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RSS 'never supported' reservation, Golwalkar didn't think casteism hindered Hindu unity

By Shamsul Islam* 

RSS which claims to be the biggest organization of Hindus in the world is, in fact, a unique organization which trains its cadres in manufacturing and spreading lies in the pure Goebbelsian tradition. It functions as a gurukul; a high Caste learning institution for Hindu high castes where students also graduate in practicing what George Orwell termed ‘doublespeak’ and thus RSS has rightly been described as an “organization that thrives on political doublespeak”. [Edit, ‘Sangh’s triple-speak’, "The Times of India", 26 August 2002]. It is through lies that poison is spread against lower castes, minorities and all those who stand for multi-culturalism.
India came face-to-face with this inherent trait of RSS when its supremo Mohan Bhagwat in a speech at Hyderabd (April 28, 2024) while reacting to a video (in which a RSS luminary called upon to finish off constitutional reservation) stated:
Ye galat baat hai, asatya hai (This is wrong, false)… The Sangh has been supporting all reservation as per the Constitution since the beginning. And, the Sangh says that it should continue as long as those for whom it exists feel that it is necessary… It (reservation policy) should continue as long as discrimination exists in society.”
When the founding fathers of the Constitution of independent India made provisions for reservations to scheduled tribes and scheduled castes, the most prominent ideologue of RSS and the 2nd supremo of the organization, MS Golwalkar, strongly reacted by alleging that the rulers “were digging at the roots of Hindu social cohesion and destroying the spirit of identity that had kept all the various sects in a harmonious whole in the past” [Cited in NL Gupta, "RSS and Democracy" (Delhi: Sampradayikta Virodhi Committee, nd., p. 17]. 
He refused to admit that Hindu social system was at the root of the neglect of the lower castes. [Golwalkar, MS, "Bunch of Thoughts, selection of writings/ speeches/ interviews", Sahitya Sindhu Prakashana, Bangalore, 1996 (3rd edition), p. 363]. When he was asked: “What about the protection to Harijans guaranteed in the Constitution and its subsequent extension?” His reply was:
“Dr Ambedkar had envisaged the special privileges for ‘Scheduled Castes’ for only 10 years from the day we became a Republic in 1950. But it is going on, being extended. Continued special privileges on the basis of caste only, is bound to create vested interests in them in remaining as a separate entity. That would harm their integration with the rest of the society (Hindu society)." [Golwalkar, MS, "Spotlights", Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1974, p. 16].
For Golwalkar, the real issue was not how to undo the injustice done to the lower castes [Sudras/Dalits] for thousands of years in the past but “take extra care to see that their separateness is not given fillip” [Golwalkar, MS, "Spotlights", Sahitya Sindhu, Bangalore, 1974, p. 184]. He never accepted the fact that lower castes were being maltreated in India. While reacting to a big carnage of Dalits in a part of India he wrote on October 14, 1972:
“There is a trend these days to give Harijan-non-Harijan colour even to ordinary happenings, probably out of political motivation and digging a rift in the oneness and solidarity of the people. For immediate benefits-even these doubtful-to sacrifice the lasting good of the people as a whole that is the unfortunate aspect of the trends obtaining now a days. In our work, we have to steer clear of this poisonous trend and do our best to clarify the atmosphere.” [Golwalkar, MS, "Shri Guruji Sanmgr Darshan" (selection of his writings/ speeches in Hindi), vol. 7, Bhartiya Vichar Sadhna, Nagpur, 1974, p. 244].
Golwalkar’s hatred for Dalits was outcome of his firm belief in casteism under which they did not enjoy even right to life. For him casteism was synonymous with the 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" [Golwalkar, MS, "Bunch of Thoughts", pp. 36-37].
This was nothing but a re-phrasing of Manu’s inhuman anti-Sudra codes. Golwalkar refused to accept that casteism was a bane to Hinduism or hindered the feeling of unity among Hindus.
“Persons interested in calumniating Hindus make much of the caste system, the ‘superstitions’, the want of literacy, the position of women in the social structure, and all sorts of true or untrue flaws in the Hindu Cultural Organization, and point out that the weakness of the Hindus lies solely in these” [Golwalkar, "Bunch of Thoughts", pp. 61– 62].
Ambedkar, who witnessed RSS growing and was familiar with its destructive tendencies, was of the firm opinion that the ideology of Hindutva practised by RSS was nothing but a ploy by upper caste Hindus to maintain control over society and its resources. He wrote:
“They have a trait of character which often leads the Hindus to disaster. This trait is formed by their acquisitive instinct and aversion to share with others the good things of life. They have a monopoly of education and wealth, and with wealth and education they have captured the State. To keep this monopoly to themselves has been the ambition and goal of their life. Charged with this selfish idea of class domination, they take every move to exclude the lower classes of Hindus from wealth, education and power...This attitude of keeping education, wealth and power as a close preserve for themselves and refusing to share it, which the high Caste Hindus have developed in their relation with the lower classes of Hindus, is sought to be extended by them to the Muslims. They want to exclude the Muslims from place and power, as they have done to the lower class Hindus. This trait of the high Caste Hindus is the key to the understanding of their politics” [Ambedkar, BR., "Pakistan or the Partition of India", Government of Maharashtra, Bombay, 1990 (reprint of 1946 edition), p. 123].
How shamelessly RSS has been opposing reservation was made clear in 1981 when its cadres played most nefarious role in opposing reservation to socially and economically backward castes in Gujarat introduced by Congress ministry headed by Madhavsinh Solanki. More than 100 people were killed, including 2 police officials. 
It is interesting to note that like today the debate of reservation was turned in spreading poison against local Muslims who were killed with impunity.
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*Formerly with Delhi University, click here for Prof Islam's writings and video interviews/debates and here for books. Facebook: https://facebook.com/shamsul.islam.332. Twitter: @shamsforjustice.  Blog: http://shamsforpeace.blogspot.com/

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