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Updated: October 8, 2013 00:54 IST

The forgotten promise of 1949

Vidya Subrahmaniam
Comment (112)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

The RSS wrote a non-political role for itself as part of an undertaking it gave Sardar Patel. The overt political role it has assumed in 2013 is a breach of that agreement and its own constitution

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s constitution explicitly states that it will stay clear of politics. The constitution itself was written, in 1949, because Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel would have it no other way.

The events of 2013 have comprehensively erased that part of India’s history. The RSS has taken full control of the Bharatiya Janata Party. It has overridden internal opposition to name the party’s prime ministerial candidate. No act can be politically more overt than this.

A mentor

The RSS has always been to the BJP, earlier the Jan Sangh, a mentor the latter could not disobey — because the Jan Sangh was seeded by the RSS whose top pracharaks (propagandists) formed the new party’s intellectual and political capital. In its constitution, the RSS abjures a political role for itself but permits individual swayamsevaks to join any political party.

The RSS has used this caveat to place its representatives in the JS/BJP. From Lal Krishna Advani to Narendra Modi, every BJP leader of consequence has been from the Sangh’s deep bosom and each has had to mandatorily follow a curriculum involving pilgrimages to the Sangh offices in Delhi and Nagpur and deferring to the patriarch’s wisdom.

The unstated part of the BJP-RSS relationship was that the Sangh chief, Sarsanghchalak in RSS parlance, himself would not show his hand. The behind-the-scenes role for the minder was necessitated both by the 1949 undertaking to Patel and to overcome the strong political opposition to Hindutva. The governments of 1977-1979 and 1998-2004 became possible only because the RSS agreed to keep out of sight.

The events of 2013 are remarkable for the reason that the BJP’s need for allies has not translated into the Sangh taking a backseat. Instead, today more than ever before, the mentor is in a frontal, commanding role.

A look at recent history will show that the Sangh’s takeover bid started in real earnest in 2005, following Mr. Advani’s visit to Pakistan and his apocalyptical praise of Mohammad Ali Jinnah delivered straight from the latter’s mausoleum in Karachi. So livid was the Sangh at the transgression that it ordered Mr. Advani removed from the presidentship of the BJP. And though Mr. Advani did become the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in 2009, his unique place in the Sangh was lost forever. The marginalisation of the ideologue started at that point and has ended today in his complete isolation.

The epic clash of 2005, and Mr. Advani’s barely controlled anger at his public sacking by the minder, are best captured in Mr. Advani’s own words. Addressing the concluding session of the party’s September 2005 Chennai national executive, Mr. Advani said an “impression had gained ground” that his party could take “no decision” without the consent of the RSS : “This perception, we hold, will do no good either to the Party or to the RSS. The RSS must be concerned that such a perception will dwarf its greater mission of man making and nation-building. Both the RSS and the BJP must consciously exert to dispel this impression.”

Lesser players had clashed with the Sangh earlier, and paid the price too, but Mr. Advani was beloved of the Sangh, and among the early pracharaks sent to the Jan Sangh. The BJP veteran was blunt when he called the RSS a busybody; in truth, it had always been so. What was unprecedented was the Sangh divesting a leader of Mr. Advani’s stature and vintage of his presidency.

Seven years on, the Sangh has issued another decree — this time to give a leader a double promotion executed in two stages. Narendra Modi’s June 2013 elevation to the BJP’s campaign committee chief, since relinquished by him, was followed in September 2013 by his appointment as the party’s prime ministerial candidate. In 2005, the RSS’s role was inferred, with the evidence coming from Mr. Advani. In 2013, the fig leaf has been cast away.

Mr. Advani, who had resigned from key party posts protesting Mr. Modi’s June 2013 elevation to campaign panel chief, climbed down on the Sangh’s orders — a fact acknowledged in writing by BJP chief Rajnath Singh. This was a first in RSS-BJP history. Mr. Singh’s June 11, 2013 statement to the media said, “Shri Mohan Bhagwat (current Sarsanghchalak) spoke to Shri Advani and asked him to respect the BJP Parliamentary Board (PB) decision and continue to guide the party in national interest.” The BJP’s PB did indeed make a request to Mr. Advani but from Mr. Bhagwat it was a command. The words were gentle but the message was not.

Thus, the takeover bid which started in 2005 was full and final with Mr. Modi’s projection as Prime Minister in September 2013. In June 2013, Mr. Advani wanted that Mr. Modi should not head the campaign panel. That has happened today, proving that the first-stage elevation was a ploy aimed at wearing down internal opposition to Mr. Modi.

