, by DR. S. AUSAF SAIED VASFI
DR. S. AUSAF SAIED VASFI presents the details of RSS role in communal riots and spread of anti-Muslim hatred with documentary proof and suggests the strategy to counter its pace.
In this Section
What should be Indian Muslims’ response to the ever-growing fascist challenge, posed by a formidable section of our plural polity? What should be their strategy, including policy and programme, towards the bellicose segment? Should they retaliate and pay in the belligerents’ own coin? Or, turning the other cheek would alter the situation? Is there any guidance in the Qur’an and Sunnah in this regard?
Before delving deep into the mind-boggling question, let us first focus, with authenticity, on how the mind of the otherwise honest-antagonists works, and has worked on Muslims. How honest and sincere they are in the aim of sniffing off Islam and Muslims can be gauged from the fact that Mr. B.S. Moonje, the founder and mentor of Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) visited Italy in March 1931 and met Mussolini in Rome. Besides confabulation with the fascist top notch, he visited the Military College, the Central Military School of Physical Education and – note it – the youth organisations named "Balilla" and "Aranguardisti". Their structure, according to Italian scholar, Ms Marzia Casolari is strikingly similar to that of the RSS. They recruited boys from the age of six, up to 18. The youth had to attend weekly meetings, where they practised physical exercises, received paramilitary training and performed drills and parades…Apart from such militarisation of Hindus, Moonje, in the light of his dairy, was of the view that Hindus could not be organised ‘unless we have our swaraj with a Hindu as a dictator like Shivaji of old, Mussolini or Hitler of the present day in Italy and Germany…"
The French writer Christopher Joffrelot informs us how deeply Mr. M.S. Golwalkar was influenced by the writings of Mr. J.K. Bluntschli Burgess and Mr. A.N. Holcomb (for details see Frontline January 3-February 17, 2003)
Praise of Feuhrer
An essential dimension of that propaganda, even today, is praise of Herr Hitler. The Gujarat board’s Std IX social studies textbook glorifies the Feuhrer: "Hitler adopted aggressive policy and led the Germans towards ardent nationalism… In the thinking of Nazism, there is coordination of nationalism and socialism."
The Std X social studies textbook says: "Hitler lent dignity and prestige to the German government in a short time by establishing a strong administrative set-up." Mentioning holocaust only as a passing reference, it has a subtitle reading ‘Internal Achievements of Nazism’. "He (Hitler) adopted a new economic policy and brought prosperity to Germany. He made untiring efforts to make Germany self-reliant within one decade."
With a view of fully comprehending the Muslims’ "final solutions", the Saffron leadership has, from time to time, been visiting Germany and Spain.
The "finesse" with which they have, more than once, been found "completing the job" is obviously a result of deep study of the modus operandi. The various Inquiry Commissions set up in Independent India, to investigate the communal riots in the country, have also taken note of the Saffron "planning".
The Saffron version of fascism, called "Hindutva", was enunciated as a doctrine by Mr Savakar in his magnum opus Hindutva during his detention in the Andamans. It was published in 1923. The morbidity of his mind is aptly delineated by Mr. V. Venkatesar in the Indian Express, September 23, 2006: ‘Savakar regrets that Hindu rulers of Medieval times, who in his estimation , offered valorous challenge to Mughal rulers, did not order the rape of Muslim women. In fact, he virtually chastises long-gone Shivaji, that other icon of Maratha pride, for not ordering such action."
At Logger Heads
A point to be carefully noted is that since the very beginning, the Hindutva doctrine has been at logger heads with the Constitution of India and the plural and egalitarian concept of nationhood that it envisages. To quote Mr. Savarkar: "Moslems in general and the Indian Moslems in particular have not yet grown out of the historical stage of intense religiosity and the theological concepts of state. Their theological politics divide the human world into two groups only – the Moslem land, the enemy land. All lands which are either inhabited entirely by the Moslems or ruled over by the Moslems are Moslem lands. To any other land no faithful Moslem is allowed to bear any loyalty. Their Holy-land is far off in Arabia. Their mythology and godmen, ideas and heroes are not the children of this soil. Consequently, their names and their outlook smack of foreign origin. Their love is divided. Their love for India as their motherland is but a handmaid to their love for their Holy-land outside India."
Going beyond the outrageous calumny of disloyalty of Muslims to non-Muslim states and the too romantic picture of exclusivity, which has kept the Saffron minds spell-bound, just think and ask yourself: Can the RSS adjust itself to today’s boundary-less "globalised" heterogeneous world? It goes without saying that Islam is beyond boundaries since its very inception! So? Does Muslim history in non-Muslim countries prove the non-point?
