In an open letter to the RSS, parliamentarian RK Anand asks them to refute his conclusions based on hard facts that the RSS was implicated in Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, that the RSS is a political, not a cultural, body which along with the Hindu Mahasabha staunchly opposed the Quit India movement and whose activists have been indicted by several commissions of inquiry for their role in major communal riots
Shri KS Sudershan
DB Gupta Road, New Delhi
Shri Ram Madhav
DB Gupta Road, New Delhi
Alot of hue and cry is being raised and threat of legal action is being extended by the RSS for various allegations made against them that their members were involved in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
As a citizen of the country, after reading various periodicals, books and documents, I wish to form the following opinion:
(1) That the RSS and its workers/activists were involved in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi;
(2) The RSS is no longer a cultural organisation, its activities are political in nature;
(3) The RSS and its activists have been involved in various riots committed in various parts of the country;
(4) The RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha opposed the Quit India Movement which was launched by Mahatma Gandhi in August 1942.
My point–wise viewpoint and conclusions on the above are based on the following facts:
Killing of Mahatma Gandhi
a) Shyama Prasad Mookherjee was the prominent minister for Industry and Supply in the then Congress government in 1948 while Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the minister of Home. Mookherjee was a leader and a member of the Hindu Mahasabha. Mookherjee was the person who later founded the Jana Sangh (now called Bharatiya Janata Party). In his reply dated July 18, 1948 to a letter from Mookherjee, Patel said:
"As regards the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, the case relating to Gandhiji’s murder is sub judice and I should not like to say anything about the participation of the two organisations, but our reports do confirm that, as a result of the activities of these two bodies, particularly the former, an atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy became possible. There is no doubt in my mind that the extreme section of the Hindu Mahasabha was involved in this conspiracy. The activities of the RSS constituted a clear threat to the existence of Government and the State. Our reports show that those activities, despite the ban, have not died down. Indeed, as time has marched on, the RSS circles are becoming more defiant and are indulging in their subversive activities in an increasing measure."
In a conspiracy, a person may not be a direct killer, but the very fact that an atmosphere was created in the country which led to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi squarely comes within the mischief of conspiracy to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi.
b) It is a historical fact that on February 4, 1948, the RSS was banned as an unlawful organisation by the Govt. of India, which ban was lifted on July 12, 1949. As mentioned above, Shyama Prasad Mookherjee was a cabinet colleague of Vallabhbhai Patel. He did not raise any protest on the banning of the RSS, nor did he resign from the ministry. He was convinced that the RSS and its activists created an atmosphere which led one of its activists to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi. On the other hand, Mookherjee, in his letter dated July 17, 1948, categorically denounced aggressive communalism. I quote below from his letter:
"Regarding the future, I do feel that the time has now come when leaders of all Hindu organisations should be contacted and efforts should be made to canalise their activities into lines which will best serve our national interest. Aggressive communalism which denies elementary rights to classes of Indian citizens merely on consideration of religion is certainly disastrous."
c) The Govt. of India appointed a commission of inquiry under the Commission of Inquiry Act headed by a senior Supreme Court judge, Justice Jeevan Lal Kapoor, to head its probe on the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
In Vol. V Chapter 21 at page 303 in paragraphs 25.105 and 25.106 of the report, a finding was given which is as under:-
"25.105 No doubt, the Commission is viewing this matter twenty-one years after, when all the facts for and against both theories are before it and Mr. Nagarvala was on a search for and collection of these facts and had to work out the clues and had to piece many bits of all kinds of information together like a jig–saw puzzle, but still on the following facts amongst others the proper conclusion, in the opinion of the Commission, was a conspiracy to murder and not a conspiracy to kidnap:
(1) The information which had been given by Mr. Morarji Desai to Mr. Nagarvala;
(2) The explosion of gun cotton slab at the prayer meeting;
(3) The mention of the association of Savarkar, and Madanlal and Karkare having interviewed Savarkar before they left for Delhi;
(4) The mention of a dump of arms guarded by a Maratha with a Sikh–like appearance.
"25.106: All these facts taken together were destructive of any theory other than the conspiracy to murder by Savarkar and his group and…"
d) It is also a historical fact that while Nathuram Godse was the person who killed Mahatma Gandhi, he was not the only person involved in the conspiracy; there were several other accused persons including VD Savarkar. The question is who was Nathuram Godse – was he a member of the RSS, was he connected with the activities of the RSS, was he following the ideologies of the RSS; how did the RSS come into being and who was the mentor of the RSS?