‘No politics’

Cut to 1949 and the RSS’s undertaking to Patel to write a constitution, which, among other things, would specify that the Sangh had “no politics” and would remain “devoted purely to cultural work” (Article 4(b) of the RSS constitution; D.R. Goyal, 1979). The written constitution was Patel’s pre-condition for lifting the ban imposed on the RSS in the wake of Mahatma Gandhi’s January 30, 1948 assassination.

Then Sarsanghchalak Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar pleaded not guilty and Patel himself was clear that the RSS was not involved in the assassination. He said this in his February 27, 1948 letter to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and reiterated it later too. However, Patel was strong in the belief that the Sangh’s “violent” ways contributed to the climate in which Gandhiji was killed. Golwalkar’s telegrams to Nehru and Patel expressing shock at the murder did not mitigate the situation.

The government’s ban notification, dated February 4, 1948, did not implicate the RSS in Gandhiji’s murder; it in fact made no mention of the murder. The charge in the text was of violent subversion: “... in practice members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have not adhered to their professed ideals (fostering feelings of brotherhood, love and service among Hindus). Undesirable and even dangerous activities have been carried on by members of the Sangh … individual members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity and murder and have collected illicit arms and ammunition. They have been found circulating leaflets exhorting people to resort to terrorist methods, to collect firearms, to create disaffection against the government and suborn the police and the military. These activities have been carried on under a cloak of secrecy …”

On November 14, 1948, the Home Ministry held by Patel issued a press note which said Golwalkar wanted the ban lifted without agreeing to the government’s demand that the RSS reform itself. Further, the note quoted information received from the provincial governments, which showed “that the activities carried on in various forms and ways by the people associated with the RSS tend to be anti-national and often subversive and violent and that persistent attempts are being made by the RSS to revive an atmosphere in the country which was productive of such disastrous consequences in the past…”

Two letters

Prior to this, Patel wrote two significant letters. On July 18, 1948, he wrote to Shyama Prasad Mookherjee, rejecting his defence of the RSS: “The activities of the RSS constituted a clear threat to the existence of the Government and State … as time has marched on, the RSS circles are becoming more defiant and are indulging in their subversive activities … in an increasing measure…”

The letter of September 11, 1948, was to Golwalkar himself. In this Patel lauded the RSS for its service to Hindu society even as he outlined the “objectionable part” which “arose when they, burning with revenge, began attacking Mussalmaans …” Further, “As a final result of the (communal) poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the invaluable life of Gandhiji …” Patel said people’s opposition to the RSS grew when “the RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death.”

So, the charge that led to the ban was not that the RSS was involved in Gandhiji’s murder. The charge was of violence and subversion. (The Sangh was later formally cleared of any connection in the murder). This is what led to Patel’s pre-condition that the RSS write a constitution specifying, among other things, its respect for the Indian flag (the Sangh swears by the Bhagwa flag), its commitment both to function as an open and peaceful organisation and to stay clear of politics. It was a prolonged battle. Golwalkar resisted writing the constitution but Patel won out and the ban was lifted on July 11, 1949.

The RSS has gone back on the promise to keep off politics.

More In: Lead | Opinion

And i thought the first rule when congress was created is that after
independence it will be disbanded.

from:  sam
Posted on: Oct 10, 2013 at 22:40 IST

I don't understand the mention of "Christian Organizations" mentioned along with other religious organization names. It is disheartening and hypocritical of the few commentators to keep taking it up. Christians have long been the silent minority with either low or nil claims to aid or other benefits. As a Christian, am offended. Then on the issue of "forced conversions" which is pamphlet text torturing by fanatical organizations, i seek to remind that they don't affect the 'culture' or peaceful harmony of any party. Nothing that kills, rapes, burns, tortures or lynches persons. So quit the fanaticism!

from:  Cyril Mathew Thomas
Posted on: Oct 10, 2013 at 17:25 IST

All over the world especially in muslim countries great turmoils are in sight. How many historical commitments and and binding bondages are flamed and forgotten we do not know. The growing mob fury on trivial issues in India are on rise though we claim we are a matured democracy respecting law and need for public order is a dangerous sign.A Anna Hazare and Ramdeo took upon itself the right and morality to dictate parliament.Thousands of literate young and old sat on Delhi roads for days. The Nirvaya case thrilled not only Delhi but shook the entire nation. Though I am no RSS/BJP baiter but the changing times has the potential to activate even the dead.

