Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) wants Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA government to “correct history” and it seems the government is doing exactly that. To start with, the Union government has not just looked at renaming central government schemes or places named after Gandhi family leaders but is now also printing books to promote its own icons.
RSS wants Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to promote ‘Hindu’ icons through books
For instance, the Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry during rule of the last NDA government, in 2002, had come out with a book on Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya –BJP’s tallest ideologue and teacher – written by Dr Mahesh Chandra Sharma. The book, which is part of Builders of Modern India Series, encapsulates his whole life including his political journey, his thoughts on economy, his time as Jan Sangh’s general secretary and other contribution to country.
“After 2002, the book was reprinted once in 2004 but in the last 10 years – during UPA-I and UPA-II – not a single copy was printed. However, the government recently ordered I&B ministry’s publication division to reprint around 1500 copies of it,” sources told dna.
“It is not that this is happening for the first time. All governments have their preferences for books suiting their political lines. But we have almost exhausted copies of book on Deendayal Upadhyaya and now that the demand has increase so we have to publish more plus the author has also added few more things,” sources added.
The book, which costs Rs75, can be now easily seen being distributed to visitors at the I&B ministry.
“There has been a lot of interest among people about BJP founders or those driving BJP’s ideology. Lot of them have come to us asking for these books. That is why we got them printed and some are also being distributed free in the ministry to the interested people,” a senior I&B ministry official told dna.
“We are expecting many more reprints and and more books on BJP leaders,” sources further said. For example, book on RSS founder Dr KB Hedgewar, which is reportedly one of the highest selling books of I&B ministry’s publication division, written by Rakesh Sinha has also been ordered for reprinting.
“Sinha is also writing a new book on Shyama Prasad Mookerjee which could be a new entrant in the publication division’s catalogue,” sources added. In last few years, apart from highlighting their own icons, BJP and especially prime minister Narendra Modi has taken series of steps to own legacy of Congress stalwart Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who is credited for uniting India after country got Independence in 1947 by bringing together hundreds of states into union of India.
Work by Gujarat government during tenure of Modi as Gujarat chief minister for iron statue of Patel, known as Iron Man, in Gujarat is one such instance. Run for unity, a huge programme orgniased by Modi government on Friday to celebrate birth anniversary of Patel can be looked as another such attempt at claiming his legacy.
Also in the run upto Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary on October 31, the officials in I&B ministry were asked to dust off old files and collect all speeches and lectures of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Lots of officials, who are witnessing the developments, said these attempts are made by all governments.