By Shamsul Islam,
[It is in response to Rahul Pandita’s piece ‘Gorakhpur and the Ghost of Gangadhar Adhikari: Whether liberals like it or not, the story of Hindu consolidation is not over yet’ appeared in Open Magazine on March 24, 2017. My response is a lengthy one, as reproduction of many original documents from the RSS/Hindutva archives is needed to evaluate many beliefs of Rahul Pandita. This detailed response can be handy resource material to challenge the justification of Hindutva rule in India by the Hindutva zealots and characters who as fence-sitters were just waiting India to be stormed by the Hindutva gang to join the latter. Link for Rahul Pandita’s write-up: https://www.openthemagazine.com/article/cover-story/gorakhpur-and-the-ghost-of-gangadhar-adhikari]
It was about 10 days after Modi became PM of India in 2014, an old acquaintance of mine, a known RSS sympathiser, phoned me up and in a tone which was not friendly, warned that since a Hindu government had come to rule India after 1000 years I should be careful while writing on RSS and Hindutva politics and organizations. Realizing that he was not joking but serious about his message, without challenging his knowledge of history (that how despite ‘Muslim’ and ‘Christian’ rules of 1000 years Hindus remain 80% of the population and in control of the national wealth), I shared the fact with him that Modi had won on development plank and as PM he and his ministers had taken oath to uphold a democratic-secular polity, so how their rule could be described as a Hindu rule. He did not want any argument and ended the call by telling me that world would know it soon and I would be doing on my peril if I failed to understand this phenomenon of the rise of Hindu power.
He was not the only one who announced the heralding of the Hindu rule in 2014. A senior RSS leader from UP, Rajeshwar Singh believing in the same thesis declared that by 2021, all Muslims and Christians would have to convert to Hinduism or leave India.[i] The perennial hater of Muslims, renowned VHP leader, Ashok Singhal described crowning of Modi as PM a “Hindu revolution” which would culminate in “Hindu world” by 2030.[ii]
The mad frenzy around the ‘ushering’ of Hindu rule in India in 1914, forced one of the most decorated police officers in Independent India, Julio Ribeiro to lament (March 2015) that, “in my 86th year, I feel threatened, not wanted, reduced to a stranger in my own country” and being condemned “for practising a religion that is different from theirs. I am not an Indian anymore, at least in the eyes of the proponents of the Hindu Rashtra”.[iii]
Interestingly, India was announced to be under Hindu rule in 2014, despite BJP securing only 31% of the polled votes and NDA committing itself to be loyal to democratic-secular Indian Constitution. Even if the votes polled by Shiv Sena (1.9%) which stood for a Hindu rashtra were included, the tally would be 32.9% votes. So according to RSS and flag-bearers of Hindutva politics 32.9% constituted majority out of 100% inventing a new Hindutva theory of calculating majority!
A similar Hindutva frenzy is brazenly on view after BJP and its allies’ clean sweep of 2017 UP assembly elections and subsequent installing of Mahant Yogi Adityanath as CM of the State. The RSS always claimed to be a cultural organization but Rakesh Sinha who goes around as an ‘ideologue’ of the RSS commenting on the UP victory wrote, that “RSS dominates India’s politics”.[iv] What he wanted to emphasise that though RSS had not contested the elections but it was Hindutva agenda of RSS which had won. Rahul Pandita’s elation on Adityanath’s crowning is to be read and believed. Some of the laudatory comments are worth noting: “After Yogi Adityanath was declared Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister, his supporters and closet supporters have been arguing that he deserves a chance. That, he is getting already, whether some people like it or not. On social media, his supporters have mauled even right-wingers who have expressed their disagreement with this decision; they see Adityanath’s shift from Gorakhpur to Lucknow as the new dawn of militant Hindutva.”
Rahul Pandita is sure that despite Adityanath’s statement in “the Lok Sabha that his government will uphold law and order and that there will be no discrimination against anyone” there will be “an assertion on Hindutva lines even if he ensures that no communal riots break out in the state”. The Hindutva assertion means “strict action against cow slaughter, while the sealing of some slaughterhouses is underway. The new government is allocating 25 acres of land for setting up a Ramayana museum in Ayodhya”.
Rahul Pandita seems to have intimate knowledge of Hindutva mind-set of UP chief minister when he tells, “unlike his predecessors, Adityanath will have no use of the symbolism of skullcaps and chequered Arab scarves”. Without taking any stand on anti-Muslim and anti-women ideas of UP CM Rahul Pandita goes to glorify him in the following words: “Those who stand in opposition to Adityanath may put up video clip after clip of his anti-Muslim and anti-women remarks on social media. But those who are happy with his ascension to UP’s throne see this as a special attribute and not a handicap.”
