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The S Gurumurthy Chat

S Gurumurthy readily agreed to appear on The Rediff Independence Day Chats when contributor Shobha Warrier called him up on Thursday morning. The RSS ideologue was expansive and lucid when he logged in from the Netcafe in Madras -- also the venue of the Cho Ramaswamy Chat earlier on I Day 50 -- late on Friday evening.

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 6:11 IST)
hi everyone

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:24 IST)
Welcome to the Gurumurthy chat from Madras, happy Independence Day.

common man (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:17 IST)
ji, what have your govts. in delhi/rajasthan done to stop day-to-day bribes (like to get electricity connection/birth certificate etc.)?

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:26 IST)
cm: I wish corruption can be eliminated only by the governments..

Pawan Saigal (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:23 IST)
Gurumuthysaab: Are you against the multinationals because of your pro-poor policies (what a joke!) or because they will crush the giants in Indian business?

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:30 IST)
Pawan: I am not against multinationals as such. I only feel that because of the socialist regime for four decades we have made the country business weak and bereft of internationally acceptable standards of enterprise. So we need to give local business a ten year time frame by liberalisation without globalisation. By attempting both liberalisation and globalisation simultaneously, indigenious business is placed at a disadvantage and the MNCs are granted extra mileage. I am building up through the Swadeshi Jagran Manch a national consciousness against this trend. You have to handle the multinationals. Given the required time we can.

A Arunachalam (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:30 IST)
Good evening, Sir. What an unexpected surprise to speak to you? I was so happy to read about the initiative being taken to improve Hindu-Muslim dialogue. Do you think the conflict between these two communities will ever be resolved?

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:37 IST)
Arunachalam. Yes, unfortunately the Hindu leadership in India was propping up even before Independence and more so after, precisely the wrong Muslim leadership. This is the basic reason for the Muslims feeling different from the Hindus. By race, by blood, by caste, by language and even social customs. Indian Muslims have nothing to do with the Arabs. They are more like the Indonesian Muslims. For example, the Kerala Muslims have more to do with the Kerala Hindus than with the Aligarh Muslims. But the Hindu leadership -- by which I mean the Congress leadership -- did not have the courage to emphasise this cultural unity and instead propped up a pan Islamic leadership like the Ali brothers. This is what led to Partition of the country and as well as the division between Hindus and Muslims. The proper approach is to make the Muslim aware of the cultural and other bondages which exist at the local levels and reduce the pan Islamic mentality which is only a mirage because if pan Islamism is true there should be no conflict amongst Muslim nations or even amongst Mslims. This is what I emphasised in my dialogue with the Muslims at Calcutta and Madras.

Rajput (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:41 IST)
SG, What is your attitude towards NRIs?

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:39 IST)
Economic liberalisation within the country has been long overdue. This is nothing but undoing our four decades of wrong. The NRIs must be made to have strong umblical bondage and this will only distinguish them from other foreigners.

common man (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:39 IST)
Dear Shri. SG: Will you remove the Official Secrecy Act if you come to power in Delhi?

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:40 IST)
CM: No question.even though I was myself arrested under the Official Secrets Act. The correct apprach is to ensure some honesty in implementing the Act.

Rajput (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:39 IST)
SG, Does being a Hindu still mean protecting brethren of other religions?

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:42 IST)
Rajput: A Hindu is not wedded to any god or worship. he has already 33 crore gods. He can easily accomodate a couple more

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:44 IST)
Yjay Arora: The protector of the corrupt is as bad as the corrupt. If the protector occupies the highest office, he should be first on the hit list. In my view Mr Gujral ideally qualifies.

RRC (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:39 IST)
Mr. SG: It is already 10 years since liberalisation started (1986 ~). And for aspects of globalisation like a professional management, and research and development they have had more than 50 years. So don't you think this is buying time to ward off competition...

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:47 IST)
RRC: We did not plan liberalisation in 1991 or later. We had unthought liberalisation and thoughtless globalisation going together. With the result we are selling the country and do not even do it well. This fantastic argument of competition was rejected by countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and it is they who have grown up. The argument of competition and consumer interest is euphemism for lobbying on behalf of the mncs

Sanjeev Kumar (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:47 IST)
Mr Gurumurthy: Do you really think Mr Gujral was serious when he talked about corruption yesterday? He is a good talker, but action is yet to be seen from his side.

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:49 IST)
Sanjeev Kumar: Mr Gujral was never serious about corruption as an issue. If he had been he would never have agreed to become the prime minister. Because the Congress wanted Deve Gowda out only to slow down action against corruption. I agree with you.

Maharishi (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:47 IST)
You people in the Sangh Parivar want Muslim totems like the Babri Masjid to be pulled down. Does it extend to the Kashi and Mathura mosques or does it extenbd to things like the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort?

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:53 IST)
Maharishi: The issue of Kashi and Mathura is not just an issue of the Hindus. When I met the Muslims, in my dialogue with them I asked them whether any of them had been to Kashi or Mathura. None of them had gone there. I told then no RSS, VHP or Shiv Sena can or is needed to create ill will in the mind of the Hindus against the Muslims. The Muslims can see for themselves how the broken temples in Kashi and Mathura will make millions of Hindus who go there feel unpleasant about the Muslim insensitivity to Hindus. It is not a building, whether it is a mosque or a Taj, but where it stands that is the issue. When I put this to my Muslim brothers, they could understand the seriousness of the issue. I think you will also understand.

new common man (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:55 IST)
Mr SG, Do you think that Mr Thackeray should be tried in court for his inflammatory articles and speeches against Muslims?

