The majority complex

The minority may be forced to reconcile to being second-class citizens. But will the majority enjoy a better life if the rule of law is forsaken by those mandated to uphold it?

Written by Julio Ribeiro | Published:May 17, 2017 12:02 am
minority, minority complex, minority discrimination, minority life, KS Sudarshan, RSS, narendra modi, pm Modi, UP Vidhan Sabha elections, Mohan Bhagwat, muslim, christian, muslim minority, christian minority, indian express news, india news, indian express opinion, opinion Sudarshan, the predecessor of Mohan Bhagwat, was staying at the home of my batchmate’s friend. Illustration by C R Sasikumar

It was only 20 years after my meeting with K.S. Sudarshan, the then-sarsanghchalak of the RSS, that I finally realised what he meant by the figure “85”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s spectacular victory in the UP Vidhan Sabha elections opened my mind’s eye to the significance of that number.

Let me elucidate. A couple of years after my return from Romania, I was invited by my IPS batchmate, D.S. “Vasant” Soman, to meet Sudarshan, who was visiting Mumbai. Sudarshan, the predecessor of Mohan Bhagwat, was staying at the home of my batchmate’s friend. It was a meeting over dinner and there were a few other invited guests.

After acknowledging my presence in the gathering, Sudarshan dwelt on just one point — justice for 85 per cent of the population, which he felt was being treated like second-class citizens. When he repeated this accusation more than half a dozen times, I realised that the sarsanghchalak felt that the Muslim and Christian minorities, that, 20 years ago, added up to about 15 per cent of the populace, were being appeased by the ruling dispensation.

My thoughts, I remember, were on the figure “85”. How did the RSS chief arrive at that number? He obviously counted the Sikhs in that 85 per cent, though the Sikhs themselves would not be happy to be categorised as such. Secondly, I was not able to figure out at that time how Sudarshan or the RSS had come to the conclusion that the 85 per cent were not being given their due.

All our prime ministers, except one, who was a Sikh, have been Hindus. Real power resides in the prime minister and his council of ministers. More than 85 per cent of ministers have been Hindus. Most civil and defence service officers have been Hindus. From where, then, did Sudarshan and his organisation get this peculiar persecution mentality of the 85 per cent being eclipsed by the 15 per cent?

The only grouse that the majority or, rather, sections of the majority owing allegiance to the philosophy of M.S. Golwalkar, could have against the Christians was that they indulged in converting poor Dalits and tribals, thereby disturbing the established social order. More than that, perhaps, was the fact that Sonia Gandhi, born a Christian and an Italian, had been accepted by millions of Hindus as their leader.

The grouses against the country’s largest minority, the Muslims, were many. But all the charges were now whittled down to just one — of being pampered in pursuit of votebank politics. In actual fact, all concessions made to Muslims were made to their religious leaders on matters that the latter arbitrarily interpreted as affronts to their personal laws. The community, as such, continued to live in poverty, no attention being paid to the education or health of its members, particularly women, because of which the community continued to remain backward.

On the other hand, only the Dalits and the tribals, from among the “85”, could be counted among the poor and the dispossessed. The RSS is keen to include them in the Hindu fold, despite reservations from the orthodox elements of the chaturvarnya who have been known to use the whip against Dalits skinning dead cattle for a living.

When I joined the IPS in 1953, I did not think of myself as a Christian in a Hindu land. My colleagues, my seniors and my juniors never showed any sign of differentiating between one policeman and another on the basis of religion. One of my first bosses was Vasant Vinayak Nagarkar, a Pune Brahmin, who invited me, then a bachelor, to stay with him, his wife and children, in his official residence. He died years ago but I remember him with great affection.

These were the thoughts that raced through my mind at that time 20 years ago when I met Sudarshan. Now, 20-odd years later, when Modi won a remarkable victory in the UP elections, I became suddenly aware that “85” meant the rule of the majority, by the majority and for the majority.

Well, the “15” need not complain because this does happen in other parts of the world too. In Pakistan, for example, Hindus and Christians are often accused of “blasphemy” by fringe Islamic elements, just as in UP and other parts of our country, the gau rakshaks and anti-Romeo enthusiasts run amok with impunity. The police, eager as always to remain on the right side of might, arrest the victims first, lest they be labeled as anti-national (read anti-BJP).

The prime minister speaks convincingly of “sabka saath, sabka vikas”, but Muslims still live in ghettos in Ahmedabad in the most unhygienic and animal-like conditions. The “15” should reconcile themselves to live as children of lesser gods in their own country, but how will the “85” enjoy a “better” quality of life if the rule of law is routinely given a slip by those who need to uphold it?