I have come across the following facts which would prove that Nathuram Godse was in the RSS and was a part and parcel of the RSS. Godse’s mentor was Savarkar, even LK Advani admitted that his mentor was Savarkar and took steps to name an airport after Savarkar in 2002 and was instrumental in installing Savarkar’s portrait in Parliament. Savarkar was implicated for conspiracy in the case leading to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Although he was acquitted, the evidence which was brought to light in the report of the Commission by Justice Kapoor indicated that Savarkar was involved in the conspiracy to murder Mahatma Gandhi. I have already mentioned a portion of the finding in para 25.105 and 25.106 referred to above.
It is an admitted historical fact that Nathuram Godse joined the RSS in 1930 and became a prominent speaker and organiser of the RSS. Godse accompanied Hedgewar (the then RSS chief) and Baburao Savarkar (brother of VD Savarkar) in an extended tour of western Maharashtra in 1932.
In 1931, Baburao who had founded the ‘Tarun Hindu Sabha’, a youth wing of the Mahasabha, merged his organisation with the RSS. Lacking trained cadres of its own, the Mahasabha, too, had started regarding the RSS as an extension of its politics in the sphere of the youth. The Delhi session of the Hindu Mahasabha (1932) passed a resolution commending the activities of the RSS and emphasising the need to spread its network all over the country. In the same year, Mahasabha leader Bhai Permanand extended a special invitation to Hedgewar to attend the Karachi session of the Hindu Yuvak Parishad, and the RSS leader was thus able to establish contacts with youth groups in Sind and Punjab.
Baburao Savarkar brought the RSS in touch with Mahasabha activists in Banaras and Delhi and the great prestige of the Savarkar family among the upper castes of western Maharashtra enabled a major expansion of the RSS into that region. Pune developed into a kind of second headquarters for the RSS and an additional training camp was started there from 1935 along with the main Nagpur camp. VD Savarkar, after his release from jail in 1937, also helped to enhance RSS prestige in Maharashtra by demonstratively visiting and speaking at shakha meetings. In 1940, Shyama Prasad Mookherjee, prominent Mahasabha leader, addressed a Lahore RSS shakha and declared that the organisation was the one silver lining in the cloudy sky of India. Above all, it was the Mahasabha connection which enabled the RSS to start penetrating in Hindi speaking northern India, today the principal base for itself and its affiliated organisations.
All the above facts point only to one direction, that there was no difference between the Hindu Mahasabha and RSS. The Hindu Mahasabha had been in politics whereas the RSS was not directly in politics at that time. But the policies, ideologies of both were the same.
As to whether Nathuram Godse was in the RSS or not, who is the best person to disclose that historical fact? His brother Gopal Godse, who was also involved in the conspiracy to murder Mahatma Gandhi and who clearly revealed that all the brothers (Godse brothers) were in the RSS – Nathuram Godse, Dattatreya, Gopal Godse and Govind did not leave the RSS.
A reference is to be made to an article titled "Godse–RSS link reflected Cowardice" (Frontline, January 28, 1994). The whole truth emerged 46 years later, in December 1993, with the publication of the book, Why I assassinated Mahatma Gandhi by the brother of Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram. Gopal Godse, speaking in New Delhi on the occasion of the release said that he and his brother had been active members of the RSS.
Godse also said:
"All the brothers were in the RSS. Nathuram, Dattatreya, myself and Govind. You can say we grew up in the RSS rather than in our home. It was like a family to us… Nathuram had become a baudhik karyavah (intellectual worker) in the RSS."
When Godse was asked about Advani’s claim that Nathuram had nothing to do with the RSS, Godse replied: "I have countered him, saying it is cowardice to say that. You can say that RSS did not pass a resolution, saying that, ‘go and assassinate Gandhi.’ But you do not disown him (Nathuram). The Hindu Mahasabha did not disown him. In 1944 Nathuram started doing Hindu Mahasabha work when he had been a baudhik karyavah in the RSS."
Savarkar and Golwalkar shared a number of platforms. Photographs are available showing both of them sharing platforms in Pune in 1952.
