Congress doesn’t understand that the RSS is not the BJP, says M.G. Vaidya - The Hindu
But one has to distinguish RSS from BJP. between the Vajpayee government and the Modi government in their relationship with RSS and on. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is the ideological mentor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP party. It is increasingly playing an. The Congress doesn't understand the RSS. They don't know what the RSS is. They think the RSS is the BJP. I can understand their opposition.
These differences, however, have not led to a split between the party and the parent organisation, as they did during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
The RSS provides cadres for the BJP's political machinery, helping break new electoral ground, like it did earlier this year in Tripura where hundreds of its cadre descended on and captured a bastion held by the CPI M for over two decades. The Sangh, for its part, has been rewarded with a spike in its membership after the BJP came to power at the Centre.
The Opposition has been quick to sense this growing closeness and this explains the recent attacks by Congress president Rahul Gandhi on the RSS.
We have closely tracked the RSS and its relationship with the party and the government over the past four years through four cover stories. The Sangh is itself in the throes of change as it mainstreams its appeal.
Its outreach campaign saw veteran Congressman and former president Pranab Mukherjee address its ranks on June 7. The Sangh may have had a role in persuading the BJP to undertake a similar public outreach, with party leaders fanning out across the country to engage with known detractors. Now, with the next general elections less than a year away and at least some of the sheen around the BJP's chief campaigner, Narendra Modi, wearing off following a string of by-poll defeats, the RSS has sounded the bugle for its estimated 5 million-strong followers.
The message is clear: They have to put their shoulder behind the electoral wheel to ensure the Modi government's re-election. With the Sangh and the BJP closing ranks as an electoral machine, our cover story, put together by deputy rditor Uday Mahurkar - who has tracked the RSS for decades - and senior associate editor Kaushik Deka, analyses what lies at the core of this joint narrative.
- Congress doesn’t understand that the RSS is not the BJP, says M.G. Vaidya
- RSS is a lot more diverse than it used to be: Author Walter Andersen
- Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
Hedgewar became a member of the Anushilan Samitian anti-British revolutionary group, getting into its inner circle. The secretive methods of these societies were eventually used by him in organising the RSS. According to the official RSS history,  he came to realize that revolutionary activities alone were not enough to overthrow the British. Savarkar 's Hindutvapublished in Nagpur inand meeting Savarkar in the Ratnagiri prison inHedgewar was extremely influenced by him, and he founded the RSS with the objective of strengthening the Hindu society.
He recruited energetic Hindu youth with revolutionary fervour, gave them a uniform of a black forage cap, khaki shirt later white shirt and khaki shorts—emulating the British police—and taught them paramilitary techniques with lathi bamboo staffsword, javelin and dagger.
Hindu ceremonies and rituals played a large role in the organisation, not so much for religious observance, but to provide awareness of India's glorious past and to bind the members in a religious communion. Hedgewar also held weekly sessions of what he called baudhik idealogical educationconsisting of simple questions to the novices concerning the Hindu nation and its history and heroes, especially Shivaji. The saffron flag of Shivaji, the Bhagwa Dhwajwas used as the emblem for the new organisation.
Its public tasks involved protecting Hindu pilgrims at festivals and confronting Muslim resistance against Hindu processions near mosques. He asked the volunteers to become sadhus first, renouncing professional and family lives and dedicating themselves to the cause of the RSS. According to scholar Christophe JaffrelotHedgewar embraced this doctrine after it had been reinterpreted by nationalists such as Aurobindo.
The first pracharaks were responsible for establishing as many shakhas as possible, first in Nagpur, then across Maharashtra and eventually in the rest of India. Dani was sent to establish a shakha at the Benaras Hindu University and other Universities were similarly targeted to recruit new followers among the student population. Three pracharaks went to Punjab: InMadhavrao Muley was appointed as the prant pracharak regional missionary in Lahore.
Jaffrelot says that the RSS was intended to propagate the ideology of Hindutva and to provide "new physical strength" to the majority community. Gandhi's stance on the Khilafat issue was a cause for concern to Hedgewar, and so was the fact that the 'cow protection' was not on the Congress agenda. This led Hedgewar, along with other Tilakities, to part ways with Gandhi. InHedgewar delivered a series of lectures in Maharashtra with slogans such as "Freedom within a year" and "boycott".
