War on words: On RSS’ language about lynching

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War on words: On RSS’ language about lynching

What matters is the taking of human life, and not the Sangh’s name for it
The annual Vijayadashami speech of its chief, the Sarsanghchalak, outlines(रूपरेखा) the thinking of the RSS on critical(नाजुक/महत्वपूर्ण ) issues(मुद्दे). As incumbent(निर्भर/अवलंबी) chief Mohan Bhagwat noted on Tuesday, until 2014, these speeches did not attract(आकर्षित करना) much attention(ध्यान ). In the speech that spanned( बढ़ावा दिया,) domestic(घरेलू ) politics(राजनीति ), education, economy, foreign affairs, and culture there was nothing that would surprise those who have followed the Sangh. But those views are today consequential(अहम/अनुवर्ती) as they get translated to state policies, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr. Modi, a former RSS pracharak, and the Home Minister were recipients(पाने वाले) of praise(प्रशंसा ) for ending the special constitutional(संवैधानिक ) status of Jammu and Kashmir. Mr. Bhagwat termed this year’s Lok Sabha election results a demonstration(प्रदर्शन /सबूत) of a new resolve(संकल्प) of the country. The Sarsanghchalak said too much discussion(चर्चा) on the frail(कमजोर ) health of the economy would only cause(कारण) more negativity. A thread(सूत्र/धागा) in his one hour speech was that certain(कुछ ) enemies of the nation were trying to defame(बदनाम करना/गाली देना) and weaken it. Some “chutput” — small — incidents(घटनाएं) get publicised(प्रचारित ) as lynching(हत्या/बिना मुकदमे मार डालना), which to him is a conspiracy(साजिश) to defame(बदनाम ) India, as “both sides are involved(शामिल) in such acts(कृत्यों )”. Lynching is a western construct(निर्माण), he said.

The RSS chief is very particular(ख़ास/विशेष) about the words that are to be used and avoided, going by his speech. He insisted that India’s culture, heritage(विरासत/उत्तर दान ), diversity(विविधता) and life could be encapsulated(समझाया) in the word Hindu and no other word, including Bharatiya, could be a suitable(उपयुक्त/उचित ) substitute(विकल्प/स्थानापन्न). A considerable(काफी ) part of his speech called for unity(एकता), harmony(सद्भाव), and dialogue among communities and sacrifice(बलिदान) for the country. But he reiterated(दोहराई) his position that such a worthy(योग्य) pursuit(लक्ष्य/पीछा करना) could be termed only Hindu Rashtra — the fundamental(आधारभूत/मौलिक) tenet(सिद्धांत)/मत) of the Sangh. Whether or not there is an equivalent(समकक्ष/बराबर) word for lynching in any pristine(प्राचीन ) indigenous(स्वदेशी) language, what should concern anyone interested in the reputation of India, that is Bharat, is not the label but the act that is being described. That act, which Mr. Bhagwat tiptoed around with verbose(शब्दबहुल) obfuscation(कहानियो/घबराहट), is mob(भीड़) violence(हिंसा) against hapless individuals, mostly from the minority(अल्पसंख्यक ) religious(धार्मिक) communities or Dalits. It would be reassuring( आश्वस्त ) to know that the act of lynching is alien(अलग/.पराया मनुष्य) to India, but unfortunately(दुर्भाग्य से), the ire was more against the word than against the act. Explaining( समझाते हुए) the concept(अवधारणा ) of Swadeshi, Mr. Bhagwat said India would not hesitate(संकोच) to accept from foreigners what it does not have and cannot do without. If lynching is a videshi act, then it might need a videshi label too. But this war on the word is reflective more of a concern about India’s reputation(प्रतिष्ठा ) in the eyes of the world than of any alarm at the underlying(आधारभूत/आधारभूत) acts of sectarian(सांप्रदायिक) violence. For the sake of Bharat’s reputation, lynchings, by whatever name, must stop.