Modi’s victory in 2014 which was declared to be the beginning of Hindu rule is downgraded as Rahul Pandita writes that in 2014 “the vote was overwhelmingly for Modi, rather than the BJP. It is the same this year in UP, except that a clear consolidation of Hindu votes has happened this time, putting the BJP at an advantage which it is likely to be replicated in other elections”. The cat is out of the bag when Rahul Pandita adds that “2017 vote is not for bridges or hospitals, but for Hindutva. This election has also exposed the implausibility of a Dalit-Muslim alliance. Whereas a significant number of Dalits and other backwards castes voted for Modi, it is also an election where the Muslim vote has become irrelevant”. And the concluding prophetic lines of Rahul Pandita convey in totality what he wants to convey finally. For him, “Adityanath is indeed the new reality—a reality that will have more layers in the coming days. This is New India. How it plays out is another matter”.
Rahul Pandita is absolutely right in underlining the fact that RSS/BJP fought and won UP elections openly on polarizing Hindutva agenda. Leading the charge was PM Modi whose main plank was appeasement of Muslims in UP by non-BJP governments. Building of Ram temple at the place of demolished mosque at Ayodhya was promised both directly and indirectly. The UP election was to be fought on Anti-Muslim agenda was made clear in the beginning itself when RSS/BJP decided to field not a single Muslim candidate. Rahul Pandita is right when he says that UP vote for Aditya is vote for Hindutva, which even Modi could not secure, as never in history of elections RSS/BJP used anti-Muslim/Islam rhetoric of this magnitude. Shockingly the Election Commission of India remained silent spectator to this polarizing game.
But Rahul Pandita who declares whole of the UP under the hegemony of Hindutva as a result of “clear consolidation of Hindu votes” misses one crucial fact that BJP with its allies secured only 42+ percent votes in this election, BJP securing only 39.7% of the polled votes individually. If all votes polled in favour of BJP and its allies were for Hindutva UP, how we should categorize 58% of the voters who voted against BJP and its allies. Should these not be categorized as anti-Hindutva vote? But according to Hindutva mathematics 31% votes for Modi in 2014 and 42+ percent votes for BJP and allies in UP in 2017, become 100% votes for declaring India under Hindutva!
Rahul Pandita in classical Hindutva mode churns out the oft-repeated argument that “consolidation of Hindu votes” was a reaction to “the turning of a blind eye to Muslim fundamentalism, as practised by the Congress party and followed zealously by the Left and by Lohiaites, and their utter disregard of the Hindu identity have led to a large chasm that the Modi-led BJP has effectively filled. As more and more Hindus think their interests are being threatened, they are gravitating towards a more assertive form of Hindutva”. Later in his masterpiece he adds, more names to the list like mainstream Left, extreme Left, Kobad Ghandy, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Amnesty International for facilitating the birth and growth of “Muslim sub-nationalism and fundamentalism” (I feel instead of Muslim it should be Islamic) and CPI leader, Gangadhar Adhikari.
This can be described only as total disregard of history and facts as those were unveiled. The names listed by Rahul Pandita as enemies of Hinduism and Hindus may have many-many more ‘crimes’ to explain and defend but to claim that Hindus coming under the umbrella of Hindutva was due to these enemies is a blatant lie.
We need to refresh our memory to know few significant facts about growth of Hindu nationalism and Hindutva. The latter came into existence when none of the individuals/organizations listed as inimical to Hindus were even born.
TWO-NATION THEORY PRPOUNDED BY HINDU NATIONALISTS
Hindus and Muslims were not one nation, this thesis developed at the end of 19th century in Bengal. Raj Narain Basu (1826–1899), the maternal grandfather of Aurobindo Ghosh, and his close associate Naba Gopal Mitra (1840-94) can be called the co-fathers of two-nation theory and Hindu nationalism in India. Basu organized meetings proclaiming that Hinduism despite its Casteism presented a much higher social idealism than ever reached by the Christian or Islamic civilization. Basu not only believed in the superiority of Hinduism over other religions but also was a fervent believer in Casteism. He was the first person to conceive the idea of a Maha Hindu Samiti (All India Hindu Association) and helped in the formation of Bharat Dharma Mahamandal, a precursor of Hindu Mahasabha. He believed that through this organization Hindus would be able to establish an Aryan nation in India.[v] He visualized a powerful Hindu nation not only overtaking India but the whole world. He also saw,“the noble and puissant Hindu nation rousing herself after sleep and rushing headlong towards progress with divine prowess. I see this rejuvenated nation again illumining the world by her knowledge, spirituality and culture, and the glory of Hindu nation again spreading over the whole world.”[vi]
Nabha Gopal Mitra started organizing an annual Hindu Mela. It used to be a gathering on the last day of every Bengali year and highlighted the Hindu nature of all aspects of Hindu Bengali life and continued uninterrupted between 1867 and 1880. Mitra also started a National Society and a National Paper for promoting unity and feelings of nationalism among Hindus. Mitra argued in his paper that the Hindus positively formed a nation by themselves. According to him, “the basis of national unity in India is the Hindu religion. Hindu nationality embraces all the Hindus of India irrespective of their locality or language.”[vii]
- C. Majumdar, a keen observer of the rise of Hindu nationalism in Bengal who is described as a Hindu historian by Hindutva camp, had no difficulty in arriving at the truth that “Nabha Gopal forestalled Jinnah’s theory of two nations by more than half a century.”[viii] The Arya Samaj in northern India aggressively preached that Hindu and Muslim communities in India were, in fact, two different nations. Bhai Parmanand (1874–1948), a leading light of the Arya Samaj in northern India, also a leader of both Congress and Hindu Mahasabha, produced an enormous anti-Muslim literature, highlighting the differences between the two in the past. One of the pamphlets thus described the irreconcilability of Hindus and Muslims:“In history, the Hindus revere the memory of Prithvi Raj, Pratap, Shivaji and Beragi Bir, who fought for the honour and freedom of this land (against the Muslims), while the Mahomedans look upon the invaders of India like Muhammad Bin Qasim and rulers like Aurangzeb as their national heroes.”[ix]