from:  Kanhaiya Bahadur Sinha
Posted on: Oct 10, 2013 at 17:09 IST

RSS must amends it's constitution & state its intention of being in political control of various sangh divisions. But if they do that, then they can no longer claim to be a social/cultural group working for brotherhood of Hindus. Tough situation i say.

from:  Rohit
Posted on: Oct 10, 2013 at 14:58 IST

Would the author be able to write similar articles about orgnisations of other religion's organisations - some of them were never questioned in spite of clear subversive activities and some other preach love and convert. Can the author define her meaning of subversive activities in the context of Division of India because that is the period of activities she was writing about.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Oct 10, 2013 at 14:12 IST

The article concludes on a note of the RSS not keeping up its
1949 promise. I would like to make a "lighter vein" comment on
keeping up promise.The rupee notes say on their face: I PROMISE
TO PAY THE BEARER THE SUM OF TEN/TWENTY/FIFTY etc RUPEES. In
other words,one rupee means 100 paise but its shrunken value is
about 70 paise only. That means the promise suffers a shortage of
30 paise for every rupee.We don't demur the govt. has gone back
on its promise as we know the rupee value is governed by factors
over which the govt. cannot have 100% control.This being so,
there is no wonder the RSS is not keeping up its 1949 promise of
keeping off politics. It is in politics when it influences the
BJP.It is not in politics as it does not contest elections.Like
the rupee the RSS partially fulfills its promise ! This write up
is not for rebutting the author of the article but only on a
lighter vein to take a welcome digression.

from:  G.Jagannathan
Posted on: Oct 10, 2013 at 13:05 IST

I don’t understand why people are calling this piece biased,
hypocritical etc. this is about the BJP and its all-powerful parent
RSS and not the congress or communists.

If congress dint do what Mahatma had to say then why did RSS recognise
them and give any such undertaking? I can think of only one reason, to
continue their silent role to take them to the helm.

from:  syed
Posted on: Oct 10, 2013 at 09:07 IST

The author's point is very simple. The RSS was told or rather dictated
its limit in 1949 and it promised to remain in that limit. Congress
never promised Mahatma Gandhi to dissolve itself or not take part in
politics. And one more thing, promise made to the State is very
different from wishes of an individual. RSS made the promise to the
State. It was Mahatma Gandhi's wish to dissolve Congress. Two
different things. Sad that we don't have strong leaders like Sardar
Patel today who can remind RSS of those limits and make sure they
remain in their limits. If we tolerate the authority of such
organisations in our politics, we will not only isolate a section of
society but also bring down the progress of our society which
education is achieving at a very slow pace. I am saying this with
reference to Pakistan, how extremist groups have forced their
ideologies onto people in the name of religion. This will never happen
in India. So, grow up and move on. Give up the mad idea of hindu
state.

from:  Rahul Choudhary
Posted on: Oct 10, 2013 at 02:46 IST

In near future, "The Hindu" may write an article about removing voting rights to Hindus because they are not secular.

from:  Arumugam
Posted on: Oct 9, 2013 at 17:50 IST

Is it wrong to have a political inclination?? is it wrong for a NGO to
be politically aware?? if voting is a fundamental right of the citizens
then why RSS to be blamed and cursed for keeping a political ideology??
i think its time we respect RSS and its contribution to the nations
service.

from:  dev singh
Posted on: Oct 9, 2013 at 12:09 IST

The article makes interesting observations. However what also needs to be noted is
that even India's constitution has undergone changes, including some that may not
necessarily be in the best interests of the country - For e.g. the Shah Banu case . It is
absolutely fine for RSS to intervene after half a century if it thinks it must. How is it
okay for Congress to not stick to it's adhered founding principles of making India
prosperous or not conduct real fair elections internally , but preposterous for RSS to
intervene for BJP. We as citizens may disagree with the policies pursued by RSS, but
we cannot beat them up using absurd logic like this.

from:  Swaroop Kumar
Posted on: Oct 9, 2013 at 12:04 IST

The article is interesting and evokes a lot of thoughts. Why is HINDUTVA a BAD THING? Concept of India is because it is Hindu Majority. Which other nation can talk about the tolerance and acceptance that India has even with such religions majority? None. Even if for a moment we were to assume that RSS does want to direct BJP towards a goal of Nation Building thru political process, what is wrong in it? I don't think guiding a political organisation which shares a common thought is moving away from it's constitution.

from:  Yuvraj
Posted on: Oct 9, 2013 at 10:31 IST

What is the issue? Does the writer want RSS and its volunteers to detach
themselves from electoral politics of India? If RSS volunteers are also
ideologically close to BJP and support it in elections what is wrong
with it? And if this is wrong then how is it Kosher for Communist
parties to have student wings, cultural wings and workers unions??

