Radical Hindu organisation Sanatan Sanstha, which is in the news for its alleged link to the murder of rationalist CPI leader Govind Pansare, believes the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) isn’t “spiritual” enough to establish a “Hindu Rashtra” and “has taken the country to a new low”.
In its June 2015 issue, Sanatan Prabhat, a mouthpiece of the Sanstha, published a report in Marathi, titled: “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ani Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS) yanchya karyatil mukhya bhed (Main differences between RSS and HJS, a wing of the Sanstha)”.
The report in Marathi quotes Sanstha founder Jayant Athavle as saying, “RSS has 40 lakh volunteers but because they do not perform sadhana (spiritual exercise), over the last 68 years, they have taken the nation to a new low, step by step, across all spheres. On the contrary, over the next five years, HJS will get 4 lakh sadhak-karyakarte (spiritual activists). These activists will perform sadhana and start a religious revolution to establish a Hindu Rashtra… in the next three years. Which means, eight years from now, in 2023, we will establish a Hindu nation.”
The RSS is now circulating this report in an attempt to distance itself from the Sanstha. A senior RSS functionary in Pune, who didn’t want to be identified, said, “This article is nonsense. The Sangh Parivar is playing its role in nation building by running about 1.5 lakh social service projects across the country. That’s real sadhana. Anyway, this is not the first time (the Sanstha) has written against us.”
Sanstha spokesperson Sandeep Shinde said, “The report does not aim to insult RSS. We respect RSS and also write good things about it. But RSS certainly needs to improve. Shivaji Maharaj was victorious not just because he was good warrior, but also because he worshiped Goddess Bhavani and followed the preachings of saints, which gave him spiritual powers. RSS and its activists should understand that it is important to follow the spiritual path to achieve success.”
Both the Hindu outfits have clashed on other occasions too. A couple of months ago, the Sanstha had opposed chemical conservation of idols in temples in Kolhapur. But the VHP had supported the move and criticised the Sanstha for building a “negative image” around the Hindutva movement.
Recently, the Sanstha had differed with the RSS over where Ganesh idols could be immersed. With civic authorities asking people to avoid polluting rivers by immersing the idols in water tanks and the RSS supporting the idea, the Sanstha said this was “against dharma shastra” and idols should be immersed in rivers. Sanstha members had even intercepted people immersing Ganesh idols in water tanks.