Both Panchjanya and Organiser have reported on RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat’s Vijay Dashami speech in their cover stories. The Organiser editorial also discusses Bhagwat’s address to the RSS cadre. It notes that “most of the narratives build against Bharat. Especially in English language, create intellectual confusions with the divisive approach, are the direct outcome of not settling our terms right with the cultural context” and adds that Bhagwat’s speech “did exactly” that.
The speech, it says, “generally outlines the challenges before the nation and contextualises the role of the organisation to mitigate the same” and ”underscores the need for organising the Hindu society for national rejuvenation”. It mentions “a set of people” who are “hell-bent on proving Bharat as a ‘Lynchistan’”. It says that many researchers find the “roots” of the lynching “phenomenon” in Christian Evangelism and Racial War in the US”. The US-based media, it says, “applied their experience to the Bharatiya context and some intellectual picked up the narrative for their political agenda”.
The editorial also explains Bhagwat’s ideas of Swadeshi and the Hindu Rashtra, mentioned in his speech. About the latter, Organiser says Bhagwat “provided the most inclusive and clear understanding” of it. It adds that “Hindu is the national identity of Bharat with the essential characteristic of acceptance and respect for all the religious ways, that goes beyond tolerance and everyone should protect and promote the same”.
Organiser has also listed out 20 takeaways from Bhagwat’s speech. Some of these are: Nullification of Article 370 will come to fruition only when justice denied under the influence of Article 370 is restored; success of Chandrayaan 2 in its first attempt; surveillance along maritime border and islands has to be increased for national security; “the effort to create disaffection towards civil discipline and law of the land has to be countered”; “lynching is alien to Bharat” and RSS stands against social violence; “Bharat is Hindustan, Hindu Rashtra” and “media shall come out of sensationalism, focus on creating a constructive atmosphere”.
Gandhi and RSS
In the backdrop of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth, an article in Organiser speaks about “Gandhi’s tryst with RSS” trying to counter the idea that the two were against each other. The article states that “despite concerted malicious attempts to mislead him against the RSS, Mahatma Gandhi firmly reiterated his strong belief in the organisation’s vision and ideals, notwithstanding his differences”.
It says that the “available archival sources reveal that the crusader of anti-colonial struggle Mahatma Gandhi was never a stranger” to the RSS and that the organisation “had been well-aligned with some of the constructive programmes of the Indian National Congress under the leadership of Gandhiji”. The article mentions that K B Hedgewar, who founded the RSS “commended that Gandhiji was a man who was always willing to sacrifice everything for his ideals”.
There were some misgivings between some members of the Congress and RSS though, the article states, but adds that Gandhi “expressed that he was well impressed by their discipline, complete absence of untouchability and rigorous simplicity”.
The piece later adds that “shockingly, Gandhiji revealed that all the misgivings in the recent past had come to him from Congressmen like Dhebar Bhai” and he “understood that the Hindus were not happy as Dhebar Bhai was (trying to) protect the Muslims and their properties”. Also, it says that the “repeated allegations by the Congress, and the Muslim League about the RSS shunted Mahatma Gandhi into a state of utter confusion and bewilderment”.
The “barbaric killing” of RSS volunteer Bandhuprakash Pal along with his eight-year-old son and his pregnant wife in the Kashiganj area of the Jiaganj thana of Murshidabad district reveals that the “law and administration in West Bengal are out of control,” Panchajanya writes in its latest editorial. It says that it is not yet clear why the family was murdered, but the attitude of the police shows that even such “heinous incidents” cannot break the laziness of the administration.
A series of such incidents, the editorial says, are witness to the violent intolerance thriving under Mamata Banerjee’s government, which starts sharpening its knives at the mention of “Bharat-Bharat Mata, Ram-Durga, Sangh-BJP”. It asks if it is a mere coincidence that the state whose chief minister challenges kids who are taking Ram’s name, is the same state a 24-year old was killed for shouting “Jai Shree Ram”. The editorial then mentions several other incidents in which it alleges that people have been killed for openly wearing Hindu symbols. It says that the local media reports on such incidents with some apprehension, but those “who call themselves the mainstream media” are hesitant to question the deteriorating situation in the state.
The editorial asks that while there are nation-wide protests on mob-lynchings, but when such an incident happens in West Bengal then “why are the lips of the secular community sealed? Why is only that community questioning mob lynching that is continuously victimised by it?”