“The RSS was established as an armed, militant wing of Hindu Nationalism in order to overpower and wipe out Indian Nationalism from the country.” Noorani
In April 2019, India was in the first phase of the 2019 general election and ‘fir ek baar , Modi sarkar’ slogan was sweeping across the country. Just one month before the election, a book was launched by LeftWord Books in the India International Centre ( New Delhi).
Not much attention was paid to the book by the ‘liberals’ of this country and no book discussions were held by the ‘mainstream’ media houses. The Hindu Nationalist Narendra Modi (as he called himself) came to power again. The book is titled ” The RSS: A Menace to India”.
Starting with the quote by Dr.Ambedkar “If Hindu Raj does become a fact, it will, no doubt, be the greatest calamity for this country…Hindu Raj must be prevented at any cost’ the book ‘ The RSS: A Menace to India’ written by the most notable Supreme Court lawyer, a constitutional expert and an author A . G . Noorani, opens up a full spectrum of the largest organization of the country – The RSS ( Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh). The voluminous book contains 25 chapters with more than 500 pages and 16 appendices.
The book is a historical report of communalism in pre-independence to post-independent India, dwelling on the present Modi era too. From Hedgewar to Golwalkar, Mookherjee to Advani, every bigshot of the Hindutva ideology finds a place in this book.
It deals with the peculiar relationship between the RSS, BJP and its progeny, the ABVP, VHP and the Bajrang Dal. The author makes his way by focusing on the first revolt of united India against the colonial rulers i.e the revolt of1857, when the Hindus and the Muslims stood together in the lost battle. But on the parallel, a majoritarian ideology was making its way to enter into Indian politics.
The author doesn’t forget to mention, in the first chapter itself, an address given by RSS chief Bhagwat’s on 27 October 2017 where Bhagwat said: ” Hindustan is a country of Hindus. It does not mean that Hindustan is not the country of other people “.
Bhagwat didn’t mention whom he was referring to as the “other” people. This has been the crux of the fascist ideology anywhere in the world i.e “We” and the ” others”. The RSS and BJP don’t believe in the “minority” theory. The ideological difference between Indian nationalism and the Hindu nationalism is well explained by Mr Noorani. But the author didn’t visit the ‘caste ‘ issue in relation to RSS in detail.
The author left no stone unturned by providing a reference to each and every remark about the RSS. The author’s view, with factual references of a collaboration between the RSS, the Hindu Mahasabha and the colonial rulers, makes us question the very existence of the RSS and its allies.
The RSS ideology of “Hindu Nationalism” is based on similar lines as Mussolini’s “Italian Fascism” and its outreach is ever-increasing after the Ayodhya incident. The Hindu reported in 2019 that the RSS is growing at an annual rate of 20-25% with 50000 daily shakhas,and 5-6 lakhs people attending them.
The book also covers the period when the differences between the BJP and RSS were out in the open and how RSS rose to the level of the controller of BJP while reminding it about its ideological foundation. The Advani episode booked a separate chapter, revolving around his relations with the RSS and its allies, along with the leaders of BJP including PM Modi.
Advani ignored the happenings around him which ultimately resulted in him being sidelined from the mainstream leadership and the parallel rise of Modi as an alternative and also the topmost choice of the RSS.
The 2002 Gujarat riots and the response of Narendra Modi as a CM were also critically noted by Noorani. He cited the testimonies of two of the country’s top police officials and media correspondents.
Narendra Modi wa ‘chosen’ by RSS to lead the country. After 2014, an atmosphere of a fear has been evading the homes of minorities, and there are reasons for that. The author cites a report of Indian Express ( 20th April 2018) which said: “any move in favour of minorities looks illegitimate in the era of majoritarianism “. The people have reasons to believe in the fear instilled by the daily propaganda.
Be it journalists or common citizens, everyone is being targeted if they criticize those in power. New terms like “anti-national, urban-naxals, tukde tukde gang” are being invented every day to degrade and silence the dissent.
The author warns the readers that the ‘poison is spreading alarmingly……What is at stake is not only the Indian Dream. What is at stake is the soul of India.’
If you are a voracious reader and take interest in Indian political history, the partition of India and the rise of communalism in India, this book is a concise option for you.
The book is available at the following link:
This article was previously published here