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A closer look at the “Sangh Parivaar” – Join the debate on RSS

This post has been a long time coming. It was triggered by an article on Sanjeev’s blog lambasting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Being familiar with Sanjeev’s writing and his capacity for research and analysis, I was looking for something thought-provoking.

I was not disappointed.

In his long critique of the Sangh, Sanjeev makes the case against RSS through a series of points. Last week, I finally managed to read the 20-pg document. This post is an attempt at responding to some of the criticisms levelled by Sanjeev against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Continued below…

RSS website

It is by no means a comprehensive response. For that, I will need to spend considerably more time than I have at present. But I hope it will provoke a discussion and debate on the blog. To balance Sanjeev’s perspective, I am also reproducing excerpts from an email and a recent article (both with essentially pro-Sangh sentiments) to give the other side of the story. But first, some brief excerpts from Sanjeev’s post and my responses in italics:

*** Excerpts from The Case Against RSS ***

Excerpts begin (Sanjeev’s assertions are in blockquote):

Over the years I’ve noticed an increasing tendency among intellectuals in India to gloss over the great many problems with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS), the successor of the Hindu Mahasabha.

Actually the RSS was not a successor of the Hindu Mahasabha (estd. 1915) but a breakaway group. It was formed a full 10 years after the Hindu Mahasabha. Two of the most prominent early leaders of the Sangh – Hedgewar and S P Mukherjee – had both left the Mahasabha owing to serious differences – amongst other things on “Mukherjee’s proposal to allow Muslims to gain membership” (mentioned here).

I’ve therefore compiled a number of academic critiques (and some newspaper reports) that highlight the dangers that RSS poses to India as a modern, prosperous, and non-violent nation.

This is actually my main criticism. Instead of relying on primary or empirical evidence (or even on comments of Sangh leaders), Sanjeev has essentially done a compilation of academic research and newspapers reports on the Sangh (some of it, dated) and a lot of it based on hearsay rather than rigorous research.

Communalism of the Congress and BJP | BJP are not true Hindus – provides links to many articles which talk of the role of RSS in fanning communalism in India, and actively participating in communal riots, e.g. http://www.liberalpartyofindia.sabhlokcity.com/communal/riots.html

I will separately review this specific article.

Next some specific quotes from Sanjeev’s post:

2. “The utopian future of militant Hindu ideology is more a revival of Hindu glory than a reformation, and character in this utopia is not molded to accommodate cultural diversity. In a manner as inherently ambiguous, inconsistent and tautological as Calvinist predestination, the RSS philosophy advoc- ates action without transformation.”[Joseph S. Alter, ‘Somatic Nationalism: Indian Wrestling and Militant Hinduism, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Jul., 1994), pp. 557-588]

Is not clear why and on what basis is the “utopian future of militant Hindu ideology is more a revival of Hindu glory than a reformation” and why does the author feel that “character in this utopia is not molded to accommodate cultural diversity”

3. “groups such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Servants’ Society, RSS) and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, VHP)- … that have targeted India’s Muslim minority as a dangerous internal enemy threatening the unity of the nation.” [Norbert Peabody,’Inchoate in Kota? Contesting Authority Through a North Indian Pageant-Play, American Ethnologist, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Aug., 1997), pp. 559-584]

No evidence cited for the broad statement: ” targeted India’s Muslim minority as a dangerous internal enemy”

4. “According to Golwalkar, who succeeded Hedgewar as executive director of the RSS in 1940, all Muslims were by definition traitors to India and not even deserving of citizenship rights (Gol- walkar, 1939:52). Golwalkar was an open admirer of Nazi Germany, and argued for the exclusion of Muslims on the grounds that ‘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’ (Golwalkar, 1939:35).” [Sucheta Mazumdar, Women on the March: Right-Wing Mobilization in Contemporary India, Feminist Review, No. 49, Feminist Politics: Colonial/Postcolonial Worlds (Spring, 1995), pp. 1-28]

I would love to see this quote – in original and in context. Unfortunately no links here.

6. “The main mechanism for political mobilization of the RSS-VHP- BJP in the 1980s has been marches from one end of India to another….Each segment of the march concludes with Hindu sacrificial rituals honouring Mother India (Bharat-mata) [Sucheta Mazumdar, Women on the March: Right-Wing Mobilization in Contemporary India, Feminist Review, No. 49, Feminist Politics: Colonial/Postcolonial Worlds (Spring, 1995), pp. 1-28]

Not clear if the “sacrificial rituals” actually involved live sacrifices/blood offerings or were they merely elaborate “poojas”?

