Mainstream, VOL LII, No 20, May 10, 2014
Six Questions for Narendra Modi
Monday 12 May 2014, by
Narendra Modi, the BJP’s nominee for prime-ministership, dreams of ruling the Indian polity which is constitutionally based on the principles of democracy, secularism, federalism, socialism and justice. However, there is going to be a serious conflict of interests between the above mentioned fundamental principles of the Indian polity and Modi’s worldview which is controlled and dictated by the RSS, the most prominent protagonist of the politics of Hindutva. It is a critical issue as Modi publicly admits that he is a member of the RSS. And the RSS hates and denigrates all fundamental principles of a democratic-secular India. There are SIX important QUESTIONS which need urgent response from Narendra Modi so that the nation comes to know which side of the divide he stands.
(1) Does Modi respect the Tricolour, the National Flag, despite the RSS denigrating it?
The RSS’ English organ, Organiser, just on the eve of Independence (August 14, 1947), used the following scornful language against the new National Flag of India:
“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.”
(2) Does Modi believe in Democracy
despite the RSS opposing it?
Constitutionally, India is a Democratic Republic. But the RSS is dead against it as can be seen from the following statement of Guru Golwalkar, the most prominent ideologue of the organi-sation. He stated while addressing a group of 1350 top level cadres of the RSS in 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.”
It is to be noted that this decree of ‘one flag, one leader and one ideology’ was also the battle- cry of Fascist and Nazi parties of Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
(3) Does Modi have faith in Indian Federalism despite open hatred by the RSS?
The RSS is also dead against the federal structure given in the Indian Constitution, again a basic feature of the Indian polity. This is clear from the following communication of M.S. Golwalkar to the first session of the National Integration Council in 1961:
“Today’s federal form of government not only gives birth but also nourishes the feelings of separatism, in a way refuses to recognise the fact of one nation and destroys it. It must be completely uprooted, the Constitution purified and a unitary form of government be established.”
(4) Does Modi uphold the Indian Secular State despite the RSS demanding a Hindu State?
India is legally an all-inclusive state in which people of all religions have equal rights and status. However, the RSS always rejected the idea that Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and followers of other religions together consti-tuted a nation. Its English organ, Organiser, on the very eve of Independence (August 14, 1947), editorially (titled ‘Whither’) underlined its belief that India was a Hindu nation.
“Let us no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by false notions of nationhood. Much of the mental confusion and present and future troubles can be removed by the ready recognition of the simple fact that 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.”
(5) Does Modi uphold the democratic-secular Indian Constitution despite the RSS rejecting it and demanding promulgation of Manu Code as the law of the land?
Guru Golwalkar, while rejecting the Indian Constitution said (Bunch of Thoughts):
“It has absolutely nothing which can be called our own.”
In fact, the RSS wanted this Constitution to be replaced by Manusmriti or the Manu Code which is known for its derogatory and inhuman references to Untouchables and women. When the Constituent Assembly of India had finalised the Constitution of India RSS was not happy. Its organ, Organiser, in an editorial on November 30, 1949, complained:
“But in our Constitution there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing.”
(6) Does Modi agree with Sardar Patel that the RSS was responsible for the murder of Gandhiji despite RSS denial?
The first Home Minister of India, Sardar Patel, in a letter written to Golwalkar, dated Septem-ber 11, 1948, stated:
“Organising the Hindus and helping them is one thing but going in for revenge for its sufferings on innocent and helpless men, women and children is quite another thing...Apart from this, their opposition to the Congress, that too of such virulence, disregarding all considerations of personality, decency or decorum, created a kind of unrest among the people. All their speeches were full of communal poison. It was not necessary to spread poison in order to enthuse the Hindus and organize for their protection. 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. Under these conditions it became inevitable for the Government to take action against the RSS...Since then, over six months have elapsed. We had hoped that after this lapse of time, with full and proper consideration the RSS persons would come to the right path. But from the reports that come to me, it is evident that attempts to put fresh life into their same old activities are afoot.”
The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS were jointly responsible for the murder of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was further corrobo-rated by Sardar Patel in a letter to a prominent leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, Syama Prasad Mookerjee. On July 18, 1948 Sardar wrote:
“As regards the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, the case relating to Gandhiji’s murder is sub judice and I should not like to say anything about the participation of the two organizations, but our reports do confirm that, as a result of the activities of these two bodies, particularly the former, an atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy became possible. There is no doubt in my mind that the extreme section of the Hindu Mahasabha was involved in the conspiracy. The activities of the RSS constituted a clear threat to the existence of Government and the State. Our reports show that those activities, despite the ban, have not died down. Indeed, as time has marched on, the RSS circles are becoming more defiant and are indulging in their subversive activities in an increasing measure.”
It is hoped that Modi who claims to stand for transparent politics will respond to the above puzzling questions.
Shamsul Islam, a well-known theatre personality, is a former Associate Professor (now retired), Department of Political Science, Satyawati College, University of Delhi.