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Mainstream, VOL LII, No 39, September 20, 2014

Which side are you, Mr Rajnath Singh?: An open letter to the Union Home Minister

Monday 22 September 2014, by Shamsul Islam

Rajnath Singhji,

While talking to The Indian Express (New Delhi, August 24, 1914) you described yourself as a “Swayamsewak of the RSS”. As the Home Minister of the country you must have taken oath to uphold the Indian Constitution which is 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 your membership of the RSS. As a member of the RSS you must be well aware that the RSS hates and denigrates all the above-mentioned fundamental principles of democratic-secular India. I am quoting below directly from the RSS documents to show you how the RSS denigrates the National Flag, Democracy, Federalism, Secular State, Social Equality. As a senior Swayamsewak you must be aware of the fact that the first Home Minister of the country, Sardar Patel, held the RSS responsible for creating a situation wherein Gandhiji was killed. Democratic-Secular India is not compatible with the world-view of the RSS. Kindly respond to the following critical issues so that we, the citizens of India, come to know which side of the divide you stand.

1. RSS openly denigrates the National Flag

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. RSS opposes Democracy

Constitutionally India is a Democratic Republic. But the RSS is dead against it as can be known from the following statement of Guru Golwalkar, the most prominent ideologue of the organisation. He stated while addressing a group of 1350 top level cadres of the RSS in 1940:

“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 the Fascist and Nazi parties of Europe in the first half of the 20th century.

3. RSS is inimical towards Indian Federalism

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 recognize the fact of one nation and destroys it. It must be completely uprooted, constitution purified and unitary form of government be estab-lished.”

4. RSS wants to replace the Indian Secular State with a theocratic 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 constituted 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 the 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. RSS rejects the egalitarian Indian consti-tutionalpolity and aims at promulgation of the Manu Code as the law of the land

Guru Golwalkar, while rejecting the Indian Constitution (Bunch of Thoughts), said:

“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 the Untouchables and women. When the Constituent Assembly of India had finalised the Constitution of India, the 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. The first Home Minister of India, Sardar Patel, held the RSS responsible for the murder of Gandhiji

Sardar Patel, in a letter written to Golwalkar, dated September 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 persona-lity, 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 organise 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. This was further corroborated by Sardar Patel in a letter to a prominent leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, Syama Prasad Mookerjee. On July 18, 1948 the Sardar wrote:

“As regards the RSS and the Hindu Maha-sabha, the case relating to Gandhiji’s murder is sub judice and I should not like to say anything about the participation of the two organisations, 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 consti-tuted a clear threat to the existence of Govern-ment 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.”

Rajnathji, you cannot ride two boats simulta-neously. You can be either with the RSS or function as the Home Minister of Democratic-Secular India. If you continue to be the Home Minister of India despite being a member of the RSS, it would simply mean that you are there with an ulterior motive and working overtime to undo Democratic-Secular India.

New Delhi

(notoinjustice@gmail.com) Shamsul Islam

Shamsul Islam, a well-known theatre personality, is a former Associate Professor (now retired), Department of Political Science, Satyawati College, University of Delhi.