Rahul, Anti-RSSism Has Become Redundant - The New Indian Express

Rahul, Anti-RSSism Has Become Redundant

Published: 30th March 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 30th March 2014 07:54 AM

Come elections, Rahul Gandhi and ilk have been trying to retain their relevance using anti-RSS rhetoric. Although nobody takes him seriously, his utterances draw media coverage. The dynasty’s grudge against the RSS isn’t far fetched. Undeniably, the BJP has emerged as the natural party of governance and concomitantly, Congress has lost its once-dominant status. Moreover, the nation isn’t witnessing the mere replacement of one party by another but an ideological metamorphosis is taking place.

People are realising the fallacies of Nehruvian policies and their Eurocentric interpretations of society, culture, nationalism and secularism. RSS activism among tribal, Dalits and the marginalised through various wings like the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Seva Bharti etc., is not mere philanthropism but an endeavour to expand ideologically. In this, it faces dominant forces that are a conglomeration of ideologies with international linkages. These include Christian missionaries and their apologists, Islamists, Maoists and Nehruvian-Marxist elements. The last category bonds strongly with many European intellectuals. Though not necessarily united, they share a common hostility towards RSS. In TV discussions, one can discern malice against the RSS among the majority of panelists, whether from minority communities or the Marxist-Nehruvian coterie. Anti-RSSism is their ideological firmament, amply patronised by the state. For instance, the Sampradayikata Virodhi Committee (SVC) was led by veteran Leftist Subhadra Joshi, former MP, close to both Nehru and Indira Gandhi. With open state support, it produced a plethora of anti-RSS literature. Following the founding of Jana Sangh and its growth as an alternative, one such work published by SVC was “CIA interests in RSS”.

It is this vacuous legacy Rahul tries to invoke to retain relevance. He has more than once accused RSS of killing Gandhi. Gandhi’s assassination needs serious academic effort to highlight many facts. For instance, 13 days before his assassination, there was an attempt on his life and one accused was arrested. What Nehru’s regime did to unearth the conspiracy remains shrouded. Despite a ban, RSS was not named in government communiqué for Gandhi’s death. When the ban was lifted, it was obvious that Nehru fathered anti-RSSism to marginalise his contemporary detractors, rebuking P D Tandon, G B Pant, Kundan Malviya and no less than S Radhakrishnan for attending an RSS rally at Rewa.

The ban’s quashing was a compulsion for the former president of the Civil Liberties Union, Jawaharlal Nehru. Neither the court nor investigation found any relation between the accused and RSS. After one-and-a-half decades, a government formed a commission (1965-69) under Justice Jeevan Lal Kapoor to make a fresh enquiry and it endorsed the court verdict on RSS.

RSS is not Gandhi-hater. Rather, both enjoy more commonalities than differences. There is an interesting instance. After the withdrawal of Non-cooperation Movement, Gandhi faced popular ire. His birthday in Nagpur in 1922 faced the non-cooperation of Tilak’s followers. RSS founder Dr Hedgewar acceded to be its chief guest and his narrative of Gandhism (published by Maharasthra, a Marathi daily) shows the former’s positive understanding of Gandhi’s ideology. Besides his visit to the RSS camp in Wardha in 1934, the Mahatma addressed RSS volunteers in Delhi in 1947. The report in Hindustan Times on September 17 on the session exhibited  an urge to find out common ideological space in post-Partition India. Nehru witnessed the opposition from the most unexpected corner when he imposed ban on RSS. It was Harijan, a weekly founded by Gandhi, that described the ban as ‘un-Gandhian’. Rahul will realise sooner or later that Nehru’s anti-RSSism has become redundant.

Sinha is Hony. Director of India Policy Foundation


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