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Mainstream, VOL LIV No 48 New Delhi November 19, 2016

The Anti-National Role of RSS

Monday 21 November 2016, by Sandeep Pandey


The most despicable action due to the growth of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh’s ideology was the killing of Mahatma Gandhi. If there is one individual with whom people associate India’s identity all over the world it is Gandhi. Gandhi is a source of inspiration for many struggles globally where the marginalised fight against the oppressor and lately the environ-mental movements. The RSS will never be able to wash away this sin irrespective of howsoever Narendra Modi may try to use him as a mascot for his sanitation campaign or may travel on the train in South Africa from which Gandhi was thrown out. It is also a fact that some people, inspired by the RSS ideology, want to build a temple for Nathuram Godse. What can be more horrific than this—a temple for the murderer of the Father of the Nation?

Not only did the RSS, the main plank of which is nationalism, keep away from the freedom movement but they also try to find fault with the martyrdom of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad.

The Muslim League passed its resolution in favour of Pakistan in 1940. Sarvarkar had already advocated the two-nation theory in 1937. Thus the Muslim League as well as RSS were responsible for the partition. In 1947 the geographical partition took place but today the RSS is creating division in the minds of the people. The politics of communalism is gnawing at the inner strength of our society—communal harmony among the common people.

The first serial bomb blasts in the country took place in Mumbai as a reaction to the demolition of the Babri mosque. Since then terrorism has become a phenomenon. It is not just that Muslim organisations are behind it. People associated with the Hindutva ideology have been found to have been involved in at least five incidents of bomb blasts—twice in Malegaon, in Hyderabad, Ajmer and Samjhauta Express. Hence the RSS is responsible for inviting the problem of terrorism to India. If the Babri mosque was not demolished it is quite likely that many incidents may not have taken place. It is inexplicable how people professing to be nationalists, including former Army persons, carry out bomb blasts within the country. What kind of nationalism is this?

Violence is a part of the RSS’ strategy. Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, violence related to the Babri mosque demolition, the 2002 Gujarat genocide, the above-mentioned five bomb blasts, communal violence in Muzaffarnagar, killing of rationalists Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi, killing of Mohammed Akhlaq on suspicion of having consumed beef, public beating of four Dalit youth in Una suspected to have killed a cow, assault on and disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed, the Jawaharlal Nehru University student, are incidents which have vitiated the atmosphere of the country. The RSS, which takes a moral position against violence related to terrorism and Naxalism, not only justifies the violence perpetrated by its cadres but also glorifies it. The Hindutva cadres have created an atmosphere of insecurity for minorities, Dalits, tribals, women and anyone dissenting with them. A culture of hooliganism, with state patronage, prevails today. The Bharatiya Janata Party leaders give sermons to Pakistani leaders to not harbour demons but do exactly the same thing in our country.

The chest thumping after India declared the successful testing of nuclear weapons during the Vajpayee regime which resulted in a renewed arms race with Pakistan and the creation of strife with neighbouring countries by the Narendra Modi Government have enhanced the external risk to India. It was claimed after the surgical strikes in response to the Uri terrorist attack that India has given a fitting reply to Pakistan. But our soldiers continue to sacrifice their lives on the border. The RSS is taking full political mileage out of our soldiers’ martyrdom. On the one hand soldiers die and on the other hand BJP activists take out motorcycle campaigns raising Bharat Mata ki Jai and Vande Mataram slogans.

A one-time ideological supporter of Swadeshi, today the RSS has permitted Narendra Modi to open the defence sector for foreign investment.

The RSS has gone against each and every of its slogans. It talks of security but makes the country insecure internally as well as externally; it talks of making the country strong but weakens it by their communal politics; it talks of Swadeshi but promotes foreign investment and mega corporates; it talks of merit in education but its own intellectuals possess dubious academic credentials, resulting in lack of availability of intelligent people in their set-up; it talks of culture but anybody dissenting faces the threat of being beaten up or even murdered; it talks of protecting cows but beef export goes up during the BJP governments in power; it talks of Hindu unity but because it believes in perpetuation of the caste system it treats the Dalits contemptuously.

The biggest damage that the RSS has done to this country is that it has shifted the focus from the main issues facing the common citizens of this country—poverty, illiteracy, illness, unemployment, malnourishment of children, farmers’ suicides, corruption—to emotional issues. Today the main issues for the country have become security and investment.

The author is the Vice-President, Socialist Party (India).

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