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The Hidden Hindu/Nationalist Face of Andhra Congress And the Need to Revive It

By Ved Aitharaju

“Nehru is corrupt, Congress ruined our nation!!!” A common view that is now echoed by countless young voters from the ages of twenty to thirty thanks to the new digital era of propaganda. A common conspiracy theory posts among many always showcases Nehru smoking a cigarette, with captions like “Look at the real face of Nehru..” [1] The gradual erosion of good faith on Nehru and Congress’s overall image is a product of Indian political landscape’s image makeover starting from the early 2010s. Alas, the Congress today has failed to remind the young voters what it really stands for. In a globalised world, where more than four lakh Indian students to study abroad per year [2]. The perspectives of foreign politics, foreign film and television content and history has seeped into the minds of young Indian voters. The idea of Indian/Hindu Nationalism has risen in highest of its numbers, a natural response one might observe. As hyper nationalistic narratives of Hollywood films, and hyper nationalistic narratives of both American and British and European politics have made their mark. Indians want to be a superpower, they aspire for greater power. But what does Modern Congress say about this? 

Also read: The Ancient Indian Urban Age and Its Decline, The Biggest Mystery of Indian History

In Shashi Tharoor’s words “too early to speak about superpower because too many of our people are still super poor..” [3] this tone is largely supported by the intellectual elites of the Congress party, whose major policy is driven by upliftment of minorities, or empowering poor by welfare schemes. While Tharoor’s statement and Congress’s stand on the idea of India as an emerging power or even its aspiration maybe more intellectually correct. Politics and especially young voters are driven by emotion, and narrative over hardbound intellectually correct facts. This is in fact a line far distant from the line of the real old Congress that won India’s independence. The need for the Old Congress and its glory to be marketed to young Indian voters is now more than ever, if Congress still has its aspirations to gain power in Lok Sabha anytime soon.

Also read: Was Buddha really anti-caste?

A Look At the Nationalism of Andhra Congress

Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya, the founder of Andhra Bank and a stalwart leader in the Indian National Congress in its prime days in the War of Independence truly believed in the importance of pushing the glory of Indian history and civilisation in education. “Dr. Pattabhi, like a few other nationalists of the day, believed that the English system of education was unsuited to the genius of the country. A true system should help the youth to appreciate the real greatness of the Indian culture…” [4]

Tnaguturi Prakasham Pantulu speaking at a gathering.

Pattabhi also pushed a very conservative Hindu idea that would now be dismissed and torn down by the current intellectuals of the Indian Congress Party. He urged Sanskrit and its teaching to be revived across the country. “He epitomised in one sentence his praise for Sanskrit by saying that it was synonymous with the undeniable need for keeping alive the flame of genuine humanism and spirituality “which are the hall marks of Indian civilisation.” [5] Not only Pattabhi’s tone echoes a pride in Indian Civilisation. He further echoes an aspiration for the revival of the glory of Indian civilisation in science and technology. Notice “Revival”. “Dr.Pattabhi makes special mention of Our Upanishads he pointed out, speak of the “greater than the greatest, smaller than the smallest” and today, “that much condemned atom is the source of power that bursts the atom bomb and destroys whole cities”. Science was not unknown to the ancients. Kautilya had described four kinds of sciences. And more recently there was Dr. Y. Subba Rao, a co-Andhra, who discovered auromycin, and in the words of Dr.Pattabhi “restored” to India its former ‘pre-eminence’ as a source of healing drugs. Of course, he admitted that all research was something like groping in the dark. If you fail, all research is speculation. If you succeed, all speculation is research. If you add owe link to a chain, you may produce a wonderful drug. Thus a little supersitition and speculation is a valuable aid to science…” [6]

Also read: How PVNR’s Places of Worship Act Helped Hindu Temples

Pattabhi’s emphasis on resorted to its former pre-eminence is a common theme in his belief system, many of his ideas and statements are now emulated by Narendra Modi, who in the same tone remarked that genetics was an established science in Ancient India. [7]

The Andhra Kesari, Tanguturi Prakasam Panthulu also once proudly wrote “I have been discharging all my obligations; to men, to Pitrus, to Rishis, and to Gods. I am free. I feel that I am one with the nation. I do not need money. I do not earn money. I do not save money. Whatever may remain after satisfying my simple needs, out of the monies showered upon me, from day to day even now– thought expressly for my personal, private and exclusive use — will devolve in proper time upon the nation and will be entrusted to the most trustworthy hands, for the most enduring and beneficent purposes.” [8]

The words and deeds of stalwart Congressmen like Bhogaraju and Prakasam showcase clearly the pride of Hindu faith they held. The firm belief and desire to see India reclaim the glory of the Hindu civilisation that ruled the currents of the world. These words were decades before BJP ever came into foray as a party that pushed glory of Ancient India, and the need to revive it as political narratives inspiring a host of young voters to become ideological slaves.

The question perhaps now emerges. Why is the modern version of Indian National Congress running away from the exact same hyper nationalist Hindu narrative it actually created to mobilise masses during Indian Independence? Marketing what the forefathers of the Congress truly believed halt the ideological alienation Congress is experiencing from young voters of India.

But the current Congress regime’s tone is now completely dismissive of any idea that gives credence to the thought of India being successful in anything in ancient times. 

A rethink of Congress’s ideological narratives is perhaps needed, especially in the context of Andhra politics if they want to connect with the aspirations of young Indians who no longer want to be submissive to the West. Their dreams are high, and their votes are driven by their dreams.

Also read: The Disaster of Indian Urbanisation: Lessons We Can Learn From China

References:

[1]:https://www.hindustantimes.com/india/truth-about-nehru-why-conspiracy-theorists-are-wrong-about-him/story-0fcHGicBnzGwu72Juw0dEO.html

[2]: https://www.indiatoday.in/india-today-insight/story/why-more-indians-are-going-abroad-for-higher-education-2338217-2023-02-22

[3]: https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/too-early-to-speak-about-superpower-shashi-tharoor-on-pm-modi-2047-vision-2430482-2023-09-0

[4]-[6]: Dr.PattabhiSitaramayya

byPattabhiram, M

[7]:https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/28/indian-prime-minister-genetic-science-existed-ancient-times

 

[8]: https://www.newindianexpress.com/specials/2022/aug/15/first-chief-minister-of-ap-tanguturi-prakasam-pantulus-fearlessness-still-gives-patriots-goosebumps-2487700.html

 

 

 

 

 

Ved Aitharaju
Ved Aitharaju
Screenwriter By Study. Filmmaker By Profession. And a Columnist By Fealty. To Express The Intricate Threads of This Multiverse. A Scout by Providence Lost in The Boundless Paradox Of Creation.

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