Long before V. D. Savarkar (1883-1966) and M. S. Golwalkar (1906-73), who laid down elaborate theories of Hindu Rashtra allowing no place for minorities, it was Bhai Parmanand [1876-1947] who declared in the beginning of the twentieth century that followers of Hinduism and Islam in India were two different peoples because Muslims followed a religion which originated in Arab lands. Parmanand specialized in writing popular literature in Urdu in which the main emphasis would be on Hindus being true sons of India and Muslims as outsiders.[x]As early as 1908–9, Parmanand called for the total exchange of Hindu and Muslim populations in two specific areas. According to his plan, elaborated in his autobiography,“The territory beyond Sind should be united with Afghanistan and the North-West Frontier Province into a great Musalman [sic] kingdom. The Hindus of the region should come away, while at the same time Mussalman in the rest of India should go and settle in this territory.”[xi]
Lajpat Rai (1865-1928), a renowned leader simultaneously of Congress, Hindu Mahasabha and Arya Samaj, long before Mohammad Ali Jinnah pronounced his poisonous two-nation theory in 1939 and demanded a ruinous partition of India in 1940, the Mahasabha leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai and Savarkar had openly advocated this theory…”[xii] In 1989, Lajpat Rai published an article for the Indian National Congress in the Hindustan Review in which he declared that “Hindus are a nation in themselves because they represent all their own.”[xiii]
In fact, it was Lala who proposed partition of India on communal lines. His plan of partitioning India of 1924 went like this:“Under my scheme the Muslims will have four Muslim States: (1) The Pathan Province of the North-Western Frontier (2) Western Punjab (3) Sindh and (4) Eastern Bengal. If there are compact Muslim communities in any other part of India, sufficiently large to form a Province, they should be similarly constituted. But it should be distinctly understood that this is not a united India. It means a clear partition of India into a Muslim India and a non-Muslim India.”[xiv][Italics as in the original]
Another Hindutva icon, B. S. Moonje was another prominent Congress leader (who equally dabbled in organizing the Hindu Mahasabha and later helped the RSSin its formation) who carried forward the flag of Hindu Separatism long before Muslim League’s Pakistan resolution of March 1940. While addressing the third session of the Oudh Hindu Mahasabha in 1923, he declared:“Just as England belongs to the English, France to the French, and Germany to the Germans, India belongs to the Hindus. If Hindus get organized, they can humble the English and their stooges, the Muslims … The Hindus henceforth create their own world which will prosper through shuddhi [literally meaning purification, the term was used for conversion of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism]andsangathan [organization].”[xv]
All such ideas of declaring India as a Hindu nation and excluding Muslims and Christians from it were further crystalized by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his controversial book Hindutva as early as 1923. According to his definition of the Hindu nation Muslims and Christians remained out of this nationhood because they did not assimilate into Hindu cultural heritage or adopt Hindu religion. Savarkar decreed:“Christians and Mohamedan [sic] communities, who were but very recently Hindus and in majority of cases had been at least in their first generation most willing denizens of their new fold, claim though they might a common fatherland, and an almost pure Hindu blood and parentage with us cannot be recognized as Hindus; as since their adoption of the new cult they had ceased to own Hindu Sanskriti [culture] as a whole. They belong, or feel that they belong, to a cultural unit altogether different from the Hindu one. Their heroes and their hero-worship, their fairs and their festivals, their ideals and their outlook on-life, have now ceased to be common with ours.”[xvi]
Savarkar, the originator of the politics of Hindutva, later developed the most elaborate two-nation theory. While delivering the presidential address to the 19th session Hindu Mahasabha at Ahmedabad in 1937, Savarkar unequivocally declared:“as it is, there are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India, several infantile politicians commit the serious mistake in supposing that India is already welded into a harmonious nation, or that it could be welded thus for the mere wish to do so. These were well meaning but unthinking friends who take their dreams for realities…Let us bravely face unpleasant facts as they are. India cannot be assumed today to be a unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary, there are two nations in the main: the Hindus and the Moslems, in India.”[xvii]
Reacting to Savarkar’s propagation of two-nation theory, BR Ambedkar as a contemporary of both Savarkar and Jinnah wrote: “Strange as it may appear, Mr Savarkar and Mr Jinnah, instead of being opposed to each other on the one nation versus two nations issue, are in complete agreement about it. Both not only agree but insist that there are two nations in India—one the Muslim nation and the other the Hindu nation.”[xviii]