Taking the law into their own hands will become customary with usage. But vigilante rule is not something a progressive and civilised nation should encourage or even tolerate. It will soon be used against chunks of the “85”, like Dalits and tribals, and the contagion could spread to other less privileged sections. Human beings are adept at finding whipping boys after one set of such boys are successfully marginalised.

“Sabka saath, sabka vikas” will not work for just the “85”, as Sudarshan would have it.

The writer, a retired IPS officer, was Mumbai police commissioner, DGP Gujarat and DGP Punjab

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  1. S
    Sagar
    May 19, 2017 at 1:20 am
    Stop appeasing the real minority in India which is the tiny population of Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas who are hiding behind the numbers of their own victims like dalits, backward castes to claim that a majority of Indians are 'Hindus'. This minority has a disproportionate share of political, economic and social power in the country and this is the real problem. If they are truly Hindus they should be wil to get their children married to Shudras and Dalits - something they cannot even imagine. Pseudo-Hindus!
    Reply
    1. B
      Bushan Lal Koul
      May 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm
      Reberio has been an upright officer as reported & his opinions look logical ?
      Reply
      1. A
        Aditya Gaiha
        May 18, 2017 at 3:13 pm
        Mr Ribello should try and stop fake Christian evangelists from spreading falsehoods against Hindus saying that they are devil worshippers; showing floating crosses and drowning hindu stone idols; giving fake medicines till they convert and then giving them actual medicines just to convert 'pagan' hindus. He has no right o denigrate hindus. had India not been a hindu majority country all minorities would have been wiped off the face of India by now. It is Hindu tolerance and acceptance of other whish allows India to have a prosperous and vibrant minority community of all religions till date and which allows India to be 'secular'. For too long hindus and hindu culture been denigrated by pseudo secularist. Mr Ribello has earlier himself acknowledged how his ancestors in Goa were converted to Christianity by the sword and by the attraction of being given important administrative positions...by the Portugese.
        Reply
        1. K
          Kanu
          May 18, 2017 at 8:18 am
          Indian Express going NDTV way. Politically biased fear mongering to divide India. Guess India's enemy power have infiltrated media in big way.
          Reply
          1. I
            INDIENKENENR
            May 18, 2017 at 4:30 am
            The author, like all mental slaves, is blind in the one eye, but will have us accept 180-degree view of the matter. But I will challenge him another way. Today's minority still enjoys full republican rights and some more. Now go back a bit; this same minority during Indian Islam ruler days- Sultans, Suris, Moghuls- ruled over majority native Indians. Do I need to tell of those times? With what face are Indian Muslim minority making their demands on the majority? They are shameless buggers. But they have lost the history's game. They are backward, ignorant, reactionary people- all of them blind with their Koran which even is borrowed knowledge from Talmud and Bible. They are wasting our nation's precious time by hanging on to their dead corpses of glories and times gone by. If they have talent, skill, ability, then come on! Compete! Play fair. Respect democracy which is equality of all citizens before the law. Oh, they even are not true to themselves!
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            1. I
              Indian
              May 18, 2017 at 4:15 am
              Correction, not all PM were Hindus. Nehru was a Muslim so did Indira. They were fake Hindus. Nehru's ancestress were Muslims. Somewhere along the way one of the became a fake Hindu to save his life and the tradition continued. Sonia was not accepted by millions, Congress party and fake Nehru dynasty was accepted by millions. Get your facts straight before BSing.
              Reply
              1. I
                indian
                May 18, 2017 at 4:09 am
                neither grace nor gra ude for the nation that over glorified you despite your abject failure in Punjab,You are no KPSG.
                Reply
                1. A
                  Abdul Jamal
                  May 18, 2017 at 3:53 am
                  While JUlius Ribero claims to be honest he is a brown slave puppet at the Hands of criminal Christian white mafia empire called Vatican Christian church. The Organisation for African Unity's report on the Christians churches organized Africans genocide described the church in Rwanda as carrying a "heavy responsibility" for fai to oppose, and even promoting, ethnic discrimination and actively parti ting in it. It said the christian Vatican church offered "indispensable support" to the Hutu regime during the kil and described church leaders as playing "a con uously scandalous role" in the genocide by fai to take a moral stand against it. "This stance was easily interpreted by ordinary Christians as an implicit endor t of the kil s, as was the close ociation of church leaders with the leaders of the genocide," the report said.
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                  1. A
                    Aravind Venkatram
                    May 18, 2017 at 1:05 am
                    The minority took the goodwill of the majority for granted and engaged in behaviours that would get them deported in a Western Democracy. The authors words are nothing but weasel words and I am disturbed that Indian Express even published them.
