For the uninitiated, I translated Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma’s press conference from BJP-RSS into English. Read the original article here.
Culture minister Mahesh Sharma has codified Indian culture.
“Because the 1.2 billion people born and raised in India have no idea what it is, I have seven points which can help you understand what Indian culture is,” he told reporters here today. He cited only five.
“Doing things done in the past, which were necessary given the circumstances of the day, irrespective of how relevant they in today’s societies; generic observations not unique to our culture; what I said earlier, but with different words…” Sharma said.
“I don’t care that India is multicultural. The dominant culture is Indian culture. Before you go to gain wisdom from Thailand, Dubai and Singapore, they must gain wisdom from BJP and RSS.”
He added: “These points, according to me, summarize thousands of cultures developed over hundreds of years. You can say I am narrow-minded.”
Asked what the two other points were, he said he needs more time to pull things out of an orifice near his lower back.
Sharma said his government was committed to “polarizing the society to ensure votes in the next election”.
He attributed this commitment to the mandate the electorate had given the BJP and its puppeteers, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
“Don’t blame us for the saffornization of the country, it has been done by the 125 crore people of the country who gave us a huge mandate. They knew what is RSS, what is BJP. They have given us a mandate to ruin the country,” Sharma said.
Of the 55.4 crore people who had voted in last year’s general election, 17.2 crore people are clearly regretting their choice.
Sharma said the culture and education ministers of BJP-ruled states and the Centre had planned to meet at least twice a year. One of their aims, he revealed, was to “prevent the eroding of the BJP vote base”.
“Western culture is not bad but it may not be good for us. Here, let me compare completely incomparable aspects of different cultures. A 14-year-old girl wanting a night out maybe all right elsewhere but we cannot guarantee her safety in India,” he said.
“Allow me to present propaganda as facts.”
After a recent meeting with the Sangh, Sharma had sought to end “vote-base erosion” by revamping 39 institutions that receive funding, including the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and the National School of Drama.
Sharma had said the revamp included the promotion of a dead language and rewriting history.
Today, he said the government would create a “Taliban-like organization” to ruin these institutions.
“Our museums and libraries should serve some purpose of the BJP.”
Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures. ~ Cesar ChavezA nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people. ~ Mahatma Gandhi