All these aforesaid
historical facts lead only to one conclusion: that Nathuram Godse and Savarkar
were a part and parcel of the RSS; the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS were
inter-linked in policies and ideologies and they were involved in the
assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
a) Shyama Prasad Mookherjee founded the Jana Sangh (now BJP). The RSS has categorically admitted that the BJP is its political wing. The RSS has for several years had a total grip over its political wing, i.e., BJP. The RSS has floated various organisations to propagate its ideology of Hindutva such as the VHP and Bajrang Dal. The word "Hindutva" was coined by Savarkar who openly declared that Hindutva is not Hinduism; it meant Hindustan for Hindus and Pakistan for Muslims. This was his two–nation theory which was further raised by RSS chief, Guru Golwalkar.
By the appointment of staunch RSS pracharaks in five states, the RSS has further tightened its grip over the BJP. This step has been taken by the RSS because the "Five star culture" initiated by people like Arun Jaitley into the BJP is not liked by the parent body. The RSS installed its supreme leaders as governors/chief ministers, home minister and Prime Minister. The very fact that top leaders of the RSS have been installed in the BJP to capture power clearly establishes that the RSS is nothing but a political organisation. In fact, the RSS acts as a springboard to fulfil the needs of the BJP.
b) It would be pertinent to mention here that in paragraphs No. 18 and 19 of the application submitted in the court of the district judge at Nagpur in connection with a case, Prof. Rajendra Singh clearly points out the mind of RSS. The relevant excerpt is as under:
"That the work of the RSS is neither religious nor charitable but its objects are cultural and patriotic as contra–distinguished from religious or charitable. It is akin to political purposes though RSS is not at present a political party inasmuch as the RSS constitution quoted above bars active political participation by RSS, as such, as a policy… Tomorrow the policy could be changed and RSS could participate in even day to day political activity as a political party because policy is not a permanent or irrevocable thing."
c) It is a historical fact that in the year 1979, during the Janata government rule under the leadership of Jai Prakash Narain, the question of dual membership arose, of the Jana Sangh and RSS. In a letter dated April 8, 1979, written by Jai Prakash Narain to the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai during the Janata regime in which BJP was a coalition partner, he clearly points to the direction that the RSS is a political organisation. He stated:
"Some friends have repeatedly complained that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is making efforts to grab the leadership in the Government. Like other political parties the RSS is free to influence politics and it is doing so. But my only objection is that the RSS people are trying to influence politics under the garb of a cultural organisation. I have advised the leaders of the RSS to merge themselves with organisations sympathetic to them or get affiliated with the Janata Party. But, they declined my advice on the plea that they have nothing to do with politics. I absolutely do not agree with this logic of the RSS. I still feel that the RSS should merge itself with the pro-Janata organisations.
"But if it is bent upon retaining its own distinct identity I would then repeat that it should include in it non–Hindus – Muslims, Christians, etc. I have always condemned Hindu nationalism of the RSS. For it is a dangerous doctrine and is against the ideal of composite Indian nationalism. In democracy every organisation has a right to propagate its philosophy or ideology – this is essence of democracy. But when it aspires to dominate politics, we would have to be careful to see whether such philosophy or ideology threatens the basic philosophy of Indian nationalism. I have no quarrel with the association of the RSS with the Janata Party. But it will have to give up its Hindu image and become completely secular. If it does not do so, it should keep its hands off politics, and snap its ties with every faction of the Janata Party.
"But as Prime Minister of India, it is your duty to make efforts to improve the RSS or make it a secular force. Its efforts to upset the secular basis of Indian nationalism and the Government should be opposed by all thinking individuals.
"Every time the RSS people assure me that they would internally improve. But I do not know what do they do after going from here. It is continuing like this for the last four years. After all there is a limit to everything."
RSS activists have been involved in riots in various parts of the country
a) Rajeshwar Dayal, an IAS officer who was home secretary in the year 1948 wrote a book titled, A Life Of Our times. At pages 93 and 94, the book mentions serious allegations against the RSS and their involvement in riots in the year 1948:
"I must record an episode of a very grave nature when the procrastination and indecision of the UP cabinet led to dire consequences. When communal tension was still at fever–pitch, the deputy inspector–general of police of the Western Range, a very seasoned and capable officer, BBL Jaitley, arrived at my house in great secrecy. He was accompanied by two of his officers who brought with them two large steel trunks securely locked. When the trunks were opened, they revealed incontrovertible evidence of a dastardly conspiracy to create a communal holocaust throughout the western districts of the province. The trunks were crammed with blueprints of great accuracy and professionalism of every town and village in that vast area, prominently marking out the Muslim localities and habitations. There were also detailed instructions regarding access to the various locations, and other matters which amply revealed their sinister purport.