from:  yogibhadani
Posted on: Oct 9, 2013 at 09:45 IST

Our own constitution
has been changed so many times that I lost count of it. Mrs. Indira
Gandhi basically emasculated the Indian constitution completely during
her regime. Here the authors is resenting the fact that RSS has not
abide by its pledge to Mr. Patel in 1949. So what? India of 1949 is
not the India of 2013. Look at the political landscape. A family by
dint of the advantage of being the offspring of the first prime
minister has been ruling the congress party continuously and the
country for better of the time. Is this the pledge congress made to
Mahatma Gandhi in 1948? Give me a break.

from:  Kumar Mondol
Posted on: Oct 9, 2013 at 08:23 IST

First and foremost, The RSS is not answerable to anyone except its Dr.
Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, the visionary founder. Its not because of
Sardar Patel's mercy that RSS has survived and prospered over the
decades, but because of hard-work of its pracharaks and its clear,
pure, dedicated towards welfare and no-nonsense motives. So the
accusation that RSS does not abide by some bullshit given to Sardar
Patel is meaningless. Whether to interfere in politics or not is
completely an internal matter of RSS and no person has right to question this act.

from:  Ranade
Posted on: Oct 9, 2013 at 05:29 IST

Everybody is doing it isnt it. The Muslim, christian organisation has
always made a point to turn politics, so if a famous RSS does it, then
whats the problem. If a larger chunk of population is Hindu, why cant
there be a demand of a Hindu nation. There are Islamic, Christian and
even Jew nation, then why not a Hindu state? Not even a one Country for
3rd biggest religion in the world? Not a single piece of land where
Hindus can live not afraid of being blown or slaughtered to death.

from:  Rohit
Posted on: Oct 9, 2013 at 02:39 IST

RSS is a great example of how religions in India have only been used
to preach hatred among people. Is this what your religions taught you?
Are these the ideals of Hinduism? That you burn each other's houses
and instill hatred among people in the eye for an eye battle. My
father introduced me to a different religion. It was a religion in
which Tulsidas worshiped each and every being(irrespective of what
religion they followed) before going on to write the Ramcharitmanas.
The extremist Hindus who support RSS's ideology have no idea about the
great teachings of BhagwatGeeta or ideals of Hinduism because they are
too narrow minded to understand what's written there. And same has
been the case with Islam. RSS and its ideology has never been welcome
in India. Not in 1949 and certainly not in 2013. India takes pride in
having respect towards people of all ideologies. This is a nation
built on Bapu's ideals not RSS's. The sooner BJP realises this, the
better it would be for this country.

from:  Rahul Choudhary
Posted on: Oct 9, 2013 at 01:02 IST

Interesting article

from:  T RAMRAJ
Posted on: Oct 9, 2013 at 00:04 IST

Congress doesn't find the Muslim League communal and divisive, but finds
an advice from the RSS to its subsidiary political party anti-India? I
don't understand this position of Ms Subhramaniyam.

from:  Amit D Ranade
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 23:55 IST

I love The Hindu!

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 23:38 IST

With Due respect, the author is either naive or consciously writing an article to divert the attention.

Government and political parties abide by the constitution not promises.

Gandhi wanted Congress Party to be dissolved why does it still exist as a political party ?

from:  Ganapathi Iyer
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 23:27 IST

Without saying so you seem to imply that the RSS has a hand in the assasination of MK Gandhi. This is tantamount to saying that the Congress had a hand in the POGROM of 1984 - when Sikhs were hunted and butchered - in the wake of the assanination of Indira Gandhi. If you are going to imply the RSS hand in the killing of 1948, the devote an article to the POGROM of 1984 as well.

from:  Gopal
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 22:12 IST

I congratulate The Hindu for publishing a good article. Very frequently
we get to read many articles critical of RSS, Modi, Hindutva Forces etc.
That is very good indeed. Readers should know the true colors of all
political parties and social organizations. That is the great service
done by journalists and unbiased media like yours. In true secular
spirit, may I request the editors of The Hindu to kindly publish
articles that objectively analyze other communal organizations and
communal political parties.

from:  BKS Sastry
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 21:49 IST

Any organisation that polarise people of this country on the basis of religion will lead to destruction of communal harmony ultimate dismemberment of the nation. Religion is one's personal choice. No one could dictate that all should follow one particular religion and others who don't follow the religion are to be treated as second class citizen.