“The BJP-VHP-RSS version of history is propagated through the use of popular comic and cartoon magazines as well as collections of essays, stories and poetry …In all the states in which the BJP has come to power in the legislative assemblies, one of the priority projects has been the rewriting of Indian history textbooks.

There are numerous posts on this blog on this specific matter so I will not dwell on this except to provide a few links. Pl. read Distorting history…and getting paid for it and Lies and half-truths in the name of national integration and On Aurangzeb, Kashi Vishwanath, Lies and Half-Truths

7. ‘Renascent Hindu communalism has taken its most extreme form in the development of a paramilitary organization called the Rashtriya Svayam- sevek Sangh (RSS), complete with cadres of highly trained troops and an ideology of the Hindu state involving the complete elimination of all non- Hindu minorities. [Cynthia Keppley Mahmood, ‘Sikh Rebellion and the Hindu Concept of Order’, Asian Survey, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Mar., 1989), pp. 326-340]

In my dictionary, paramilitary is defined as “a group which is organized like an army but is not official and often not legal”. RSS is hardly organised like an army and it is certainly not illegal.

Two aspects stand out in these quotes. A majority of these quotes and excerpts are from the works of foreign authors (suggesting the possibility of bias) and/or are written from a socialist perspective. Words like fundamentalist, fanatic, militant are used almost interchangeably)

8. “The RSS as a cultural organization is exclusionary in its membership and approach [Baldev Raj Nayar. ‘The Limits of Economic Nationalism in India: Economic Reforms under the BJP-Led Government, 1998-1999’, Asian Survey, Vol. 40, No. 5, Modernizing Tradition in India (Sep. – Oct., 2000), pp. 792]

Quite the contrary. To the best of my knowledge, the Sangh does not exclude people based on caste, religion or language. I know for a fact that at least one “shakha” of the Sangh has non-Hindu members.

11. …’Indianisation of the Muslim outlook is the only solution of the socio-religious as well as the political aspect of the communal problem’, declared a foremost RSS and Jana Sangh activist.” [Mushirul Hasan, ‘Indian Muslims since Independence: In Search of Integration and Identity,’ Third World Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 2, Islam & Politics (Apr., 1988), pp. 818-842]

Eerily similar thoughts were expressed by Tavleen Singh a while ago – who, as far as I know, has nothing to do with the Sangh.

12. …Identified as one of the architects of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS), Savarkar defined the boundaries of Hindutva in a communal manner…[Runa Das, ‘Postcolonial (In)Securities, the BJP and the Politics of Hindutva: Broadening the Security Paradigm between the Realist and Anti-Nuclear/Peace Groups in India,’ Third World Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Feb., 2003), pp. 77-96]

Wrong again. Savarkar and the Sangh remained at odds right until his death in 1966 – primarily over differences in opinion re. political participation. Pl. see this article as an example. And it is not clear how the boundaries of Hindutva have been defined in a communal manner. As with most critiques of the Sangh, these academic papers are heavy on words and light on facts.

The ‘insiders’ or those who are able to equate their land of birth with the sacred land of their religion are ‘appropriate citizens’, whereas the ‘outsiders’ or those whose Fatherland is not the same as their sacred lands are suspect in terms of their civic status and patriotism.” [Runa Das, ‘Postcolonial (In)Securities, the BJP and the Politics of Hindutva: Broadening the Security Paradigm between the Realist and Anti-Nuclear/Peace Groups in India,’ Third World Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Feb., 2003), pp. 77-96]

No evidence cited to support this statement.

13. “An important role is played by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a militant organization that emerged in the 1920s and has been continuously involved in communal violence against Muslims (Hansen 1999).” [Peter van der Veer, ‘Religion in South Asia’, Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 31 (2002), pp. 173-187]

Nice sound-bite. Where is the evidence of continuous involvement in communal violence against Muslims?

