RSS Supremo’s Public relations Exercise
Do organisations say what they intend to do? Not necessarily. This came out clearly from the three long lectures by RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat. The event was supposed to be a dialogue, but the maximum of dialogue one could see was Bhagwat answering a few questions at the end of the lectures. This normal practice of answering questions was emphasised strongly, as probably this must have been a novel thing for this organisation.
What did Bhagwat say which was new? He did say that Hindutva includes Muslims, the RSS respects the Constitution, that the RSS is not opposed to reservations, the RSS is not dictatorial–there is a place for opinions of others apart from that of Shri Bhagwat also, and that the RSS respects the diversity of this Hindu nation etc. It became clear that the gentleman was answering to the criticism of his organisation by its critics, and there are plenty of them. What appeared novel was the change in the language of the RSS from its major ideologue Guru Golwalkar to Mr. Bhagwat, the current chief. While Golwalkar bluntly appreciated the Nazi methods of exterminating the minorities, Bhagwat seemed accepting of the existence of religious minorities. While Guru was announcing that Muslims, Christians and Communists are an internal threat to Hindu nation, Bhagwat went on to say that they don’t fully agree with Guruji, so his book, ‘Bunch of Thoughts’, has been republished by omitting such sentences, which are threatening to minorities and asserting Hindu nationalism in a blunt way.
So has the RSS changed? In case of most organisations, they should be judged by their actions, or by the outcome of activities and the programs of the organisations that come into being due to RSS ideology. That’s what will tell us the true character, the real agenda of the RSS, and help us assess why a pleasant face is being presented now.
The core activity of the RSS is structured around shakhas (branches). In these shakhas, young boys are given physical training; one component of training is wielding lathis (batons). This is the most visible part of its activities. Running parallel to this is the ideological training, the bauddhiks (intellectual) sessions. This is where the real agenda of the RSS is manifested. In these shakha bauddhiks are backed up by long training camps leading to a three-year training program, the outcome of which are the swayamsevaks/pracharaks, who are ready to take on the mantle of RSS programs in an independent way.
These bauddhiks indoctrinate young boys into believing that India has been a Hindu nation from time immemorial. Roughly, the RSS’ training module, as gleaned from various sources, follows these lines: ‘We’ had a great society, all castes were equal, women had an honourable place in the society; The society was attacked by foreigners, the Muslims, leading to inequality of castes and the degeneration of status of women; The Muslim kings destroyed our temples, and imposed Islam by force; The Muslim kings were very cruel, Mohammad Ghazni (destroying Somnath) Mohammad Ghori (Betraying Prithivraj Chauhan); Hindu kings like Maharana Pratap and Shivaji saved the Hindu society; During the freedom movement, while Savarkar put forward Hindu nationalism, the likes of Gandhi-Nehru and their followers regarded people of foreign religions also belonging to this land; Gandhi appeased the Muslims due to which Muslims got emboldened and demanded Pakistan; It is due to the faulty policies of Nehru that Kashmir, an integral part of India, has become a problem and so on and so forth.
The pracharaks/swayamsevaks after this training go in to different segments of society, or into directly floated organisations: Bharatiya Jansangh, ABVP, BJP, VHP, Vanvasi kalian Ashram, Seva Bharati, to name a few. Technically, these are all independent organizations, but they are run and controlled by the trained pracharaks of the RSS. So the RSS does not have to act as a remote control, as its ideology runs in the DNA of these organisations. The RSS module of indoctrination has created hatred in society, hatred against Muslims and partly against Christians, as well as against those upholding secular values–liberals. One manifestation of this hatred was the murder of Gandhi by Godse, who was a trained pracharak of the RSS. Sardar Patel must have been the first one to articulate this and see beyond the murder of Gandhi. He could see that the core reason for Gandhi’s murder was the spread of hatred in society by the RSS.
While RSS has volunteers dressed in RSS uniforms doing relief work, those taking up arms to indulge in violence are the ones who are guided by this hate against religious minorities. The violence prevalent in Indian society has been the outcome of issues, which are related to emotions brought into the service of the RSS’ Hindu nationalism. Communal violence increased in the wake of the Ram Temple issue. If the country belongs to all, all religions are respected, why the crime of demolishing a five hundred-year-old mosque? Why the marshalling of a communal view of history to polarise society? On similar lines, why is the Holy cow a political issue, while Swami Vivekanand said beef was eaten during Vedic times, and Gandhi posited that the state should not take up the banning of cow slaughter or banning of beef?
One must say that the RSS, as it has got renewed confidence during last four years, is now trying to spread its net by mouthing liberal language. This velvet glow is the contribution of Mr. Bhagwat to the deepening divide created in Indian society due to the all the ground work of the progeny of the RSS, who, while sounding independent, are totally loyal to the trainings they received while attending shakha baudhhiks. So we know that when the Jansangh component of Janata Party was asked to sever its links with the RSS, they preferred to break the party and reemerge as the BJP. So the late Prime Minister Vajpayee in Staten Island, while speaking in front of NRIs, reaffirmed his primary loyalty to the RSS. Its respect of Indian Constitution is a sham. As for the Constitution: we are a secular democratic India, in contrast to the Hindu nation, the soul of the RSS agenda.