from:  Britto
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 21:24 IST

Similar analysis should be honestly conducted by the author on
important parties like the INC and the Communist Parties of India.
Curious that all these findings and revelations dawns upon these
authors at this point of time. Would the
author do a study on the performance and the relevance of
Communist parties in India at present, and also on the INC's
contributions to the country since Independence and its pathetic
position as a democratic organisation now?

from:  Premod
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 21:22 IST

What leads to M K Gandhi's assasination, every body knows. How congress party is leading India is every body aware. How Congress leaders are making mockery of democracy is a fact. Then what is wrong RSS entering politics and supporting for a change in government?

from:  kulkarni
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 21:21 IST

I guess the heartburn of the author is due to RSS intervention to ensure
Modi is BJP's PM candidate notwithstanding opposition from Advani camp
and in spite of overwhelming BJP party workers support for Modi's
elevation. In am glad RSS helped ensure that BJP rank and file demands
about PM candidate are enforced.

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 21:17 IST

Late Prime Minister Nehru assured Parliament to retrieve all our
territory captured by China in 1962 and to drive out all chinese
forces from our land..But few weeks back we have lost more territory
to china and pakistan..Promises..have..to..be..kept..up.

from:  knswamy
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 21:15 IST

Gandhi wanted Congress to be disbanded,what happened to that?

from:  s.asim
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 20:36 IST

Why blame RSS for everything when AICC itself has not yet dissolved itself into Lok seva sangh which Gandhiji envisaged and had given it 10 broad rules which it should follow out of which congress is following none so why blame RSS.

from:  sidharth
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 19:46 IST

These revelations come out during elections. Any coincidence?

from:  Chandran Avinjikat
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 19:28 IST

Communalism by majority community is very bad for the country even for
the majority community. See what happened to Sikhs in Punjab during
Khalistan movement. Punjab used to be No 1 state economically,now it is
third or fourth. Example of Pakistan is in front of us all. Western
countries progressed only after separation of Church and the State.My
humble request to RSS and BJP, not to vitiate social fabric of this
great nation. Let peace and harmony prevail among various fabrics of
Indian society.

from:  kirpal
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 19:27 IST

The author sounds rather anguished at the fact that the RSS constitution is not being
adhered to. It seems of no consequence to her that the Indian constitution has been
raped, dragged through the mud and lynched in public over the last 65 years. The
ruling disposition has become a law unto themselves, pillaging the country after
having divided Indian society into so many religious, castist and linguistic vote banks
that ensures their survival. In such a situation, expecting other organisations to
remain silent spectators that stoically stick to their original mandates is being very
naive. Or does the author prefer a situation where the congress continues to throw
every political, moral, fiscal or constitutional limitation to the wind and continue to
take this country down?

from:  S Menon
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 19:00 IST

Things are clear now much better than before. Its high time
secular and peaceful forces now join together and ban this disease RSS
a threat to a vibrant and peaceful India.

from:  m wasih
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 18:37 IST

It was wrong on the part of the author to state that RSS breached its undertaking in 2013.BJP's earlier avathar Jan Sangh was formed post its 1st ban for that very purpose.Till the ninetees RSS had unquestioned control over BJP.Then leaers like Vajpayee & Advani started asserting so much as to Mr Advani went to the extent of praising Jinnah.Even though he has to step down as party president he was the PM candidate for 2009 election.Again Advani asserted on denying Mr Gadkari a second term against the wishes of RSS.But after that RSS also changed tactics it went along with the popular will of the cadres on Modi.Mr Modi continues to ignore RSS See his latest barb on Toilet.So now it's Modi who is calling the shots in BJP not RSS

from:  Ramakrishnan P
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 18:26 IST

Today the country is being dragged to the depths of decadence by the
ruling party. A nationalistic organisation cannot be a mute spectator.

from:  manohar
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 18:06 IST

The article of Vidya Subramaniam is good vivid and clear. The RSS /BJP never wanted India to be a developed nation. The composition of Indian population is Hindus Muslims Christians Sikhs Buddhist Parses Jains Scheduled Tribes etc. Their utopian ideology Of Hindu Rashtra is nothing but a myth but to polarize the society on Hindutuva and using Hindu religion for political survival. Untouchability is practiced only because of them .Indians could not be united because of their tirade against non hindus. They accuse other party of following appeasement politics but in reality they are the one following it. They are known for their half truth falsehood lies etc. When they do not have any respect for their own constitution how they will respect Indian constitution . India is a secular state and continue to be the same.

from:  M Rajendran
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 17:06 IST

I am not going into the problems/inaccuracies of this article. However, there is a reference to Golwalkar which invites a clarification of what Golwalkar stood for. Below is a free summary of his views from the recent book by Dr. Shrinivas Tilak 'Reawakening to a secular Hindu nation'(2008) which dispels many of the myths circulated of Golwalkar by his hostile critics.

