Without doubt, Ram Swarup, Sitaram Goel and Arun Shourie (before he irreversibly slid down the oily wall of slathered ambition and reached his current position) occupy places of deserved eminence in the pantheon of what is crudely known as Hindu revivalism after India attained freedom from about a thousand years of colonial rule. In the memorable phraseology of Shatavadhani Dr Ganesh, they constitute the Muni Traya (a trio of Munis or sages).
What Ram Swarup and Sitaram Goel stood for, worked towards, and dedicated their lives to was to place India in its true, pristine context: a spiritual civilization of which politics was—and should ideally remain—always a fractional and subservient component of a Dharma that in turn is consonant with the eternal rhythm of Rta manifested in Satya in its various expressions.
In my very, very limited reading, Ram Swarup perhaps for the first time undertook a deeply fundamental study of the actual nature of Abrahamic/monotheistic creeds in a manner that was at once scholarly, contemporary and highly accessible, and revealed both their Rupa and Swarupa (form and substance) for what they truly are: deeply unspiritual and life-negating. The fact that he contrasted this study with the fundamentals of Sanatana Dharma and in a way, established its singular quality of universal assimilation and a grand celebration of life and even afterlife is something no preceding Sanatani thinker or writer had done. One could also point to Swami Dayananda Saraswati, author of the seminal Satyarth Prakash. However, like all of us, Swamiji was a product of his time and restricted his analysis of Islam to rather, some highly-visible external features of that desert cult.
Sitaram Goel gave it a completely different dimension. No less than Ram Swarup in the depth and sweep of his erudition, Sitaram Goel offered a simple but crucial supplement: he merely dipped his pen in acid. Or, to use the proper Sanatana term, he supplemented and complemented Ram Swarup’s work with the much-needed Kshatra in the post-1947 era characterized almost wholly by all-encompassing Tamas.
Whatever the current celebrations of and hosannas to Technology, the new global religion, the compound word, “long lasting” is synonymous with “old-fashioned,” and the word “classic,” with “dinosaur.” Oh, “classic” could also be the name of the next hot app with a $2394832472394823083204294872 valuation. From this perspective, the years 1947, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1975, 1984, 1989, 1991, 1992 and 2004 really mean nothing to a substantial chunk of the millennial generation.
Sitaram Goel not only lived under and experienced two tyrannies emanating from the same dynasty, he was perhaps the most trenchant, doggedly fierce and accomplished critic and an unending nightmare that Nehru had the great fortune of not facing in Parliament.
However, Sitaram Goel’s finest, civilizational hour dawned during the Rama Janmabhoomi Movement. Take away his dogged fight against the nation-wrecking Communists and Progressives and Marxists, take away his books on Indian history and civilization, take away his countless essays on these themes: he will remain immortal purely on the strength of just one book: Volume 2 of Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them: The Islamic Evidence, the work of a lifetime, of deep conviction. Any Hindu home that doesn’t have a copy of this book will cease to remain Hindu within a generation: it’s not an exaggeration or doomsday fear-mongering. Today’s Hindus need to be told this because they have all but banished Ramayana and Mahabharata from their homes. Outdated. Boring. No time. There should be an app for these epics. When the kids are bored and they want some “culture,” load it on their mobiles and tablets. No wonder—and with genuine respect to their affinity to Hinduism—they think Hinduism is what they see on screen in an ill-scripted and substandard celluloid fantasy called Bahubali—yeah, with due respect to the film too.
Suffice to say that it’s a travesty that there’s not a single volume or any other expression celebrating Sitaram Goel’s contributions. During the heady days of the Rama Janmabhoomi Movement, hordes of Hindus—the saffron colour itself is made of a billion shades—flocked to his bookstore-cum-office to buy his work on Hindu Temples: Sanyasins, Sadhus, intellectuals, journalists, academics, publishers, writers, activists…with that singular volume, he had indirectly delivered a simple but important lesson: it’s not enough to have truth and more importantly, historical truth on your side—it’s how you make it intelligible, coherent, appealing, even beautiful.
It was his painstaking and lifelong efforts unmasking the numerous skullduggeries of our Leftist cultural vandals like Romila Thapar that indirectly contributed to the selfsame Arun Shourie writing his classic, Eminent Historians, which ripped the Romilaesque gutter open. As I mentioned earlier, even after the lapse of two decades, the said gutter still thrives.
Voice of India truly lived up to its name. For a fuller account of the value of Sitaram Goel’s contribution, I will point to Dr Koenraad Elst’s profile of him in his Decolonizing the Hindu Mind, and the independent essay, India’s Only Communalist.
And so, beginning with the next piece onward, I humbly present a series entitled What Sitaramji Said.
The motto: Save Hindu children.
Here’s a curtain raiser. In his own words.
I view Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as a bloated Brown Sahib, and Nehruism as the combined embodiment of all the imperialist ideologies Islam, Christianity, White Man’s Burden, and Communism that have flooded this country in the wake of foreign invasions. And I do not have the least doubt in my mind that if India is to live, Nehruism must die…What I plead is that a conscious rejection of Nehruism in all its forms will hasten its demise, and save us from the mischief which it is bound to create further if it is allowed to linger.
There was a thunderous applause as Pandit Nehru came up on the rostrum, greeted the people with folded hands, and was formally introduced by a local Congress leader. But the next thing I saw made me rub my eyes. The great man [Nehru] had become red in the face, turned to his left, and planted a slap smack on the face of the same leader who was standing near the mike. The mike had failed. Pandit Nehru was gesticulating and shouting at the top of his voice as if something terrible had happened. Meanwhile the mike started functioning again so that he could be heard all over the place. He was saying: “Dilli ki Congress ke karkun kamine hain, razil hain, namaqul hain. Maine kyatti bar inse kaha hai ke intizam nahin kar sakte to mujhe mat bulaya karo, par ye sunte hi nahin (the leaders of the Congress in Delhi are lowbred, mean, and mindless people. I have told them time and again not to invite me if they cannot make proper arrangements. But they pay no heed).”
I turned towards the rostrum. The face of Congress leader who had been slapped was bathed in smiles as if he had won some coveted prize. [Emphasis added]
Tighten your seat belts. I promise you a great ride.
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