The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the RSS has caused a lot of debate in the past few days. Their sudden ‘inclusive’ stance has taken people by surprise, but some say it’s part of an ‘evolution’ that is taking place.
Veteran TV presenter, Karan Thapar, wrote for the Indian Express (September 21) asking the question – “has the RSS ground shifted?” The current head of the organisation, Mohan Bhagwat, said at the three-day-lecture event in Delhi, that the RSS has no issues with the Constitution and even quoted it here and there. He said that Hindutva includes Muslims; and yet, his predecessor, KS Sudarshan said that it doesn’t reflect our national ethos. He also agreed with Golwalkar, one of the forebears of this organisation, saying that there is nothing in the Constitution we can call our own. Sudarshan carried on and said that it had been imposed upon us. (Taken from an excerpt of a BBC HardTALK India interview conducted by Mr. Thapar).
I doubt that. How was it imposed on us? Did we not elect a constituent assembly? Did not the Drafting Committee, come out of there? Had the British compulsorily appointed someone to be a member? No. It was a group of people, from our own country. Then, why and how was it imposed?
As a member on a panel discussion hosted and moderated by Nidhi Razdan, Raghav Awasthi, a rising star of the RSS, said that the RSS and particularly ‘Guruji Golwalkar’, had been massively misunderstood on his thoughts on Muslims and that there is nothing in his book, “Bunch of Thoughts’, or anywhere else which implies that he hated Muslims.
On the Contrary, Golwalkar has said- “Has their old hostility and murderous mood come to a halt now? It would be suicidal to delude ourselves into believing that they have turned patriots overnight after the creation of Pakistan.” In his book, “We, or Our Nationhood Defined”, published in 1936, he said “Foreign races must lose their separate existence to merge into the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment- not even citizen’s rights.”
Now coming to Mr. Bhagwat – he has been telling people and Muslims explicitly that they are Hindus too, whose forefathers may have converted, and Hindutva includes them. GS Vaidya, an ideologue of the organisation, says that Muslims don’t have to forego the Quran to become Hindu, they just have to believe that Hinduism is their religion too.
Why should Mr. Bhagwat or Mr. Vaidya need to say so? Why must Muslims believe themselves to be Hindus? If their forefathers had converted and they have been following Islam’s postulates for the last two or three generations, they are as Muslim as being a Muslim can get! Why must Hindutva include them? Is it an approval of sorts? The sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic Republic of India, already gives them that right!
Tavleen Singh writes, “Decades of hyper-nationalism mixed with a hatred of Muslims has given birth to a generation of Indians who spend their time hysterically venting their rage against Islam and Pakistan on social media.” She is absolutely right. I couldn’t agree more. Not only this, but she also says that RSS workers have admitted their hatred for Muslims to her and they want them to be driven out of the country because Muslims are “breeding like rabbits” and will soon outnumber Hindus. (IE Opinion, 23rd September)
I pose a question- If the RSS’s ideology was inclusive and supportive of the Muslims and other minorities, why would their workers think in such a way? After all, the workers are trained to have an ideology and work towards the realisation of the same.
In response to the Akhlaq lynching, a senior leader said: “At least Hindus are learning to fight back.” The fact that there were no Muslim candidates fielded by the BJP in a state where 19% of the population is Muslim; Union Minister of State, Jayant Sinha facilitated the convicts who were out on bail in Jharkhand’s Alimuddin Ansari lynching case; Senior BJP leader from UP, Vinay Katiyar saying that Muslims should not be living in this country and must go to Pakistan or Bangladesh and an MLA from Alwar, Rajasthan saying that people should not allow Muslims in their house, shows me only one thing – that these speeches of inclusiveness are hollow, and are just an election gimmick.