0ver last nine decades RSS has propagated an ideology which has been branded with several tags such as “Nationalist”, ” Rightst ” , ” Hindu nationalist ” etc. There is no doubt that looking at the Indian political history of last four decades, it can be inferred that much of BJP’s success has been due to such political branding and ideological positioning of RSS – given that BJP has aslways drawn its ideological support from RSS . But, the question arises whether this positioning is going to keep BJP in power over the long term? Society evolves and it’s needs and aspirations also evolve. In such a situation political parties also have to evolve.
So, the larger question is whether RSS has kept pace with the changing and evolving aspirations of the society? RSS was set-up in 1925 by Shri Hedgewar to protect and promote the cause of Hindu civilization. Has RSS been successful in promoting this Hindu cause? Is RSS and BJP combined really helping the cause of Hindus in real terms?
In order lo understand the above we will have to go little bit in the past. We need to understand two things – First – what were the objectives set out for RSS when it was founded ; and, secondly what were Hindu aspirations at that time how that has evolved over time. We will then do a comparison between objectives and achievements and also the relevance of those objectives in todays context.
OBJECTIVES OF RSS
Right from the start, RSS was conceptualised as a social organization taking up the cause of Hindu society and for promotion of the cause of “Akhand Bharat” or Hindustan. in Dr. Hedgewar’s own words – “Hindu culture is lifeblood of Hindustan and if Hindustan has to be protected Hindu culture has to be protected”. With the above objective at its core, even after independence RSS did not venture into active politics of the country, rather it remaind the focal point for several such social organizations in the field of education, spirituality, social reforms etc. RSS consciously kept itself away from active national politics and especially from the electoral politics.
In its journey RSS has supported several social organzations that are involved in promoting revival of Hindu culture. In addition, RSS has also mentored ideologically aligned political parties like Jana Sangh and Later Bhartiya Janta Party when it was formed. It has always remained away from active political activities and that is why it has always been at an arms length from any political controversy.
HINDU ASPIRATIONS OVER THE YEARS
Hindus have gone through a very troubled history overlast thousand years – especially in North. This was due to the constant Islamic invasion in the North and large population of North Western regions having converted to Islam. The political environment in the country had been in turmoil over all these years because of the alien belief system getting in roads and taking roots. The traditional Knowledge system which was based on enquiry, debate and discussions was broken in many ways. Hindus were dis-advantaged economically because the Islamic rulers only patronised Muslims in order to protect and consolidate their rule in the country. The country was treated like a colony by most of the rulers becasue these Muslim rulers drew their ideological existance from Arab based religious ideology and in some respect showed their allegience to the Khalifa. An estimated 5% of GDP flew from the country to middle-east and central Asia as a part of remittance by the employed aristocracy or as a part of the Islamic allegience money by different rulers. Hindus remained on the sidelines after loosing any kind of state patronage and lost its vibrance. In most part of north India, Hindus were under pressure to convert to Islam and were persecuted continously. Temples which were the places of all socio-cultural and educational activities were destroyed which destroyed the traditional learning systems. In all earlier external invations, the invadors did not touch the highly enhanced knowledge base of the country – rather, they always used it to enhance thier own existence. This meant, that the society always remains strong and vibrant irrespective of the political turmoil. During the Islamic rule, the core of Hindu society which was its knowledge systems was destroyed and the society went static and started decaying. The fact that it survived is a matter of intence research. Even after thousand y ears of Islamic dominance and persecution, 85% of the country’s population remained Hindu.
When Britishers came, the system was broken but still worked and was able to maintain the continuity of Knowledge system. Lot of original knoweldge got lot completely, but the remnants of them remained in traiditons, in stories and rituals. But, what Britishers and the christian missionaries did was unprecedented. They destroyed and distorted Hindu Brain, they infilterated the Hindu minds and corrupted in a way that Hindus started hating themselves. In such a way, Britishers created an influential class of Hindu Zombies who were Hindu in body but anti-Hindu in their brain. This Zombification continued for 100 years before India got independence, but what happened after independence was worse than what happened in previous 100 years. After independence we not only continued to corrupt our minds but also enabled the other religions to continuosly attack and harm Hinduism. A society which was based on the concept of Dharma was forced to adopt a very narrow and distorted vision of secularism and in the name of such distorted secularism the society was alienated form all symbols and meaning of dharma. The post independence Indian government turned out to be more anti-Hindu than the previous Islamic rulers. The irony was that this anti-Hindu government comprised of majority Hindu leaders. These were the same leaders who were corrupted by the British education system.
