India Under The RSS

Ideologues of the BJP, as the party was gaining ascendancy after the destruction of the Babri Masjid in 1992, would claim it merely drew inspiration from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and was not its political tool. Later, after the BJP came into power, some commentators argued that India needed a centre-right party, and the key factor for the BJP would be if it managed to cut its umbilical cord to the RSS. That both views were mere tactical ploys, germinating from within the RSS itself, has been clear for some time. And, in a first, top ministers of the Modi regime, including the Indian PM himself, have just finished a three-day ‘meeting’ with the top brass of the RSS. In effect, the government was giving briefings to, and taking instructions from, its parent body. That this is blatantly contrary to the Indian Constitution does not seem to matter (as the fact that the RSS kept away from anti-British activities during colonial rule, and even opposed the Indian tricolor and the Constitution). What needs to be stressed, and realised, is that the RSS has taken over India. It is ruling India, directly. This Hindutva organisation has always thought long-term, and in gaining power in Delhi it has fulfilled one of its aims.

The Sangh Parivar has always sought to achieve multiple objectives via various arms, while each arm ostensibly operates independently. So, for example, the RSS ‘guides,’ the VHP maintains Hindutva demands like building a Ram temple, and the Bajrang Dal works as stormtroopers on the streets, whenever needed.

The Nazi analogy (stormtroopers) is not an invention. The RSS was founded for a specific purpose, a purpose that led its founding fathers to idolise Hitler and his extermination of the Jews: MS Golwalkar, in his books Bunch of Thoughts and We, Or Our Nationhood Defined, says that what Hitler did was “a good lesson for us in Hindusthan (sic) to learn and profit by.” The RSS’ idea of Muslims and minorities, as defined by him, is that the “non-Hindu people of Hindustan must either adopt Hindu culture and languages…(and revere) the Hindu religion…Or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment – not even citizens’ rights.” The gradual marginalisation, ghettoisation and demonisation of Indian Muslims, thus, is no historical/political accident.  Kashmir was one of the issues on which the RSS issued ‘guidelines’ to the Modi government during this meeting. And Kashmiris must remain cognisant of this.