Remembering Him on His Death Anniversary – 26th December
Excerpts from Shri. Ram Swarup ji’s article – ‘The Dishonest Secularist’
Shri. Ram Swarup ji (1920-1998) was born on 12th October 1920 in Sonipat in Haryana. His father was a private banker. Shri. Ram Swarup ji (formerly Shri. Ram Swarup Garg, his Gotra name and belonging to the Agrawal caste) took his degree in economics from Delhi University in 1941. Like others of his generation, he too joined the Gandhian Movement during the Quit India Agitation of 1942. He acted as the over-ground contact (Post box) for the underground rebels like Aruna Asaf Ali.
2. Guru Shri. Ram Swarup ji and disciple Shri. Sita Ram Goel ji
Shri. Ram Swarup ji is perhaps the greatest Hindu intellectual of post-independent India. His most outstanding disciple was Shri. Sita Ram Goel ji, an ‘Intellectual Kshatriya’. The intellectual and emotional relationship that existed between them for more than five decades is a glorious chapter in the history of Hindu revival after 1947. The intellectual relationship between these two great men was similar to the spiritual relationship between Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda in the latter half of the 19th Century and the Hindutva relationship between Dr Hedgewar and Shri. Golwalkar Guruji in the 2nd quarter of the 20th Century. Shri. Sita Ram Goel ji often used to acknowledge the fact that he came back to the fold of Hinduism from the concentration camp of communism only on account of the spiritual influence of Shri. Ram Swarup ji.
3. Shri. Ram Swarup ji challenging the orthodox communist party view
Shri. Ram Swarup ji was firmly of the view that the foremost task of an intellectual lay in his effort to break down the stereo-types and reductive categories which have a limiting and choking impact upon human thought and communication. As early as in 1949, in his book ‘LET US FIGHT THE COMMUNIST MENACE’, he challenged the orthodox communist party view that every intellectual must be a man or woman of the Left. After the World War 2, all the worldly powers in all areas of life effectively co-opted the intelligentsia to an extraordinary and unprecedented degree. The results were disastrous.
Against this contemporary situation of intellectual serfdom, Shri. Ram Swarup ji in the India of 1949 functioned as a ‘One Man Brigade’ against communism in India and the Indian State which was getting into the vicious grip of the Russian brand of communism under Stalin. Shri. Ram Swarup ji felt that it was his principal intellectual duty to make an earnest search for relative independence from such pressures pointed out by Wilfred Owen. As a powerful political writer against communism, he tried to speak the truth to power.
4. Shri. Ram Swarup ji on Partition of India
Around the time of independence in 1947, Shri. Ram Swarup ji had developed strong opinions against ‘communism’. He was forthright in his criticism of the Communist Party of India (CPI) when they defended the ‘Partition Scheme’ with politically manufactured socio-economic arguments. Shri. Ram Swarup ji objected strongly by declaring that the Partition would only benefit the ‘haves’ among the Muslims, not the ‘have-nots’. Thus, he moved in a direction opposite to the ideological passion and trend of the day and time and became one of India’s leading anti-communists. It was during this period he ‘rescued’ and ‘saved’ his friend Shri. Sita Ram Goel ji from the deathly trap of ‘communist totalitarianism’.
5. Shri. Ram Swarup ji and the anti-communist publishing house
Shri. Ram Swarup ji’s first two books – ‘Let us Fight the Communist Menace’ (1949) and ‘Russian Imperialism : How to Stop it?’ (1950) – were published by Prachi Prakasham, an anti-communist publishing house founded by Shri. Ram Swarup ji and Shri. Sita Ram Goel ji in Calcutta which was then the Mecca of Indian Communism. This publishing house was part of their ‘Society for the Defence of Freedom in Asia’ (SDFA). The great benefactor who came to the rescue of Bharat Mata at that time by way of financial assistance for this great national cause was Hari Prasad Lohia. These two books attracted attention in high places.
6. Core ideas of Shri. Ram Swarup ji adopted by USA
Shri. Ram Swarup ji’s main books on communism are : ‘Let us Fight the Communist Menace’ (1949); ‘Russian Imperialism : How to Stop It ?’ (1950); ‘Communism and Peasantry : Implications of Collectivist Agriculture for Asian Countries’ (1954); ‘Gandhism and Communism’ (1954); and ‘Foundations of Maoism’ (1956). In his ‘Gandhism and Communism’, Shri. Ram Swarup ji stressed the need to raise the struggle against communism from a military to a moral and ideological level. This book was brought to the attention of Western anti-communists including some Congressmen in USA. Some core ideas of Shri. Ram Swarup ji were adopted by the Eisenhower administration in its agenda for the Geneva Conference in 1955.
7. Shri. Ram Swarup ji – A fearless intellectual
In every society we have a handful of unusual individuals with an unusual sensitivity to the sacred and an uncommon reflectiveness about the nature of their Universe, and the rules which govern their society. Shri. Ram Swarup ji was a rare intellectual who asserted his right to have his own space to walk around, the space in which to stand and talk back to authority. In all his writings he declared that an unquestioning subservience to authority in today’s world is one of the greatest threats to an active, and moral, intellectual life. Shri. Ram Swarup ji had the rare gift of exposition which turns popularization into an art. All his life, he spoke up for the free mind which is the glory and torment of the modern world.
Shri. Ram Swarup ji, as a fearless intellectual, did not feel powerless in the face of an overwhelmingly powerful network of social authorities, the communist mafia of mass media, the Government and business corporations, etc. which were competing with one another in crowding out the possibilities for achieving any decent change in post-Independent India.
8. Shri. Ram Swarup ji and Nehruvian intellectuals
Shri. Ram Swarup ji openly came out against the disgraceful public performance of Nehruvian intellectuals marked by strategic pre-meditated trimming, careful silence, patriotic bluff and bluster and above all a self-dramatizing and retrospective apostasy.
9. Shri. Ram Swarup ji – Crusader for Sanatan Dharma
Shri. Ram Swarup ji was a crusader for ‘Sanatan Dharma’, Hindu culture, Hindu civilisation, Hindu society, Hinduism as a whole and above all for things, issues and ideals Hindu in character.
He wrote in his ‘Hindu View of Christianity and Islam’ : Religious tolerance is a value, Christianity as well as Islam lacks it badly. Wherever they have gone, they have carried fire and sword and oppressed and destroyed as far as it lay in their power. They demolished and occupied the temples and shrines of others. Any tolerance shown was an exception, intolerance was the rule.
Shri. Ram Swarup ji clearly concluded that the destructive record of Islam and Christianity through the ages has been outdone only by communism.
Likewise, Shri. Ram Swarup ji rejected the philosophy of ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhava’ (All religions are equal) of MK Gandhi on the ground that the tolerant polytheistic Hinduism can never be equated with brutal monotheistic religions like Islam and Christianity.
After a life of strenuous and unremitting intellectual labour, Shri. Ram Swarup ji passed away peacefully on 26th December 1998 leaving to the world a splendid example of lonely and disinterested pursuit of truth and light.
(Excerpts from an article in ‘Haindava Keralam’)
Even more than patriotism, secularism has become the first and last refuge of the scoundrels of all descriptions !