NEW DELHI: JNU Professor Badri Narayan today criticised "those indulging in Hindutva nationalism" for reducing the definition of patriotism to "serving a certain religion".
"Today's patriotism is about killing Muslims and protecting a certain religion. There is no place for either Muslim or Dalit in it. Dalits are made to serve or fight and if they fail to do so, they are accused of breaking 'communal harmony' and branded as 'traitors'," Narayan said.
Narayan was speaking at the administrative block of JNU on "Dalits and Hindutva agenda of nation making" during a continuation of nearly a month-old speak-in series on "nationalism" by JNU professors and eminent personalities in the backdrop of arrest of three students in a sedition case over an event against hanging of Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.
"The basic imagination of the agenda of Indian Hindutva nationalism is based on hatred. The hatred which is targeted against Muslims and there are talks of forming unity in which Dalits should fight with them like a martial race and die," he said.
Narayan also accused the "Hindutva hardliners" of trying to alter the "memory and history" of Dalits "for their own selfish reasons."
"Dalits are being told that Ghazi Saiyyed Salar Masud 'Ghazi Miyan' killed the ruler of Lucknow which was under their rule. History is being distorted in other places too to pit Dalits against Muslims.
"The politics of colonisation of Dalit memory is to transform the Dalits as soldiers who should fight and die for them. They (dalits) should have no desires, no feelings, no aspirations but they should be ready to fight with Muslims and die for them(Hindutva nationalists)," he said.
Narayan also slammed the "Hindutva forces" for "trying to appropriate BR Ambedkar for their own political benefits."
"They are trying to appropriate Ambedkar for their political benefits but have failed since the principles of Ambedkar are not inline, in fact, are contrary to their (Hindutva) kind of politics," Narayan said.