|A page from a Malayalam newspaper of today expressing disagreement to the Centre's decision to rename the institution|
The BJP government’s decision to rename the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology in Thiruvananthapuram after M. S. Golwalkar has not found many takers in Kerala. A lot of public figures have come out with strong opposition to the move. Understandably so.
Who was Golwalkar? Does he deserve such a great honour?
Golwalkar was a detestable bigot. In his book We or Our Nationhood Defined, Golwalkar calls all non-Hindus in India “traitors” and “idiots”. Let me quote his entire paragraph:
All those not belonging to the national, i.e. Hindu race, Religion, Culture and Language, naturally fall out of the pale of real 'National' life. We repeat: in Hindustan, the land of the Hindus, lives and should live the Hindu Nation - satisfying all the five essential requirements of the scientific nation concept of the modern world. Consequently only those movements are truly 'National' as aim at re-building, revitalizing and emancipating from its present stupor, the Hindu Nation. Those only are nationalist patriots, who, with the aspiration to glorify the Hindu race and Nation next to their heart, are prompted into activity and strive to achieve that goal. All others are either traitors and enemies to the National cause, or, to take a charitable view, idiots.
How miserably narrow is that vision! A man with that sort of parochialism and hatred is fit to be a hero for right wingers. But not for right-thinking people. If you read a few more pages of this man’s above-mentioned book, you may wish to spit on his face.
He goes on to urge the country to indulge in a racial cleansing of the kind that Hitler carried out in Germany. “Hindustan should learn and profit” by Hitler’s example, Golwalkar writes.
He attacked Gandhi vigorously for “sapping all manliness” from Indians. He conspired successfully to assassinate Gandhi. Four days after the Mahatma’s assassination, Golwalkar was arrested as a conspirator and his organisation, RSS, was banned.
Golwalkar lived untouched by even a trace of greatness. Why would anyone want to name an eminent research institution after him?
I wonder why the BJP is so keen to rename institutions built by others instead of building new ones and ensuring the progress of the nation.