6:31 am - Tuesday November 21, 2017

“The Prophet beyond the pale” TOI Article on P. Parameswaran, RSS Ideologue

Credits : Viju B, Times of India 

VIJU B, Interviewer

P Parameswaran, who turns 90 this year and whose navati celebrations are scheduled to begin on Saturday, is considered to be the senior-most Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak in Kerala and is the organization’s principal ideologue. He is director of Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram and president of Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari. A peer of L K Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Parameswaran was jailed during Emergency when he was with Jana Sangh.

Parameswaran’s writings and pronouncements have carried a lot of weight in a state where Marxist ideologues traditionally rule the roost, and more than anyone else he is aware of the huge intellectual vacuum in the state in terms of strengthening Hindutva and a resurgent nationalism.

We met the veteran at Madhav Nivas, the RSS state headquarters in Kochi. Parameswaran has slowed down a lot in the last few years after a surgery and finds it difficult to speak continuously. But he is very much abreast of contemporary issues and his cryptic replies are sharp and succinct.

Excerpts:

  • What are the core areas of Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram in the coming years?

It acts as a platform for young minds and intellectuals to come together and find proactive solutions for national and socio-economic issues concerned with Indian society at large. The Vivekananada Padana Vedi in Thiruvananthapuram, for instance, will bring in young research scholars who will present papers on these issues in the coming years. We also plan to include women in the fold in a big way and make them active participants in these discussions. They will also present papers on Indian nationalism.

  • What according to you is your single largest contribution apart from your scholarly works on Sree Narayana Guru and Swami Vivekananda?

Setting up Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram in 1982 was one initiative that I enjoyed a lot as it brought diverse intellectuals together over the years, right from Swami Chinmayananda, Justice V R Krishna Iyer and Dalai Lama to mention a few who were associated with us in many discussions.

  • You have always maintained that Narayana Guru was a Renaissance Man? But are you saddened by the fact that his name has been politicized?

Politicization is happening in every area. It may be happening here too. The politicians are at fault for doing this.

  • How can we stop the violence unleashed by political parties in Kannur?

It is the role of the government to intervene proactively and stop this violence.

  • Do you see a decline in the fortunes of CPM in Kerala?

Violence in any form will not appeal to people here. I see that as the main reason for decline of that party.

  • What about BJP?

I see a bright future for BJP in Kerala and the party is getting stronger here. The new generation especially wants to see positive change in the country and is supporting the central government in a big way. It is only a matter of time that these nationalistic sentiments come to the shores of Kerala.

  • Why has the BJP till date failed in integrating reformist Hindu movements in Kerala and uniting Hindus under one umbrella?

Ask the BJP. I am not a spokesperson for BJP.

  • Do you feel casteism has ruined the efforts made by Hindu reformers to unite Hindus in the state?

Every caste-based organization in the state seems to be working for their own welfare.

  • Is that good or bad?

Smiles.

  • Do you feel Kerala does not have more right-wing intellectuals like you to interpret the nationalist sentiment?

Yes. There is a vacuum and we need to fill it.

  • Can a yogi/ sadhu become chief minister of a state, like what has happened in Uttar Pradesh? Tomorrow a Catholic priest or mullah may become CM of a state. Are you comfortable with this fact?

Yogi Aditya Nath was selected by the MLAs of Uttar Pradesh democratically. I do not see anything fundamentally wrong in it. If a priest or a mullah gets elected democratically as the CM of a particular state we cannot find fault in it as it is the people’s choice.

  • Do you think the renowned Kerala Model has failed today?

The problem here is that the government and politicians are not concerned with the socio-economic development and with issues that plague the poorest of the poor in the state. There is a serious case of credibility issue in the way politicians operate here.

 

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