Friday, November 18, 2011

Madhu Limaye describes What RSS is.

The senior socialist leader, late Madhu Limaye penned this piece soon after the split in the Janata Party. It was published by the Hindi weekly, Ravivar in 1979.


'I entered political life in 1937. I was quite young then but as I had passed my matriculation examination at a relatively early age, I also entered college quite early. Quite active in Pune in those days were the RSS and the Savarkarites (followers of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar) on the one hand and nationalist, socialist and leftist political organisations on the other. On May 1, 1937 we took out a march to observe May Day. The marchers were attacked by the RSS and Savarkarites when, among others, the well-known revolutionary Senapati Bapat and our socialist leader, SM Joshi, were injured. We have had serious differences with these Hindutva organisations ever since.
Our first difference with the RSS was over the issue of nationalism. We believed that every citizen had equal rights in the Indian nation. But the RSS and the Savarkarites came up with their notion of Hindu Rashtra. Mohammad Ali Jinnah too was a victim of a similar world view. He believed that India was made up of two nations, the Muslim nation and the Hindu nation. Savarkar too said the same thing.
The other major difference between us was that we dreamt of the birth of a democratic republic while the RSS claimed that democracy was a western concept that was not appropriate for India. In those days members of the RSS were full of praise for Adolf Hitler. Guruji (Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar) was not only the sarsanghchalak (head) of the RSS; he was its ideological guru as well.
There is amazing similarity between the thoughts of Guruji and the Nazis. One of Guruji’s books, We or Our Nationhood Defined, ran into several editions, its fourth edition having been published in 1947. At one point in the book, Guruji says, “The non-Hindu people in Hindustan must adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no ideas but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture i.e. they must not only give up their attitude of intolerance and ungratefulness towards this land and its age-old traditions but must also cultivate the positive attitude of love and devotion instead – in a word, they must cease to be foreigners, or may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment – not even citizen’s rights.”
In other words, Guruji wanted to see millions of Indians treated as non-citizens. He wanted all their citizenship rights taken away. Incidentally, these ideas of his were not newly formulated. From the time we were in college (in the mid-1930s), members of the RSS were inclined to follow Hitlerian ideals. In their view, Muslims and Christians in India deserved to be treated the same way that Hitler treated Jews in Germany.
The extent of Guruji’s sympathies for the views of the Nazi Party is evident from the following passage from We or Our Nationhood Defined: “To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races – the Jews. Race 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” (We or Our Nationhood Defined, 1947, p. 42)...'

Also see: The Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi: Inquiry Commission Report (1969)

Poornima Joshi - Sangh Sing Song


RSS Declared Unlawful: GOI communique of February 4, 1948
Text of Government communique dated February 4, 1948 - In their resolution of February 4, 1948, the Government of India declared their determination to root out the forces of hatred and violence that are at work in our country and imperil the freedom of the Nation and darken her fair name. in pursuance of this policy the Government of India have decided to declare unlawful the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the Chief Commissioner’s provinces. Similar action is also being taken in the Governor’s provinces.
As democratic governments the Government of India and the provincial governments have always been anxious to allow reasonable scope for genuine political, social and economic activities to all parties and organisations including those whose policies and purposes differ from, or even run counter to their own, subject to the consideration that such activities should not transgress certain commonly recognised limits of propriety and law. The professed aims and objects of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are to promte the physical, intellectual and moral well-being of the Hindus and also to foster feelings of brotherhood, love and service amongst them. Government themselves are most anxious to improve the general material and intellectual well-being of all sections of the people and have got schemes on hand which are designed to carry out these objects, particularly the provision of physical training and education in military matters to the youth of the country. Government have, however, noticed with regret that in practice members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have not adhered to their professed ideals.
Undesirable and even dangerous activities have been carried out by members of the Sangh. It has been found that in several parts of the country individual members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity, and murder and have collected illicit arms and ammunitions. They have been found circulating leaflets exhorting people to resort to terrorist methods, to collect firearms, to create disaffection against the government and and suborn the police and military. These activities have been carried out under the cloak of secrecy, and the government have considered from time to time how far these activities rendered it incumbent upon them to deal with the Sangh in its corporate capacity. The last occasion when the government defined this attitude was when the Premiers and Home Ministers of provinces met in Delhi towards the end of November.  It was then unanimously agreed that the stage when the Sangh should be dealt with as an association had not yet arrived and that individuals should contiinue to be dealt with sternly as hitherto. The objectionable and harmful activities of the Sangh have, however, continued unabated and the cult of violence sponsored and inspired by the activities of the Sangh has claimed many victims. The latest and most precious to fall was Gandhiji himself.
In these circumstances it is the bounden duty of the government to take effective measures to curb this re-appearance of violence in a virulent form and as a first step to this end, they have decided to declare the Sangh as an unlawful association. Government have no doubt that in taking this measure they have the support of all law-abiding citizens, of all those who have the welfare of the country at heart. (Source: Des Raj Goyal: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Delhi, 1979; 201-202)
AICC Resolution on Private Armies; dtd November 16, 1947 - “The All India Congress Committee has noted with regret that there is a growing desire on the part of some organizations to build up private armies. Any such development is dangerous for the safety of the State and for the growth of corporate life in the nation. The State alone should have its defence forces or police or home guards. The activities of the Muslim National Guards, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Akali Volunteers and such other organizations represent an endeavour to bring into being private armies, (and) must be regarded as a menace to the hard-won freedom of the country.. (Source: Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, online; vol 97, p 480).