"Greatly alarmed by those revelations, I immediately took the police party to the Premier’s House. There, in a closed room, Jaitley gave a full report of his discovery, backed by all the evidence contained in the steel trunks. Timely raids conducted on the premises of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh) had brought the massive conspiracy to light. The whole plot had been concerted under the direction and supervision of the Supremo of the organisation himself. Both Jaitley and I pressed for the immediate arrest of the prime accused, Shri Golwalkar, who was still in the area.
"Pantji could not but accept the evidence of his eyes and ears and expressed deep concern. But instead of agreeing to the immediate arrest of the ring leader as we had hoped, and as Kidwai would have done, he asked for the matter to be placed for consideration by the cabinet at its next meeting. It was no doubt a matter of political delicacy as the roots of the RSS had gone deep into the body politic. There were also other political compulsions as RSS sympathisers, both covert and overt, were to be found in the Congress Party itself and even in the cabinet. It was no secret that the presiding officer of the Upper House, Atma Govind Kher, was himself an adherent and his sons were openly members of the RSS.
"At the cabinet meeting there was the usual procrastination and much irrelevant talk. The fact that the police had unearthed a conspiracy which would have set the whole province in flames and that the officers concerned deserved warm commendation hardly seemed to figure in the discussion. What ultimately emerged was that a letter should be issued to Shri Golwalkar pointing out the contents and nature of the evidence which had been gathered and demanding an explanation thereof. At my insistence, such a letter if it were to be sent, should be issued by the Premier himself to carry greater weight. Pantji asked me to prepare a draft, which I did in imitation of his own characteristic style. The letter was to be delivered forthwith and two police officers were assigned for the purpose.
"Golwalkar, however, had been tipped off and he was nowhere to be found in the area. He was tracked down southwards but he managed to elude the couriers in pursuit. This infructuous chase continued from place to place and weeks passed.
"Came January 30, 1948 when the Mahatma, that supreme apostle of peace, fell to a bullet fired by an RSS fanatic. The whole tragic episode left me sick at heart."
b) The Govt. of India has appointed six commissions under the Commission of Inquiry Act in the last 50 years to enquire into the incidents leading to the riots in various parts of the country. These commissions were headed by senior Supreme Court and high court judges. Details of these are as under:
i) Justice Jagmohan Reddy Commission: Communal disturbance in Ahmedabad and other places of Gujarat in September 1969.
ii) Justice DP Madon: Bhiwandi and Jalgaon riots in 1970.
iii) Justice Vithayathil: Tellicherry riots in December 1971.
iv) Justice Jitender Narayan: Jamshedpur riots in December 1971.
v) Justice Venugopal Commission: Kanyakumari riots in 1982.
vi) Justice RC Sinha and Shamshul Hasan: Bhagalpur riots, 1989.
All the reports of the above commissions of inquiries are available in Parliament and you can confirm from the records that the findings given by the above commissions led to one conclusion – that a number of activists of the RSS have been found to be indulging in riots. They were creating an atmosphere of disharmony between the two communities in India.
c) I am in possession of a copy of the letter dated May 14, 1948 written by Dr. Rajendra Prasad to Sardar Patel who headed the Constituent Assembly in the year 1948; the relevant portion of the letter is given below:
"There is a persistent rumour that June 15 is fixed as a date for something big happening and panic is growing. It is feared that RSS might do something on that date. I am told that RSS people have a plan of creating trouble. They have got a number of men dressed as Muslims and looking like Muslims who are to create trouble with the Hindus by attacking them and thus inciting the Hindus. Similarly there will be some Hindus among them who will attack the Muslims and thus incite the Muslims. The result of this kind of trouble amongst the Hindus and Muslims will be to create a conflagration."