This politics of two-nation propagated by the Hindutva camp got further impetus with the appearance of the most prominent ideologue of RSS, M. S. Golwalkar’s We or Our Nationhood Definedin 1939. Total assimilation or ethnic cleansing was the mantra prescribed by Golwalkar to deal with the problem of minorities in India. According to him, older nations solved their minorities’ problem by not recognising any separate elements in their polity. Muslims and Christians, who were ‘emigrants’, must get themselves naturally assimilated into the principal mass of population, the ‘national race’. Golwalkar while declaring the determination to cleanse minorities from India on the models of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy where Jews had been almost annihilated warned: “If they do not do so, they live merely as outsiders, bound by all the codes and conventions of the nation, at the sufferance [sic] of the nation and deserving of no special protection, far less any privilege or rights. There are only two courses open to the foreign elements, either to merge themselves in the national race and adopt its culture, or to live at its mercy so long as the national race may allow them to do so and to quit the country at the sweet will of the national race. That is the only sound view on the minorities’ problem. That is the only logical and correct solution. That alone keeps the national life healthy and undisturbed. That alone keeps the nation safe from the danger of a cancer developing into its body politic of the creation of a state within the state. From this standpoint, sanctioned by the experience of shrewd old nations, the foreign races in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment not even citizen’s rights. There is, at least should be, no other course for them to adopt. We are an old nation; let us deal, as old nations ought to and do deal, with the foreign races, which have chosen to live in our country.” [xix]
The RSS English organ,Organizer, on the very eve of Independence when India had decided to begin its historic journey as a democratic-secular polity, rejected the whole concept of a composite nation (14 August, 1947, 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”.
There is no doubt that Muslim nationalists flying the banner of Muslim separatism led by MA Jinnah succeeded in destroying an all-inclusive India but there was no dearth of Hindu nationalists who set the ball rolling for it, former borrowing it from the latter.
RSS IS NOT JUST ANTITHETICAL TO MUSLIMS, BUT TO A DEMOCRATIC-SECULAR INDIA AS WELL
For RSS Casteism, Hindu Nation and Hindu Nationalism are Synonymous
‘Hindusthan’ for Hindus only did not mean that it was for all Hindus. The Hindu nation would be governed by Manusmriti which decrees sub-human status to Sudras and women. Hinduism and regime of Casteism were declared to be synonymous. According to the most prominent ideologue of RSS, MS Golwalkar, the Hindu People is,“the Virat Purusha, the Almighty manifesting Himself…it is clear from the following description of the Almighty in Purusha Sukta wherein it is stated that sun and moon are his eyes, the stars and the skies are created from His nabhi (navel) and Brahmin is the head, Kshatriya the hands, Vaishya the thighs and Shudra the feet. This means that the people who have this fourfold arrangement, i.e., the Hindu People, is our God. This supreme vision of Godhead is the very core of our concept of ‘nation’ and has permeated our thinking and given rise to various unique concepts of our cultural heritage.”[xx] [Italics as in the original]
Golwalkar continued to preach for the regime of Casteism which is synonymous with Untouchability even after Independence. In a speech in 1961 he declared: “Today we try to run down the Varna system through ignorance. But it was through this system that a great effort to control possessiveness could be made…In society some people are intellectuals, some are expert in production and earning of wealth and some have the capacity to labour. Our ancestors saw these four broad divisions in the society. The Varna system means nothing else but a proper co-ordination of these divisions and an enabling of the individual to serve the society to the best of his ability through a hereditary development of the functions for which he is best suited. If this system continues a means of livelihood is already reserved for every individual from his birth.”[xxi]
How Untouchability as an offshoot of Casteism continues to be practised in the RSS fraternity, the 2017 UP elections present a shocking example. BJP candidate from Iglas Reserved constituency (with 80% Jat votes), Diler, a Dalit while campaigning used to sit on floor at upper Caste houses and carry his own tumbler for drinking water/tea. He is MLA now. Rahul Pandita needs to read the story to know about the nature of Hindu consolidation in UP via link: https://countercurrents.org/2017/02/15/return-of-untouchability/
Golwalkar’s Racism: Denigrating Kerala Hindus specially Women
Golwalkar who was also boss of RSS during 1940-1973, was invited to address the faculty and students of the School of Social Science of Gujarat University on December 17, 1960. In this address, while underlying his firm belief in the Race Theory, he touched upon the issue of cross-breeding of human beings in the Indian society in history. He said:“Today experiments in cross-breeding are made only on animals. But the courage to make such experiments on human beings is not shown even by the so-called modern scientist of today. If some human cross-breeding is seen today it is the result not of scientific experiments but of carnal lust. Now let us see the experiments our ancestors made in this sphere. In an effort to better the human species through cross-breeding the Namboodri Brahamanas of the North were settled in Kerala and a rule was laid down that the eldest son of a Namboodri family could marry only the daughter of Vaishya, Kashtriya or Shudra communities of Kerala. Another still more courageous rule was that the first off-spring of a married woman of any class must be fathered by a Namboodri Brahman and then she could beget children by her husband. Today this experiment will be called adultery but it was not so, as it was limited to the first child.”[xxii]
The above statement of Golwalkar was highly worrying in many respects. Firstly, it proved that Golwalkar believed that India had a superior Race or breed and also an inferior Race which needed to be improved through cross-breeding. Secondly, a more worrying aspect was his belief that Brahmans of the North (India) and specially Namboodri Brahmins, belonged to a superior Race. Due to this quality, Namboodri Brahmins were sent from the North India to Kerala to improve the breed of inferior Hindus there. Interestingly, this was being argued by a person who claimed to uphold the unity of Hindus world over. Thirdly, Golwalkar as a male chauvinist believed that a Namboodri Brahman male belonging to a superior Race from the North only could improve the inferior human Race from South. For him wombs of Kerala’s Hindu women enjoyed no sanctity and were simply objects of improving breed through intercourse with Namboodri Brahmins.