Important Vocabulary

1. Alien(अलग/.पराया मनुष्य)
Synonyms: foreigner, immigrant, intruder, migrant, outsider
Antonyms: local, national, native, citizen, countryman

2. Consequential(अहम/अनुवर्ती
Synonyms: far-reaching, meaningful, momentous, substantial, weighty
Antonyms: insignificant, small, trivial, unimportant, unsubstantial

3. Conspiracy(साजिश)
Synonyms: plot, scheme, sedition, treason, cabal
Antonyms: faithfulness, honesty, ignorance, loyalty

4. Critical(नाजुक/महत्वपूर्ण )
Synonyms: demanding, analytical, belittling, biting, calumniatory
Antonyms: complimentary, laudatory, praising, trivial, uncritical

5. Demonstration(प्रदर्शन /सबूत)
Synonyms: expression, manifestation, presentation, show, test
Antonyms: concealment, hiding, contradiction, denial, veto

6. Defame(बदनाम करना/गाली देना
Synonyms: besmirch, denigrate, discredit, disgrace, disparage
Antonyms: besmirch, denigrate, discredit, disgrace, disparage

7. Encapsulated(समझाया)
Synonyms: box, cover, enclose, envelop, sheathe
Antonyms: free, let go, release, uncover, unwrap

8. Heritage(विरासत/उत्तर दान
Synonyms: ancestry, culture, custom, legacy, right
Antonyms: whole

9. Incumbent(निर्भर/अवलंबी)
Synonyms: occupant, official

10. Pursuit(लक्ष्य/पीछा करना
Synonyms: hunt, inquiry, quest, following, hunting
Antonyms: retreat, surrender

11. Particular(ख़ास/विशेष
Synonyms: article, case, circumstance, fact, specific
Antonyms: generality

12. Praise(प्रशंसा
Synonyms: generalization, abstraction, half-truth, law, observation
Antonyms: detail, specific, specificity

13. Reputation(प्रतिष्ठा
Synonyms: character, fame, honor, influence, name
Antonyms: unimportance, disapproval, disbelief, disfavor, dislike

14. Tenet(सिद्धांत)/मत),
Synonyms: assumption, credo, creed, doctrine, dogma
Antonyms: disbelief, doubt, reality, skepticism, unbelief

15. Worthy(योग्य)
Synonyms: admirable, decent, deserving, desirable, excellent
Antonyms: bad, deceptive, dishonest, evil, false

Credit To The Hindu News Paper

What matters is the taking of human life, and not the Sangh’s name for it
The annual Vijayadashami speech of its chief, the Sarsanghchalak, outlines the thinking of the RSS on critical issues. As incumbent chief Mohan Bhagwat noted on Tuesday, until 2014, these speeches did not attract much attention. In the speech that spanned domestic politics, education, economy, foreign affairs, and culture there was nothing that would surprise those who have followed the Sangh. But those views are today consequential as they get translated to state policies, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr. Modi, a former RSS pracharak, and the Home Minister were recipients of praise for ending the special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir. Mr. Bhagwat termed this year’s Lok Sabha election results a demonstration of a new resolve of the country. The Sarsanghchalak said too much discussion on the frail health of the economy would only cause more negativity. A thread in his one hour speech was that certain enemies of the nation were trying to defame and weaken it. Some “chutput” — small — incidents get publicised as lynching, which to him is a conspiracy to defame India, as “both sides are involved in such acts”. Lynching is a western construct, he said.

The RSS chief is very particular about the words that are to be used and avoided, going by his speech. He insisted that India’s culture, heritage, diversity and life could be encapsulated in the word Hindu and no other word, including Bharatiya, could be a suitable substitute. A considerable part of his speech called for unity, harmony, and dialogue among communities and sacrifice for the country. But he reiterated his position that such a worthy pursuit could be termed only Hindu Rashtra — the fundamental tenet of the Sangh. Whether or not there is an equivalent word for lynching in any pristine indigenous language, what should concern anyone interested in the reputation of India, that is Bharat, is not the label but the act that is being described. That act, which Mr. Bhagwat tiptoed around with verbose obfuscation, is mob violence against hapless individuals, mostly from the minority religious communities or Dalits. It would be reassuring to know that the act of lynching is alien to India, but unfortunately, the ire was more against the word than against the act. Explaining the concept of Swadeshi, Mr. Bhagwat said India would not hesitate to accept from foreigners what it does not have and cannot do without. If lynching is a videshi act, then it might need a videshi label too. But this war on the word is reflective more of a concern about India’s reputation in the eyes of the world than of any alarm at the underlying acts of sectarian violence. For the sake of Bharat’s reputation, lynchings, by whatever name, must stop.


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