d) Govind Sahai, a bureaucrat, in his book The Genesis of RSS, states:
"The worst stunt in this direction was that the writer of ‘The Nazi Technique and RSS’ should be prosecuted in a court of law, which a person in my position would naturally welcome. He would be failing in his duty who would avoid such an occasion of putting the facts of the case before the jury and having the unique pleasure of facing the verdict. Such a judgement and verdict would surely help all those to come to an independent judgement who want to know about the mystery of the RSS. The Sangh, however, I knew was too shrewd to commit any such foolish blunder. The talk of legal action, therefore, was a piece of their policy of creating stunts and causing a camouflage to cover their real intentions and designs. To say the least, the threat of legal action, if carried to its logical consequences, would have proved too dangerous a device for the RSS Its leadership knew it so well."
All the facts referred to above clearly indicate that the RSS and its activists were found to be involved in fomenting and creating ill will between various communities and were found to be involved as found in the reports of the commissions.
RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha opposed the Quit India Movement
Shyama Prasad Mookherjee (the founder of BJP) was the finance minister in the Bengal government headed by a member of the Muslim League, Fazal Haque. When Mahatma Gandhi raised the slogan of "Quit India", Mookherjee did not think fit to resign on August 9, 1942. On the contrary, he opposed the Quit India Movement in Bengal and made the following proposal:
"The question is how to combat this movement (Quit India) in Bengal? The administration of the province should be carried on in such a manner that inspite of the best efforts of the Congress, this movement will fail to take root in the province. It should be possible for us, especially responsible ministers, to be able to tell the public that the freedom for which the Congress has started the movement, already belongs to the representatives of the people. In some spheres, it might be limited during the emergency. Indians have to trust the British, not for the sake of Britain, not for any advantage that the British might gain, but for the maintenance of the defence and freedom of the province itself. You, as governor, will function as the constitutional head of the province and will be guided entirely on the advice of your ministers."
It is also a matter of history that the Hindu Mahasabha was in a coalition government with the Muslim League in Sind and the Sind Assembly passed a resolution endorsing the demand for the creation of Pakistan. Mookherjee and other Mahasabha leaders did not think fit to resign from the government. Mahasabha president Savarkar, mentor of LK Advani, issued a directive that they should stick to the government position and continue to perform their regular duties and not resign and, in fact, they went ahead and passed a resolution on August 31, 1942 asking all Mahasabhaites to remain at their jobs and oppose the Quit India Movement.
Looking into all the above historical facts and the correspondence/books, I would like to know from you why a man of common prudence should not come to the following conclusions:
i) That there was no difference between the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS especially with Mookherjee being a founder member of the Hindu Mahasabha who founded the Jana Sangh (now BJP);
ii) That Nathuram Godse, assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, was an RSS activist and he was a baudhik karyavah (intellectual worker) in the RSS and, admittedly, he was directly involved in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
iii) That VD Savarkar was also a conspirator in the Mahatma Gandhi murder case. The acquittal of Savarkar and his indictment in the report of Justice Jeevan Lal Kapoor clearly points out his involvement in the crime of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi; he had also been taking active part in RSS organisations. It is only because of Savarkar that RSS organisations have made their base.
iv) That the facts referred to above clearly point only in one direction: that the RSS is not a cultural organisation but a political organisation.
v) That various facts referred to above clearly indicate that the RSS and its activists were involved in creating an atmosphere of riots in various parts of the country over the past 50 years as has been held by various commissions.
vi) That the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha opposed the Quit India Movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in August 1942.
I would be grateful
if you, being the head of the RSS organisation, could present your point of view
and reply to the public at large to the facts mentioned above.
Annexure A: Letter dated July 18, 1948 from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to Shyama Prasad Mookherjee.
Annexure B: Letter dated July 17, 1948 from Shyama Prasad Mookherjee to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Annexure C: Kapoor Commission Report, Vol. V, Ch. 21, p. 303, paras 25.105 and 25.106.
Annexure D: Application submitted in the court of the district judge, Nagpur, by Prof. Rajendra Singh, paras 18 and 19.
Annexure E: Letter dated April 8, 1979 from Jai Prakash Narain to Morarji Desai.
Annexure F: A Life of Our Times, Rajeshwar Dayal, pp. 93-94.
Annexure G: Letter dated May 14, 1948 from Dr. Rajendra Prasad to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Annexure H: From The Genesis of RSS, Govind Sahai
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