17. “The author’s critique of the RSS is built around the organisation’s core trait, which according to him, is ‘fascism’. …Fascist politics abhors democratic politics based on individual freedoms and as such the values of pluralism, tolerance and individualism, though it can take on the pretence of a democratic player in a democracy …The shishu mandirs and vidya bharatis and other cultural and educational fronts help in disseminating a fascist mindset among a wider public. This mindset is then reinforced by calculated acts of violence against Muslims and Christians. …” [Manjari Katju, ‘Convincing Message: A review of The RSS and the BJP: A Division of Labour by A. G. Noorani’, Social Scientist, Vol. 29, No. 1/2 (Jan. – Feb., 2001), pp. 84-87]

The phrase that gives it away is “according to him”. As for the Sangh’s educational fronts helping to disseminate a fascist mind-set, please have a look at: A Deobandi in RSS: The story of Maulana Waseem-ur-Rehman

23. “…In fact, one member of the RSS (an extremist Hindu paramilitary unit), Nathuram Godse, assassinated him soon after one of his fasts for Hindu-Muslim unity had ended… [R. S. Perinbanayagam, ‘The Dialectics of Charisma’, The Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Summer, 1971), pp. 387-402]

Pl. download and read “Truth and Travesty: RSS and Gandhi’s Assasination” from the Box.net widget on this page of my blog.

I could continue in this vein but I think readers now probably have a fair idea about the points that are being made. In any case, I will be inviting Sanjeev to comment on this post. But before I conclude this bit, I need to point out one last error.

4. “The biggest danger to the BJP-led government continues to be from members of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) family (the Sangh Parivar), who are likely to continue to test the limits of governance. Attacks on Christians in Gujarat and the murder of an Australian missionary in Orissa, as well as attempts to shape spe- cific aspects of the education curricula, exemplify the dangers posed by BJP family members.” [Devesh Kapur. ‘India in 1999’, Asian Survey, Vol. 40, No. 1, A Survey of Asia in 1999 (Jan. – Feb., 2000), pp. 195-207 ]

Please read these two reports on the murder of Graham Staines. As for the attacks in Kandhamal, please see these links: On Kandhamal, Conversions and Proselytization. The other side of Kandhamal… and Who really killed Swami Laxmanananda?.

*** End of Excerpts***

Next, the other side of the story – in the words of a “swayamsevak”.

*** Excerpts from “The Secretive RSS” (extracted from an email) ***

My morning began as usual with freshening up myself with no. 1 newspaper of the world, Times of India accompanying to the wash room. I was stumped to find the RSS change of guard as the lead story. What’s gone wrong with the guys? Where had my familiar and comforting news about IPL and incest and violence related staple news? And how come a communal outfit got the top billing? …But, I was surprised by the expert comment of TOI that RSS was a secretive organization.

I reflected very hard on these comments by the most responsible newspaper of India (or the world). It won’t make a comment lightly on such an issue of national importance. I went back over my years or rather decades of association with RSS and tried to make sense of this comment.

As a hapless citizen of India ensnared by RSS in his tender young age secretly through simple Indian games which were on the verge of extinction and a secret to our west educated elite intellectuals, maybe I never realized the secretive nature of RSS. So, I tried to day past regression analysis of self vis a vis RSS.

I remembered the dubiousness of RSS recruitment. The simple looking fun loving teacher in RSS shakha had never told me that I was being initiated to a Hindu outfit which believed in Hindu consolidation…

May be the commands were designed in Sanskrit – an archaic and communal language so they could be kept a secret from people who wanted to study RSS? Why ofcourse, even the daily prayer the motherland was in Sanskrit.

…I had my own experience of this secretiveness when the police came calling to arrest my elder brother, who had been active years back in his youth and had moved to Surat by then, after the ban in 1975…

…As I grew up and got some responsible positions in RSS, I tried to remove the veil of secrecy by inviting press to various programmes of RSS. I used to feel quite let down when hardly any press person turned up for our programmes like festivals and camps etc. Generally, the English press reporters would simply forget the event by the evening probably with more interesting evening activities and the news would never get printed.

…I recall a massive Hindu mahasammelan that RSS associated organizations held in Mangalore just last week. Of course it did not escape the eyes of the so called National press as no one was beaten up nor was there any arson. May be if the volunteers had behaved abominably with some people the veil of secrecy over RSS could be ripped off.

…May be, what upsets the critics is the secret of the success of RSS. How does it manage to organize such massive numbers without any publicity machinery or media relations?

…As I think over, I realized that the veil of secrecy has been thrown around RSS by the press itself.