                    Reply
                    1. E
                      Ehsan Habib
                      May 18, 2017 at 12:17 am
                      Thank you Quaid'e azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah for stan. I may add a few lines here too. In 1929 Jinnah was desperately trying to engage hi in a dialogue to keep the religious mindset out of the politics in Sub continent. The case was Mr Nehru and Mr Patel being overly zealous when it came to religious show off. Also Jinnah wanted cons utional guarantees to sa uard the rights of minorities. He failed on both the fronts. Because Mr hi couldn't control or didn't want to control the two gentlemen. Result was stan. Former foreign minister of India from BJPalso accepted that the division of Sub Continent was not because of Jinnah but because of others.
                      Reply
                      1. T
                        Thrinethran T
                        May 18, 2017 at 2:27 am
                        Jinnah started off as a communitarian nationalist, became embittered with other leaders because of personality clashes. He became a convinced Islamist by the late 1930's, and worked along with the British for Par ion. So you had the violence, an Islamic state and a cleansed nation, not just a Muslim country.
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                        1. B
                          Babu
                          May 18, 2017 at 3:23 am
                          Mr. Ehsan....You have no idea of how grateful we indians are that a virulent and violent prone junk lot left us, thank allah for that. We know how much paradise is there in pak now under mortgage to China. NO SIR...be happy with your paradise land. Ask your community if they would like to come to your golden land and the answer will surprise you.
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                        2. S
                          SubbuI
                          May 17, 2017 at 11:55 pm
                          MR REBERIO IS PERFECTLY CORRECT IN HIS OBSERVATIONS MAJORTRY AREAS MINORITES AND MAJORITY ARE LIVING HORMONIUSELY AND FREINDLY MANNER FOR DECADES IN EVERY STATE OF INDIA. THESE RSS AND HINDUTVA ORGANIZATIONS SPREED VENOM AND ENEMITY BETWEEN COMMUNITY RESULTING RIOTS AND M DISTRUCTION. IT IS NOT THAT MINORITES DO NOT REACT OR SHOULD NOT REACT. NOW AFTER 2014 AND AGAIN AFTER 2017 RIGGED U.P ELECTIONS VICTORY OF HINDUTVA FORCES THEY DO EVERY THING OPENELY. MONKS AND EX PRACHARAKS ARE BECOMING HEAD OF STATE. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS? WHY CAN'T THESE GROUPS SPEND THEIR ENERGY FOR THE UP LIFTMENT OF POOR HINDUS AND DALITS.NO. THEY WOULD NOT DO. BECAUCE THAT WAY THE POLARISATION WILL NOT BE AS EFFECTIVE AS THEY GET NOW. IF THESE PEOPLE ARE LEFT UN CHECKED AND CONTROLED THEN IT WILL NOT BE VERY FOR BEFORE OUR GREAT COUNTRY SEE DISASTER AND DISINTEGRATION! MODI IS CURSE FOR INDIA AND ALL THESE RSS AND OTHER HINDUTVA ELEMENTS RISE IS DUE THIS NALAYAK NMODI'S DIRACT SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE
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                          1. A
                            Abdul Jamal
                            May 18, 2017 at 3:56 am
                            Dear brown converted Christian slave of white supremacists christian vatican mafia look around. The Organisation for African Unity's report on the genocide described the church in Rwanda as carrying a "heavy responsibility" for fai to oppose, and even promoting, ethnic discrimination. It said the church offered "indispensable support" to the Hutu regime during the kil and described church leaders as playing "a con uously scandalous role" in the genocide by fai to take a moral stand against it. "This stance was easily interpreted by ordinary Christians as an implicit endor t of the kil s, as was the close ociation of church leaders with the leaders of the genocide," the report said.
                            Reply
                            1. N
                              nisheeth
                              May 18, 2017 at 4:52 am
                              Dear Mr Subbul, just like Rebeiro you think alike.Hindus are the most tolerant Communities inthis W world.Unlike Co religionist of Mr Rebeiro, the Catholics, no Hindus want to convert others to their faith on some sort of luring or by force. unlike Christians who have increased from 0.2 to more than 3 after Independence and Muslims from 6.2 to 16 now,Hindus decreased from 92 to 78.9 now. so it is but natural for Hindus to sit up & es the present situation. Mr Reberio, must understand that what is happening in India is not at all different from what is happening in Europe.This is bound to happen,so it is happening.
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                            2. M
                              MyTake
                              May 17, 2017 at 11:04 pm
                              What's wrong the "intelligentsia" not promoting the line, "there is no minority and no majority but there are citizens of India? This will be in line with PM Modi's slogan of 1.25 billion people. "Intelligentsia" should not be behaving or encouraging something that creates more trouble in the society of theyvreally considers themselves representing the society!
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                              1. s
                                sikan_der
                                May 17, 2017 at 10:44 pm
