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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 46, New Delhi, October 31, 2020

Sadness of a secular citizen! | Suresh Khairnar

Saturday 31 October 2020, by Suresh Khairnar


Today is Vijaya Dashami i.e. Dussehra Day! First of all, heartfelt greetings of Dussehra!
Today, on the day of Dussehra 95 years ago, Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar had started a branch in the name of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Mandal with five volunteers in Mohite Wada, Nagpur. Its name today is Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The Sangh Parivar which began in Mohite Wada with 5-10 people today has its own units in every sphere of life and at least more than one crore committed Swayamsevaks. In many regions of the country, it’s political unit was started 70 years ago, first by the name of Jana Sangh and since 1982, in the name of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Today it is the ruling party of the country having an absolute majority!

We all secular, religious people do not like this takeover of the nation by the Hindutva Far-Right! And in 70 years, there is no record of them agitating for any cause of the poor, Dalits or tribals, workers or backward class people. On the contrary, being 100 per cent anti-poor, anti-backwards, Dalit or tribal or anti-women and is engaged in politics only in the name of faith having half of the population not destined to eat a full day’s meal where 85 per cent of the population is of tribals and backward classes, in the name of Ram today they reached power in a country like India having diverse caste and religions. It is also the defeat of the people of this country believing in Secularism and in the Constitution of our country.

On the day of Vijaya Dashami of 1965 or 1966 I was a volunteer to be expelled from the RSS Sakha of Shindkheda District Dhulia, Maharashtra, The reason was that some of my friends were urging me again and again if that they might come to the Sakha. The Chalak said that there was no need to ask him. In order to increase his Sangh strength, they should be taken in.

On the next day, I was then 13-14 years old, 8-10 children of my age came with me. Then the Sakha Chalak saw that they were Muslims! So he said that he would have to talk to senior people of the Sangh!

So the senior people at the local level said that on the day of Dussehra, the intellectual head of Khandesh, Mr Nana Dhobal ji was coming as the chief guest, then he would ask him and tell us! It was the day of completion of the 40th or 41st year of the establishment of the Sangh. As per the schedule, Mr Nana Dhoble had come and talked a lot about the purpose of propagating the Sangh

And after his address there was a question-and-answer session, then I first raised my hand, then the Sanchalak of the session asked me to speak and I said that you have said in great detail on the expansion of the Sangh strength in your intellectual speech and I have gone I have been trying continuously for many days that some of my friends who want to come to the branch, the branch operator and local senior people told me that if you are coming on the day of Vijaya Dashami, they will ask you about it.

At that time, the Sanchalak of the session said something in his ear and Nana Dhoble ji told me that you should sit in your place and I said that I did not get the answer to my question? So he said that when the seniors say, it is your duty to follow the instructions of the congregation and that is why you have been asked to sit!

So I said that I have been asking this thing for so many days and people of the local level informed me about your arrival and I was stopped for so many days and now you have come yourself and you have said in your address about the publicity. I am asking to bring some friends in the branch, and instead of answering my question, you are telling me the instructions of the same Sangh!

Then in anger, he told me that you are breaking the rules of the Sangh and so you are being told to leave the assembly! I said when the senior of the Sangh instead of answering my question is asking me to leave the assembly, then I myself am leaving from the Sakha of such a Sangh!

Then someone told me that another Sakha is running in a Harijan hostel in the western direction outside the village but the flag there is not saffron! It is the tricolor and it has some machine wheel and spade shovels!

After my insult, any colors that in the world were ok for me instead of saffron! What philosophy is known to a child younger than fifteen?

Yes, specifically to teach a lesson to the offending people, I said that I have to go to that Sakha. Then I went to the Sakha with the tricolor flag on the same day, then Mr Prabhakar Patil, the senior fellow running the Sakha, asked that aren’t you the one going to Sangh? So I said I used to go, but today the people asked me to leave for this reason during the Dussehra program. Then Patil ji asked, where are your Muslim friends? So I said can I bring them to this Sakha?

So he said that of these children you are seeing 80% are Dalit children of this hostel and of these girls some are Maratha, then there are Teli, Kunbi, Mali! This Sakha runs with everyone. And thus happened my entry in the Rashtriya Seva Dal when I was expelled from the Sangh Sakha 55 years ago!

Before that, I was never introduced to a book of the Sangh and it was not after reading the literature of the Rashtriya Seva Dal, I came to the Seva Dal, it was only because of being humiliated! And I had no idea that this village is the village of Samajwadi Party! Thansingh Jibhau Rajput was the firebrand leader there who was sarpanch at that time. He also became MLA from Shindakheda Vidhan Sabha in 1977!

Then, with their help, we closed the Sangh Sakha of Shindakheda! And because of that being a Muslim-dominated area in we started a Sakha with 80% Muslim girls.

