The writer taught political science at Delhi University Let’s not be deluded on RSS | Opinion News, The Indian Express
Let’s not be deluded on RSShttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/rss-hindu-mahasabha-ram-sena-hindu-militia-hindu-rashtra-sena-5167226/

Let’s not be deluded on RSS

RSS’s own documents highlight its opposition to a secular, democratic India.

Let’s not be deluded on RSS
One hopes Sinha will spare some time to delve into the RSS’s backyard to look into its questionable past and present. Express Photo By Amit Mehra

Plastic surgery is a highly advanced surgical procedure through which a deformed or damaged human body/part can be restored, reconstructed, altered and improved. But sometimes we come across over-enthusiastic supporters attempting it on their organisations in order to hide questionable and retrograde beliefs, held in the past and the present. In such cases, plastic surgery is of no help. It is, in fact, political “reconstruction” and can be seen in Rakesh Sinha’s article. (‘Category confusion’, IE, May 2).

Sinha’s article is in defence of the RSS, which is accused of fascist and totalitarian traits, belief in a theocratic Hindu state, hobnobbing with individuals like V D Savarkar, BS Moonje etc, and “conventional Hindutva organisations” like Hindu Mahasabha, Ram Sena, Hindu Militia, Hindu Rashtra Sena — all of them wanting to model a Hindu rashtra on the lines of Hitler and Mussolini. We come to know that now RSS is a non-conventional Hindutva organisation. Sinha blames “pseudo-secular media” for projecting the above mentioned “conventional Hindutva individuals/organisations as true representatives [of] Hindutva”. He also makes an astonishing claim that the “RSS precluded the emergence of a reactionary organisation among Hindus”. Interestingly, he presents character certificates from CPM founder, A K Gopalan, to the Central Provinces Legislative Council, in defence of the RSS on the aforementioned allegations. Not even once does this RSS ideologue refer to any RSS document to counter the allegations.

We need to compare Sinha’s defence with the documents available in the archives of the RSS.

The most prominent ideologue of the RSS, M S “Guru” Golwalkar had settled the issue as early as 1940: “The RSS inspired by one flag, one leader and one ideology is lighting the flame of Hindutva in each and every corner of this great land.” This slogan of one flag, one leader and one ideology was directly borrowed from the programmes of the Nazi and Fascist parties of Europe. It was for this reason that RSS hated federalism. Golwalkar decreed that “bury deep… federal structure of our country’s Constitution… proclaim ‘One Country, One State, One Legislature, One Executive’…. Let the Constitution be re-examined and re-drafted, so as to establish this Unitary form of Government.”

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Golwalkar idolised the Holocaust and declared that it could be a way to deal with the minorities in India. He wrote in 1939: “To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races — the Jews… Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole… a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.”

The RSS hates democratic-secular India. Rejecting it, the English organ of the RSS, Organiser, on the eve of Independence (August 14, 1947) editorially declared: “Let us no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by false notions of nationhood… in Hindusthan only the Hindus form the nation and the national structure must be built on that safe and sound foundation… the nation itself must be built up of Hindus, on Hindu traditions, culture, ideas and aspirations.”

Not only this, when the Constituent Assembly passed the Constitution on November 26, 1949, Organiser in an editorial dated November 30, demanded its rejection and the promulgation of the Manusmriti as a Hindu constitution. It is to be noted that the Manusmriti decrees sub-human status for Hindu women and Sudras.

The RSS denigrated the choice of the national flag of democratic, secular India as well. Organiser, in its August 14, 1947 issue declared that “The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour but it will never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country”. Surprisingly, Sinha skips any mention of the “oath” and “prayer”, mandatory for all RSS members, which makes them commit to a Hindu rashtra.

It is also untrue that the RSS was different from other militant Hindutva organisations. H V Sheshadri, a senior RSS author wrote that Savarkar’s inspiring concept of Hindutva “struck the chord of Doctorji’s [K B Hedgewar, founder of RSS] heart. For he to… had arrived at the same truth of Hindu nationhood”. Dhananjay Keer, a biographer close to the RSS, wrote that “Before starting the volunteer organisation known as the RSS, Dr Hedgewar had a long discussion with Savarkar over the faith, form and future of the organisation”. Sheshadri also discloses that when Moonje decided to start a military school for Hindus (financed by the British government and Scindias, than a pro-British Prince) in 1936, “Doctorji was on the committee of conveners. Later on Doctorji became a member of its EC”.

According to Moonje’s diary, 12 days after meeting with Mussolini in Italy, the former held a meeting with Hedgewar on March 31, the subject of which was the military organisation of Hindus. According to H V Pingle, an official chronicler of the life of Hedgewar, the latter joined hands with Moonje in forming the Ram Sena, of which Hedgewar was appointed as commander-in-chief.

One hopes Sinha will spare some time to delve into the RSS’s backyard to look into its questionable past and present.