With the above context I want to give a summary of how Hindu aspirations have evolved. Before independence the Hindu population was battle fatigued for over thousand years. The society was relegated to the periphery due to multiple front attack – be it additional taxes in Muslim ruled states or lack of growth opportunities for youth due to their religion and lack of state support for temple centric education system. South India still had their autonomy, but they also got impacted in a big way. So, post-independence Indian Hindus wanted a Hindu centric Social and political system. At least this should have been the end of thousand years of battle. However the britishers were able to manouver the political system in such a way that the post-independence India was handed over to Zombified Hindus. In addition to this, Britishers also inflicted us with the virus of secularism. A zombified Hindu with the weapon of secularism not only started systematically destroying all symbols of Hinduism but also started unreasonable promotion of Islam and Christianity.
Phase of Zombification – Zombies in own land – Over a period of next few decades, the virus of secularism infected so much that it created more Hindu Zombies who excelled in hating the sanatan dharmik ways. In addition to this our secularism promoted Islam and christianity. So this resulted in a situation where Hindus did not read their text but Muslims read Koran and christians read Bible. Hindus stopped going to temples and government took charge of temples. While temples earnings started going to government coffers, the same goverment started funding Mosque, madarsa and charch. The Hindu Zombies who were educated in science and mathematics and who hated dharmik teachings went against Hinduism and lot of them became pro-Islam and pro-christian. These Hindu Zombies, educated in science and mathematics saw superstition in Hindu traditions but saw science in Muslim clerics antics and Christian priests’ preachings. Till Seventys the zombification of educated class, university, bureaucracy was almost complete. This ensured that every child coming out of school had been Zombified. Such Zombie Hindus stopped aspiring anything for Hindus and started feeling a moral high when Muslims encroached their land or when muslims resorted to mass conversion. They even went to the extent of thinking that the converted people were being liberated from the bondage.
The good new is that this has started to change. Any system changes when it looses its utility completely. The System in the name of secularism became so detrimental to Hindus that there was started an under current of Hindu resurgence. This resurgence took place in two stages and it is now going to start the third phase. Below is the description of those three phases.
Phase of Ignition – Awakened Hindus – The undercurrents of true Hindu Dharma always remained in the society. It remained in the masses – lot of whom were away from fancy education, in Non-metro areas and Semi-urban areas. The Dharmik way survived and the philosophy remained. Political movements leaning on revival of Hinduism continued with organizations like VHP, Bajrang Dal and others and that was picked up by BJP to generate a mass movement. Credit to Advani, Bajpayee , Singhal and others who could generate a movement out of the rekindled aspirations. The Ram Mandir was symbol of Hindu oppression. The movement was supported by large number of people from tier 2 towns, Semi urban and rural areas of the country. Large number of educated Zombies opposed it in the name of the same virus called secularism. Large Section of Hindu intellectuals found the whole movement “detrimental to syncretic traditions of our country”. But the Hindu aspiration was ignited and it was not going to stop. The illogical and irrational behavior of Hindu Zombies were observed by their own children who were in school or colleges at that time. They read the history and they saw how political class at that time were ass-licking Muslims and christians and how Hindu Zombies has made them a second class citizens in their country.
It is no surprise that first time BJP came close to forming a government was in 1996 because the same Hindu students who saw the behaviour of their previous generation during the Ram Mandir movement, rebelled against the secular virus and came out in droves to support BJP. But, it was just the first reaction and the Zombies were again successful in 2014 in winning over the infant resurgence. Britishers not only made Hindus look bad in their own eyes, but they also created deep fissures of division in the name of caste, region and tradition. Such divisions have created different variants of Hindu Zombies, that is why the Hindu resurgence process seems to be divided and it is happening in phases. It can be best explained as two steps ahead and one step back.