Golwalkar did not require that Indian citizens should all be Hindus. Non Hindus have to follow their citizenship obligations to the country like every body else. Only in their personal faith can they choose any path that satisfies their religious or spiritual longings.

" Golwalkar posited that present day Indian society and nation would need an equivalent of the modern notion of civil religion that is neverthless rooted in Dharma and in the civilisation of India.This would necessitate a conscious reformulation of Dharma to make it ..more compatible with .. a modern state."18-19

from:  Vijaya Rajiva
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 16:47 IST

The author has done a great service to RSS and a disservice to
secularism when she lets the RSS off in Mahatma's Murder case. It is
unpardonable. Even Bapu's closest aide Sardar held that view when he
had all the access to the sensitive intelligence on that matter, so
secularists must cut the author some slack. Also this RSS promise of
never getting involved in politics was broken in 52 itself when Jana
Sangh was formed and Bapu's another closest aide Panditji was the PM
and he remained so for 12 more years without taking any legal action
on the RSS . RSS was asked to break this promise openly and to assist
him in the overthrow of tyranny in 1977 by another of Bapu's closest
disciple Jayaprakash. I don't know what the fuss about this RSS and
politics in circa 2013?

from:  Srinivasan
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 16:43 IST

Ms.Vidya ji,regards.very effective forum to write as a columnist in a prestigious paper as
Hindu.Now please write a similar article on Remote control of Govt. Of India from 2004 to
2013 .I will be very thiankful to you.

from:  Kavita Saronwala
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 16:43 IST

What is the big fuss on the control of RSS.RSS is a like an octopus with several tentacles.One of them is BJP.All this is well known.The constitution that was written on the insistence of Patel is only on paper and just to pacify Indian people for the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.

from:  Nasar
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 16:10 IST

One wonders how Vidya Subrahmaniam can describe the role of RSS in proposing Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate and the BJP accepting the same as the biggest sin in Indian politics (ED page article, Oct.10). It cannot be beyond her information that the Indian Constitution permits all organisations and individuals to express views on any or all political issues. She must also be in the know of the high level of corruption and criminalisation in our politics in comparison with the issue she raised. In fact, there are more relevant issues on which the ruling and the opposition parties have to be grilled. Again, it is for her to see how decisions are taken in Congress, SP, BSP, DMK, TMC and a host of other political parties. The story of the recent central government ordinance needs no re-telling.

from:  P.R.V.Raja
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 16:10 IST

To the neutral reader, this article paints an unfinished and sadly, a very restricted archaic picture. Times change, more often so in the political landscape. RSS has been quite openly behind the BJP leadership for a long time, there is nothing new to write home about that. A better approach would be to help the reader understand why this overt relationship is wrong today, instead of invoking past promises made by people already forgotten by the youth of the day.

from:  Ranjan Sakalley
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 16:08 IST

The princely states were given a constitutional guarantee of privy purse
as part of the deal for national unification. Afterwards, Indira Gandhi
abolished privy purses as part of her garibi hatao plan. What happened
to that solemn promise to the princes? Privy purse is gone, but garibi
has only grown!

from:  kvjayan
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 16:07 IST

it is not a betraying if RSS is going into politics or controlling
political power via BJP. RSS should must have the liberty of their
constitutional amendments. The area of concern is the ideology of hate
and fear practiced by RSS. To hindus it try to sell the hindu culture,
which is so glorious and attractive, on the basis of fear of muslim's
presence in india. in the last six decades, they have gained a ground,
shows the recent example of riots occured in last 3 decade including
that of babri masjid demolition.

from:  AZHAR KABIR
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 16:02 IST

Since Independence the majority community is being pushed to the wall by the Congress Party which itself should have been dissolved. The Congress follows the appeasement policy to one community in the name of Secular and make all Hindu Organisations as communal which includes RSS, VHP Bajrang Dal etc but it does not have courage to say anything against any Organisation which has the support of minority community.
only in India the majority are treated like minorities in the name of Secular and the minorities are treated like Kings - the main culprit for this is Congress Party.
Even the other day a Congress Minister in Karnataka has stated that the minority community need not repay loans because the majority are anyhow paying back. What a logic ?
I do not have any issues with any religion but the way majority are treated is very painful.