Astonishingly, Golwalkar expressed these Racist, anti-women and anti-egalitarian views not in the presence of some uneducated or lumpens crowd but before a noble gathering of gentry consisting of the faculty and students of a prime university in Gujarat.
What is going to be the status of Sudras and women in Hindutva rule of the dreams of RSS can be understood by a glance of some of the decrees of Manu about them. One can only shiver after going through the following Manu Codes.
Laws of Manu concerning Dalits/Untouchables[xxiii]
- For the sake of the prosperity of the worlds (the divine one) caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra to proceed from his mouth, his arm, his thighs and his feet. (I/31)
- One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Sudras, to serve meekly even these (other) three castes. (I/91)
- Once-born man (a Sudra), who insults a twice-born man with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out; for he is of low origin. (VIII/270)
- If he arrogantly teaches Brahmanas their duty, the king shall cause hot oil to be poured into his mouth and into his ears. (VIII/272)
- With whatever limb, a man of a low caste does hurt to (a man of the three) highest (castes), even that limb shall be cut off; that is the teaching of Manu. (VIII/279)
- He who raises his hand or a stick, shall have his hand cut off; he who in anger kicks with his foot, shall have his foot cut off. (VIII/280)
- A low-caste man who tries to place himself on the same seat with a man of a high caste, shall be branded on his hip and be banished, or (the king) shall cause his buttock to be gashed. (VIII/281)
As per the Manu Code if Sudras are to be given most stringent punishments for even petty violations/actions, the same Code of Manu is very lenient towards Brahmins. Shloka 380 in Chapter VIII bestowing profound love on Brahmins, decrees:
“Let him never slay a Brahmana, though he have committed all (possible) crimes; let him banish such an (offender), leaving all his property (to him) and (his body) unhurt.”
Laws of Manu concerning women
- Day and night woman must be kept in dependence by the males (of) their (families), and, if they attach themselves to sensual enjoyments, they must be kept under one’s control. (IX/2)
- Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence. (IX/3)
- Women must particularly be guarded against evil inclinations, however trifling (they may appear); for, if they are not guarded, they will bring sorrow on two families. (IX/5)
- Considering that the highest duty of all castes, even weak husbands (must) strive to guard their wives. (IX/6)
- No man can completely guard women by force; but they can be guarded by the employment of the (following) expedients:
- Let the (husband) employ his (wife) in the collection and expenditure of his wealth, in keeping (everything) clean, in (the fulfillment of) religious duties, in the preparation of his food, and in looking after the household utensils.
