View From The Right: Shlokas in school
The editorial in Organiser, attacking a petition by lawyer Veenayak Shah opposing Sanskrit prayers in Kendriya Vidyalayas, claims by invoking fraudulent principles and defying the basic philosophy of the Constitution is in fashion. The editorial expresses surprise at the fact that the Supreme Court has accepted the petition and now recommended its hearing by a Constitution Bench. “Before deliberating on any such case, we need to keep in mind the thinking of our Constitution makers on the issue and what can be the possible implications if the logic of petition is accepted,” it says.
The editorial adds that the petition by Shah has argued that Sanskrit prayer recitation is a violation of Article 28 (1) as it promotes “Hinduism”. “… If this logic is extended, then every institution of Bharat will have to change their motto. Why then the Supreme Court work with the motto (sic), Yato Dharmastato Jayah, [which] means ‘Where there is Truth (the dharma), there is Victory (justice)’, which is a quote from [the] Mahabharata? With this absurd argument, our armed forces and even organisations like [the] DRDO are communal, as all of them have as their motto Sanskrit shlokas. As all entries in the Parliament are carved with the Sanskrit shlokas, even those will have to be removed. Even our Constitution has depictions from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Upanishads; then our Constitution can be termed as a communal document with this illogical petition,” the editorial adds.
The editorial concludes with remark that the danger of erasing Sanskrit shlokas from prayers is “eliminating the Sanskriti of Bharat, the only long-lasting view of life rooted in the integral approach and well-being for all”.
A cover story in Organiser claims that the old proverb — “nobody is a permanent friend or enemy in politics” — is well-suited in the context of the recent “unholy” alliance between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The alliance, it claims, is based solely on self-interest. Taking note of past political relations between the two parties, the article says that much water has flowed into the river since the 1995 “guest house” incident, when SP “hooligans” (allegedly) attacked Mayawati.
“Now we are in (the) 21st-century… when one may see the lowest political ground to defeat a single identity – ‘MODI’” (sic). The BSP was “blown away” by the Modi wave of 2014 and hardly survived it in the 2017 UP assembly elections. Similarly, the SP barely retained its status for namesake as the principal Opposition in the assembly election, the report claims and adds:”So they ganged up to fight (the) Modi wave jointly based on their 2014 poll voteshare, assuming to merge vote share of each. (sic)”
The article also conjectures that with the presence of Priyanka Gandhi in UP, the electoral battle will become “quadrilateral” with multiple poles and the division of votes will actually benefit the BJP. According to the report, the Lok Sabha polls will be fought on the question of who will be next prime minister. With the complete absence of a PM candidate in the Opposition, Modi will provide the BJP with a clear majority of seats in UP — around 50-55 — which will suffice to have him return to office, the article claims.
An article in Organiser claims that between the Opposition’s latest show in Kolkata on January 19 and their first parade on May 23 last year, the chemistry and distance between them has changed. “Of course, they remain united in their hope (masked as resolve) to see that the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are away from any serious reckoning for power after the 2019 polls. But, beyond their wishful thoughts, there is little to show any unity in terms of strategy or willingness to overcome their ambitions to pursue the larger goal of a BJP-mukt sarkar,” asserts the article. The article adds that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, in May 2018, rubbed shoulders with Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, Chandrababu Naidu, Sitaram Yechury and others at the initiative of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on the portico of the imposing Vidhan Soudha when H D Kumaraswamy was sworn in as chief minister of Karnataka. “Cut to February 2019, it is for everyone to see how the alliance has fared today”.
Compiled by Lalmani Verma