The tragedy is that many an important document of importance lies hidden, or has deliberately been kept hidden, from the public eye. The people at large don’t know, even the Saffron zealots, don’t know their mentors’ dark secrets. For example, Mr. Savarkar’s August 15, 1943 statement, which would have put even Mr. Jinnah to shame: All this is a part of history: "I have no quarrel with Mr. Jinnah’s two-nation theory. We Hindus are a nation by ourselves and it is a historical fact that Hindus and Muslims are two nations." (Indian Annual Register 1943, vol.2, p.10)
The Savarkar-led Hindu Mahasabha’s March 25, 1939 statement referring to Hitlerite Germany as the main reference point deserves reiteration. ‘Germany’s solemn idea of revival of the Aryan culture, the glorification of the swastika, her patronage of Vedic learning and the ardent championship of the tradition of Indo-Germanic civilization are welcomed by the religious and sensible Hindus of India with a jubilant hope. Only a few socialists headed by Pandit J. Nehru have reacted a bubble of resentment against the present government of Germany, but their activities are far from having any significance in India. The vain imprecations of Mahatma Gandhi against Germany’s indispensable vigour in matters of internal policy obtain but little regard in so far as they are uttered by a man who has always betrayed and confused the country with affected mysticism.
"Think that Germany’s crusade against the enemies of Aryan culture will bring all the Aryan nations of the world to their senses and awaken the Indian Hindus for the restoration of their lost glory. (The declaration contained Auswartiges Amt-Politischen (AA-PA, Bonn) / Vol. VII, statement by the spokesman of the Hindu Mahasabha, March 25, 1939 is quoted by Hauner, op.cit.66)
Mr. M.S. Golwalkar in his We, or Our Nationhood Defined avers: "German national pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races – the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and culture having differences going to the mot to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by."(Nagpur, 1939 p.37)
Advice to Muslims
More: ‘In one word, they (Muslims) must cease to be foreigners or stay in the country only subordinated to the Hindu nation claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment, not even citizen’s rights’.
Once Mr. N.G. Goray appropriately summed up the Hindutva psyche: "Who tore up the National Flag? The Hindu Mahasabhaites and the Hedgewar Boys did all this… they have been taught to hate the Muslims in general as Public Enemy No.1, to hate the Congress and its flag which is pro-Muslims, to hate socialists and communists, who are anti-Hinduism… They have their own flag, "the Bhagwa," the symbol of Maratha supremacy. And their leader is called "Rashtra Dhureen", i.e. Fuehrer.
The Hindutva model society, to quote Mr. Golwalkar, is where: Muslims and Christians "have no places in our national life unless they abandon their differences, adopt the religion, culture and language of the (Hindu) nation and completely merge themselves in the national race. So long, however, as they maintain their racial, religious and cultural differences (with Hindus) they cannot but be only foreigners."
In the straitjacket of the Hindutva dream "Every person is a Hindu who regards and owns this Bharat bhoomi – this land from the Indus to the seas as his Fatherland and Holyland – the land of origin of his religion and the cradle of his faith."
A Plot that Failed
How meticulously they plan pogroms? Read what Mr. Rajeshwar Dayal, a retired Administrator of U.P. says in his A Life of Our Times: "I must record the episode of a very grave nature when the procrastination and indecision of the UP cabinet led to dire consequences. When communal tension was at fever-pitch, the DIG of Police Western Range, a very seasoned and capable officer, BBL Jaitley arrived at my house with great secrecy. He was accompanied by two officers who brought with them two trunks securely locked. When the trunks were opened, they revealed incontrovertible evidence of a dastardly conspiracy to create a communal holocaust throughout the western districts of the province. The trunks were crammed with blueprints of great accuracy and professionalism of every town and village in that vast area, prominently marking out the Muslim localities and habitations. There were also detailed instructions, regarding access to the various locations and other matters, which amply revealed their sinister purpose. Greatly alarmed by these revelations, I immediately took the police party to the Premier’s house. There, in a closed room Jaitley gave a full report of his discovery backed by all the evidence contained in the steel trunks. Timely raids conducted on the premises of the RSS had brought the massive conspiracy to light. The whole plot had been concerted under the direction and supervision of the supremo of the organisation himself. Both Jaitley and I pressed for the immediate arrest of the prime accused, Shri Golwalkar who was still in the area.
Pantji could not but accept the evidence of his eyes and ears and expressed deep concern. But …. And thereby hangs a tale of utter naiveté.
