Forty Years Ago, September 18, 1979: Fight Hindu Rashtrahttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/forty-years-ago-september-18-1979-fight-hindu-rashtra-6004351/

Forty Years Ago, September 18, 1979: Fight Hindu Rashtra

Janata Party president Chandra Shekhar felt that there is bound to be a clash between the party and the RSS if the latter decides to be a political party.

Chandra Shekhar Janata Party, RSS BJP 1979, Balasaheb Deoras, Nur Mohammad Taraki Afghanistan, Express archives
The Indian Express front page on September 18, 1979

Janata Party president Chandra Shekhar felt that there is bound to be a clash between the party and the RSS if the latter decides to be a political party. He was reacting to the reported statement of the RSS chief, Balasaheb Deoras, that the organisation was a political party and had a 10-year plan to capture power and convert India into “Hindu Rashtra”. He told journalists in Jamnagar that the RSS was known to be a cultural and non-political organisation and he was not aware if it had decided to enter politics. The CPM politburo asked “secular and democratic forces” in the Janata Party, like the socialists and former Congressmen including Jagjivan Ram, to sever relations with the RSS and join those fighting the “twin menace” of Congress (I) authoritarianism and RSS communalism.

RSS Chief’s Denial

RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras denied that he had spoken of capturing power in 1O years at a meeting in Bhopal. In a statement issued in Ujjain, he dismissed the report to this effect as “sheer nonsense and a figment of imagination”. The statement, however, did not say anything about his other remarks at the meeting as reported in the press. Deoras also denied that the RSS and the Congress (I) president, Indira Gandhi, had entered into any kind of understanding.

Taraki Ouster

Afghan president, Nur Mohammad Taraki’s ouster, barely five days after he was received in Moscow with great fanfare by President Leonid Brezhnev among others, could mean that the latest developments in Afghanistan occurred despite preferences indicated by the Soviet leadership, diplomatic observers in New Delhi point out. Since reports from Kabul are sketchy, it is not yet clear whether Prime Minister Hafizullah Amin seized power from Taraki in a palace coup. But it is clear that Taraki’s eclipse and Amin’s emergence as the strongman has brought into the open the struggle that was ongoing within the ruling Khalq party.