view at another press conference held in Kolkata on September 7, 1949.

Bhartiya Jansangh (BJS), as the BJP was known earlier, passed a resolution at its meeting in Delhi on August 17, 1965, which stated, “India’s tradition and nationality has not been against any religion. Modern Islam should also not be an obstacle in the way of unity of Indian nation. Real obstacle is separatist politics. Muslims will integrate themselves with the national life and Akhand Bharat will be a reality, unifying India and Pakistan once we are able to remove this obstacle (separatist politics).”

 RSS’s idea of “Akhand Bharat” includes not only Pakistan and Bangladesh, but also Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Tibet. It terms the combined region as a “Rashtra” based on “Hindu cultural” similarities.

Suruchi Prakashan, a publishing house run by the RSS, has brought out a map called ‘Punyabhoomi Bharat’ in which Afghanistan is called “Upganathan”, Kabul “Kubha Nagar”, Peshawar “Purushpur”, Multan “Moolsthan”, Tibet “Trivishtap,” Sri Lanka “Singhaldweep” and Myanmar “Brahmadesh”, among others.



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