GUWAHATI, Nov 2 - The incidents of attack on dissent taking place in the country at present are in no way related with law and order. They are incidents of attack on the very concept of Indian nation. Today, dissent is sought to be painted as �manufactured opposition,� by those in power. There is a clear pattern behind these incidents of attack. But those who are in power are trying to pass them off as a law and order issue.
The Constituent Assembly of the country upheld diversity of our social fabric. But those who are against this stand of the Constituent Assembly, have made Nathuram Godse a hero and have dubbed his killing of the Mahatma as a political assassination.
This was the observation of noted social scientist Prof Udayan Mishra of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). He was delivering a lecture on �Pluralism, Dissent and Democracy in the Present Times,� held under the aegis of the publishing house Shree Books at the Guwahati Press Club here.
He also alleged that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) has been acting like an extra-constitutional centre of power. Though the people of the country have not elected it to power, yet it is wielding power, he said.
It has become clear now that for some forces, only the Hindus, Jains and Buddhists can qualify themselves as Indians. Because of these forces, religion has become a point of national identity and dissenting voice is facing a threat in this country. Moreover, to these forces, there is no diversity in the Hindu society. Today, pluralism of the country is sought to be torn apart by these forces in the name of Hindutva.
However, it is also a fact that intolerance is embedded in the social structure of the country in the form of inbuilt inequalities. The khap panchayats can draw their strength from this inherent weakness of our society. Further more, the primary feudal base of the society has been facilitating election of our representatives on the basis of caste politics. Passion of the caste-based community is dominating our rationale. In the name of tradition, the community tries to determine what is right or wrong in our society.
Caste structure in the country is becoming stronger in the country. But those who are propagating Hindutva today are trying to divert our attention from this fact, saying that we have a glorious past, he observed.
India is a complex country with diversity and pluralism at its core. It cannot be steamrolled into a country of a particular culture, he said and made an appeal to those who believe in the pluralism of the country to fight the inherent inequalities of its society, which are leading to the incidents of intolerance.
They will find the answer in distributive justice, he said, laying stress on the need to go beyond the symbolic protests.
The function was presided over by noted litterateur Nirupama Bargohain.