- Women do not care for beauty, nor is their attention fixed on age; (thinking), ‘(It is enough that) he is a man,’ they give themselves to the handsome and to the ugly. (IX/14)
- Through their passion for men, through their mutable temper, through their natural heartlessness, they become disloyal towards their husbands, however carefully they may be guarded in this (world). (IX/15)
- (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct. (IX/17)
- For women, no (sacramental) rite (is performed) with sacred texts, thus the law is settled; women (who are) destitute of strength and destitute of (the knowledge of) Vedic texts, (are as impure as) falsehood (itself), that is a fixed rule. (IX/18)
DENIGRATING THE NATIONAL FLAG
RSS and its offshoots keep on organizing ‘Tiranga’ (National Flag) yatras and demand that all Muslim madrasa must unfurl Tricolour on its buildings. Let us compare these with RSS denigration of our national Flag. The RSS English organ Organizer in its editorial (titled ‘The Nation’s Flag’), dated July 17, 1947, while reacting to the news that the committee of the Constituent Assembly of India on national Flag had decided in favour of Tricolour as the National Flag since it was acceptable to all parties and communities, wrote: “We do not at all agree that the Flag ‘should be acceptable to all parties and communities in India’. This is sheer nonsense. The Flag represents the nation and there is only one nation in Hindusthan, the Hindu Nation, with an unbroken history extending over 5,000 years. That is the nation and the flag must symbolize that nation and that nation alone. We cannot possibly choose a flag with a view to satisfy the desires and wishes of all the communities. That is to complicate matters and is unwarranted and entirely unnecessary…We cannot order the choice of a flag as we order a tailor to make a shirt or coat for us…”
Shockingly, RSS organ Organizer on the eve of Independence of India carried a long piece, ‘Mystery behind the Bhagwa Dhawaj’, which while demanding hoisting of saffron flag at the ramparts of Red Fort in Delhi openly denigrated the choice of the Tricolour as the National Flag in the following words: “The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour but it never [sic] be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.”[xxiv]
It was in July 1947 that the Constituent Assembly of Independent India deliberated on the issue of the National Flag of the country and adopted the Tricolour as the national Flag. However, RSS under the leadership of M. S. Golwalkar refused to accept as one. While addressing a Gurupurnimagathering in Nagpur on July 14, 1946, stated that it was the saffron flag which in totality represented their great culture. It was the embodiment of God: “We firmly believe that in the end the whole nation will bow before this saffron flag.”[xxv]
Even after independence when the Tricolour became the National Flag, it was the RSS which refused to accept it as the National Flag. Golwalkar opposed this choice of the national Flag in an essay entitled ‘Drifting and Drifting’ (reproduced from in the book Bunch of Thoughts, a collection of Golwalkar’s writings in English published by the RSS in 1966). Citing examples of ‘Drifting’ from the Hindutva goals by the Founding Fathers, Golwalkar wrote:“Our leaders have set up a new flag for our country. Why did they do so? It is just a case of drifting and imitating…It was just a politician’s patchwork, just political expediency. It was not inspired by any national vision or truth based on our national history and heritage…Had we no national emblem at all these thousands of years? Undoubtedly, we had. Then, why this void, this utter vacuum in our minds?”[xxvi]
MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS & COMMUNISTS AS INTERNAL THREATS
The ‘Holy’ book for the RSS cadres Bunch of Thoughts, has a long chapter titled as ‘Internal Threats’ in which Muslims and Christians are described as threat number 1 and 2 respectively. Communists are played at number 3. This chapter opens with the following statement:
“It has been the tragic lesson of the history of many a country in the world that the hostile elements within the country pose a far greater menace to national security then aggressors from outside.”[xxvii]
While treating Muslims as hostile element number 1 he goes on to elaborate,
“Even to this day there are so many who say, ‘now there is no Muslim problem at all. All those riotous elements who supported Pakistan have gone away once for all. The remaining Muslims are devoted to our country. After all, they have no other place to go and they are bound to remain loyal’…It would be suicidal to delude ourselves into believing that they have turned patriots overnight after the creation of Pakistan. On the contrary, the Muslim menace has increased a hundredfold by the creation of Pakistan which has become a springboard for all their future aggressive designs on our country.”[xxviii]
He goes on to spit venom against common Muslims in the following words:
“…within the country there are so many Muslim pockets, i.e., so many
‘miniature Pakistans’… The conclusion is that, in practically every
place, there are Muslims who are in constant touch with Pakistan
over the transmitter…”[xxix]
While deliberating on the ‘Internal Threat’ number 2, the Christians, he says,“such is the role of Christian gentlemen residing in our land today, outto demolish not only the religious and social fabric of our life but alsoto establish political domination in various pockets and if possible allover the land.”[xxx]
Golwalkar’s hatred for Muslims was inexhaustible and never-ending. So far as his hatred for Muslims was concerned there was no difference in his views contained in We or Our Nationhood Defined in 1939, or his hatred for Muslims in 1960. In fact, this hatred got wilder. While addressing the leading RSS cadres of south India in Bangalore on November 30, 1960, he declared:“Right from Delhi to Rampur, Muslims are busy hatching a dangerous plot, piling up arms and mobilizing their men, and probably biding their time to strike from within.”[xxxi]
Shockingly, no proofs were given and law and order machinery was not informed about such a critical situation but this Guru of Hate continued spitting venom against patriotic Indian Muslims. His only purposed seemed to be to create mob-hysteria against Muslims. More shocking was that Indian State took no action against Golwalkar for creating enmity between 2 major religious communities of India.
