The October 6, 2019 issue of Organizer, English organ of RSS, was dedicated to ‘Mahatma Gandhi’, celebrating his birthday; the October 2. Our PM Modi who identifies himself as ‘a Hindu nationalist’ also remembers Gandhiji regularly, his ideological parent, RSS displaying Gandhiji’s photo too in some of its meetings.
This love of RSS for Gandhiji is a hoax and needed to be judged by going through the following ideas and practices of this organization which are brazenly inimical to the ideals of Gandhiji.
MODI AS FATHER OF INDIA
During PM Modi’s September 2019 visit to the US, the latter’s President Trump while heaping unprecedented praise on his close friend Modi declared him to be ‘Father of India’. Modi and his followers did relish this epithet as there was no attempt by PM or his government to correct Trump that India already had one ‘Father’ and a Nation with two ‘Fathers’ would be an abnormality. On the contrary, a senior minister in the Modi’s cabinet, Jitender Singh known for his proximity to Modi publically defended Trump for describing his patron as ‘Father of India’.
BJP IT-CELL INCHARGE CALLS FOR AUCTION OF GODSE’S REVOLVER TO PROVE HIS POPULARITY
Vicky Mittal, BJP IT-Cell Indore in-charge demanded that in order to decide who is more popular in India, whether Gandhi or Godse, the pistol of Godse with which he killed Gandhiji should be put on auction. His tweet read : एक बार गोडसे जी की पिस्तौल नीलाम करके देखो तो पता चल जाएगा की देश-भक्त था या आतंकवादी! He seemed to be sure that Godse, the killer of Gandhi would win hands down!
GANDHIJI AS CHATUR BANIYA
Amit Shah while addressing a RSS-BJP in Chhattisgarh in 2018 while belittling the role of Congress, in the freedom struggle, went on to discuss Gandhiji. According to him Gandhiji, to quote original words in Hindi, “bahut chatur baniya tha woh”. It needs to be noted here that by this categorization Shah, in fact, borrowed the language of M.A. Jinnah who always referred Gandhiji as ‘Hindu baniya’ who represented only Hindus. So in the vocabulary of this Hindutva icon, Shah, Gandhiji was reduced to the status of a Hindu leader which the Muslim League always propagated and propagates even today.
RSS WAS FORMED IN OPPOSITION TO GANDHIJI’S CALL FOR HINDU-MUSLIM UNITY
The RSS’ hatred for Gandhiji is as old as the formation of the RSS itself. Dr K.B. Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS, was a Congress leader but parted company with the latter in 1925. After meeting Hindutva icon V.D. Savarkar, he realised that Gandhiji was the biggest hurdle in the Hindutva project of organising Hindus separately. According to an RSS publication, since Gandhiji worked for Hindu-Muslim unity,
“Doctorji sensed danger in that move. In fact, he did not even relish the new-fangled slogan of ‘Hindu-Muslim unity”.
Another RSS publication corroborates the fact that the main reason behind Hedgewar’s parting with the Congress and formation of the RSS was because the “Congress believed in Hindu-Muslim unity”.
RSS & MUSLIM LEAGUE ORGANS COMPETED IN DENIGRATING GANDHIJI
The RSS launched its English organ, Organiser, in July 1947 and a perusal of its issues till the murder of Gandhiji on January 30, 1948 shows a flood of articles and sketches inimical to Gandhiji. The RSS seemed to be competing with the Hindu Mahasabha leader, Savarkar, and the Muslim League organ, The Dawn, in denigrating Gandhiji.
GANDHIJI MURDER & RSS
The first Home Minister of India, Sardar Patel, whom the RSS often praises, was forthright in holding the RSS and Hindu Maha-sabha responsible for creating an environment of hatred against Gandhiji which resulted in the latter’s murder. He underlined it in a letter (July 18, 1948) to the prominent leader of the Hindu Mahasabha, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee:
“As regards the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, the case relating to Gandhiji’s murder is subjudice and I should not like to say anything about the participation of the two organisations, but our reports do confirm that, as a result of the activities of these two bodies, particularly the former, an atmosphere was created in the country in which such a ghastly tragedy became possible. There is no doubt in my mind that the extreme section of the Hindu Mahasabha was involved in the conspiracy.”
Eight months after Gandhiji’s assassination, Sardar Patel, in a letter (September 11, 1948) to RSS chief Golwalkar, was straightforward in telling that it was due to the communal poison spread by the RSS that
“the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life of Gandhiji. Even an iota of the sympathy of the Government or of the people, no more remained with the RSS…Opposition turned more severe, when the RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death.”5
The RSS may be displaying a photo of Gandhiji in some of its programmes and may describe him as Mahatma but its hatred keeps on recurring; it is shaswat, perennial. After the Modi Government came to power in 2014, the RSS/BJP leaders have been demanding national recognition, as freedom fighters, for the killers of Gandhiji. Temples are coming up with the images of Godse who was the main killer of Gandhiji. The Hindutva organisations have been celebrating the killing of Gandhiji as the ‘vadh’ of a demon at the altar of Hindu Rashtra. It is to be noted that Nathuram Godse and others who conspired to kill M.K. Gandhiji, claimed to be ‘Hindu Nationalists’. Sakshi Maharaj, Pragya Thakur, Usha Thakur declared Godse as the greatest patriot.
If you believe that all this is happening without the knowledge of the RSS/BJP‘s top leadership, you are grossly mistaken. A prominent Hindutva organisation, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS), allied to the RSS, has been regularly holding national conventions for the ‘Establishment of a Hindu Nation’ in India. In June 2013 one such convention was held in Goa. It is to be noted that members of one avatar of the HJS, Sanatan Sanstha, have been found indulging in bomb blasts at Muslim institutions and are under investigation for the murder of renowned secular intellectuals like Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar. This convention started its proceedings with a felicitation message from the then CM of Gujarat, Narendrabhai Modi, on June 1, wishing the HJS all success in its project of turning India into a Hindu Nation.
Shockingly, from the same dais in this convention from where Modi’s felicitation message was read, one of the prominent speakers, K.V. Sitaramiah, declared on June 10, 2013 that Gandhi was ‘terrible, wicked and most sinful’. Rejoicing at the killing of M.K. Gandhi, he went on to declare,
“As Bhagwan Shri Krishna said in the Gita, ParitranayaSadhunamVinashaya Cha Dush-kritam/DharamasansthapnayaSambhavamiYuge-Yuge (For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked and for the establishment of righteousness, I am born in every age) on…30th January 1948 evening, Shri Ram came in the form of Nathuram Godse and ended the life of Gandhi.”
K.V. Sitaramiah has also authored a book, titled Gandhi was Dharma Drohi and DesaDrohi, in which the text at the back cover, quoting from the epic Mahabharata, demands that ‘Dharma Drohis must be killed’, ‘Not killing the deserved to be killed is a great sin’ and ‘where the Members of Parliament seeing clearly allow to kill Dharma and truth as untruth, those members will be called dead’.
Gandhiji was assassinated on January 30, 1948 by a gang of Hindutva zealots, sadly, their ideological children rule India today demolishing whatever was dear to him.
Shamsul Islam is a retired Professor of University of Delhi.Email: [email protected]
Link for some of S. Islam’s writings in English, Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati and video interviews/debates: