The Sangh’s bloody trail

Hindu communal organisations have always maintained that it is always the Muslims who start riots, forcing "justifiable retaliatory acts by Hindus in self-defence". But virtually every single officially appointed judicial commission to probe into the cause of riots in different parts of the country has found the RSS and other majoritarian communal outfits guilty. We reproduce some excerpts below:

Report of the Justice Jagmohan Reddy Commission of Inquiry investigating the Ahmedabad riots of 1969:

"There was not only a failure of intelligence and culpable failure to suppress the outbreak of violence but (also) deliberate attempts to suppress the truth from the Commission, especially the active participation in the riots of some RSS and Jana Sangh leaders."


Report of the Justice DP Madon Commission of Inquiry into the Communal Disturbances at Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Mahad of 1970:

"If the events surrounding the Shiv Jayanti procession in Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Mahad are looked at more closely, the start of the riot was not with the simplistic reaction of the procession being attacked by a group of Muslims. Tension did not begin with the Shiv Jayanti celebrations of that year but began in 1964, the first year that the practice of publicly celebrating Shiv Jayanti had been started and had seen an annual build up in tensions since.

This practice did not only introduce the poison of communalism in Bhiwandi indirectly, but through the years, the organisers did not make any attempt to disguise the real motive and anti-Muslim slogans and provocative floats were part of the celebrations from the very beginning, the first year. In spite of police opposition, the organisers made every attempt to incite rioting by insisting on taking their procession through Muslim-dominated areas, throwing gulal (coloured powder) at mosques and shouting incendiary slogans like "we will grind any one who opposes us into dust".

In his report to his superiors, the SP, Thane district has stated, "I found that a section of Hindu elements, particularly the RSS and some PSP men, were bent upon creating mischief. Their idea in accompanying the procession was not so much to pay respects to the Great Shivaji but to establish their right and, if possible, to provoke and humiliate Muslims."

It was in 1970 that for the first time propaganda was carried on in villages exhorting villagers to participate in the Shiv Jayanti procession in Bhiwandi and this was the first year when villagers were mobilised to participate by the Rashtriya Utsav Mandal, an offshoot of the Jana Sangh, and the SS and the object of these organisations in bringing villagers to participate was ‘to intimidate the Muslims’, the participants carried lathis to which bhagwa (saffron) flags were tied, banners of the three organisations, the Jana Sangh, the RUM and the SS, were displayed by processionists.

The villagers shouted provocative, anti-Muslim slogans, behaved aggressively, threw gulal on the Moti Masjid at Bangad Galli and Hyderi mosque situated at the junction of Dargah Road and Sutar Galli aided by a passive police."

Report of the Commission of Inquiry, Tellicherry Disturbance, 1971, Justice Joseph Vithyathil:

"In Tellicherry the Hindus and Muslims were living as brothers for centuries. The ‘Mopla riots’ did not affect the cordial relationship that existed between the two communities in Tellicherry. It was only after the RSS and the Jana Sangh set up their units and began activities in Tellicherry that there came a change in the situation. Their anti-Muslim propaganda, its reaction on the Muslims who rallied round their communal organisation, the Muslim League, which championed their cause, and the communal tension that followed prepared the background for their disturbances.

According to the RSS, until the Muslims give up their separatist attitude and join the mainstream of Indian National Life there will be no communal harmony in this country. Guruji Golwalkar is said to have a very simple remedy for communal riots in India. He said: "Let Muslims look upon Rama as their hero and the communal problems will be over" (Organiser, June 20, 1971). That is what the rioters who attacked the house of Kunhammad asked him to do. "If you want to save your life you should go round the house three times repeating the words ‘Rama, Rama’. Kunhammad did that. But you cannot expect the 70 million Muslims of India to do that as a condition for maintaining communal harmony in the country. This attitude of the RSS can only help to compel the Muslims to take shelter under their own communal organisation."

Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Communal Disturbances at Jamshedpur, April 1979:

"The evidence of government officials shows that after the communal riots of 1964, the Ram Navmi Festival, like other festivals, became the occasion for greater vigilance and alertness for the law and order authorities; simultaneously, the number of Ram Navmi processions kept on increasing till it had risen to 79 in the year 1979.

In the run up to the communal build up before the elections prepared by the Intelligence Branch, Jamshedpur (dated March 23, 1979) there was special mention made to the Divisional Conference of the RSS scheduled to be held on March 31 and April 1 in which, among others, the RSS sarsanghchalak was to participate.

The dispute on the route of the procession (the administration after consideration had denied permission for the route to pass through Muslim areas) became sharp and agitated reactions from a group of persons calling themselves the "Sanyukt Bajrang Bali Akhara Samiti" who systematically distributed pamphlets to heighten communal feelings and had organisational links with the RSS. A call for the defiance of the authority and the administration when it refused permission for one of the routes led to a violent mob protesting and raising anti-Muslim slogans and thereafter an incendiary leaflet doing the rounds of Jamshedpur (issued on behalf of the "Sri Ramnavmi Kendriya Akhara Samity") that is nothing short of an attempt to rouse the sentiments of Hindus to a high pitch and to distort events and show some actions as attacks on Hindus that appear to be part of a design.

A survey had already established that all policemen, havaldars, home guards etc. were at heart ready to give support to them (Hindu communalist organisations). This not only shows the extent of the planning that had been going on, but also how the people in general were being assured of protection from punitive action by the police due to the alleged attitude of its subordinate formations."

Justice Venugopal Commission of Inquiry into the Kanyakumari riots of 1982 (prolonged confrontation between Hindus and Christians):

"The RSS adopts a militant and aggressive attitude and sets itself up as the champion of what it considers to be the rights of Hindus against minorities. It has taken upon itself to teach the minorities their place and if they are not willing to learn their place to teach them a lesson. The RSS methodology for provoking communal violence is:

a) rousing communal feelings in the majority community by the propaganda that Christians are not loyal citizens of this country;

b) deepening the fear in the majority community by clever propaganda that the population of the minorities is increasing and that of the Hindus is decreasing;

c) infiltrating into the administration and inducing the members of the civil and police services by adopting and developing communal attitudes;

d) training young people of the majority community in the use of weapons like daggers, swords and spears;

e) spreading rumours to widen the communal cleavage and deepen communal feelings by giving a communal colour to any trivial incident."

(‘Who is to blame?’, Communalism Combat, March 1998).

Archived from Communalism Combat, August 2004, Anniversary Issue (11th), Year 11    No.100, Cover Story 12




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