MOHAN Bhagwat, the Sarsangh Chalak of the RSS, while addressing the RSS workers at Kanpur on July 16, 2016 observed that Narendra Modi is our man and he is doing a good job. It is not only that Modi, the prime minister, has a RSS background and linkages, Bhagwat assured the RSS workers that along with Modi “RSS workers are ministers” and the RSS agenda of the rewriting of text books will be implemented by the Modi government. The presence of RSS workers is not confined to the Modi government at the centre; the state chief ministers of the BJP states are highly trusted and committed functionaries who either belong to the RSS or who have the approval of the RSS. BJP governments are an extension of the RSS and the primary goal of these RSS directed and controlled BJP governments – both at the centre and the states – is to implement the agenda of Hinduisation of Indian society as defined by the RSS. The RSS is not satisfied by the presence of its own committed cadre in government controlled by the BJP. It has appointed its own trusted workers who are quite high in the RSS hierarchy to act as a link between the government and the RSS. Such high RSS functionaries oversee the day-to-day functioning of the BJP governments and keep a watch over the central and state governments to ensure that the central agenda of the RSS is implemented by the BJP-led governments. How can BJP governments be autonomous of the RSS when they are completely under the vigilant supervision of the RSS? Thus RSS is in politics and BJP governments are instruments in the hands of the RSS. This is the reality of RSS-BJP relationship because RSS is a parent organisation of all its 44 affiliates including the BJP. Second, ever since BJP’s landslide victory to the Indian parliament, the RSS and BJP have experienced great expansion at organisational levels. First, between 2012-2014, 10,413 shakhas or branches of the RSS were added; 5,524 Shakhas were added in 2015 and the total of shakhas across the country in 2014-2016 are 56,839. While on the one hand, RSS has expanded its areas of recruitment, on the other, BJP is also busy in expanding its reach. Amit Shah, the present BJP president in his report to the national executive (2016) reported that (a) 7.25 lakhs BJP workers have been trained and (b) the plan is to train 12.25 lakh BJP workers. Shah further told the BJP national executive that the plan is to build party offices in each of the 578 districts by the end of 2016. Out of 578 districts, BJP has its own party offices in 170 districts and land has been purchased for 178 new district party offices. Shah maintained that every state, district and mandal will have party organisation’s presence.
Third, soon after Narendra Modi’s prime ministerial swearing-in, one could hear ecstatic claims about how it is for the first time that a feeling of freedom is experienced after India’s slavery of 1200 years. This was not an allusion to 200 years of British rule over India, but instead an ill-concealed reference to the long history of Muslim rule in the Indian subcontinent – derided as slavery by RSS historiography. It is logical for the RSS-led BJP governments to target the non-Hindus who are outsiders in Bharat Mata of the Hindus and declare a war on the religion and culture of religious minority communities like Muslims and Christians. The last example to prove the argument that RSS-led BJP governments beginning with 2014 have declared a kind of war on religious practices and symbols of religious minorities is provided by the violent campaign which have been launched by RSS affiliates like Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and others for the protection of cow from Muslims who are alleged to be engaged in slaughtering the cow for leather industries or suspected to be slaughtering for eating beef.
The first instance of killing of a Muslim by a Hindu mob in Dadri (near Delhi), on the basis of a rumour occurred when a self appointed Hindu gau rakshak group killed an innocent person who was identified by a mob for killing a cow and eating cow beef. This was just the beginning and targeting of suspected beef eating Muslims has become unstoppable because anti-cow slaughter is an agenda of the Sangh Parivar which has come to occupy centre stage in the public life of India. The vigilante groups feel fully protected by the BJP state governments while assaulting innocent Muslims on suspicion of cow slaughter. BJP leadership did not react to the killing of an innocent Muslim in Dadri.
The RSS-BJP found themselves cornered when on July 11, 2016, a few dalit youth from Sanadhyaliya in Gujarat’s Una tehsil were flogged by cow vigilante group because these dalits were skinning dead cows which is their profession. All hell-broke out in the whole of India and the state of Gujarat because the targeted Muslims by gau rakshaks in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana or Rajasthan did not have any defenders because BJP governments and RSS were protecting the atrocities committed by gau rakshaks. However in the case of flogging of dalits the BJP-RSS are in the back foot because there was a big dalit backlash against gau rakshaks in the whole of Gujarat. Narendra Modi realiSed the seriousness of the situation because all his efforts to win over dalits to the BJP’s side were found in vain if he kept silent on Una flogging of dalits by gau rakshaks. Modi’s double standards were exposed because he could not have opposed the RSS agenda of targeting Muslims as beef-eating community and at the same time he could not ignore the atrocities against dalits for political and electoral reasons. Hence, he spoke against the gau rakshaks, the vigilante groups after dalits were attacked in his own state of Gujarat. However the targeting of Muslims on cooked-up charges of slaughtering in Mewat region of Haryana continued when Haryana state police launched searches of Muslim shopkeepers who were selling biryani especially during the days of Muslim festival of sacrifice known as Bakrid. Haryana police started collecting samples of biryani in Muslim dominated areas of Mewat beginning with September 7, 2016 and because of the searches and terrorising of the Muslim shopkeepers, the biryani trade was completely destroyed. Mewat Superintendent of Police along with Police Cow Protection Task Force under the overall supervision of Deputy DPS Haryana launched searches of Muslim shops and houses to detect cow slaughter for biryani sale. Manoharlal Khattar, the chief minister of Haryana, when asked in a press conference on September 17, 2016 about the excesses committed by gau rakshaks and police while searching for beef in biryani dismissed it as a trivial matter. However it is not so because in the large context the RSS has launched a war on Muslim religion and culture and Bakrid, a day of sacrifice and prayers by Muslims on September 13, 2016 was celebrated under fear of the Hindu Mob. Bakrid was celebrated by Muslims under semi-curfew like situation on September 13, while in Kashmir valley Muslims could not celebrate the great festival because of curfew imposed by the state government. A very senior leader of People’s Democratic Party of Jammu and Kashmir, Tariq Karra on September 15, 2016 resigned from the PDP and the Lok Sabha and he observed, “The defining moment for me came on the occasion of Eid (September 13) when people of Kashmir were not allowed to offer Prayers”. He further observed that certain shrines and grand mosques were even locked.
Is there any doubt that RSS is not only successfully imposing its Hindu cultural agenda on minority Muslim community? Is there any doubt that Muslims under RSS-BJP governments are made to suffer humiliations on so-called love jihad or conversion or physically harmed on the basis of allegations about cow slaughter?
The above narrative clearly shows that Hindu Rashtriya Swaymsevak Sangh (RSS) is an extra constitutional centre of power and every institution of the State is under its control and influence of RSS ideology and personnel who are determined to implement this agenda. If on the one hand, RSS is implementing its core agenda of Hinduisation of society and indoctrination of the youth by re-writing school text books, on the other, it is openly employing coercion, dictation and violence against religious minorities to make them accept their second class citizenship in a future Hindu Rashtra.