Phase of Flame – Conscious and Aware Hindu – But, 2014 was when the ignited minds could burn the veneer of false stories, wrong history, subdued characterisation of the civilization and that is when the ignited splinters of Hindu resurgence became a flame. General Hindu is now aware about the past and the fact that they have been short changed in the name of secularism, brotherhood for very long. They are reading and writing original sources and they are also questioning the asymetry in policy. This awareness is reflected in BJP gaining political pole positions of this aspiration and increasing acceptability of its ideological framework in lager part of the country. It is a flame which is ready to become a fire and then in about 10 years it will become an iferno to eliminate all zombies.
Phase of Inferno – Dharmik Conscious Hindu – In 10 years this will explode. The kids of today know that the Virus of secularism has to be dealt with. The kids also know that what they are reading about themselves in their books is more false than truth. They are now aware that they belong to a tradition which is at least 10 thousand years old if not more an this is the only such ancient tradition which has existed continuesly. They know that there is something great in this society for it to survive with its glory over this long history. They are determined to investigati the past and regain the lost glory. In ten years this will become a tsunami and all Zombies will return to the true Dharmik fold.
In short I tried to namate a story which explains the history of Hindu aspirations after independence. It has its ups and downs. No fundamental change happens unless existing state comes to an abyss. The phase of Zombification was the last thing where people had to say ” enough”.
POST INDEPENDENT ANTI HINDU POLITICS
Let us first understand what I mean by anti-Hindu policies of post independent India. As far as the anti-hindu policies are concerned there has been a consistency along the political divide and irrespective of the political regime in power, very little difference can be concluded. So, it can be said without any hesitation that the socio-cultural policies of the land has been largly anti-hindu over last seven decades. The key elements of this anti-hindu policy has been following.
FIRST – Appeasement through Constitutional provisions. Government was forced to be declared as secular. While the government did not do anything remotely related to Hindu, the same Government showered any amount of preferential treatment to minority (anti-hindu) groups. What this meant and what that lead to was a disastrous situation where the subsequent governments provided preferential treatment to Muslim and Christian organizations while Hindu organizatrons were completely ignored. In fact several policies went against Hindus. Muslims were given Haz. Subsidies , Madarsas were funded generously , Christian missionaries and their charitable trusts got generous grants while Hindu Organizations remained in shatters. Maulanas became paid clergies by government while temple priests coud not even get share of the donations from the temple devotees. The list can go on. I leave this point here only.
SECOND – Disconnecting Hindus from their dharmik teachings while Muslims remained connected through Madarsas and christians professed their teachings through church. Hindu Majority government devasted the temple organizations remove their financial authority and removed any dharmik teaching from the education system in the name of secular education. While every muslim attended Koran teachings in madarsas and every christian attended Bible teaching in church there was nothing left for a Hindu to get Knowledge about dharma, scriptures and Hindu philosophy.
THIRD – Assymetric Legal environment which gives far too many benefits to non-Hindus compared to what is available to Hindus. few examples of such asymmetry are as follows:
a. Minority ministry looking after issues of minorities. This ministry has always ensured that legal infrastructure of the country always support non-hindus and in most cases to the detriment of Hindus. This minority ministry ensured that Hindus are always treated as majority even when they are in minority in the respective states. Even in the matters of state subject where state is the primary legislative authority, Hindus are considered as majority in state like J&K, Lakshadweep, Nagaland etc where Hindus are in minority. There is no minority ministry in these states in line with the principles with which the Central government of other State Govemments have their minority ministry.
b. Formation of waqf act and several draconian by – laws under the waqf board act. Some of the provisions of the board act are unconstitutional but they have continued to remain there unchallenged over last 6 decades . We can not say that this remained such only because of one political party, but this remained in this manner despite the fact that political parties largely remained dominated by Hindu legislatures.
c. Places of worship act which has stopped Hindus even to seek any justice for the atrocities done in the past. Such law was passed by silent acceptance of entire Hindu Legislature across the political divide.
d. Government Control of Hindu temples – Government has unreasonably controlled all matters of Hindu temples while it has allowed Muslims and Christians to manage their own affairs independently and without any interference. This has led to a situation where government has been filling its coffers from the donation money and passing this to mosques and churches in the form of fiscal incentives. This has led to a strange situation where Hindus have been financing their own enemies.
