Compiled by Ashutosh Bharadwaj
A report in Panchjanya sees politics in the controversy that followed after actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui failed to play the role of Mareech at a Ramlila in Muzaffarnagar. Questioning why the actor suddenly withdrew, it adds that “it is to be noted that UP government has recently appointed him brand ambassador for one of its schemes”.
Noting that Shiv Sena has no existence in UP, it asks if Nawazuddin had his target elsewhere. “Mareech was the bullet of Ravana. Whose bullet is Nawazuddin?” the report says, quoting a journalist. It suggests that under the pretext of Ramlila, a “political lila” was being played.
To prove the politics behind the controversy, it notes that the news about Siddiqui playing the role of Mareech and the one about his withdrawal surfaced on a website within four hours.
According to these reports, the Ramlila committee had “merely invited the actor to watch the event”. It was the actor who had expressed a desire to play the role of Mareech, it says.
“What kind of coincidence it is that last month the UP government had made him the brand ambassador of its ambitious scheme,” and “Within a month he has proved his loyalty towards the Samajwadi government by making an allegation against so-called Hindutva elements,” it says.
“Is Shiv Sena such a powerful party in UP that it can prevent an actor from playing the role of Mareech in Ramlila,” the report asks. It is not baseless, according to the report, if the majority population of the country finds that the entire script was written considering the forthcoming UP elections.
Rumblings in Pakistan
The editorial in Organiser comments on the recent developments in Pakistan and asks “who is more dangerous for Pakistan, terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Massod Azhar or journos like Cyril Almeida?” It notes that Almeida’s report in the newspaper Dawn has “created havoc in Pakistan” as a “series of denials came from the government over a ‘secret meeting’ between top civil-military officials”. “Such a knee-jerk reaction to a media report indicates serious rumblings taking place within the State of Pakistan (represented by the elite) and Pakistan as a Nation (represented by people),” it says.
During its history Pakistan has seen three “official coups” and many “indirect military interventions or attempts at overthrowing the democratically elected government” it says, adding that “Cyril’s story indicated that for the first time the civilian government is challenging the ISI chief by raising critical questions about his responsibility,” it says. The news report, says the editorial, blames “Pakistan military for promoting terror”. “It is a direct endorsement that military is nurturing terror networks and Pakistan has to now pay heed to international demands to curb terrorism,” it says.
In his follow up piece, Cyril wrote that “Raheel snatched foreign policy from Nawaz and screwed it up”. Pakistan “is promoting terror in different ways”, the editorial says, emphasising that “this policy will not work any longer”.
RSS Freedom Fighters
A report in Organiser questions “the oft-repeated myth about non-participation of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in India’s freedom struggle”. It quotes Satya Prakash Rai, president of All India Safai Kamgar Sangh, that “RSS swayamsevaks participated in the freedom struggle with increased vigour and valour”.
He made the remarks during the annual Vijayadashami event of the RSS at Nagpur. A former bureaucrat, Rai said that “swayamsevaks participated in protest demonstrations against the Simon Commission in 1928; in 1930 actively supported the Satyagraha under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi; played a major role in 1942 Quit India Movement and after Independence participated in (the movement) to free Goa, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli from the clutches of the Portuguese.”
Quoting Banarasi Das Chaturvedi, Rai said that on many occasions “swayamsevaks helped and assisted revolutionaries like Thakur Roshan Singh, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Chandra Shekhar Azad, besides cooperating with Veer Savarkar, and others in Maharashtra. I have seen how RSS swayasmevaks served mother of Bhagat Singh and elder brother of Ashfaqulla Khan in Delhi.”
The report says that “even Mahatma Gandhi in 1935 praised the RSS for its important contribution in the national freedom struggle”.