– by Ratan Sharda

*** End of Excerpts ***

and finally, concluding excerpts from an email from Ajay – who is an ardent supporter of the Sangh, although not an active member.

*** Excerpts from Email by Ajay ***

Though I have never been a member or active participant in both, I have been an ardent supporter and I am a big follower of the BJP. I have also been preaching and endorsing some of the RSS policies over a period of time (picking up the good ones) – right from the college days when I first learnt about it.

About RSS, whatever we hear and see in the media is not true at most times.

One thing that is creditable is that in case of any calamity, the RSS which is mainly run by the members is the first to reach and support the victims even before the army and the government aid.

It still is one of the most self disciplined organization. (Note: RSS is separate from Shiv Sena, VHP, or the Ram Sena)

…besides my family I owe to the BJP and the RSS my firm belief in Indians and committment to Indian-ness.

*** End of Excerpts ***

Disclosure: While I know a number of RSS volunteers personally, I am not a member of the Sangh.

Looking forward to a robust debate. Those of you who are members of the Sangh and/or are intimately familiar with their work, please do share your thoughts. If you do not wish to disclose your email address while posting a comment, you can use this dummy email address instead: satyacomment AT gmail.com

UPDATE: Pl have a look at the picture below..

Some selected past debates and discussions:

Join the discussion on Islam, Hindutva, Dr Zakir Naik, Godhra

A rebuttal to Abul Kasem – “Women in Hinduism” by R Maliger

Hinduism, “Caste System” and discrimination – Join the debate

 

June 5th, 2009 Posted by | A Hindu Identity, Current Affairs, Debates & Discussions, Political Ideology, Politics and Governance in India | 164 comments

164 Comments »

  1. On this happy(?!) note, I would like to suggest closing this thread to avoid comment overload.

    I’ll open a new thread in case people want to continue the discussion/ debate (please do not take this as a signal to stop the discussion; this is merely an adminstrative issue).

    By the way (ref Ashish @ #143), my comments policy explicitly mentions:

    Publishing of the comment (or links) on this site does not necessarily mean that I approve, support, endorse or encourage the opinions, thoughts or feelings (or any other content) expressed therein.

    I am sure Ashish knows this! :-)

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 22, 2010

  2. @ Deodhar,

    Seriously man you need to attend some madarssa/ church teaching old testament to know the difference between genociders and patriots. Spending some time with Al Quaeda/ Taliban/ SIMI/ Deobandis/ LTTE/ North East Terrorists, Naxals will help you to gain knowledge unless the mind is closed and is fanatically bent to help Islam Jehad/ Christian Crusade brigade.

    Comment by Rohit | July 22, 2010

  3. This is an extract from an article
    PROUD OF ITS CALLING -RSS
    By Victor Banerjee
    http://www.telegraphindia.com/editoria.htm#head3

    If one flips through the pages of Madhavrao Golwalkar’s (Guruji’s) Bunch of Thoughts, the RSS handbook so to speak, one might be pleasantly surprised to discover that most of the work is simple commonsense and morally upright. Something you can safely hand to your children. Golwalkar’s book is not, and the RSS ideologies are not, nearly as inflammable and fundamentalist as is popularly dished out by respectable intellectuals to an impressionable public which has also been taught to believe that Gandhi and Nehru and other imports and clones from the British educational system are the ones responsible for making us xenophobic Hindus “secular”.
    Every Hindu, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist who lives below the poverty line and at the mercy of floods, droughts and cyclones will tell you that the RSS is more sinned against than sinning. I know from personal experience in Orissa and Uttarkashi that while governments were still sleeping, tucked under the warmth of ill-gotten wealth and sycophantic worship from acolytes, the RSS was out in a matter of hours, if not minutes, with organized rescue operations. Even when the fashion of “relief work” has moved on to newer calamities, the RSS continues its work silently. Every international agency, whose Christmas cards we charitably purchase and distribute, will vouch for the fact that the RSS does more work in devastated parts of India than any government agency, from Arunachal to Dwarka and Kashmir to Kanya Kumari.

    Let us stop throwing stones at the Missionaries of Charity one day and the RSS the next, when we don’t lift a finger ourselves to serve humanity. Donating money is easy, giving time a whole different ball game. Wheareas the RSS may stick in your throat every time you mention it, find an alternative for all the good work it does. Try and create an army of disciplined selfless social workers, like it has, in a world where the ladies of the “Time & Talents Club”, the “Spastics Society”, the “Friends of the Trees”, the “World Wildlife Fund” and the “Calcutta Foundation” flounder for support and membership even though they are embryonically connected to all the moneybags that buy and sell India’s future every day.