FOURTH Complete distortion of Sanatan History to the extent that Hindu population has stopped taking pride in the glory of our civilization. Add the fact that all dharmik teaching has been removed from curriculum; this has created complete devastation of Hindus Self Confidence. This has resulted in three devastating consequences for Hindus.
a. Complete loss of awareness about ancient knowledge
b. Complele loss of awareness about the past atrocities which has led to a sitution where Hindus are completely oblivious of the dangers of complete annihilation. Hindus cannot even see the impending dangers and lack any sense of danger from the enemy lying within the society.
c. An army of Hindu haters have fluorished within the Hindu community who are powerful in the society and who weild unreasonable influence on the societal discource.
RSS – SO FAR – A SCORE CARD
RSS has so far achieved a great deal in keeping the flames of Hinduism alive and under its umbrella the movement for Hindu resurgence has fluoushed. Be it VHP or Bajrang dal or several other social organizations being rum by RSS. over last seven decades it has become one of the largest social organization of the word. It has shaped a strong ideological framework around the world; and more than that it has provided a platform where non-political educated intellectual who have to fight with Zombies thrive and survive and fluorish. It has survived the most difficult period of Emergency when this process of Zombification was at its peak and Hindu Leaders were not only castigated but persecuted also. Its ideological framework has provided BJP a roadmap and a social base which is strong and rooted to an ideology and that ideology is firmly rooted to the Sanatan tradition. This has also lead to a comfortable majority for the BJP government which is helping in furthering the cause of Hindus. But, the question arises whether BJP as the political tool for social change is effective enough?
A pertinent question that is being asked is whether BJP is any different from others? Are we seeing any signs that any of the above mentioned challenges are being addressed? Unfortunately the scorecard of BJP on all the above has been dismal . In fact in some cases it has been very negative. Let me try to do a BJP scorecard on these parameters to evaluate the success of RSS.
APPEASEMENT CONTINUES UNABATED
1. Madarsa funding Continues without any change
2. Haj Subsidy continues unabated
NO CHANGE IN CURRICULUM TO ADD DHARMIC CONTENT
Every year a generation of Hindus come out of education system who are Zombies, who have no idea of their roots and struggle to define their own identity.
Asymmetry in Legal system
Minority ministry still splashes exchequer money on non-Hindus. WAQF BOARDS Still exist and places of worship act is still not changed. Temple money is still funding Madarsa, Jihad, conversion and killing.
LEGAL ENVIRONMENT REMAINS SKEWED – minority appeasement in Legal environment goes on unabashedly. Temples are still controlled by the government while Muslim organizations and Christian missionaries are funded. Places of worship act still stops temple from getting restored.
WHAT IS RSS DOING – RSS as a social organization has achieved a lot and has been successful in galvanizing the society towards a sanatan tradition. However, it is evident that it is still a long way to achieve its objectives politically so that it starts becoming a reality for common Hindus. The question is whether RSS today is ready to provide the ideological platform for emerging Hindu aspirations in future. with the ignited Hindus poised to create an infermo of agressive resurgence, is RSS able to reinvent itself to become the ideological platform for more aggressive nationalism? In next few years people are going to ask for balancing the policy asymmetry that is there. People are not going to tolerate Haj spending, Muslim schools funding etc. People are going to fight for restoration of all temples and also for control of temples. People are going to ask for ban on conversion and also strong measures to check any radicalization. Is RSS in a position to provide the leadership to these aspirations? The larger question is how will resurgent Hindu society define its relationship with Muslim population?
RSS has done one good thing and that is the start of a process of open thinking about our past. This has led to a new army of experts, Hindu thinkers and Strategists who are completely dissatisfied with the political strategies of BJP. There is a sense of impatience and unease which is developing among this agressive group which wants changes much larger and much faster.. This group is becoming more and move vocal and gathering wider popular support. In few years from now this is the group is going to become more vocal, more larger and the dissatisfaction with carrent leadership will grow. RSS needs to find strategies to accomodate these aspirations and enable their implementation on the ground, otherwise this emerging force may acquire any other organizational shape. RSS should also think that if BJP is not the right tool for bringing aggressive Sanatan ideology to the political discourse then is it the time to create a new political tool which Can push the new and more aggressive Hindu agenda?