What we see today is provocative nationalism: Bhupesh Baghel

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NEW DELHI: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Thursday said capitalism has acquired a new form which is defined by black money and big business, and strongly condemned the tendency of branding people who ask questions as “anti-nationals”.

In a veiled attack on the BJP and the RSS, the Congress leader said Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of nationalism was inclusive and serious, but “what we see today is provocative nationalism”.

In his address here at the concluding function of Gandhi Vichaar Padyatra held to mark the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, he said the Father of the Nation accepted Lord Ram, the cow and tricolour as his symbols and talked about “serious” nationalism.

The state government had launched the week-long foot march, aimed at propagating the teachings of Gandhi, from Kandel village in Dhamtari district on October 2.

In 1920, Gandhi had visited Dhamtari to extend support to Nahar Satyagrha launched by the residents of Kandel to protest imposition of high irrigation tax on people by the British.

“Gandhi ji proved his immortal principles of truth and non-violence during the fight for freedom. Ahimsa (non- violence) was not a discovery of Gandhi. Gautam Buddha and Lord Mahavir have also mentioned about it.

“It has also been mentioned in our Vedas and Upanishads. It was in our tradition and culture. Gandhi ji used the weapon of non-violence against Britishers and freed the country from colonial rule,” Baghel said.

The chief minister said Gandhi’s nationalism was to take everyone together, to uplift women, to educate women and serve the downtrodden and the poor.

“Gandhi ji had spoken about a serious nationalism.

That nationalism has a long legacy…it encapsulated teachings of Buddha, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Swami Vivekanand. That nationalism inspired people,” he said.

“Indian democracy has essence of religion. Battles were fought and won against imperialism. Our leaders made Lord Ram of everyone. Gandhi ji freed Lord Ram from the clutches of hypocrisy and evils,” Baghel said.

The Congress CM, who took office in December last year, said a new form of capitalism has emerged which is not desirable.

“We drove away imperialism but now capitalism is emerging in a new form. In this new capitalism, money makes money and there is no need for people to work hard to earn.

You just invest money in stocks and earn profit.

“The new capitalism also amasses black money and it considers human beings and the nation as a burden. Some organisations now want crowd as their followers.

“They dont like intellectual persons. Because intellectuals ask questions and they are afraid of being questioned. Those who questions are being branded as anti- nationals,” Baghel said.

A nexus exists between black money, communalism and “provocative” nationalism, he said.

“There is huge investment of black money and fanaticism in this new capitalism and this has transformed into a big business.

“There is a need to understand the nexus of black money, communalism and provocative nationalism. There is a need to expose the violent face of this nexus, he said.

Baghel said along with understanding Gandhis compassion, there is a need to comprehend internal dynamics of communalismand dictatorship.

“These capitalist and imperialist forces which are wearing robe of religion and fanaticism needed to be identified and exposed,” he said.

“Those who posed as chowkidar are now emerging as dictators. These self-proclaimed protectors take religion towards terror,” Baghel said.

Lord Hanuman, known for his humbleness and devotion to Lord Ram, has been transformed into an angry deity, he said in a veiled attack on the BJP.

“They are presenting Lord Hanuman as a kruddh (angry) Hanuman. They have been hatching a conspiracy to transform Lord Hanuman as an angry Hanuman and trying to instigate people. Gandhi ji had fought against these forces,” Baghel said.

Source: Press Trust of India