For Golwalkar and RSS, Communists are described as ‘Internal Threat’ number 3 as the latter rise in defence of a democratic-secular Indian polity and challenge the Hindutva forces which are working overtime to undo an all-inclusive India.[xxxii]
RSS DECRIED THE DEMOCRATIC-SECULAR CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
The second sarsanghchalak of the RSS, MS Golwalkar led the organization during 1940-1973. What RSS thought about the Indian Constitution would be clear from the following words of his reproduced from Bunch of Thoughts:
“Our Constitution too is just a cumbersome and heterogeneous piecing together of various articles from various Constitutions of Western countries. It has absolutely nothing, which can be called our own. Is there a single word of reference in its guiding principles as to what our national mission is and what our keynote in life is? No! Some lame principles form the United Nations Charter or from the Charter of the now defunct League of Nations and some features form the American and British Constitutions have been just brought together in a mere hotchpotch.”
In fact, RSS wanted this Constitution to be replaced by Manusmriti or Codes of Manu. When the Constituent Assembly of India had finalized the Constitution of India RSS was not happy. Organizerin an editorial (‘The Constitution’) on November 30, 1949, complained:“The worst about the new constitution of Bharat is that there is nothing Bhartiya about it. The drafters of the Constitution have incorporated in it elements of British, American, Canadian, Swiss and sundry other constitutions. But there is no trace of ancient Bhartiya constitutional laws, institutions, nomenclature and phraseology in it…But in our constitution, there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing.”[xxxiii]
RSS IS COMMITTED FOR CONVERTING DEMOCRATIC-SECULAR INDIAN INTO A HINDU RASHTRA
The RSS is committed to establish a Hindu Rashtra in opposition to a Secular India will be clear by the perusal of the oath (pratigya) which every member must take before admission into the RSS and prayer (pararthana) which is recited in its meetings.
“Before the all-powerful God and my ancestors, I most solemnly take this oath, that I become a member of the RSS in order to achieve all round greatness of Bharatvarsha by fostering the growth of my sacred Hindu religion, Hindu society, and Hindu culture. I shall perform the work of the Sangh honestly, selflessly with my heart and soul, and I shall adhere to this goal all my life. Bharat Mata Ki Jai.”[xxxiv]
Thus they are not faithful to the Indian Nation as it exists as a legal entity but want to subvert it into a theocratic state like Muslim League which created Pakistan in the name of Islam.
Affectionate Motherland, I eternally bow to you/O Land of Hindus, you have reared me in comfort/O Sacred Land, the Great Creator of Good, may this body of mine be dedicated to you/I again and again bow before You/O God almighty, we the integral part of the Hindu Rashtra salute you in reverence/For Your cause have we girded up our loins/Give us Your Blessings for its accomplishment…”[xxxv]
RSS and its fraternal organization, Hindu Mahasabha were very angry when Indian Constituent Assembly adopted a democratic-Secular Constitution under the supervision of Dr. BR Ambedkar. VD Savarkar as leader of Hindutva believed:“Manusmriti is that scripture which is most worship-able after Vedas for our Hindu Nation and which from ancient times has become the basis of our culture-customs, thought and practice. This book for centuries has codified the spiritual and divine march of our nation. Even today the rules which are followed by crores of Hindus in their lives and practice are based on Manusmriti. Today Manusmriti is Hindu Law”.[xxxvi]
What kind of political system the RSS wants to usher in and run will be clear from the following words of MS Golwalkar’s speech which he delivered before the 1350 top level cadres of the RSS at Resham Bagh, the RSS headquarters at Nagpur in 1940:
“RSS inspired by one flag, one leader and one ideology is lighting the flame of Hindutva in each and every corner of this great land.”[xxxvii] Interestingly, this ruling mantra was lifted from the programmes of Nazi and Fascists parties of Europe.
The above original documents from the RSS/Hindu Mahasabha archives go to prove one fact that with Hindutva politics taking over the Indian constitutional polity, no enemy is required to undo India.
HINDUTVA AND COW
Rahul Pandita seems to be enjoying Adityanath’s guidelines to the police for
“strict action against cow slaughter, while the sealing of some slaughterhouses is underway”.He does share the fact that slaughterhouses sealed were not slaughtering cows thus facilitating the spread of a stereotype against Muslims that they slaughter cows. This is the kind of rumour mongering which has resulted in lynching of innumerable Muslims who were seen transporting cows. Muslims found with cow are legitimate target for Hindutva zealots as witnessed recently in Alwar, Rajasthan. Rahul Pandita wants to remain oblivious, knowingly or unknowingly that Hindutva gang’s agenda of holiness of cow is a modern construct. Swami Vivekananda, regarded as a philosopher of Hindutva by the RSS, said: “You will be astonished if I tell you that, according to old ceremonials, he is not a good Hindu who does not eat beef. On certain occasions, he must sacrifice a bull and eat it.”[xxxviii] Imagine what these ‘gau rakshaks’ will do to Swami if he reappears today! Rahul Pandita does not dare to question DOGHLAPAN (hypocrisy) of RSS/BJP on cow slaughter; their governments in Goa and many north-eastern States of India openly allow beef.
“The assertive form of Hindutva” is required only for teaching a lesson to Muslims who have been appeased by all except Hindutva brigade. Why should Rahul Pandita bother about the fact that 800 years of ‘Muslim’ rule and decades of pampering of Muslims of India by ‘secular’ leaders, the community socially, economically and politically remains static at the lowest pedestal of ‘New India’.