from:  G Balu
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 15:55 IST

What is wrong about it if RSS wants Hindu renaissance? After all the
country's population still comprised of around 83% Hindus.
Unfortunately country has passed through a slavery of thousand years.
***Hindus have been taken for granted by Congress family as 'Idiots'
fighting with each other for the last sixty seven years. While Muslims
are being given privileges in various forms though their community
failed to utilize those facilities for their own reasons / or Shariat
did not permit them to go beyond. Moreover because of the policy of
appeasement of a particular community, ther Congress Govt and many
regional govts allowed terrorists activities to take place in our
country.***Now what is wrong if Hindus want to exert their strength in
their own country for the betterment of the masses.

from:  K.S.Jayatheertha
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 15:46 IST

If RSS sympathizers and members feel that what Ms. Vidya has written here, why don't
they file a case stating that these are non-facts? RSS is anti-government and today they
have infiltrated into all the departments. RSS is a pro-Brahmin outfit and nominating
Modi as PM candidate is only a ploy and the basics of RSS does not change. It's a male
dominated organization and it is anti-Muslim, and anti-Christian. It is a master of
spreading unfounded information. This is the truth.

from:  LRaj
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 15:38 IST

When I got an opportunity to interact with RSS senior person that was time of BJP came to power in Karnataka. By that time lot of negotitatio done by RSS local heads during dissidency between Yeddi and Reddy brothers. Keeping this in my mind asked Sir you are saying RSS in not involving in politics but why Yeddi and other leaders keep going to your office and most issues get resolve there. Because of he close to me said that they had the bitter experience in Maharastra when BJP-Shiva sena formed government and knew that here alos its going to worsen if we are not restrain ourselves from politics. After completion of the term it become public that during the allegation few RSS workers got land and in the KPSC scam one of alleged members said that behald RSS person acted like that. These issues appeared in media. If you go by Modi’s elevation it clear that it had played its key role and taken full control over party and through Modi want to push its agenda.

from:  RAGHAVENDRA R PAWAR
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 15:29 IST

The fundamental duties in Article 51-A require the citizens not to forget the ideals of the freedom struggle. The invasions, conquests, trading companies converting their territories unto British sovereign were due to the single fact that India was a prosperous and Hindu nation. There was no difference between Hindu identity and prosperity. After a milleneum of sacrifices, Independence was in sight but due to narrow minded bigotry of Muslim League, India had to be divided on the premise that Muslims cannot co-exist with Hindus. Mahatma declared that Pakistan would be created over his dead body. Hindus believed and were cheated when partition resulted in train loads Hindu corpses were coming from Pakistan, which resulted in natural resentment and anger, with or without the RSS. Why this sordid part of Nation's history is conveniently missed by Ms. Vidya Subramanyam?

from:  Anil Kumar Tandale
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 15:28 IST

Madam Vidya, please remind Congress to disband itself as per the instruction what Mahatma Gandhi said in 1947 and then you can talk of the forgotten promise of 1949 by RSS to Sardar Patel.

No eloquence can justify the latter if the former has not been implemented.

One can be choosy and have selective amnesia in this aspect.

Do you expect one organization to follow promises in letter and spirit while the other, even after the Father of the Nation's instruction, has turned deaf and is still continuing to violate his instruction????

NO WAY. Many decisions are taken based on circumstances and there is nothing wrong in RSS getting directly involved in BJP. After all, they are not any terrorist organization.

from:  K.Sunder
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 15:08 IST

Anna Hazare's campaign joined in by Kejriwal and others was
started as a social movement.After some time Kejriwal realized
that without political power they cannot bring about a society of
their vision.So he separated from Anna and formed the AAP.Their
growth to become a reckonable political force depends upon the
voters.Earlier the DMK in Tamilnadu in its previous avatar was
also a social movement under Periyar. It was only after
converting it into a political party (DMK) and participating in
elections the party could translate its ideals into
reality.Though the RSS is not a political entity, it is
influencing the BJP. If it had made a promise in a given
situation to be just a cultural outfit, it need not mean that it
should remain like a log of wood unmindful of changing
developments around it.As long as its activities do not
contravene the country's Constitution,it should be OK.The last
sentence in the article sounds like RSS committing a sin.I am not
an RSS, BJP.

from:  G.Jagannathan
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 15:07 IST

It was always evident that RSS was the Big-Brother of the BJP, even
though it claims to be a non-political organisation. Bhagwat's
interference on Advani's decision in July 2013 itself proves how much
influence the RSS and its members have on the BJP.

