While speaking at RSS headquarter, Resham Bagh, Nagpur in the 3rd week of March Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS chief declared: “Now the time has come when we have to tell the new generation to chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ (hail mother India). It should be real, spontaneous and part of all-round development of the youth”.[i] Bhagwat while demanding chanting of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ also stated that this was necessitated as some forces are telling the youth not to say “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”.
Asaduddin Owaisi, true to his and AIMIM’s historic role in keeping Hindutva organization like RSS/Shiv Sena in news and help them in their polarizing game instead of challenging their credentials about loyalty to our democratic-secular polity in a speech at Latur, Maharashtra, reacted by declaring, “he will not chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ even if a knife is put to his throat”,[ii] prompting Shiv Sena and other Hindutva organizations to tell him on Monday that he should go to Pakistan. Though he raised a pertinent question that “nowhere in the Constitution it says that one should say: Bharat Mata ki Jai” but instead of challenging the Hindutva credentials of commitment to a democratic-secular Indian polity, he had fallen into the Hindutva trap.
It is true that RSS inimical to present India has been adding more and more conditions for Indian nationality. It was not long ago that beef eating was made a condition for denying Indian nationality. Owaisi’s genuine reaction should have been to demand proof from RSS about its loyalty towards a democratic-secular India but he chose to be as illogical as Bhagwat and, in fact, facilitated RSS in turning a debate between Hindutva and secular India into a Hindu vs. Muslim issue.
It is as true as the sun light that ‘Bharat Mata’ of RSS is not which came into being on August 15, 1947. ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ in fact, is the slogan with which RSS oath (pratigya) ends. It is mandatory for all members of RSS to take this oath once a year. It is to be noted that in the functioning of RSS this oath apart from prayer (prarthana) are the two texts which express total commitment to the building and nurturing a Hindu Rashtra (nation). As we will see in the following original texts of both, ‘Motherland’ is referred as ‘Land of Hindus’ and it is for building a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ that RSS members have ‘girded up our loins’. Moreover, one becomes a member of RSS ‘to achieve all round greatness of Bharatvarsha by fostering the growth of my sacred Hindu religion, Hindu society, and Hindu culture.’
Affectionate Motherland, I eternally bow to you/O Land of Hindus, you have reared me in comfort/O Sacred Land, the Great Creator of Good, may this body of mine be dedicated to you/I again and again bow before You/O God Almighty, we the integral part of the Hindu Rashtra salute you in reverence/For Your cause have we girded up our loins/Give us Your Blessings for its accomplishment.[iii]
Before the all powerful God and my ancestors, I most solemnly take this oath, that I become a member of the RSS in order to achieve all round greatness of Bharatvarsha by fostering the growth of my sacred Hindu religion, Hindu society, and Hindu culture. I shall perform the work of the Sangh honestly, disinterestedly, with my heart and soul, and I shall adhere to this goal all my life. Bharat Mata Ki Jai.[iv]
Thus according to RSS sacred documents all members are committed not to a democratic-secular Indian polity created by the Constituent Assembly but building a Hindu Rashtra like Muslim Rashtra of Pakistan. RSS has always been steadfast in its opposition to India which came into being on August 15, 1947. When Indians were celebrating Independence of a democratic-secular nation, it was RSS which denigrated it and all other symbols defining it.
Just a day before the Independence of India, the English organ of the RSS, Organizer (August 14, 1947) openly denigrated the choice of the Tri-colour as the National Flag in the following words:
“The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour but it never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.”
The same issue of Organizer went on to reject in totality, a composite and democratic India using following harsh words in an editorial, ‘Whither India’:
“Let us no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by false notions of nationhood. Much of the mental confusion and the present and future troubles can be removed by the ready recognition of the simple fact that in Hindusthan only the Hindus form the nation and the national structure must be built on that safe and sound foundation […] the nation itself must be built up of Hindus, on Hindu traditions, culture, ideas and aspirations”.
