By Arun Srivastava
After the recent meeting of the RSS’s Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) there is no ambiguity now that Narendra Modi or his ministerial colleagues or even the BJP leaders hardening their stand against Rahul Gandhi and seeking his apology are being ordained at the behest of the RSS. The one liner comment from the home minister Amit Shah is the only dissenting narration. Home minister Amit Shah said to allow the parliament function the government was ready to talk to opposition to end the logjam. He even said; “the government was ready to go “two steps ahead” to resolve the standoff if the Opposition took “two steps forward”.
Apparently there is no clarity in the observation, but what is of importance is it has come in the midst of BJP members’ demand for the head of Rahul. What turns the accusing fingers towards the RSS is the observation of the RSS general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale, next person in hierarchy after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, incidentally coinciding with Shah offer, “Rahul Gandhi should speak more responsibly and see the reality of the Sangh’s acceptance in society”.
Since RSS leaders claim their organisation to be a cultural organisation, what Rahul said in UK should not have bothered Hosabale. Rahul’s observation was political in nature and the BJP leaders had raised the issue in Parliament, using it as a political platform. The rationale of raising this issue by the BJP leaders and MPs inside the parliament is yet to be reviewed; whether it comes within the ambit of the parliamentary practices.
But the primary question that needs specific reply is what prompted Hosabale to come out with such suggestion to Rahul. He has been targeting RSS for quite long. But neither Hosabale nor any senior leader took exception to his remarks. Hosabale even remarked; “Rahul must be doing this for his “political agenda” but RSS does not work in the political field and he has no competition with the Sangh.” As the leader of Congress Rahul is free to express his views on his opponents, but it is intriguing what made Hosabale to suggest him to speak responsibly. Does Hosabale believe that Rahul made irresponsible comments on RSS and BJP in UK; the charges being levelled against him by the BJP members and leaders?
It is a wrong notion that BJP leaders are for penalising Rahul for his anti Modi government stance or decrying that democracy and the democratic institutions are shattering in the country. It is the fear nursed by the RSS that any massive campaign against BJP will shatter its image and the gains during 10 years of Modi rule. The RSS’s Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) meet from March 12 to 14 provided enough indication. The ABPS underlined that some forces in the world are not accepting “Bharatiya” resurgence and are opposing “Hindutva thought” within and outside the country, devising “new conspiracies” for creating mutual distrust and anarchy in society, and there is a need to defeat their designs.
Passing a resolution at its meeting here, the ABPS urged the people to be vigilant against the forces that are instigating divisiveness. “The ABPS wishes to underscore the fact that while many countries accepting this Bharatiya resurgence based on its ‘Swa’ or selfhood,” they have respect and goodwill for Bharat, some forces in the world are not”, reads the resolution.
The proceedings of the ABPS makes it explicit that the Modi government and the BJP would go to any extent for silencing Rahul Gandhi’s voice of protest. The Saffron brigade has come to realise that his crusade would inflict severe damage to the future plan of expansion of the RSS.
Rahul in his three major engagements in Britain, accused the Modi government, BJP and RSS for attacking the institutional framework that is required for a democracy, parliament, a free press and the judiciary. If at all he was wrong or his allegations were fake and frivolous, Hosabale should have placed his version or organisation’s views. Will Hosabale deny that the democratic institutions are trampled and crushed? How he would react to the Law Minister, Kiren Rijiju’s statement that some former judges have connived with the anti national elements to smear the image of the country. For nearly a year Rijiju has been humiliating and maligning the judiciary, but the RSS leadership never pulled him up or asked him to “act responsibly”.
The BJP charge Rahul with asking the global powers to interfere in India. At no place he said this. It is not reality. He said, “Indian democracy is a public good. It is by far the world’s biggest democracy. Defending Indian democracy is about more than India. It is about defending the democratic system. It is internal matter of India and we will defend it”. Ironically the RSS leaders did not object to BJP leaders speaking lies. Leaders like Hosabale should have asked them not to distort the facts. But it did not.
In a way Hosabale was correct in saying, “those who (Indira Gandhi) had converted India into a jail have no right to comment on democracy in the country.” But will he comment on what Modi has been doing. Innocent persons, politicians and even journalists are languishing in jail for months together, when the Modi government has not officially imposed emergency. 85 year old Father Stan died in jail. A human rights activists, he was imprisoned on the false allegation of being Urban Naxals.
An insight into the resolutions about the programme and policy of the RSS would reveal that it would continue to adhere to its old line of divisive politics. It has become a compulsion as the organisation to keep up its expansion mission needs the BJP government to come to the power for the third consecutive term. This was the primary reason that the “deliberations for the election year” attracted much wide attention of the leadership as well the delegates.
The highest policy making body of the RSS, Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) preferred to intensify its earlier policy with a renewed thrust on turning India into a Hindu Rashtra. Presently, the RSS has branches in 42,613 places, holding 68,651 shakhas, and carries out its activities in 75,000 villages across the country. During Modi Raj the membership of RSS has increased substantially. The north east, Bengal and Telangana have been at the target of the RSS, as the leaders believe that these regions would prove to a major challenger to its expansionist mission. Presently, the RSS has branches in 42,613 places, holding 68,651 shakhas, and carries out its activities in 75,000 villages across the country.
Its urgency to establish itself as the supreme decision maker is manifest in its call to the people. It called upon to set a new narrative about the country should change as we march ahead in this Amrit Kaal. It also urged; “distorted history should be replaced by correct history, so that the countrymen can take pride in their heritage. Art, literature and other expressions of creativity should reflect contemporaneity.”
A review was also done of the plan to expand the RSS shakha network to all blocks in the country, taking the number from the existing 65,000 to 100,000 by the time of the centenary celebrations. A plan of action for 2023-24 was also framed. Though leaders like Hosabale have been known critics of the functioning of the Modi government, they did not object to RSS accepting his theory of Paanch Pran; goal of developed India, removing all traces of colonial mindset, taking pride in roots, unity and sense of duty.
The ABPS sent a strong message that India is on its way to becoming Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s republic. RSS is depending on the BJP governments in both the centre and the states for its massive expansion and it can not allow the Congress or Rahul Gandhi to create in any manner a situation where the BJP is weakened and the RSS expansion will be adversely affected. RSS is seeing Rahul Gandhi as its consistent political enemy and it is bent on destroying the political future of the Congress MP. (IPA Service)