India is not going to become a Hindu Rashtra in my lifetime, said noted historian Ramachandra Guha during a discussion organized by Manthan in Hyderabad yesterday.
Speculations are rife following the BJP led government came to power at the Center that the country would become a Hindu Rashtra. An attendee asked the Delhi-based historian about the chances of India becoming a Hindu Rashtra.
“In my lifetime we are not going to become a Hindu Rashtra,” Guha asserted in his reply.
At the same time, the author of ‘Democrats and Dissenters’ did not rule out the possibility of Modi’s victory for the second time. “Modi may get second term,” he revealed.
Addressing a huge gathering of over 500 people at Vidyaranya High School, the Padma Bhushan awardee called Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) a “pernicious, divisive, malicious force”.
Contrary to the belief of some sections of the society that diversity isn’t good, Guha asked people not to be fooled by ‘batwara’ card. He added:
“The only way to remain together is to remain diverse.”
Founder of Manthan, Ajay Gandhi inquired from Ramachandra Guha as to why his book mentions about Gandhi and Ambedkar but not Nehru. In his reply, Guha said he had already written about Nehru and that there’re 35 essays on him in ‘Patriots and Partisans’.
Another person from the audience requested Guha’s comment on Vajpayee as Gandhian-Nehruvian. The writer said Vajpayee was a soft Hindutva figure and admirer of Nehru but not a Gandhian for sure.
Explaining about poverty in India, Guha remarked that Uttar Pradesh has a population of about 200 million. It is one of the poorest and worst governed states in India. “UP has to go (divide) into 3 to 4 states,” he added.
He goes further to note that Mayawati was the only politician who had the courage to speak on the subject of dividing UP into multiple smaller states.
When someone asked about communism, Guha said: “Communism is dying globally. “I don’t personally mourn it. But I believe Karl Max was a great thinker.”