RSS: A Proverbial Punching Bag

RSS is the biggest social & cultural organization in the World. Its membership is awe-inspiring and now with its supposedly political arm, the BJP in power as NDA it assumes significant proportions as a mammoth riding the powerful waves of Indian political spectrum. However, with all it’s supposed to power & its hegemonic predominance, RSS suffers from lack of confidence in taking on powers inimical to its ideology, both intellectually & ideologically betraying confidence among its swayamsevaks & Supporters.

Dr. Hedgewar, at the outset of founding his organization, was pro-Congress as was the won’t of the leading public figures then. But Hedgewar realized the dichotomy of the policies followed by Congress in public and privately. His disillusionment was complete in the 1920s though he supported their calls for protest against British.

Historically, RSS chose Right of the Centre approach to its workings, it chose ancient India as its ideological platform, not a postmodernist confused approach of the Westernised Congress Leaders who were happy with a superimposed doctrine of Secularism. Nothing wrong with Secularism per se but the abused version of this doctrine was pre-eminent in the articulation of post-Gandhi Congress. The demise of Tilak and the rise of MK Gandhi as the sole voice of Congress was suffocating the Hindu Right within and outside the Congress.

The indifference of Gandhi towards the massacres of Hindus in Bengal, Punjab & Sindh fuelled the anti-Muslim, Anti-Gandhi Constituency in India. The Hindu Mahasabha was the leading light in propagating the extreme position of Hindu Right in the country. In this vicious atmosphere with the accompanying indifference of Congress towards Hindus, especially the utterances of Gandhi didn’t calm the situation.

The country had exploded in a frenzy of bloodbath never witnessed before, the two dominions born out of a bleeding womb were at each other’s throats. Not that there was no latent hatred for each other, it was the result of a drawn-out narrative of hate, the establishment of an Islamic Pakistan an avowed objective of Muslim leaders had vitiated the milieu to an extent that living together was a foregone conclusion. Both parts wanted a Religious State, by parts here, the majority on both sides wanted an Islamic Pakistan and a dominant Hindu State if not a Hindu Rashtra in India. Even Ambedkar, the Chairman of Drafting Committee of Constitution believed in the wholesome transfer of population to achieve the aim of Two States based on religion.

However, the Founding Fathers of India, a term which is as controversial as the term Secularism thought that India should remain Secular. Nothing wrong again!

But did the political powers in the country hold any referendum as to the nature of state wanted by the people of remaining India?? No. It was forced upon the country, had there been a referendum it would have led to complete partition with the wholesome transfer of population. It would be bloodier and substantially more vicious but that’s what it would have been.
RSS has no say in this partition as such but it stood up against the violence unleashed by Jinnah and Muslim League in protecting the Hindus, this led them on a path to confrontation with the Congress culture in the country. It was against the special status to the state of J&K too.

The assassination of MK Gandhi had nothing to do with RSS as subsequent inquiry committees & commissions have pointed out. The accused had no relation directly with the RSS either but Congress in a fit of anger and its failure to control the situation banned the RSS in the aftermath of Gandhi assassination. The accused were hanged for killing the Father of the Nation!

This hanging which has no relation with the RSS has hung across its neck like an albatross, it’s become a proverbial punching bag for politicians of all hues except the Saffron. Congress, after its humiliating loss in 2014 has upped the ante through its immature and often ignorant Vice-President, subsequently President, Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress President faces trial in a Bhiwandi Court in Mumbai after Supreme Court rejected a petition to open the Gandhi Assassination Case, it concluded that “ the people who committed the crime have been identified and hanged”.
This crime committed more than half a century ago is still used by the Congress and the Left to pillory the RSS.

What surprises the layman is the defensive position adopted by the RSS and it’s spokespersons on various debates on TV and otherwise in the country. The argument that Sardar Patel & Nehru both have lauded the RSS for their exemplary service to the Nation, both in the times of war and peace is fine but why is there this defensive mindset which doesn’t have a strong voice to refute and rebut this entire false narrative.

RSS has failed spectacularly in articulating its position on various contentious issues facing the country, there’s a distinct ambiguity for the reasons best known to the hierarchy in Nagpur. Its position on Act 370, Uniform Civil Code, on the construction of Ram Mandir is well known by its formulations over the years but its silence on the issues when in power and in a position to influence decisions has been deafening. The challenge to Act 35A was envisaged by a think tank close to the RSS but its stated stand in the Supreme Court through the Centre is shrouded in ambiguity.

RSS believes in guiding not imposing itself on the BJP but the way it has taken over the political positions in the BJP it cannot wish away its responsibility when the electorate asks questions by deflecting these to the BJP. Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, number one and two in BJP are through and through RSS appointees, President, Vice President, various Governors, organizational posts in BJP are all under the RSS tutelage or the incumbents are former Pracharaks on loan to the BJP.

Unless RSS finds its voice on matters of importance and matters which casts a shadow of reasonable doubts about its ability to defend itself there will be slander directed against it more now than ever before. RSS must come out of this ‘Defensive Mindset’ when dealing with the kinds of Rahul Gandhis, the Yechuris, the Mamatas, the Lalus, the Mulayams, else they come harder and harder as 2019 approaches, for losing is not an option for either alliance.

The opinions expressed within articles on "My Voice" are the personal opinions of respective authors. OpIndia.com is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information or argument put forward in the articles. All information is provided on an as-is basis. OpIndia.com does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.