Lastly, I would like Rahul Pandita not to trivialize the issue of persecution, repression and forced ouster of minorities, secular and liberal elements to plight and brutalization of Kashmiri Pandits only. The Islam-o-fascists in league with intelligence agencies from across the borders, went after non-Pandit Hindus, Sikhs and secular Muslims also in order to convert Kashmir problem into a fight between Hinduism and Islam. It is to be noted that never in the history of communal/Casteist violence in India, the victims who were forced to migrate like Kashmiri Pandits were provided with jobs/allowances/residences/reservation in admissions. It is to be appreciated and fair-paly demands that all those who were/are forced to migrate due to communal and Caste violence must be provided with the same kind of support and should not be confined to one kind of victims.
Shamsul Islam is a retired Professor of University of Delhi.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For some of S. Islam’s writings in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Telugu, Punjabi, Urdu & Gujarati see the following link:
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[v] Singh, Nagendra K., Encyclopaedia of the Indian Biography, APH Publications,Delhi, 2000, pp. 588–590.
[vi] Cited in Majumdar, R. C., History of the Freedom Movement in India, vol. I, Firma KL Mukhpadhyay, Calcutta, 1971, pp. 295–296.
[vii] Ibid, 8.
[ix] Parmanand, Bhai in pamphlet titled, ‘The Hindu National Movement’, cited in B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or the Partition of India , Government of Maharashtra, Bombay, 1990, pp. 35–36, (first Published December 1940, Thackers Publishers, Bombay).
[x] Parmanand, Hamare Qaumi Hero, Hindu Bookshop, Lahore, nd.
[xi] Parmanand, Bhai, The Story of My Life, S. Chand, Delhi, 1982, p. 36.
[xii] Noorani, A. G., ‘Parivar & Partition’, Frontline, Chennai, August 22, 2014, p. 52.
[xiii] Ibid, p. 53.
[xiv] Rai, Lala Lajpat, ‘Hindu-Muslim Problem XI’, The Tribune, Lahore, December 14, 1924.
[xv] Cited in Dhanki, J. S., Lala Lajpat Rai and Indian Nationalism, S Publications, Jullundur, 1990, p. 378.
[xvi] A Maratha [V. D. Savarkar], Hindutva, VV Kelkar, Nagpur, 1923, p. 88.
[xvii] Savarkar, V. D., Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, [Collected works of Savarkar in English] vol. 6, Maharashtra Hindu Sabha, Poona, 1963, p. 296.
[xviii]Ambedkar, BR, Pakistan Or the Partition of India, Govt. of Maharashtra, Bombay, 1990, p. 142.
[xix] Golwalkar, M. S., We or Our Nationhood Defined, Bharat Publications, Nagpur, 1939, pp. 47-48.
[xx] M. S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, (Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu, 1996 edition), 36-37.
[xxi] M. S. Golwalkar cited in Organizer, January 2, 1961, pp. 5 & 16.
[xxii] M. S. Golwalkar cited in Organizer, January 2, 1961, p. 5.
[xxiii] This selection of Manu’s Codes is from F. Max Muller, Laws of Manu (Delhi: LP Publications, 1996; first published in 1886). The bracket after each code incorporates number of chapter/number of code according to the above edition.
[xxiv]Organizer, August 14, 1947.
[xxv] MS Golwalkar, Shri Guruji Samagar Darshan (collected works of Golwalkar in Hindi), Bhartiya Vichar Sadhna, Nagpur, nd., volume I, p. 98.
[xxvi] MS Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996 [first edition 1966], pp. 237-238.
[xxvii] MS Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, p. 177.
[xxviii] MS Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, pp. 177-78.
[xxix] MS Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, p. 185.
[xxx] MS Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, p. 193.
[xxxi] M. S. Golwalkar, ‘From Delhi to Rampur Muslims are Conspiring’ Organizer, December 12, 1960.
[xxxii] MS Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, p. 195.
[xxxiii]Organizer, November 30, 1947.
[xxxiv]Shakha Darshikha, Gyan Ganga, Jaipur, 1997, p. 66.
[xxxv]Shakha Darshikha, Gyan Ganga, Jaipur, 1997, p. 2
[xxxvi] [VD Savarkar, ‘Women in Manusmriti‘ in Savarkar Samagar (collection of Savarkar’s writings in Hindi), vol. 4, Prabhat, Delhi, p. 416.]
[xxxvii] MS Golwalkar, Shri Guruji Samagar Darshan (collected works of Golwalkar in Hindi), Bhartiya Vichar Sadhna, Nagpur, nd., Volume I, p. 11.
[xxxviii] [Vivekananda speaking at the Shakespeare Club, Pasadena, California, USA (2 February 1900) on the theme of ‘Buddhistic India’, cited in Swami Vivekananda, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, vol 3, (Calcutta: Advaita Ashram, 1997), p. 536]