Home > 2018 > RSS Chief’s Pronouncements

Mainstream, VOL LVI No 9 New Delhi February 17, 2018

RSS Chief’s Pronouncements

Saturday 17 February 2018, by SC

EDITORIAL

Almost forty years ago the Janata Party Government in New Delhi collapsed primarily because the Jana Sangh component of the then ruling conglomerate refused to sever its deep connections with the RSS. It was akin to breaking its umbilical chord that linked it to its parent. The erstwhile Jana Sangh leaders, especially Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, conveyed that the RSS being a socio-cultural organisation, it was not involved in any political activity; so having any connection with it would not in any way impair the Janata Party’s functioning. This was rejected by the Janata leaders of impeccable secular credentials, notably those in the socialist wing headed by the Janata General Secretary, Madhu Limaye, who took a grave view of the “dual membership” issue that affected the Jana Sangh elements in the Janata, that is, their simultaneous membership of the Janata Party and RSS because of the role the latter had played not merely in the assassination of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi but also in the functioning of the Indian polity since then, besides its pro-British orientation and activities during the freedom struggle.

Today secular personalities like Madhu Limaye, who unfortunately are no longer with us, stand vindicated. They had then prophesied that by ignoring the dual membership issue the former Jana Sangh elements were creating a situation whose implications would be most serious and far-reaching in future. This is doubtless what has happened now. The RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat, while addressing the Sangh volunteers in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur the other day, boasted that his organisation had the capability of raising a force within “three days” while the Army would need “six to seven months” to do so. This was a clear move to place the RSS above the Army even though in a subsequent clarification the RSS leaders have asserted that they did not want to replace but complement the Army. As The Indian Express opined,  

......the remark quickly drew Opposition fire. Rahul Gandhi deemed it an insult to every Indian, to the flag, the soldier, martyrs and the Army. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said it confirmed that the RSS has no respect for India’s institutions and has a hidden agenda to float parallel militias. The RSS has “clarified” since, but Opposition leaders continue to demand an apology. It is only apt that the RSS should face the brunt for its chief’s unsightly boast—it is, after all, an organisation that is seen to be the power behind the BJP throne, that enjoys influence in politics and government but ducks accountability by claiming to be only socio-cultural in character.

The daily further pointed to the RSS attempts to muddy the discourse on nationalism. Here another clarification needs to be brought into focus. Nationa-lism per se is not objectionable even though Rabindra-nath Tagore had found it difficult to accept the essence of nationalism. Actually Tagore’s difficulty lay in the thin line dividing nationalism from national chauvinism—it was the latter which the poet could not countenance and felt that nationalism could easily slide into national chauvinsim whose best illustration is currently the theory espoused by the RSS chief. Regrettably, the RSS is seeking to destroy nationalism and transform it into national chauvinism and this needs to be resisted at all costs.

The more the RSS comes out in its true colours, courtesy Modi and his cohorts, the more secularists of all hues must expose the national chauvinists and their disruptive activities that militate against secular democracy on the one side and healthy inclusive nationalism on the other. Mohan Bhagwat’s latest pronouncements have brought out the necessity of this task in bold relief.

It must also be understood that the RSS and its affiliates in the Sangh Parivar are out to destroy national unity and social cohesion as the so-called fringe Hindutva elements’ attacks on young couples observing Valentine’s Day across the country today testify.

February 14 S.C. 

ISSN : 0542-1462 / RNI No. : 7064/62