                                Sir kahavat he himmat e marda to madad e khuda. U can pressurise us torment us but u cant stop us. Sir bfor this frank article u were hero for majority. But since ur article does not appease majority u have suddenly become minority.why dont u appease them . Start their buttering even if they arent worth it.
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                                1. S
                                  sreenath
                                  May 17, 2017 at 10:39 pm
                                  Mr intelligent Julio. .can you please tell the world why Muslims in india leave under poverty, when majority of the governmental schemes, colleges, reservation, special laws are made for there benefit..still poverty. .can you really a dress the main concern...population control...first learn to leave as humans..then religoon. . People like you who call yourselves as intellectual..write these kind of cap article then I remember I am a Hindu..
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                                  1. D
                                    Dhaval B.
                                    May 17, 2017 at 10:33 pm
                                    Another baseless article that is derived from lack of significant facts and more from delusions of the author. Please validate where did you receive information that Muslims live in degraded conditions in Ahmedabad? Do you have, on a percent basis, how many Hindus live in degraded conditions? Living in degraded conditions has nothing to do with one's religion. And I am not sure what the author expects to change in 3 years that was not changed in the last 60 years? By that token, the author feels that all PM's have failed - and it is true that all Congress and allied PM's have failed the nation, which is why NaMo has been given an opportunity to improve. My all economic and social indicators, that is happening and at rapid pace as well. Please stop this nonsense and get your head out of sand where it has resided for the past 20 years (by your own admission).
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                                    1. G
                                      Gopal Sriniwasan
                                      May 17, 2017 at 10:17 pm
                                      I feel the Ex-Commissioner of Bombay Police and the Super Cop will be Super happy if Hindus like the Zoroastrians from Iran are driven out from their land and seek refuge in an unknown land. Hindu Majority getting united is sending shivers in the mind of a celebrated copy, although it is far from the truth.Just Imagine if it were to happen, Christians and Islamists will wreak havoc on India just as the Portuguese first started proselytising the poor Hindus from Goa and spread on like wildfire
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                                      1. E
                                        Employ Ment
                                        May 17, 2017 at 9:59 pm
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                                        1. k
                                          k.madhukar
                                          May 17, 2017 at 9:52 pm
                                          Mr Reibeiroji, you made a statement that Muslims are still living ghettos in Ahmedabad.All Hindus living in palaces ? Any Hindu or RSS prevented Khans ru bollywood or premjis ru IT world ?
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                                          1. V
                                            Vnk
                                            May 17, 2017 at 9:51 pm
                                            Muslim minority should get the same treatment in rest of India as they give to Hindu minority in Kashmir valley.
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                                            1. V
                                              Vikram
                                              May 17, 2017 at 9:33 pm
                                              Sir I have been fan of yours ever since you were the boss of Mumbai Police, never viewed you as Christian but a Super cop of India, but today you are speaking like Christian than the real Indian Hero We need super cops like you to tame the wrong ones irrespective of religion caste or political affiliations
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                                              1. J
                                                Joydeep
                                                May 17, 2017 at 9:01 pm
                                                Well written article. Hindus have been in power since independence. Now it is just being used to divide the country for the sake of votes.
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                                                1. S
                                                  sochee
                                                  May 17, 2017 at 10:02 pm
                                                  Joydeep do you think Nehru was a Hindu? You are a fool if you do. Do you think Maymuna Begum who was popularly known as Indira hi was a Hindu? You are a fool if you do so. Ask Instead Singh how she made a dangerous trip to Babur's grave to make a tryst with her ancestor.Do you think Rajiv hi was a Hindu when he openly declared He was Paris which was a white lie?His father was a Muslim whose mother was a P r married to a Gujarati Muslim.After Rajiv hi Sonia a Catholic Christian effectively ruled India with the help of secularism coterie. Do you think that was Hindu rule? Don't go by what the many suave dishonest people like Riberio say.
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