More homilies, this time for the Christians, Mr Rajnath Singh?

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According to a report in The Indian Express (December 18, 2015) Rajnath Singh, home minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet, while joining a Christmas dinner hosted by the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) at New Delhi told the gathering that "I will not let injustice happen to you". On this occasion he was gracious enough to share the fact that “While I was at the meeting of council of ministers, he [PM Modi] reminded me that I should go and attend this”. He also added that “Indian traditions and Christians have many things in common” and India being "an inclusive society, the BJP government is committed to protect it".

In any ordinary situation these words of India's home minister, who has taken the oath to uphold a democratic-secular Constitution, would have been more than sufficient guarantee to ensure safety and tranquility to the besieged Christian community of India. What critical times the small Christian community is passing through can be gauged from a signed article [The Indian Express April 2, 2015] by Julio Ribeiro, a highly decorated retired  IPS officer, former Mumbai  police commissioner, DGP Gujarat and DGP Punjab, and former Indian ambassador to Romania. He wrote:

" As a Christian, suddenly I am a stranger in my own country…I am not an Indian anymore, at least in the eyes of the proponents of the Hindu Rashtra. Is it coincidence or a well-thought-out plan that the systematic targeting of a small and peaceful community should begin only after the BJP government of Narendra Modi came to power last May? 'Ghar wapsi', the declaration of Christmas as 'Good Governance Day', the attack on Christian churches and schools in Delhi, all added to a sense of siege that now afflicts these peaceful people."

It is natural to be skeptical about Rajnath Singh's assurance to Christians given what the wider political family (Sangh Parivar) has espoused. In sharp contradiction to Rajnath Singh, a fellow-swayamsevak, Rajeshwar Singh who as leader of the prominent organization closely affiliated to the RSS, the Dharm Jagran Samiti (involved in 'ghar wapsi' or conversion of Muslims and Christianity to Hinduism) vowed the day after Singh’s statement, that is, on December 19, 2014:

"Our target is to make India a Hindu Rashtra by 2021. The Muslims and Christians don't have any right to stay here. So they would either be converted to Hinduism or forced to run away from here."
Our Home Minister has, of course, not yet condemned this statement of Rajeshwar Singh made a year ago. It is not likely that he will.  He was similarly silent when, in his (physical) presence, a leading and senior RSS swayamsevak, Ashok Singhal had declared, on July 18, 2015 India "will be Hindu Rashtra by 2020” and the world ‘a Hindu world by 2030".

Golwalkar's hatred for Muslims and Christians had no limits. He believed and propagated that conversion to Islam and Christianity automatically turned the converts into anti-nationals as they are not true to their salt.

The real problem with our home minister's pious yet unconvincing declarations is that he too, proudly claims to be an RSS swayamsevak. For him, the most important ideologue is Guru Golwalkar who has been described by noted historian Ramchandra Guha as the 'guru of hate.' Even while occupying the Constitutional position of the Indian home minister, Rajnath Singh has openly admitted, many a time that he idolizes Guru Golwalkar and believes in his goal of a Hindu state. Shockingly, this state, which is the unchallenged ideal of the RSS and every person continuing to owe allegiance to its ideology, claims that Muslims are the “internal threat Number One” and Christians are the “internal threat number two”. [1]

Golwalkar, while treating Christians as the ‘Internal Threat Number Two’, wrote that "Their activities are not only irreligious, they are also anti-national". Elaborating further he said:"Such is the role of the Christian gentlemen residing in our land today, out to demolish not only the religious and social fabric of our life but also to establish political domination in various pockets and if possible all over the land."[2]
Golwalkar's hatred for Muslims and Christians had no limits. He believed and propagated that conversion to Islam and Christianity automatically turned the converts into anti-nationals as they are not true to their salt. According to him:

"They are born in this land, no doubt. But are they true to their salt? Are they grateful to this land which brought them up? Do they feel they are the children of this land and its traditions, and that to serve it is their great good fortune? Do they feel it a duty to serve her? No! Together with the change in their faiths, gone is the spirit of love and devotion for the nation. Nor does it end there. They have also developed a feeling of identification with the enemies of this land. They look to some foreign lands as their holy places…So we see that it is not merely a case of change of faith, but a change even in national identity. What else is it, if not treason, to join the camp of the enemy leaving their mother-nation in the lurch?"[3]
He continued spitting venom against Indian Muslims and Christians. India for Golwalkar was an exclusive Hindu rashtra or nation and Muslims and Christians remained as non-Indians.

"The conclusion that we arrive at is that all those communities which are staying in this land and yet are not true to their salt, have not imbibed its culture, do not lead the life which this land has been unfolding for so many centuries, do not believe in its philosophy, in its national heroes and in all that this land has been standing for, are, to put it briefly, foreign to our national life. And the only real, abiding and glorious national life in this holy land of Bharat has been of the Hindu People." [4]
Our Home Minister, just like the Prime Minister, Modi is a seasoned and senior RSS swayamsevak groomed by gurus like Golwalkar. His faith in the politics of Hindutva is unquestioned as is his inherent discomfort and non-compatability with a democratic-secular India. Importantly, the RSS English organ Organizer in its issue on the very eve of Independence (14 August, 1947) rejected the whole concept of a composite nation (under the editorial title ‘Whither’):

"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”.

Unfortunately, the august guests present at the Christmas dinner, which included leading clergy, laity and politicians unfamiliar (?) with the Hindutva game plan of cleansing India of minorities like Muslims and Christians, did not question the Honourable Home Minister. If they had known some basic facts about RSS, it would have been relevant to ask Rajnath Singh—"Whom do we believe Sir, your pious words spoken here today or the views held by the RSS and your guru?” It is high time we realise that minorities in India today are not dealing with just any normal political trend but the politics of Hindutva which has an undying, and on-negotiable foundational belief in casteism, totalitarianism and racism.

Like all such or similar organizations the world over, present and past, it (RSS and its fraternal ourfits) thrive on double-speak. To overlook this will be at our own peril.

  1. Won’t let injustice happen to you, Rajnath Singh tells Christians
  2. I am a swayamsevak, so is PM Narendra Modi: Rajnath Singh 

(The author taught political science at the University of Delhi. He is a well known writer and columnist)


[1] M. S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 'Internal Threats' {Chapter 16}, Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu 1996, p. 193
[2] M. S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 'Internal Threats' {Chapter 16}, Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu 1996, p. 193
[3] M. S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu 1996, p 125-126
[4] M. S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 'Internal Threats' {Chapter 16}, Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu 1996, p. 154



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