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With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.
They also point towards Pragya Thakur (first getting her elected to Lok Sabha and then nominating her to high powered 21-MP House Panel on Defence), who is an accused in the Malegaon blast case, and is known to worship Godse as hero, and publicly states that it was her curse due to which renowned decorated cop Hemant Karkare was killed by Pakistani terrorists while  confronting them on November 26, 2008.
They are greatly mistaken. In fact, it is the failure of such friends to understand the real character of RSS that India has been taken to such an impasse and is on the verge of losing its democratic-secular identity. The belief that RSS cadres gracing the constitutional posts would influence them to be secular or inspire them to get used to practice democratic norms is futile.
Efforts to demolish the democratic-secular polity of India is are neither new, nor unexpected. Modi as chief minister of Gujarat while talking to Reuters (July 12, 2013) had declared himself to be 'a Hindu nationalist'. The RSS top brass has declared again and again that India is a land for Hindus, and by 2020-21 it would be Hindu Rashtra, with Muslims and Christians cleansed from the land, that Indian nationality is tied to worshiping cow. Cabinet ministers have openly declared that western concepts like secularism would be replaced by principles of Hindutva.
It was less than one year after crowning of Modi as PM in 2014, one of the most decorated police officers in Independent India Julio Ribeiro wrote in an emotional piece:
"Today, in my 86th year, I feel threatened, not wanted, reduced to a stranger in my own country… I am not an Indian anymore, at least in the eyes of the proponents of the Hindu Rashtra. Is it coincidence or a well-thought-out plan that the systematic targeting of a small and peaceful community should begin only after the BJP government of Narendra Modi came to power last May? ‘Ghar wapsi’, the declaration of Christmas as ‘Good Governance Day’, the attack on Christian churches and schools in Delhi, all added to a sense of siege that now afflicts these peaceful people…
“It is tragic that these extremists have been emboldened beyond permissible limits by an atmosphere of hate and distrust. The Christian population, a mere 2 per cent of the total populace, has been subjected to a series of well-directed body blows. If these extremists later turn their attention to Muslims, which seems to be their goal, they will invite consequences that this writer dreads to imagine."

We should not fail to understand that whatever is being done by the RSS/BJP rulers to destroy the present Indian polity is part of a well-thought strategy to convert India into a theocratic and totalitarian state as per the diktats of the Hindutva idea of India. It has not been a hidden agenda of RSS except that we have been foolishly unaware of it.
When the Constituent Assembly of India had finalized the Constitution of India RSS was not happy. Its organ, "Organizer", four days after this historical event, 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."
How loyal RSS is to the Constitution of India can be known by the following statement of Golwalkar which is being reproduced from the "Bunch of Thought" which is not only selection of the writings of Golwalkar but also a Bible for RSS cadres:
"Our Constitution too is just a cumbersome and heterogeneous piecing together of various articles from various Constitutions of Western countries. It has absolutely nothing which can be called our own. Is there a single word of reference in its guiding principles as to what our national mission is and what our keynote in life is? No." (MS Golwalkar, “Bunch of Thoughts”, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, p 238)
What kind of civilization the RSS wants to build by enforcing the laws of Manu, can be known by having a glimpse of the laws prescribed by Manu for the Dalits/Untouchables and women. Some of these dehumanizing and degenerate laws, which are presented here, are self-explanatory.

Laws of Manu for Dalits/Untouchables

  1. For the sake of the prosperity of the worlds (the divine one) caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra to proceed from his mouth, his arm, his thighs and his feet.
  2. One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Sudras, to serve meekly even these (other) three castes. 
  3. Once-born man (a Sudra), who insults a twice-born man with gross invective, shall have his tongue cut out; for he is of low origin. 
  4. If he mentions the names and castes (jati) of the (twice-born) with contumely, an iron nail, ten fingers long, shall be thrust red-hot into his mouth. 
  5. If he arrogantly teaches Brahmanas their duty, the king shall cause hot oil to be poured into his mouth and into his ears. 
  6. With whatever limb a man of a low caste does hurt to (a man of the three) highest (castes), even that limb shall be cut off; that is the teaching of Manu. 
  7. He who raises his hand or a stick, shall have his hand cut off; he who in anger kicks with his foot, shall have his foot cut off. 
  8. A low-caste man who tries to place himself on the same seat with a man of a high caste, shall be branded on his hip and be banished, or (the king) shall cause his buttock to be gashed. 

Laws of Manu on women

  1. Day and night woman must be kept in dependence by the males (of) their (families), and, if they attach themselves to sensual enjoyments, they must be kept under one’s control. 
  2. Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence. 
  3. Women must particularly be guarded against evil inclinations, however trifling (they may appear); for, if they are not guarded, they will bring sorrow on two families. 
  4. No man can completely guard women by force; but they can be guarded by the employment of the (following) expedients.
  5. Let the (husband) employ his (wife) in the collection and expenditure of his wealth, in keeping (everything) clean, in (the fulfilment of) religious duties, in the preparation of his food, and in looking after the household utensils.
  6. Women do not care for beauty, nor is their attention fixed on age; (thinking), ‘(It is enough that) he is a man,’ they give themselves to the handsome and to the ugly. 
  7. Through their passion for men, through their mutable temper, through their natural heartlessness, they become disloyal towards their husbands, however carefully they may be guarded in this (world). 
  8. (When creating them) Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed, (of their) seat and (of) ornament, impure desires, wrath, dishonesty, malice, and bad conduct. 
It is to be noted here that a copy of “Manusmriti” was burnt as a protest in the presence of Dr BR Ambedkar himself during historic Mahad agitation on December 20, 1927 and it was decided to commemorate this day in future as 'Manusmriti dahan divas'.