Democracy and egalitarianism are the two important pillars of Indian polity. Both have always been on the firing line of the RSS. The RSS Guru Golwalkar, the most prominent ideologue and 2nd supremo of the RSS decreed as early as 1940 to abandon democracy. Guru Golwalkar while addressing the 1350 top level cadres of the RSS at its headquarters at Nagpur in 1940 declared:
“The RSS inspired by one flag, one leader and one ideology is lighting the flame of Hindutva in each and every corner of this great land.”[v]
This slogan of one flag, one leader and one ideology was directly borrowed from the programmes of the Nazi and Fascist Parties of Europe.
RSS and other Hindutva organization make no mistake in equating Hinduism with Casteism. They oppose an egalitarian India which promises to provide social, political and economic equality and discard Casteism. For them Manusmriti which decrees lower Castes and women a sub-human life should be the constitution of Hindu Rashtra and not the democratic-secular Constitution. When Indian Constituent Assembly adopted a democratic-Secular Constitution under the guidance of Dr. BR Ambedkar. VD Savarkar as an icon of Hindutva politics declared:
“Manusmriti is that scripture which is most worship-able after Vedas for our Hindu Nation and which from ancient times has become the basis of our culture-customs, thought and practice. This book for centuries has codified the spiritual and divine march of our nation. Even today the rules which are followed by crores of Hindus in their lives and practice are based on Manusmriti. Today Manusmriti is Hindu Law”.[vi]
The democratic-secular Indian Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949, RSS English organ, Organizer in an editorial on November 30, 1949, complained:
“But in our constitution there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing”.
Opposition by the RSS to an egalitarian Constitution of India was the outcome of its eternal belief in Casteism. Golwalkar as 2nd supremo of RSS declared that Casteism was synonymous with Hindu nation. According to him, the Hindu people are none else but:
“the Virat Purusha, the Almighty manifesting himself… [according to purusha sukta] sun and moon are his eyes, the stars and the skies are created from his nabhi [navel] and Brahmin is the head, Kshatriya the hands, Vaishya the thighs and Shudra the feet. This means that the people who have this fourfold arrangement, i.e., the Hindu People, is [sic] our God. This supreme vision of Godhead is the very core of our concept of ‘nation’ and has permeated our thinking and given rise to various unique concepts of our cultural heritage.[Italics as in the original][vii]
It is to be noted that according to Manusmriti (chapter 1 and verse 91), “One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Sudras, to serve meekly even these (other) three castes.”[viii]
It is unfortunate that our ignorance (specially the ignorance of the parliamentary parties opposed to Hindutva) about the anti-national, anti-egalitarian and dehumanised ideological moorings of the RSS has provided RSS and its supporters enough space to confuse the nationalist and patriotic Indian discourse. An organization which is fully committed to overthrow a democratic-secular polity is allowed to rule India. It presents the most lethal danger to our nation and unless patriotic Indians rise up to unmask and challenge its criminal designs we will not need any foreign criminal gang to undo India. Hindutva organizations are surely working over-time to fulfil this unholy task but patriotic people of India, loyal to a democratic-secular polity and with sound knowledge of the nefarious designs of RSS will not let them succeed.
[i]The Indian Express, March 3, 2016.
[iii] RSS, Shakha Darshikha, Gyan Ganga, Jaipur, 1997, p. 1.
[iv]Ibid, p. 66.
[v]MS Golwalkar, Shri Guruji Samagar Darshan (collected works of Golwalkar in Hindi), Bhartiya Vichar Sadhna, Nagpur, nd, vol. I, p. 11.
[vi]VD Savarkar, ‘Women in Manusmriti’ in Savarkar Samagar (collection of Savarkar’s writings in Hindi), vol. 4, Prabhat, Delhi, p. 416.
[vii] MS Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, pp. 36-37.
[viii] This selection of Manu Code is from F. Max Muller, Laws of Manu (Delhi: LP Publications, 1996; first published in 1886).
Shamsul Islam is a former professor of Delhi University. He can be reached at Email : [email protected].