In the old branch of the Sangh, all the boys who used to go were Gujarati, Marwadi Seth Sahukaro’s and Brahmins’ children and from Maratha community like mine. I too started going due to the repeated request of my teacher Geography B.B. Patil! And I believe that in childhood, small children are attracted through mediums like sports story and songs!

And after that, if from 10 years of age someone goes through Hindu-Muslim and other things. and today when the Sangh is completing 95 years, then a Narendra Modi will come maybe from a Teli caste, one Adityanath may be from Thakur and be the head of the branch of Gorakhpur of the Nath sect, which has been specially designed to work against casteism and promote religious harmony for more than a thousand years. Mahatma Basheshwar who despite being of a Brahmin community created a rage against caste system by tearing the sacred thread in the 11th century, Yedurappa, the current chief minister comes from the same Lingayat Panth, but coming from the Sangh Parivar has become a strong communal and racist and anti-women person and anti-
tribal too. due to the originality of all these branches. ! And how is the Sangh Parivar, which completes 95 years, is doubling in the day and quadrupling in the night being agents of capitalists running a factory producing anti-farmer, anti- labourer and anti-poor people! This same question is coming to my mind today!

No matter how much the Sangh Parivar despises Christian people, it has done the work of imitating the missionary zeal and now they have the Vanvasi Seva Ashram among the tribals! They are working for the Dalit backward caste by making units like Samrasata Manch for doing Welfare work and many people understand the work to be good work and support them.

I was once staying in a middle-class well-off family in Mumbai, then in the morning some white-dressed people came with scales and took all the old newspaper kept in this friend’s house and weighed them and gave a receipt of its price and went away. I picked up the receipt and saw that it was the receipt of Vanvasi Seva Ashram! My friend was under the influence of Sarvodaya! I asked what is this? So he said that after all this work is also among the tribals and if they bring some of their products to sell we also take them. I said that but that is an activity carried out by the people of the Sangh Parivar and because of this Father Staines and both his children were burnt alive inside the jeep! And this Vanvasi Seva Ashram never stays in the ongoing movement against land, displacement and even opposes them. You are the commentators who can tell the essence of Gandhi-Vinoba’s literature! In this way, Fascist and this word Vinoba ji has said for the first time in the meeting of Sevagram in March 1948 after Gandhi’s assassination, and what is the great misery of a friend reading Vinoba’s literature and helping them? And in this Dahanu, Palghar, Talasari, people of Sarvodaya Mandal are already working long before the Sangh, why are you not helping them? So he said that these people come to my house! When do people from Sarvodaya or Tribal Mukti Sanghatana come? And this friend does not like communal politics at all! But he is inadvertently making the mistake of such help!

On June 4, 1941, the Rashtra Seva Dal was set up exclusively to check the Sangh only and this was told to me by the first president of the Rashtra Seva Dal (the party chief at that time!) Mr. SM Joshi ji whom I had accompanied during his stay in Vidarbha region during the emergency. At that time, he told me that on the 15th anniversary of Sangh started on the day of Dussehra on 1925, all our friends got in the mind (Sane Guruji, Nana Saheb Gore, Shirubhau Limaye, Anna Sahab Sahasrabuddhe, Rao Sahab Patwardhan, Achut Patwardhan, Bhau Sahab Ranade) that our own children are also going to the Sanghi branch! So immediately we all thought together that we should set up a synonymous organization on the absolutely well-known shakha paddhati but including girls, Hindu-Muslims, Dalits or Adivasis or Bahujan Samaj’s children and that is why I was the first chief to discharge the responsibility!

When this historical role is there, why is the Rashtra Seva Dal so hesitant in the declaration of a Sangh-free India? When I spoke to the House for the first time in a speech after taking the post of Chairperson on April 2017, the most important thing for me to hold the office of the President was to declare for a Sangh mukt Bharat and if my declaration was opposed by even a single person sitting in this house, I will take leave before I take this post! And I am glad that not a single person in the assembly at that time has opposed my declaration of a Sangh-free India! I am very happy about this! And for this reason, I travelled at least five lakh kilometres in whatever vehicles I could get to bring the message to almost every corner of India, and introduced Rashtra Seva Dal and after that I had to leave the post even before its follow up. But now Dr Ganesh Devi, a friend of much ablity and intellectual strength is presiding, I believe that he will complete my unfinished work. Therefore, on June 10, 2019, I took the initiative to help in every way especially because in view of the present state of the world, we can make the mistake of indirectly creating or helping fascist ideology to grow in our personal matters. So In the coming 2021, Rashtra Seva Dal will complete 80 years of its establishment; Therefore, we have to enter the field with some determination and I am repeating this determination on my personal level according to my ability, I vow to continue every effort in the work of a Sangh-free India!

Dr Suresh Khairnar 25 October Vijaya Dashmi 2020, Nagpur

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