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:55 IST)
New CM: All people who make inflammatory speeches including the Shahi Imam should be tried. If that happens nobody's inflammatory speech will be heard.

ven (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:50 IST)
Mr SG: I agree with you regarding cultural identity. Not only Kerala Muslims but most South Indian Muslims have little in common with North Indian Muslims leave alone Pak Muslims. In fact, many Tamil Muslims who chose to go to Pakistan were ill treated in Karachi and many returned. Yes, we have to stress cultural identity but at the same time time make Muslims feel that they are a part of India. On a different note, I believe strongly that NO party can come to power in India without the support of South India. I think that the BJP is hurting itself by alienating not only religious minorities but also language minorities. I cannot understand why many people spend their time wanting to call India as Bharat, insisting that Hindi is the only national language etc.

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:58 IST)
ven: I feel the Muslims require a reorientation of mind. If without doing this, merely to come to power, the BJP angles for their votes it will be impossible for the Muslims to understand the reality of local cultural influences over pan Islam. I would prefer the BJP to wait. I have no difficulty about the official name of India. The Hindus can call it a Hindu Rashtra and the official name can be Bharat.

Enron (Fri Aug 15 1997 8:58 IST)
Sir,what are the achievements of the RSS in socio-cultural milieu of India right from its inception. Do you think it was a grave error on the part of the RSS to keep itself aloof from the Quit India movement of 1942???

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 9:2 IST)
Enron: The RSS was the only organisation with the longest range view ever promoted in the social scene of india. It had in mind not just freedom but also what to do with it when it came. The founder of the RSS participated in the Salt Satyagraha and went to jail for two years but he kept the organisation going, allowing individuals to participate in the movement. No one could find fault with the RSS for not particiapating in the 1942 movement as an organisation because its patriotic activities helped the movement and the country as it was seen during Partition and later.

Ronny (Fri Aug 15 1997 9:1 IST)
Namashkar Gurumuthy-ji!!! When you can profess fanaticism in your Hindu point of view, why does it upset your type when any other religion also takes a rigid fanatic point of view? Don't the Hindus act in a very ego-centric way when it comes to people of other religions? So why shouldn't Muslims, Christians, Buddhist or any other people be fanatic too? I Suppose, that is the best way to lighten Mother Earth's, already overburdened shoulders?!

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 9:7 IST)
Ronny: Your question is presumptive. That is I am a fanatic. Your view shows the inadequacy of your understanding of history. Refugee religions like Judaism, Zorastrianism and Shia Islam with their fugitive following came to India. The Hindus received them, housed them and looked after them. There was no secular party or Constitution available to protect them. In fact they were not needed. Secularism or the Indian Constitution is a product of Hindus, therefore fanaticism and Hinduism cannot go together. The fundamentalism project of the Chicago University has admitted this position. You may like to go through their five volumes.

A Arunachalam (Fri Aug 15 1997 9:3 IST)
Shri Gurumurthy: Kindly respond: Why is religion so important? Are there not more important issues like hunger and illiteracy and population that need to be tackled? What does it matter if you are a Hindu and I am a Muslim? How does that compromise India?

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 9:12 IST)
Arunachalam: What you say is true, but that is not the verdict of history. The opinion of no one religion counts unless all religions have the same approach. Hinduism as a faith does not believe in conversions, therefore there can be no clash with the Hindus if other religions have no idea of converting Hindus. Do you see where the problem is? Your question is typical of a Hindu. I will easily agree that Islam is as good and great as Hinduism. Any Hindu Acharya will agree to this. But the Muslim regards Hindus as kafirs. Do you see where the problem is?

prasan (Fri Aug 15 1997 9:8 IST)
Secularism doesn't allow to bring religion into politics, but in India secularism means standing by those people who are not of your religion, so if I say none of the parties are secular, do you agree with me?

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 9:15 IST)
Prasan: Secularism, according to you, means tolerating another faith. But you know Hindutva means accepting all religions. Secularism evolved as an intra-religious and not as an inter-religious doctrine. The fight was between the church and the king, both of whom accepted the Bible and Christ. so secularism is not a solution between different religions

new common man (Fri Aug 15 1997 9:16 IST)
Thanks for answering my earlier questions. This is the last one: If your govt comes to power in Delhi/UP, will you identify & arrest those who destroyed the Babri Masjid? (The destruction was illegal. So consider this question as a purely legal one)

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 9:19 IST)
New CM: The destruction of the Babri Masjid can be equated to the demolition of the Russian cathdral in Warsaw after Poland's victory in the First World War. Arnold Toynbee in a lecture in Delhi in 1963 said that it was the goodness of the Hindus that is saving the Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi mosques. Which he called as eyesores. Toynbee is no Hindu fanatic. He was just a historian. Seeing how historical forces work, punishing the so-called offenders at Ayodhya will only prolong the reaction in history.

Ramana Murthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 9:18 IST)
Namaskar Gurumurthyji : It is nice to see you on the chat group. What is in store for India 's future, technologically? Do you anticipate in the next few years alternative energy resources taking a centerstage in providing electricity to rural areas ?

S Gurumurthy (Fri Aug 15 1997 9:21 IST)
Ramana Murthy: Namaskar. In the next ten years India will be among the top technological nations in the world. It is the government control which has thrown us a little back. It is just a matter of a few years.

Mr S Gurumurthy Chat, Kind courtesy: Netcafe@India

S Gurumurthy, continued