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Abusing RSS is Creative Secularism

Author: Rakesh Sinha
Publication: The New Indian Express
Date: February 22, 2015
URL: http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns/Abusing-RSS-is-Creative-Secularism/2015/02/22/article2680207.ece

Not a single newspaper or TV channel lets go of news and  views about the RSS and its affiliates. Not surprising, since India today is governed by the saffron party. Concomitantly, the opinions and statements of the fraternal organisation definitely attract media attention; the Parivar’s behaviour, acts and influence on the government are matters of interest. One can’t blame the media for microscopic attention-seeking.

But sadly, a class of intellectuals, including a large part of the media, habitually blames RSS for everything and anything. Following the Modi government’s advent, secularist intellectuals and the media have left no stone unturned to create an anti-government atmosphere by using events and undesirable statements, none of which are due to any responsible leader of the RSS.

On population, two or three leaders have appealed to Hindus to produce more children. The statement was deliberately misconstrued as an RSS attempt to revert the population policy. None tried to know the RSS’s perspective on women. Most critics are ignorant of the Rashtra Sevika Samiti, the RSS’s women wing, formed in 1936. It has been doing outstanding work in empowering women. Unlike the Left’s slogan-shouting women wings, it works silently. This instance alone exposes Indian academics’ and intellectuals’—predominantly left-Nehruvian—non-serious approach to dialogue with and discourse on RSS.

Their anti-RSS approach has remained consistent, whenever the Jana Sangh or BJP is in power. In 1967, coalition governments were formed in seven states with the Jana Sangh as a partner. The Left raised howls about the existence of minorities being under threat. After 1977, much credit for the deconstruction of the Janata Party government must go to the same intellectuals who poisoned the political environs. In the 90s, the Vajpayee government endured the same hostility. The repetition of the same abuse, allegations and modus operandi can be seen in their actions.

Disagreements with the RSS can in no way obscure the fact that it is a reality of India’s social and political life. The Sangh is a force with an alternative ideology with huge organised following.Neither can any serious student deny that the RSS stood for democracy and suffered the most when Indira Gandhi’s regime turned totalitarian.

Abusing RSS has become creative secularism of Nehruites and Marxists. They have dealt it polemically. There has been not even subtle difference between propagandist literature of the CPI/CPI(M) on the RSS and those written by pseudo-secular social scientists.

Moreover, they’ve gone to the extent of alleging that the RSS is funded by the CIA in one of their works, CIA interests in RSS. American writings on the RSS are Commies’ only base for this, which betrays slanderous intellectualism.

The first work on RSS was published 25 years after its formation in 1951, Militant Hinduism in Indian Politics: A Study of RSS by J A Curran. It was published by the International Secretariat, Institute of Public Relations of the US. Another important work was again by a foreigner, Craig Baxter, on the Jana Sangh, also dealing with the RSS, and two other important works, by Walter Anderson in the 80s and later by Christophe Jaffrelot in 90s. All of them are critical but serious study.

Pseudo-secularists are master in manipulating and distorting facts. One such hilarious allegation is that the RSS was inspired by Mussolini, in proof of which they quote an Italian scholar, Marzia Casolari. This was enough for a secularist journal’s cover story, its only basis being Hindu Mahasabha leader Dr B S Moonje’s personal meeting with Mussolini. No RSS leader in the pre-Independence era travelled overseas, or ever praised Hitler or Mussolini. And a March 7, 1934, debate in the Central Provinces Legislative Council on the RSS demolished the myth of Moonje being one of the founders of the RSS. The Sangh itself had voiced serious displeasure with Moonje’s approach to imperialism and the Muslim question, and he was even pulled up by RSS leader Martand Jog for his irresponsible statements in Dr Hedgewar’s presence in 1932. Moonje later wrote in his diary that he would not use the RSS platform in future. But secularist lies and deceit have no regard for historical facts and archival records. They are the real hybrids of Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci and Hitler’s propaganda minister Goebbels.

- rakeshsinha46@gmail.com

Sinha is Hony Director of India Policy Foundation
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