From time to time, several inquiry Commissions have gone into what they call communal conflicts. The Jitendra Narain Commission of Inquiry into Jamshedpur riots of 1979 had stated: "After giving careful and serious consideration to all the material on record, the Commission is of view that the RSS, with its extensive organisations in Jamshedpur and… close links with the Jan Sangh and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, had a positive hand in creating a climate which was most propitious for the outbreak of the communal disturbances."
Earlier, the commission probing the Tellichery disturbances of 1971 had noted that the "RSS had taken an active part in raising anti-Muslim feelings amongst the Hindus of Tellichery and in preparing the background for the disturbances."
The DP Madon Commission, which inquired into the riots in Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Mahad in 1970, said: "The organisation responsible for bringing the communal tension in the said places to a pitch is the Rashtriya Utsav Mandal. The majority of the leaders and workers of the Rashtriya Utsav Mandal belonged to the Jan Sangh or were pro-Jan Sangh and the rest, apart from a few exceptions, belonged to the Shiv Sena."
In a chapter on the RSS, the Commission quoted from the report of the probe into the Mahatma Gandhi’s murder which said: "The RSS was the best organised and militant Hindu organisation in India… Ostensibly it was an open organisation, but it maintained secrecy about its work."
Commenting on intelligence reports of the speeches made by Golwalkar, the Commission noted that "a common theme running through all these speeches is that India is the land of Hindus and that as the Muslims and Christians were originally Hindus, they should return to the Hindu fold."
The Commission quoted one of Golwalkar’s speeches in which the RSS leader said: "In India there should be the rule of the Hindus. There cannot be a good administration if there is the rule of various people like Hindus, Muslims Christians, Parsis, etc. If there is the head of an ass attached to the body of a monkey, it will not work well. Such a body will be attacked by worms and will emit bad smells."
In its report on the Ahmedabad riots of 1969, the Jaganmohan Reddy Commission said, "We cannot … accept the police case that the courses of riots do not show that they were organised or direct. There must have been some agency or agencies, which must have exploited the Jagannath temple incident. We have already noticed… that according to the special report of the Commissioner of Police in respect of the Ramayan incident, the agitation had received the blessings of the local Bharatiya Jan Sangh workers who did not want to involve themselves directly but suggested the formation of an organisation known as the Hindu Dharma Raksha Samiti with… an old RSS worker as its convenor."
The justice Venugopal Commission, commenting on the Hindu-Christian disturbances in Kanyakumari in 1982, said: "The RSS adopts a militant and aggressive attitude and sets itself up as the champion of what it considers to be the rights of the Hindus against minorities. It has taken upon itself the task of teaching the minority their place… The RSS methodology for provoking communal violence is:
· Rousing communal feelings in the majority community by the propaganda that Christians are not loyal citizens of this country;
· Deepening the fear in the majority community by a clever propaganda that the population of the minorities is increasing and that of the Hindus decreasing;
· Infiltrating into the administration… and developing communal attitudes;
· Training young people of the majority community in the use of weapons…;
· Spreading rumours to widen the communal cleavage and deepen communal feelings by giving a communal colour to any trivial incident."
In this tale-tell background it is difficult to understand what “admirable quality” in RSS has made Mr Advani say he is indebted to it. In the light of the above evidence, the claim of the RSS to be a cultural organisation cannot be taken seriously. As the speeches and writings of Mr Savarkar and Mr Golwalkar show, the organisation’s activities have a clear purpose of undermining the pluralistic tenets of a multicultural society.
The question is: Whose baby this RSS is? It is our brethren belonging to the majority community who have to decide the parentage of this baby. Obviously the Hindu segment of India is not represented by the RSS, BJP, Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena. It is they who alone can play a decisive role in disowning the octopus. Only they can dismantle this monolith.
For too-obvious reasons, Muslims cannot play any role in defanging this monster. Their involvement can only aggravate the problem and shift focus from the basic issue.
What Muslims do, and can do is to maintain excellent relations with the majority community brethren. Equally good Muslim relations with the law enforcing agencies are necessary. Muslim intellectuals should, in the light of facts, prove counter-productivity and futility of pogroms. In the relief and rehabilitation work, Muslim role must be positive and pronounced. As patriotism and nationalism happen to be the last refuge of the Hindutva brethren, their out-of-season orchestration should be refuted by the Muslim leadership.
The Muslims should particularly remember that they have not to just defeat their misguided dissenters but also guide them towards the removal of vice and establishment of virtue on earth. But before that, the laboriously built negative image of Muslims shall have to be dismantled by Muslims themselves.