Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2007 > July 21, 2007 > An Open Letter to Bhairon Singh Shekhawat

Mainstream, VOL XLV, No 31

An Open Letter to Bhairon Singh Shekhawat

Saturday 21 July 2007, by Shamsul Islam

Respected Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Namaskar.

The Republic of India is all geared up for the 13th presidential poll and your esteemed self is in the fray as an ‘Independent’ candidate. You will agree with me that whoever occupies this august constitutional post on the forthcoming July 19th, has to reassure the country that he or she would prove to be a real guardian to the Democratic-Secular India.

I am sorry to write that your association with the Hindutva brigade raises serious doubts which need to be dispelled. You have been the only Vice-President in the history of independent India who publicly graced a function of the RSS. On February 18, 2007, you were the chief guest at the grand closing programme of the year long centenary celebrations of M.S. Golwalkar at Delhi. You declared Golwalkar to be one of the greatest sons of India.

Respected Shekhawatji, you did not care to remember that the first Home Minister of independent India, Sardar Patel, held the RSS, led by Golwalkar, responsible for the assassination of Gandhiji. Sardar in a letter to Golwalkar (September 11, 1948), clearly stated that it was the communal poison spread by the RSS which was responsible for this tragedy. Without mincing words he wrote:

As a final result of the poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life of Gandhiji. Even an iota of the sympathy of the Government, or of the people, no more remained for the RSS. In fact opposition grew. Opposition turned more severe, when the RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death.

I also wish to tell you that you went to grace the public function of an organisation, the RSS, which is out of bound for government employees.

Sir, you as a fan of Golwalkar should have known that he rejected any talk of a Democratic-Secular India. In 1939 he penned a terrible book We or Our Nationhood Defined which ousted minorities like Muslims and Christians from the Indian nationhood. Even after independence, in another book of his, Bunch of Thoughts, Golwalkar declared Muslims as enemy number one and Christians as enemy number two of the country.

As a learned person, Sir, you must be familiar with the fact that Golwalkar openly glorified dictators like Mussolini and Hitler and insisted on adopting their methods for cleansing minorities in India. In his 1939 book while eulogising Hitler he wrote:
German race pride has now become the topic of the day. 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. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how wellnigh [sic] 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.

SIR, every citizen of India is proud of the National Flag and the Indian Constitution. However, it would be pertinent to know what the RSS led by Golwalkar, your favourite icon of Hindutva, thought of the National Flag. When the Indian Parliament decided to have Tri-colour as the National Flag, the English organ of the RSS, Organiser (‘Mystery behind the Bhagwa Dhawaj’, August 14, 1947), denigrated this great choice in the following words:

The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour but it never [sic] 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.

Sir, Even after independence the RSS which refused to accept it as the National Flag. Golwalkar while discussing the issue of the National Flag in an essay entitled ‘Drifting and Drifting’ in the book Bunch of Thoughts, had the following to say:
Our leaders have set up a new flag for our country. Why did they do so? It is just a case of drifting and imitating….Ours is an ancient and great nation with a glorious past. Then, had we no flag of our own? Had we no national emblem at all these thousands of years? Undoubtedly we had. Then why this utter void, this utter vacuum in our minds?

The RSS has been demanding the adoption of saffron flag as the National Flag of the country. It also needs to be known that when the Constituent Assembly of India finally passed the Constitution on November 26, 1949, the RSS, led by Golwalkar, demanded that it should be replaced by the Codes of Manu (Organiser, November 30, 1949) which openly glorified Casteism, upheld persecution of Untouchables and denigrated women.

Respected Shekhawatji, please also clarify how you would fulfil your prime responsibility of guarding the democratic India when you continue to hold in high esteem the RSS and its most important ideologue, Golwalkar, who while delivering a speech before 1350 top level cadres of the RSS in 1940 declared that 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.

I hope, despite your busy schedule, you would be able to spare a few moments to throw some light on your relationship with an organisation and individual who remain committed to undo Democratic-Secular India.

July 11, 2007
- New Delhi

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