Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Exposing the Saffron Scheme: A Popular outline

Sangh Parivar - Traitors to the cause of freedom

Comrade Vinod Mishra

The role of the Communist Party in 1942 is a much maligned one and a few years back Mr.Arun Shourie searched through the archives to expose the socalled treachery of the CPI in that period, albeit with a few insertions of his own here and there. Admittedly, the Communist Party did make a tactical blunder in that period and almost all the communist formations of India accept that. Except this brief episode, communists remained an important segment of the freedom movement. Militant fighters for the cause of freedom were either inspired by the successful October Revolution in Soviet Union and the communist ideology or by leaders like Bhagat Singh and they graduated to communism in large numbers.

Savarkar, the first proponent of modern Hindutva, did play a heroic role in the early days of anti-British struggle. But since mid-20s, after becoming the leader of Hindu Mahasabha, he followed a clear line of compromise with the British, so much so that during the 1942 movement he asked the Mahasabha members in local bodies, legislatures and services to "stick to their posts and continue to perform their regular duties". The virulent anti-Muslim propaganda and the call to "Hinduize politics and militarize Hinduism" resorted to by Savarkar and his Mahasabha effectively meant full wartime collaboration with the British. (V.D. Savarkar, Historic Statements, 1957) Hedgewar, the founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, worked within the Congress fold but his espousal of Hindutva only led to his and his organisation’s growing drift from the mainstream freedom movement.

The non-cooperation movement of the early 1920s — which represented the highest point of anti-British unity in the entire history of freedom movement and which was betrayed by Gandhi and the Congress leadership, who called it off in l922 — only drew a derogatory remark from Hedgewar: "As a result of the non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi, the enthusiasm (for nationalism) in the country was cooling down and the evils in social life which that movement generated menacingly raised their head…The Yavan snakes reared on the milk of non-cooperation were provoking riots in the nation with their poisonous hissing". (Bhishikar, 1979, p.7)

In 1927, when the freedom movement showed fresh signs of revival and a powerful agitation developed against the arrival of the Simon Commission, the RSS kept itself strictly aloof and was rather busy organising its first training camp in Nagpur. September 1927 witnessed a communal riot in Nagpur and RSS was found deeply involved in the same.

In the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1930, in the background of Congress adopting Purna Swaraj as the national goal in the Lahore Congress, once again the RSS was nowhere to be found. Hedgewar asked RSS shakhas to celebrate independence day -- 26 January 1930 as decided by the Congress -- through worship of the bhagwa jhanda (saffron flag). But in sharp contrast to the pattern prevailing generally all over the country, lathi-wielding RSS cadres were nowhere engaged in confrontation with the colonial police while observing the day.

Golwalkar took over as Sarsanghchalak after Hedgewar in 1940 and further perfected the anti-Muslim, pro-British thrust of Hinduism. Says Golwalkar, "The theories of territorial nationalism and of common danger, which formed the basis for our concept of nation, had deprived us of the positive and inspiring content of our real Hindu nationhood and made many of the freedom movements virtually anti-British movements. Being anti-British was equated with patriotism and nationalism. This reactionary view has had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the independence struggle, its leaders and the common people". (Golwalkar, 1966, pp. 142-43)

This, perhaps, is the most revealing exposition of the RSS’ definition of patriotism and nationalism. Strange as it may appear, this ideologue of Hinduism decries anti-British nationalism right amidst the rising tide of freedom movement to overthrow the colonial yoke. All the ‘nationalist, patriotic’ outcries and fervor of RSS were essentially directed against past memories of Muslim domination. For it, history had ceased to exist after Shivaji’s forays against the last great Moghul emperor, Aurangzeb. The British interlude only helped demolish the last remnants of Mughal rule and hence was an ally. Shivaji’s battle was to be continued till it culminated in Hindu Rashtra. The RSS emerged from Maharashtra with unmistakable Maratha overtones and it willingly played into the hands of British colonialists who always tried to sabotage the freedom movement by encouraging the Hindu-Muslim divide.

No wonder then that the RSS was nowhere to be found in the Civil Disobedience Movement of 1940-41, the Quit India Movement of 1942, the Azad Hind Fauz, the 1945-46 upsurges centering around the INA trials and the Bombay naval mutiny.

Today, the same history continues in changed circumstances. Once again when the country is facing a serious threat of neo-colonialism from the same old imperialist powers, the Sangh Parivar is ready at the masters’ service. Their nationalism and patriotism has nothing to do with opposing American supremacy and the IMF-WB’s and MNCs’ domination over India. All their fervour is directed against the symbols of Muslim rule which have receded well past into history. This not only serves to sabotage India’s struggle for a second freedom from economic subjugation and chronic threats to political independence as well as from the authoritarian establishment for a people’s democratic society, but also serves their imperialist masters, with their newly perceived Islamic threat after the collapse of the communist challenge.

Philosophy of Hindu Rashtra is borrowed from Nazism

RSS-BJP propagandists day in and day out accuse communists of borrowing a foreign ideology from a German named Marx while they themselves claim to be purely indigenous. However, it was none but a German (albeit of Austrian origin) again who deeply influenced Golwalkar in fashioning his ideology and organisation. The name of this German is Adolf Hitler.

Writes Golwalkar in his We or Our Nationhood Defined: "German national pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic races -- the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. 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."

Translation of this Nazism in India means that non-Hindu people must renounce every bit of their identity -- be it language, culture, religion…everything. In case they refuse to do so, Golwalkar may still allow them to stay in the country subject to the condition that they "wholly subordinate to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment, not even citizen’s rights".

The whole RSS philosophy of Hindu Rashtra, therefore, is nothing but a borrowed version of the German Nazi state.


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