By Arun Srivastava
Who is the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat trying to fool? His decrying the culture of lynching of the Muslims by the Hindutva vigilantes or his observation that all Indians share the same DNA, cannot be differentiated on basis of worship must not be construed as his change of heart or RSS, the progeny of Hitler’s fascist organisation divorcing its politics of Muslim bashing and smashing the ideology of secularism and pluralism.
It is simply a trap that is laid by RSS to spring to the centre stage of the Indian political system. An insight into this sudden political turn would unearth the truth that this move of Bhagwat owes primarily to the waterloo that BJP met with in the Bengal assembly elections. Some people especially the traditional left and democratic socialists would refuse to subscribe to it, but the fact cannot be denied that the defeat has shaken the confidence level of the saffron brigade.
The RSS –BJP combine is desperate to check this erosion. The Bengal verdict has already set the process of erosion in the rank and file of the party at all India level. Whether it Haryana, Punjab, Karnataka or even Uttar Pradesh, least to speak of Bengal, everywhere the cadres have started deserting the party. This certainly does not augur well for the BJP.
The RSS and BJP claim their edifice is built on the strong foundation of Hindutva ideology. But this is purely a lie, a façade. The organisation representing the aspiration and political desires of the Maharashtrian Brahmins who primarily control the RSS, has been trying to establish its dominance and political hegemony. For reaching out to the target groups and entice them, they have been resorting to extreme form of hatred against the Minorities, which include not only Muslims but all the castes and communal groups.
They are finding it difficult to sustain their edifice. Questions are being raised across India. The defeat of the BJP candidates in the recently held panchayat elections is the candid example. In fact the RSS workers at the ground level have started questioning the style of functioning of the Yogi government and seeking clarification as to why the RSS was under obligation to support the BJP which is loyal to Yogi. Even the ideological credentials of Yogi were questioned. The fall out is before the eyes of the people. The BJP lost. It is entirely different issue that Yogi used his full might to win the elections of chairmanship of the district boards. He resorted to arm twisting, used mercenaries to terrorise the ordinary panchayat members to support the BJP candidates. This is the worst ever elections that was held to elect the board chiefs.
A loss would have completely dissipated the BJP and leadership of the trio ratnas of the RSS-BJP. All the three are known anti Muslims and are even nicknamed as the Prithvirajs of BJP. Just imagine about the plight and humiliation they would have faced if the BJP had failed to win the chairmanship of the District Boards, that too just ahead of the assembly elections.
Though the RSS and BJP has striven for polarisation of the Hindus in Bengal. But their miserably failed. Baring a section of the neo-middle class rallied behind the BJP, the Hindus by and large extended their support to the TMC of Mamata Banerjee. The RSS think tank has come to visualise that this is going to be all India phenomenon. The Hindus are not to be carried away. Moreover the governance of Modi and his utter failure to protect the class interest of the middle class has made this section to turn against him. A major chunk of rural poor which has elevated to the rank of middle class during the rule of Dr Manmohan Singh had to get relegated to their previous state during the corona pandemic. They have come to realise the futility of the economic measures and policies of Modi government. With their shattered dreams and faith they are reluctant to repose their faith in the BJP and Modi.
In this backdrop the BJP has initiated the process of winning back the trust of the Muslims. Besides serving the domestic interest their coming closer to BJP would help the RSS preserve its prestige in the international arena. Though it could not be bracketed as a major event, British Labour party winning the Batley and Spen seat has been a significant political development. The Hindutva brigade which has been active in UK has extended its full support to Conservative led by the prime minister Boris Johnson. An impression was created that Indian voters residing in the constituency were against the Labour. But in the final result Labour defeated Conservative by nearly 3500 votes. The Labour candidate who had opposed the abrogation of 370 in JK won the election. It is worth mentioning that in the general election of UK, the Hindutva elements had played the key role in ensuring the defeat of the Labour as a result its leader Jeremy Corbyn lost the election for the premiership.
In this backdrop the call of the RSS chief to the Muslims not to get trapped in a cycle of fear that Islam was in danger in India and asserting that those who indulged in lynching were against Hindutva are purely aimed at retrieving the lost electoral ground. He said this while addressing a programme organised by the Muslim Rashtriya Manch for launching Dr. Khwaja Iftikhar Ahmed’s book ‘The Meeting of Minds’, in Ghaziabad, on July 4, 2021. The function was organised around the theme “Hindusatani First, Hindustan First”.
It was on this occasion Bhagwat asserted that the DNA of all Indians is the same and they cannot be differentiated on the basis of worship. He said that the concept of Hindu-Muslim unity is misleading because there is nothing to unite as differences don’t exist in the first place. Bhagwat said; “There can never be any dominance of either Hindus or Muslims; there can only be the dominance of Indians”.
If Bhagwat really believed in this preamble he should have long back come out condemning the lynching of Muslims by his gang of vigilantes. The most deplorable was his silence. While the Muslims were being killed he was busy spreading hatred and patronising the union ministers and leaders who openly threatened them to throw out of India. He did not condemn Modi when the later claimed that he could identify the mischief mongers by their dress.
It is really a tough proposition to believe Bhagwat’s intentions when he says that it has been ‘scientifically proven’ that we are all one. Refuting claims that ‘Hindus want Muslims to be wiped off Earth’, the RSS chief warned ‘Hindus who say such things are not Hindus at all’. His statement outright demolishes the foundation of the RSS. The RSS from the days of Golwalkar and Savarkar has been describing the Muslims as non Indians, belonging to some Muslim land. Will Bhagwat come out openly in public and dare to say that whatever RSS has taught or preached so far has been bundle of lies, purely aimed at generating hatred against the Muslims and minorities.
His attempt at this stage to redefine and rewrite the ideological commitment of RSS gives rise to suspicion. What has made him to bring about a fundamental change in the approach and politics of RSS. He must categorically clarify when he says; I can be popular among Hindus but cannot get support from Hindus. If Hindus say that Muslims should be wiped off, then they are not Hindus at all. That is the hierarchical ideology of the Sangh. We may have different interests but society is the same. You can have differences over opinions. Islam came to India by attackers and since then attempts have been made to unite Hindus and Muslims”.
Bhagwat was not telling truth when he said that sometimes false cases of lynching have also been registered against people. At least 223 Muslims were killed by the vigilantes since 2014, the year Modi for the first time became the prime minister. Bhagwat says “If a Hindu says that no Muslim should live here (in India), then that person is not a Hindu. Cow is a holy animal but the people who are lynching are going against Hindutva.” If he has been speaking his conviction then why he did not ask Modi to act and allow the Law to take its own course against them without any partiality. Why he was silent when union ministers Amit Shah and Jayant Sinha openly patronised the killers.
It would not be unfair to expect him issuing a directive or asking Modi and Shah to desist from spreading hatred and stop using the government agencies to victimise the academics and intellectuals opposed to their political line. (IPA Service)