    I know I am sticking my neck out by writing to remove some of the misgivings that we nurture about the RSS, but as Nathuram said to the jailer before he was hung, and I quote, “I must have a cup of coffee before I swing”. So it’s on to breakfast and today’s headlines. Death tolls? Mere statistics; our nation’s caveat? Ignore it.
    And, by the way, for those who might be interested, I am not, nor was I ever, a member of the RSS.

    Comment by Gopalkrishnan Raman | July 22, 2010

  4. Rashtriya Muslim Manch started by RSS in 2002

    http://muslimmanch.blogspot.com/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Rashtriya_Manch

    Comment by anupam | August 13, 2010

  5. Courtesy Kalyanaraman-ji, excerpts from Exorcising the Godse ghost: Who killed Mahatma Gandhi? by T.S.Sreenivasa Raghavan:
    ..It’s been 63 years since Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse.
    But, who’re behind the brutal assassination? Was it the handiwork of Godse & company or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)?
    ..
    As for Congress leaders, it’s almost an obsession to blame it on the RSS. However, when a decisive answer comes from a non-controversial and apolitical person who besides being a Christian also happens to be a retired Supreme Court justice, it should prompt one to sit up and think. Yes, we’re, of course, talking about K.T.Thomas who recently
    stirred a hornet’s nest when, presiding over an RSS function in the city, he unequivocally absolved RSS from Ganndhi assassination. The controversy, of course, was ignored by the national media.
    However, Thomas’ clean to chit to RSS, as expected, has left the Congress leaders in Kerala fuming.
    ..
    Even as the controversy
    rages, the questions still remain: who actually killed Gandhi? Was it the RSS? Those who’ve read history will know Godse severed his links with RSS calling it an organization run by eunuchs. This being so, is right to point fingers at RSS, because Godse was its member once? Thomas put it better: “it’s like blaming the whole Sikh community, because, one of its misguided members assassinated Indira Gandhi.”
    ..
    Thomas said judiciary in the country, so far, couldn’t find any evidence against RSS. The case was first heard at Red Fort by Justice Atmacharan who didn’t find any RSS link.
    Nor the bench headed by Justice Khosle. “Later, Nehru even ordered a probe which drew a blank. After this, in 1966 Indira Gandhi ordered judicial probe headed by Justice JL Kapoor who also couldn’t find any RSS connection”, Thomas revealed. When the whole judicial and democratic means had been expended, the country should put an end to the debate, he said. “It’s unjust and unfair to drag the RSS name again and again”, he said. He said, the biography written by Robert Payne, author of The Life and Death of Mahatma Gandhi also couldn’t find any RSS link. “My comment on the subject should be treated as a judicial analysis”, he observed.
    Stating that Congress leaders like Chennithala wouldn’t know much about history, he said RSS was still being blamed for minority votes. “I don’t know whether Chennithala had read Robert’s work”, he teased. He further said when Gandhi was assassinated, the then RSS president Golvarkar was in Madras. “The outfit went into an immediate mourning. Ideologically, we may differ. But, you can’t question their patriotism”, he said.
    ..
    Even as Thomas’ remark on the Gandhi
    assassination continues to make waves, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Sreekrishna Kulkarni asserted it was not right to link the RSS name. “In 63 years’ time, the Government has instituted many judicial commissions and committees to investigate the assassination. None could establish the RSS connection”, Sreekrishna told Deccan Chronicle.
    ..Sreekrishna said it was time people learnt to respect the judicial findings in the matter and rested the issue. As for RSS, he said it has contributed immensely to the nation’s development. “It’s incorrect to drag the RSS name repeatedly for petty political reasons”, he
    appealed.

    Comment by B Shantanu | August 8, 2011

  6. @Pangla Nagendra Rao
    Agree with your fact from the age of 9 till 25 i am part of RSS and i have never seen any evidence, any word against Muslim.

    Let me quote on all critics being a part of RSS i am working with Seva Bhibag of RSS and we are working with Muslim Lady who is working for Cow preservation in India.

    @All:- Its Natural for Critics of Sangh that they don’t understand there view and definitely hate them.

