March-April  2002 

Sangh loves Modi

Adept at its role behind the scenes, the fountainhead of Hindutva, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh gave a clean chit to the Narendra Modi administration after the Gujarat carnage. Describing the violence after the Godhra incident as a "natural reaction of Hindus," the RSS on Friday gave a clean chit to the Narendra Modi administration in Gujarat, saying that no government could have controlled the "upsurge." While expressing the view that the "natural reaction"(the violence) was unjustifiable, RSS spokesperson M G Vaidya said, "whole Hindu society irrespective of caste, creed and political affiliations, reacted violently against what had happened at Godhra." (The Times of India, March 16, 02.)

Two days after this declaration giving Modi and his men a clean chit, the Sangh adopted a resolution at its three-day conference of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha which concluded at Chennenahalli. The resolution read : "Let Muslims understand that their real safety lies in the goodwill of the majority.’’ Although a few Muslim leaders interpreted ‘jehad’ as not supporting terrorism, they had not been able to influence the extremist elements, it said. "The Sabha wants to make it clear that it does no credit to the Muslim community to allow itself to be made pawns in the hands of extremist leaders,’’ it added.

Describing the Godhra incident as "horrible and ghastly," the RSS delegates said it had become imperative to present it in the proper perspective. The reaction to the incident was spontaneous. The entire Hindu society had reacted. It was unfortunate that a number of people died in the violence.

"The Muslims would be safe in the country provided they won the goodwill of the majority community. They had to accept the law of the land which they are not doing now.’’ "They should desist from provoking the Hindus.’’ He regretted that the Hindu lives had no value in India.

Justifying the systematic post-Godhra carnage, the RSS joint general secretary said that it had become imperative to present Godhra in the proper perspective. "The reaction to the incident was spontaneous. The entire Hindu society had reacted. It was unfortunate that a number of people died in the violence." (The quality of the ‘reaction,’ which includes rape, tearing apart a woman’s womb, hacking to death and burning to cinders is conveniently glossed over in the term "Hindu society reacted")

The RSS did not stop there. Despite the outrage and condemnation that the Bangalore resolution had drawn, RSS spokesman MG Vaidya further elaborated on the RSS’ advice to Muslims saying, "Muslims must earn the goodwill of the Hindu majority for their safety, We also ask them to re-interpret some Islamic terms and condemn all violence being perpetrated against Hindus, rather than playing in the hands of Hindu-baiters." MG Vaidya listed three words — kafir (infidels), kufr (the philosophy of infidels) and jehad (holy war against infidels) — and demanded that "Muslims re-interpret and define" them. When asked how, in his view, Muslims could earn the goodwill of Hindus, Vaidya said they had to condemn the activities of those who professed to carry out a ‘‘jehad’’ against ‘‘idol-worshippers.’’ He said the RSS did not consider all Muslims to be terrorists, but many terrorists happened to be Muslims and claimed that they were pursuing ‘‘jehad."

The RSS spoke its mind, making it clear that there were to be no regrets expressed for the genocide. The message to Muslims is clear. But there is in this also a message for all ‘liberal’ Hindus who see the RSS brand of faith as a travesty of their own religion and therefore oppose it.

The Sangh, through BJP president, Jana Krishnamurthy, managed to quash prime minister Vajpayee’s plan to accept Modi’s token resignation. In this and other moves, it is clear who pulls the punches in government even today.

Gujarat and what happened there is a flagrant violation of the Constitution; the fact that the RSS sees no particular reason to censure its cadres tells us what the RSS really thinks of the Indian Constitution. In 1948, after Gandhi’s assassination, a ban had been imposed on the RSS They had done all they could to lift the ban. At the time, Sardar Patel wrote this to MS Golwalkar. In a letter to the RSS chief, Golwalkar, on the ban on the RSS following Gandhiji’s assassination, Sardar Vallabhai Patel had written, "It was not necessary to spread poison in order to enthuse Hindus and organise for their self-protection. As a final result of their poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life of Gandhiji. The RSS man expressed joy and distributed sweets."(from a publication sympathetic to the Sangh Parivar; Truth Triumphs, distributor : Sahitya Niketan, Hyderabad –57. Published in 1997; According to the book, the Letter was written by Sardar Vallabhai Patel on 11th September 1948.) The ban was finally lifted two years later.

The gory drama enacted in Gujarat from February 28 onwards had the tacit support and inspiration from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The sangh’s approval of the actions of its cadres in Gujarat is significant. Let us not forget that it was M.S. Golwalkar, the Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, who wrote in 1939, "The foreign races in Hindustan (read all Muslims and Christian) must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence (sic) Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges far less any preferential treatment - not even citizen’s rights. There is, at least should be, no other course for them to adopt." (9.)(We Or Our Nationhood Defined, 1939.) The echo that the Bangalore resolution finds in these words of Golwalkar is not insignificant.

The systematic violence unleashed in Gujarat has all the elements of genocide. Lives maimed, hacked, raped and brutally destroyed, economic decimation and cultural and religious desecration. It is this element in the RSS worldview that envisages an India based on superiority and inferiority of race, that sanctions violence, threat and hatred to achieve its goals in the bargains that draw a chilling likeness between Hindutva and Facism.

Read a bit further into Golwalkar and the admiration for Hitler is written, in black and white.

"German race and pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic Races — the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by" (10)—We and Our Nationhood Defined."

It is the politics of the sangh parivar that has made Gujarat a reality. In the violence, in the pogrom, in the genocide, this worldview has played a key and pivotal role.

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