Against secularism

RSS demands total loyalty to the Indian nation from minorities. It is another thing that it does not feel it proper to be loyal to the constitutional-legal set up of this very nation. The study of Prarthana (prayer) and Pratigya (oath) as practiced in the shakhas of the RSS is an example of how the Indian nationalism has been equated with Hinduism, in the same way as the Muslim League had combined Islam with nationality.
Pragya Thakur
Significantly, both Prarthana and Pratigya are in direct contravention to the existence of an Indian Secular State which is an important ‘Basic’ feature of the Constitution of India. It is very important to note here that those groups which have been decrying and opposing the Indian constitutional set-up have been facing the might of the Indian state in the form of bullets, gallows or jails but here is the RSS which openly rejects the legitimacy of the constitutional system of the country still is allowed to have a free run of the country.
Just imagine Modi and most of his ruler colleagues who took oath to uphold the integrity of a democratic and secular India were also committed to the task of creating a Hindu Rashtra as per the texts of the Prayer and Oath as essential for the RSS cadres.

RSS prayer 

"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." (“Shakha Darshikha”, Gyan Ganga, Jaipur, 1997, p 1)

RSS Oath 

"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." (“Shakha Darshikha”, Gyan Ganga, Jaipur, 1997, p 66.)
Thus they were not faithful to the Indian nation as it existed as a legal entity but wanted to subvert it into a theocratic state like Muslim League which created Pakistan in the name of Islam.

Against democracy

RSS contrary to the principles of democracy has been constantly demanding India to be ruled under a totalitarian regime. Golwalkar while delivering a speech before the 1350 top level cadres of the RSS in 1940 declared,  "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." (MS Golwalkar, “Shri Guruji Samagar Darshan”, [collected works of Golwalkar in Hindi], Bhartiya Vichar Sadhna, Nagpur, vol I, p 11.)
This slogan of one flag, one leader and one ideology has directly been borrowed from the programmes of Nazi and Fascist parties of Europe.

Against federalism

RSS is also dead against federal structure of the constitution, again a ‘basic’ feature of the India polity. This is clear from the following communication of Golwalkar which he sent to the first session of the National Integration Council in 1961. It read,
"Today’s federal form of government not only gives birth but also nourishes the feelings of separatism, in a way refuses to recognize the fact of one nation and destroys it. It must be completely uprooted, constitution purified and unitary form of government be established." (MS Golwalkar, “Shri Guruji Samagar Darshan” [collected works of Golwalkar in Hindi], Bhartiya Vichar Sadhna, Nagpur, vol III, p 128.)
These have not been some stray ideas of the RSS ideologue on Indian Federalism. The Bible of the RSS, Bunch of Thoughts, has an exclusive chapter titled, ‘Wanted a unitary state.’ While presenting his remedy to the federal set-up of India he writes,
“The most important and effective step will be to bury deep for good all talk of a federal structure of our country’s Constitution, to sweep away the existence of all ‘autonomous’ or semi-autonomous ‘states’ within the one state viz., Bharat and proclaim ‘One Country, One State, One Legislature, One Executive’ with no trace of fragmentational, regional, sectarian, linguistic or other types of pride being given a scope for playing havoc with our integrated harmony. 
"Let the Constitution be re-examined and re-drafted, so as to establish this Unitary form of Government and thus effectively disprove the mischievous propaganda indulged in by the British and so unwittingly imbibed by the present leaders, about our being just a juxtaposition of so many distinct ‘ethnic groups’ or ‘nationalities’ happening to live side by side and grouped together by the accident of geographical contiguity and one uniform supreme foreign domination.” (MS Golwalkar, “Bunch of Thoughts”, Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1996, p 227.)
It is important to note that the Indian Supreme Court in the SR Bommai vs Union of India 1994 case declared federal structure, secularism socialism, social justice, unity and integrity of democratic-secular India as inviolable 'basic features' of the Indian Constitution; the fundamental characteristics to which RSS is totally opposed.
Thus RSS represents the most lethal danger to the existence of democratic-secular Indian Constitution handed over to the nation by the Constituent Assembly on November 26, 2019. If our Constitution is to be saved the anti-national RSS and its ideology must be confronted in Parliament, judicial rooms, corridors of administration, educational institutions and outside. 
We should not overlook the fact that with RSS around India does not need any foreign enemy to undo democratic-secular India, the former has to be thoroughly exposed and defeated.
---
*Well-known political scientist, formerly with Delhi University, Prof Islam's writings and video interviews/debates can be accessed here. Twitter: @shamsforjustice, blog: http://shamsforpeace.blogspot.com/, contact: notoinjustice@gmail.com

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