He deliberately broke the law, for which he was imprisoned for a year.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh | History, Ideology, & Facts | az-links.info
After being released inHedgewar was distressed at the lack of organisation among the Congress volunteers for the independence struggle. Without proper mobilisation and organisation, he felt that the patriotic youth of the country could never get independence for the country. The Muslim masses were mobilised by the Khilafat movementdemanding the reinstatement of the Caliphate in Turkey, and Gandhi made an alliance with it for conducting his own Non-cooperation movement.
Gandhi aimed to create Hindu-Muslim unity in forming the alliance. However, the alliance saw a "common enemy", not a "common enmity". When Gandhi called off the Non-cooperation movement due to outbreaks of violence, Muslims disagreed with his strategy. Once the movements failed, the mobilised Muslims turned their anger towards Hindus. A cycle of inter-communal violence throughout India followed for several years. He led the Hindu religious procession for Ganeshabeating the drums in defiance of the usual practice not to pass in front of a mosque with music.
When the Hindu procession reached a mosque in the Mahal area of Nagpur, Muslims blocked it. Later in the afternoon, they attacked the Hindu residences in the Mahal area. It is said that the RSS cadres were prepared for the attack and beat the Muslim rioters back. Riots continued for 3 days and the army had to be called in to quell the violence.
RSS organized the Hindu resistance and protected the Hindu households while the Muslim households had to leave Nagpur en masse for safety. The above incident vastly enhanced the prestige of the RSS and enabled its subsequent expansion. Muslims, Christians and the British were thought of as "foreign bodies" implanted in the Hindu nation, who were able to exploit the disunity and absence of valour among the Hindus in order to subdue them. The solution lay in emulating the characteristics of these "Threatening Others" that were perceived to give them strength, such as paramilitary organisation, emphasis on unity and nationalism.
The Hindu nationalists combined these emulatory aspects with a selective borrowing of traditions from the Hindu past to achieve a synthesis that was uniquely Indian and Hindu.
The RSS and BJP's blueprint of a new nationalism for 2019
Inprominent Hindu leaders like Madan Mohan Malaviya met together on this platform and voiced their concerns on the 'division in the Hindu community'. In his presidential speech to Mahasabha, Malaviya stated: If the Hindus made themselves strong and the rowdy section among the Mahomedans were convinced they could not safely rob and dishonour Hindus, unity would be established on a stable basis.
Savarkar 's 'Hindutva' ideology also had a profound impact on Hedgewar's thinking about the 'Hindu nation'. MoonjeGanesh SavarkarL. RSS took part as a volunteer force in organising the Hindu Mahasabha annual meeting in Akola in Moonje remained a patron of the RSS throughout his life. Both he and Ganesh Savarkar worked to spread the RSS shakhas in Maharashtra, Panjab, Delhi and the princely states by initiating contacts with local leaders.
Savarkar, after his release injoined them in spreading the RSS and giving speeches in its support. According to the RSS biographer C. Bhishikar, Hedgewar talked only about Hindu organisations and avoided any direct comment on the Government. The Tricolor of the Indian national movement was shunned. He sent information everywhere that the RSS would not participate in the Satyagraha. However, those wishing to participate individually were not prohibited. Golwalkar, who became the leader of the RSS incontinued and further strengthened the isolation from the independence movement.
The RSS and BJP's blueprint of a new nationalism for
In his view, the RSS had pledged to achieve freedom through "defending religion and culture", not by fighting the British.
He complied with all the strictures imposed by the Government during the Second World War, even announcing the termination of the RSS military department. The British Home Department took note of the fact that the speakers at the RSS meetings urged the members to keep aloof from the anti-British movements of the Indian National Congresswhich was duly followed.
The Bombay Government report further noted that in Decemberorders had been issued to the provincial RSS leaders to desist from any activities that the British Government considered objectionable, and the RSS, in turn, had assured the British authorities that "it had no intentions of offending against the orders of the Government".
He agreed that such a stance led to a perception of the RSS as an inactive organisation, whose statements had no substance in reality. To the RSS activists, the partition was a result of mistaken soft-line towards the Muslims, which only confirmed the natural moral weaknesses and corruptibility of the politicians.
The RSS blamed Gandhi, Nehru and Patel for their 'naivety which resulted in the partition', and held them responsible for the mass killings and displacement of the millions of people.
In an article titled "Mystery behind the Bhagwa Dhwaj", the Organiser stated The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolor but it [will] never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.
In his words, Our leaders have set up a new flag for the country. Why did they do so? It just is a case of drifting and imitating Ours is an ancient and great nation with a glorious past. Then, had we no flag of our own?