THE RSS’ Akhil Bharati Pratinidhi Sabha in a meeting held from March 11-13, 2016 repeated that, “only (the RSS) creates awareness about our ancient cultural values among people.”
The reality is that the highest organisational pillar of the RSS regularly reviews the working of its 44 affiliates; prominent among them BJP, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarathi Parishad etc. It has an elite core of committed workers and many of them whole timers, who as products of the school of RSS shakhas are engaged in spreading the ideology of Hindu Rashtravad as defined by the RSS. The RSS network of activists is engaged in multiple activities to spread the message of “Sanatan Dharma” ie, Hinduism in far off tribal areas, and rural and urban India. RSS has penetrated every formal and informal organisation like temples, educational institutions and others to make the message of Sanatan Dharma an all India phenomenon. If on one hand RSS is trying to become a mass movement and spread its ideology from schools to the residences of ordinary Hindus, on the other, it is fully engaged in providing physical and paramilitary training to the Hindu youth so that they can physically confront challenges from the non-Hindus. The RSS has a women’s wing known as Durga Vahini which is training women in “self defence”.
During physical exercises, the cadre is trained to use strong sticks known as lathis. Bhou Singh Rajawat of the Bajrang Dal observed on May 30, 2016 that, “If we want to train people to defend themselves in case of a terror, attack or make Hindu girls aware about being exploited by Muslim men or prevent cows from being slaughtered, how is this communal?” Paramilitary feature of the RSS and its daily training programmes for improving the physical strength of the Hindu youth was not projected openly by the RSS because it maintained “secrecy” like all other military-minded organisations. With the passage of time, the RSS has come out in the open and it has publicly proclaimed and practiced in its shakhas and other off shoots that preparing Hindu youth, men and women, for confronting physically its opponents, physical training has to be imparted and they have to be trained in the use of arms to defend themselves. Batray Dunger of the Bajrang Dal on June 27, 2016 openly stated that “weapons’ training has always been a part of Indian culture and for this purpose camps are held at regular intervals.” The Vishwa Hindu Parishad secretary, Surendra Jain, observed on May 26, 2016 that weapon training is routine and self-defense camps were held in Ayodhya. It was reported in the media that at Sarswati Shishu Mandir, school maintained by the RSS, NOIDA Sector 12, under the supervision of Bajrang Dal, hundreds of young students are learning the army crawl, rope climbing and crossing hurdles apart from sword fighting, karate kicks and using nanchaks. Not only this, during the camp’s training, slogans were raised like Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai and Hindu youth were shown fighting with swords against skull-cap-wearing Muslims. While responding to allegations about military like training being given to Hindus who were fighting against skull-cap-wearing Muslims, Balraj Dunger of the Bajrang Dal observed: “Every village has an akhara in India and it’s no crime in training with weapons which are allowed to civilians.”
Can it not be asserted that BS Moonje, a close associate of KB Hedgewar, inspired by military like training of youth wing of Mussolini’s fascist party, replicated Italian fascist practices in the organisational structure of the Rashtriya SwayamSevak Sangh? The ideological inspiration which the RSS founders drew from fascists and Nazis does not end only with the establishment of the organisational structure of the RSS; it is also an integral part of the ideology of nationalism of the RSS which defines Hindu nationalism on the lines of pure German nationalism of the Nazis. The RSS is committed to the idea of creating Hindu India or Rashtra also on the same pattern as Hitler’s idea of great Germanic nation of pure German blood. All major inter community conflicts which have arisen in contemporary India are because RSS wants to ruthlessly impose its idea of monolith Hindu nationalism which is otherwise, resisted and opposed by multiple and diverse cultural communities of India.
To summarize, RSS, its ideology and paramilitary network of the organisation which is spread in every corner of the country is a great threat to the idea of plural India which is enshrined in secular, democratic and federal constitution where the Indian State is expected to protect diversity of culture, languages, ways of life of the people of India. The struggle against RSS which is undemocratic, hierarchical and divisive and anti-religious and cultural minorities has to be waged by all those who defend the philosophical foundational principles this very constitution.
a. What is RSS?
b. What is its organisational structure?
c. What is its basic ideology?
d. What are the sources of its funding?
e. What is the relationship between leaders and cadre in the RSS?
f. What kind of social caste hierarchy is represented in the RSS?
g. Is there a core regional base of the RSS?
In the part I, this article outlined the long history of the RSS and its affiliate organisations; exhibiting how violence is at the core of its ideology. Here, I continue to explore other facets of RSS and its relationship with its cadre in the present conjuncture so that all Left, democratic forces can prepare their strategies in accordance. The present agenda before these social and political forces in India is to confront the ideological and political agenda of Sangh Parivar to confront the quasi-fascist, hierarchically organised paramilitary organisation of the RSS which is relentless in its aim of creating a Hindu state.
I have already spoken of the qualitative change in India’s contemporary politics that is represented by the massive intrusion by proponents of the Hindu Rashtra at different levels of state power. Narendra Damodar Modi, a committed RSS ideologue and pracharak is the prime minister of India with a clear majority support in the lower house of the Indian parliament. The RSS has graduated from a marginal status to mainstream of Indian public life and in less than three years beginning with 2014, the RSS has not only recognised the significance of new political situation prevailing in the country, it is making every effort to exploit the new openings which it has got for the first time to capture and penetrate every institution of the State and all important non-State institutions like mass media, both print and visual, educational institutions from elementary schools to universities and technical education. The RSS is actively implementing its project of Hinduisation of Indian society by promoting brahmanical ritual based Hindu belief systems by involving large number of Hindu priests in hundreds and thousands of temples to spread the message that Hindu religion is superior to all other religious faiths and in a Hindu country, languages like Sanskrit and Hindu symbols like the protection of holy mother cow or Hindu rituals like surya namaskar and gayatri mantra have to be popularised in every part of the country. The RSS which is marked by its heightened social work among the tribal communities of India, is now working towards the Hinduisation of these groups with a renewed vigour. The Organiser, the RSS weekly, has re-asserted that tribals are integral part of Bharat since the time of the Mahabharata wars and they have to be brought back to sanatan dharma because they have always been Hindus.
Despite common knowledge, few facts may be mentioned to substantiate the argument that under the protective umbrella provided by BJP governments at the centre and states, the RSS/ BJP are expanding their areas of influence and activity and institutionalising their legitimacy as the protector and promoters of Hindu interests in Hindu India. First, the RSS leadership has always pretended that it was a cultural and non-political organisation. However, the RSS had a clear political agenda and it had always been engaged in spreading its so called cultural message by penetrating in various institutions of the State.