By Arun Srivastava
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat has asked the rank and file, upto the lower level of the organisation, to reactivate the block level committees to use their full might to counter the anti-citizenship protest and ensure that the forces opposed to the idea of Hindu Rashtra are denied new pastures.
The manner in which the anti-citizenship movement has been spreading fast day by day and encompassing new areas, has turned the RSS leadership sceptical. The leaders were of the view that leaving aside the Muslim, the six year of Narendra Modi rule would neutralise a bigger section of Hindus and they would rally behind the RSS agenda. But to their shock it does not appear to be happening. The Hindus appear to be reluctant to accept the RSS vision that “Bharat is a Hindu Rashtra”.
Some RSS leaders feel that the strategy of coercing the Muslims too has not worked. In fact it has misfired. Even Muslims would not come out in such large numbers against the citizenship act, if the saffron activists would not carried out violent actions and lynching.
In the existing scenario the Muslims are not willing to subscribe to the Modi government’s posture on NRC and NPR. Even some BJP leaders concede that it is the ultra-aggressive approach of Amit Shah that has simply aggravated the situation beyond comprehension. He ought to have realised that Gujarat is not India. The strong arm tactics that he has been using in his home state could not be experimented in rest of the country. He ought to have treated cautiously.
The RSS from the beginning has been providing its support, physical and moral, to Modi-Shah move. But they never feed the RSS leadership with the correct information about the situation prevailing at the ground level. The RSS has been receiving adverse information from its own sources, but the stand of Modi-Shah created confusion. They pretended that everything was good and perfect.
True enough the RSS leadership, especially Mohan Bhagwat favours strong action. They hold that if the Modi Government fails to adopt a resolution on turning India into Hindu Rashtra in the prevailing political situation, then it would never be accomplished. This was the right time. Sangh has been holding it ground even after being aware that Modi has turned unpopular and lost his charisma. Though a section of senior party leaders do not endorse this move of the party and government they are reluctant to open their mouth and openly oppose it.
Bhagwat advocates that Bharatiyas (to be taken note that instead of addressing them as Indians) working for the nation’s glory and enhancing its peace are “Hindus”. He also made it clear; “The vision and proclamation of the Sangh regarding the identity of the nation, social identity of all of us, and the identity of the country’s nature, are clear, well-thought-of and firm that Bharat is Hindustan, Hindu Rashtra,”
He also said;”Those who belong to Bharat, those who are descendants of Bharatiya ancestors, those who are working for the ultimate glory of nation and joining hands in enhancing peace, respecting and welcoming all diversities; all those Bharatiyas are Hindus,” He did not hide his intentions. He is nurses an absolutely clear vision that “Bharat is a Hindu Rashtra”.
In fact Modi approach on the NRC and NPR makes it explicit that he has been abiding by the dictates of Bhagwat. During the last 50 days of the movement, longest ever in Independent India, he never tried to open a dialogue with agitators. Significantly the spirit of Shaheen Bagh has spread to almost all the states, but Modi is not willing to meet them. The only reason is they view the spread of the Shaheen Bagh spirit as the more and more assertion by the Muslims. They hold that Muslim men instead of coming to the fore front has been forcing their women to raise their voice of protest. Modi believes that listening them would simply strengthen the approach and claim of Muslims. Any such step would dilute the political and ideological stand of the RSS.
So far BJP has been looking to the RSS. This is for the first time that RSS is looking towards for the success of its mission. Not listening to the Muslim voice has yet another direction. The BJP intends to send the message that they have got no place in the organisation. Denial by Bhagwat that RSS was Islamophobic is a part of this strategy. It does not desire to give any credence. In fact they view gradual coming out of Muslim women and their participation as the symbol of their identity, which of course RSS and BJP do not recognise.
Bhagwat’s observation that in the past few years, there has been a transformation in “direction of thought process of ‘Bharat'” and a developed Bharat creates fear in the minds of vested interests’ ought to be evaluated in proper perspective. (IPA Service)