First Irfan Habib and now Congress think-tank says ‘RSS not ideologically different from IS’


Claiming that the RSS is not ideologically different from the Islamic State, R. Mohan Gopal, who is part of a Congress think tank, on Saturday said the mayhem in Paris was a warning for India.

Addressing an event to mark the 125th birth anniversary of the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru here, Mohan Gopal, director of the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies, said the Narendra Modi government’s talk of development was a mere facade to undermine democratic values.

“The Paris attack is a great warning for us, warning about what can happen when religious forces are unleashed on a democratic society. We see a great warning of how communal, fundamentalist and religious forces can misuse the idea of religion,” said Gopal, referring to Friday night attacks in Paris that left 127 people dead.

“We condemn the religious doctrines and ideas behind the violence whether of the Islamic State or the RSS state that is being sought to be established in this country.

“There is no qualitative difference between the IS or the RSS, in terms of their commitment to overthrow democracy and undermine the secular republic anywhere in the world,” he said.

Gopal said all the talk of development by the Modi government was actually an attempt to re-establish oligopoly- a market or industry dominated by a small number of sellers.

“The existence of what we see is apparently development but the essence of what we see is fascism, feudalism and an attempt to reassert oligopoly which has been weakened in the last six decades of our democracy.

“The people of the country need to realise that all the talk about development is a mere facade for undermining freedom and democracy. We cannot sacrifice equality, freedom and democracy for the sake of economic growth,” added Gopal.

Speaking in the same vein, rights activists Teesta Seetalvad said the country was being governed by fascists.

“The country now is facing twin dangers under this government- one is the extreme right wing economic policies and two the extreme right wing and supremacist socio-political ideals. We may not have fascism in the government yet, but we do have fascists in positions of power,” said Seetalvad.

The seminar “Jawaharlal Nehru and Modern India: contribution and legacy” organsied by the West Bengal Congress brought together a host of leaders cutting across political lines.

Speaking on the occasion, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury called upon people and political parties to fight unitedly against the fascist and communal forces to preserve the country’s democracy, integrity and secularism.