Skip to main content

When RSS-Jan Sangh leaders clandestinely apologized for opposing Emergency, called Gandhi murderer "patriot"

Jay Prakash Narayan
By Our Representative
The ninth edition of "Sarthak Jalso", a unique Gujarati half-yearly journal edited by well-known writer Urvish Kothari, has brought to light how RSS cadres and the BJP's parent organization, Jan Sangh, behaved as ultra-nationalists during the Emergency days (1975-77), talked high of patriotism, but were equally quick in apologizing to the authorities about their opposition to what is considered as a dark spot of Indian democracy.
An elaborate article by Hasmukh Patel, one of the most prominent young anti-Emergency leaders and the Jay Prakash Narayan-led total revolution in Gujarat, has said that during his 11 months in jail, first in Palanpur and then in Vadodara -- where several of the prominent politicians, including former chief minister Babubhai Jashbhai Patel and Baroda dynamite case accused and former Union minister George Fernandes, were kept -- he came in direct contact several RSS-Jan Sangh leaders.
Finding them extremely polite at the personal level, though equally secretive, says Patel, who has been working with the tribals of Amirgadh-Danta area of North Gujarat for the last several decades, the RSS-Jan Sangh people would often tell him that they "would fight till the end but would never bow" to the Emergency regime, even as teaching lesson in patriotism to the fellow political prisoners of different persuasions -- Congress (O), Socialist, Marxist.
However, underlines Patel, the very same people would "clandestinely send apology letters" to the authorities, the "mathematics of which I failed to understand." While Patel did not mention who these people were, those in the jail with him from RSS-Jan Sangh included Chiman Shukla, Shankarsinh Vaghela, Ashok Bhatt, Nalin Bhatt and Vishnu Pandya.
Latest issue of Sarthak Jalso
"I asked their leaders why this? And the answer I received seemed to suggest that it was an act of  great valour", Patel says, adding, "They would tell me that they were merely adopting the strategy of Shivaji, entering the enemy's womb to destroy it. I wondered how."
In yet another fact about his days in jail during the Emergency, Patel says, "During their daily prayer meetings, they added the name of Mahatma Gandhi at the very end. Yet, they hated Gandhi. In fact, during discussions with Prakash N Shah (a well known Gujarati critic who was in the same jail), they would justify, for hours together, how Godse had done a great patriotic job by killing Gandhi."
Recalling yet another incident, says Patel, many a time so secretive were the RSS-Jan Sangh people, that, though usually frank in interacting with him, one day he found they were gossiping around about something they wouldn't like to reveal. Finally, a curious Patel caught hold of RSS' Acharya Vanikar and asked him what was it about.
"He took me aside, and murmured: 'Shh... Don't tell anyone. We have a message from Balaheb Deoras (then RSS chief). And the 'secret' message was: 'We will be victorious in the end.' I couldn't stop laughing. Such a simple message and so much of secrecy!", recalls Patel.
Hasmukh Patel
Arrested along with his life partner Manda just one day before he was to get married, Patel was set free on parole in 1976 for a week under legal pressure for wedding, which was blessed, among others, by ex-Gujarat CM Babubhai Jashbhai Patel, several Sarvodaya activists, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reached the spot of the marriage, an Arya Samaj temple, hopping around. Modi was then RSS pracharak and was underground.
Patel's observation acquires significance in view of running controversy about questions being raised on RSS' role during the freedom movement, on one hand, and the revelation that Vinayak Savarkar (whom Modi rates as perhaps the best freedom fighter), was close to Gandhi assassin Godse and he wrote several letters to the British apologizing for opposing the Raj, on the other.

Comments

Uma said…
No surprise there - seems to be in their genes to find favour with those in power

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Despite crisis, Modi's Hindutva strategy 'increased' mass base in society and polity

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Narendra Modi and his RSS brethren can qualify as masters of fake claims. There is a long lists of lies spread by RSS, BJP and their IT cell workers. It is not a personality disorder or lying with fear. They are trained to defend Modi and his government’s decisions in whatever possible way. They defended demonetisation by arguing that it is “an important step” in his fight against black money and corruption.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”