    @ Sanjeev :- Dear Sanjeev sir I admire you as Liberal and your view for Nation.But let me share with you though i am very young( As B Shantanu said to me “Tum to bache ho abhi yrra”)but i am myself have liberal view from start and i feel proud that i have learned the Liberal idea from Dattopant Thengadi Pracharak of RSS and creator of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and Bharatiya Kissan Sangh.Every one talks about Shri Guru Ji Nazi supporter but people don’t even read literature written by Muslim on Guru ji those who admire him for his liberal view on Hindu Muslim vision.

    @All:- I am not pointing on any one social capacity but its RSS running 183756 service project across the world.
    Critics of RSS are every where those who don’t understand there idea. Case filed against HSS international wing of RSS in UK. But HMS have given a clean cheat along with appreciation for there work.

    There are millions of Volunteer of RSS across the Nation who died during every war working with Indian Army.
    To say few 3000+ volunteer during Indo China war and list is end less for there work if we keep on writing probably i need to write million volume book.

    @ Sanjeev Sir Again:-Sir if you some time find time than please do visit Himachal Pradesh we have Indian History research Center over there with dedicated historian researching over India History. So we are not changing History but we are correcting history to its correct form.

    @All:- Now stop talking against thousand of Selfless Brahmchari those who have given there life to work for Nation. You haven’t seen a place where there are no roads still we have very good school and teacher over there.We don’t believe in Publicity so its request to you all please first check there work than create Post like this.

    Last but not the least :-” Mein 15 sal se kam kar raha hmm Sangh ke sath mujhe sangh ko Samjhne ke liye aur 15 sal lag gyenge about there huge work for Nation toh Internet pe kuch post se SANGH ka kam samjh nahi aat”

    Comment by Hitesh Kumar | August 29, 2011

  7. Dear All,

    I agree with the most of the sangh works, but to demand the ban on cow slaughter is un-democratic. don’t you think? What about the secular credentials of this country? I mean if we demand ban on cow slaughter then muslims will demand for ban on haram foods like liquior, pork etc. As they are also the citizens of this country. Then some other minority will start that. How sangh will counter this question?

    Comment by Ashish | September 15, 2011

  8. Important factoid from Communal Violence Bill divides society by Prof Hilda Raja:
    The drafters of the Bill presume that riots and violence are perpetrated by the “others” (read Hindus). This is certainly not always true. According to Ms Zenab Banu’s Politics of Communalism: a Politico-historical Analysis of Communal Riots in post-Independence India with Special Reference to the Gujarat and Rajasthan Riots (1989), there have been 74 communal riots between 1953 and 1977, of which 75 per cent were instigated by wayward members of the minority community. Even today, 98 per cent of cross border and/or Indian-born terrorism is planned, instigated and perpetrated by the minority community members. Yet, the Union Minister of Home Affairs, Mr P Chidambaram, repeatedly refers to ‘saffrom terror’.

    Comment by B Shantanu | October 30, 2011

  9. Posting this here for the record. From RSS didn’t plot Gandhi killing, Hindu Mahasabha did, Patel told Nehru:

    While Patel agreed with Nehru on banning the RSS after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, he was convinced that “Bapu’s murder was not the result of an RSS conspiracy but that of a section of Hindu Mahasabha” who he regarded “a greater danger than RSS”.

    Comment by B Shantanu | November 4, 2011

  10. Dear Shantanu,
    @Ashish
    I understand the anguish of Ashish when he states that there will be a host of bannings requested if this is request for ban on cow slaughter is accepted.
    Iwould not like to question te thought; Yes banning cow slaughter may lead to other requests but there is meaning behind this:
    1. If one goes thru the magazines like PETA/National Geographic we see the amount of waste of water and fodder goes into bringing pigs and chicken for slaughter. Meat is the highest consumer of water and resources.
    2. The dung of the cow is very beneficial for agriculture and it is eco friendly.
    3. The dung from the cow if used judiciously can generate sufficient gas known as GOBAR for satisfying the needs of a small village; this means less drag on natural resources.
    4. The same GOBAR can generate electricity thru the means of equipment locally manufactured. I think in a place in Vidharba this has changed the lives of farmers who were committing suicide.There was an article on the use of GOBAR very recently in the TOI and Economic Times.
    5. The urine of the cow if mixed in a certain proportion with other locally available materials like Gur and other ingredients makes for the best eco friendly pesticide.
    The urine of the cow is also used medically in indegenous medicine and in many alternative medicines.
    6. The cow /bull can be used for ploughing and its dung and urine during such activities are very good for the soil.
    7. The Indian breed of cows live of hardy needle filled trees, shrubs,hay and other locally available household waste.
    This is not the case as regards animals like Pigs/Chickens etc.
    8. One must know that the “Dhobis” of yesteryears knew a technique of using the dung of Donkeys for making a particular product which used to whiten clothes even better than all our chemical derivates. Eco friendly to boot!
    9. People very rarely slaughter Horses/Donkeys etc.
    The utility of the cow far outweighs the need to slaughter it.
    Please understand that there is no “HINDU RELIGION” involved in my statement.
    Regards,
    vck

    Comment by v.c.krishnan. | November 4, 2011

  11. Thought-provoking VCK. Thanks…

    Comment by B Shantanu | November 12, 2011

  12. Concluding paragraphs from Not 2002, 2001 shapes my view on Modi by HASHMI SHAMS TABREED:

    Today I hear a lot about 2002. From Mullahs, Intellectuals, Media both Indian and Foreign, Liberals, Seculars and God knows who else. Almost everyone singularly blames RSS, VHP etc.I haven’t heard most of them talk about 2001 which was a far bigger tragedy where Hindus-Muslims in tens of thousands died. I did not see any of those champions of humanity serving there. Muslims, similar to those who today outrage and hate Modi for loss of Muslim lives in 2002, were out there looting other Muslims like vultures. Unfortunately none of the liberal secular narrative unfolded there. What i saw there was much maligned RSS and VHP folks serving humanity without any bias or hatred. They didn’t show any hesitation in helping, be the person a bearded Muslim or a burqa clad women. How many liberals or Muslims can maintain such neutrality when they see a man in Khakhi shorts or sporting a tilak. 2002 riots were unfortunate. One that was provoked because of a cold blooded planned burning of Hindus. In a state where riots started on incidents like bicycle collisions and cricket matches, this was a grave provocation. In a moment of madness, hundreds of innocents lost their lives. Anyone who sits on judgement about 2002 riots should ponder and think. Imagine how it would feel to be burnt alive, Imagine if it happened to your parents or your child, Imagine if they were blamed to have foolishly burnt themselves. In the land of mahatma not everyone is Gandhi. Our history is replete with Hindu Muslim riots across the length and breadth of this country and yet for some reason Media sees Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb everywhere else except Gujarat. We will move on only when we let the pain of past go. It’s time to let 2002 go. Courts have already done so. In 2008 i visited Bhuj and Mandvi again, and i was surprised at the transformation that had taken place. It was here that Haji sahab’s in-law told me of a weird incident. While being rescued by Army, the local Maulvi was upset that the Army men, all Hindus, had to touch his wife in order to rescue her. Think what would these kind of people say about 2002 riots.

    On Modi and RSS i’m not asking you to change your opinion. I’ve formed my opinion based on my experiences and i’d request you to do the same. Don’t let some random guy on TV shape your opinion. I’ve seen many preachers of high morality turn into spineless cowards when the time comes to practice what they preach. This country is too precious to be held hostage by a narrow skewed version of what happened in 2002. A lot of blood was spilled by freedom fighters in the hope of seeing the glorious India of yesteryear revived again. I have every hope that despite all odds India will prevail.

    Comment by B Shantanu | April 20, 2014

  13. Placing this link here for the record: How RSS-Affiliated NGOs Make A Positive Difference by Ashok Chowgule, Jul 4th, 2014

    Comment by B Shantanu | July 4, 2014

  14. Courtesy my friend, Sanjay:
    Golwalkar’s “We” written in his youth was last published in 1948 and the RSS has disowned it. Lot of world leaders admired the Nazis/Hitler (European nation states were the role models) even as they were trying to emerge from the yoke of imperialism. Netaji sought Hitlers’ help. Fidel Castro admired Hitler in his youth. Even JFK once admired Nazism;

    FDR called Mussolini “admirable” and professed that he was “deeply impressed by what he has accomplished.”

    – Godse wasn’t a RSS member when he shot Gandhi – he was a member of the Hindu Rashtra Dal.

    Comment by B Shantanu | November 15, 2015

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