The point of concern is that the divisive politics being played by RSS
and BJP will only result in creating hatred between different
communities in the country. It is time that the citizens of this
country join together and say 'NO TO COMMUNALISM' which the RSS uses
as a tool to divide the Nation. As far as the article is concerned, it
is very well analysed and very informative. An eye-opener indeed.

from:  Shoaib Mohammed
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 15:03 IST

I will not be surprised if Sardar Patel himself had an interest in
keeping RSS ,its ideology ,and political activities alive and kicking!
Though he was in Congress - he (and his vast followers among the
"Kulaks" in Congress- big land owners/money lenders/ex-zamindars,
rich farmers from rural India) was
ideologically/culturally/politically closure to RSS type of world-
view, rather than to the westernized, modern, liberal and pro-leftist
outlook of THE THEN Nehruvites in the Congress! This is same as in
the case of a Congress Chief Minister in Haryana will have all his
sympathy for "Khap Panchayat", but would like to keep it under control
and ,sometimes, under wrap from public glare and scrutiny!

from:  H. Mandal
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 15:03 IST

There were many Hindu communal elements in the Congress from the very beginning of its inception. Their influence was fitful and often powerful. And Gandhiji's idea of Hindu-Muslim unity of 1919-20 and later was to strengthen inclusive politics in the country. In contrast, the Hindu Mahasabha and subsequently the RSS were floated to achieve a Hindu supremacist dispensation; this majority communalism and its obvious natural numerical preponderance raised the minority communalism and the formation of the Muslim League. Minority communalism is a reaction to majority communalism. This resulted in the division of the country and majority communalism was the cause of this tragedy including the assassination of Gandhiji. In the present decades terrorism is the consequence of the strengthening of majority communalism and the spawning of various outfits for practising this. Majoritarian politics is against the Constitutional principles of equality and justice.

from:  M.V.Sridhara
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 14:58 IST

At this distance of time it is ridiculous for Vidya Subramanyam to cite a letter written more than sixty years back and stating that they have breached their undertaking and the constitution when the Indian constitution itself has so many amendments to it. She is quoting the letter written to the late Iron Man of India who wanted exchange of population at the time of partition. Further at that time Muslim League was banned. When the government revoked the ban on Muslim League which fought for creation of Pakistan both politically and physically there is nothing wrong in RSS embarking on a political role. Let not Vidya put on the garb of a psudo secularist.

from:  Ram Athiballi
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 14:45 IST

If RSS directed BJP to make Modi as PM candidate is that the entire
country will vote for Modi? The 1949 promise has become irrelevant and
organisation like RSS cannot watch Congress looting this country and
allowing its allies to loot.

from:  K R Anandagopalan
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 14:42 IST

' Text torturing' . This is an oft repeated word in Swami Vivekanannda's lecture. This article reminds me of this word.To the learned author I would like to say one thing. No organisation can grow on hatred. RSS has been growing strong since its inception in the year 1925 because it is based on love. Request the author to attend RSS shakhas and see for herself. Also the fact is Pandit Ji Nehru's government wanted a face saving formula and requested RSS to give a constitution document for lifting the ban. The government could not withstand the all round criticism on the unconstitutional and unfair ban . Any ordinary worker of RSS will say with clarity that RSS wants all politicains to work for the nation and its vision is beyond politics.

from:  Krishnakumar L
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 14:37 IST

well researched and good article

from:  mohamed kaleem
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 14:14 IST

@LRaj: "The point is why RSS cannot be banned for moving away from its
promise. RSS has proved that it's not a cultural organization in any
sense and RSS must accept that it is the political master of BJP."

Do you mean anyone (except Congress may be) indulging in politics
should be banned? Why ? If I am a RSS pracharak, does that mean my
fundamental rights cease to exist?

As far as 'moving away from promise'- congress party(ies)had also
promised good governance repeatedly, but all that it gave to Indians is
misery, poverty, colossal corruption, nepotism and polarized society;
by your logic why should not the congress be banned too.
It is RSS's (or for that matter any organization) fundamental right to
get involve in politics (covertly or overtly) or not. Demanding such a
thing shows the fascists and hatred against Hindu cultural
organizations.



from:  Sunil Lathwal
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 14:01 IST

It has become fasionable to slam the so-called 'majority' - the Hindus; they have become the whipping boys for the nation. Ms. Subrahmaniam has so much bias in this article, it oozes of pseudo-secularism. I would love to see Ms. Subrahmaniam raise similar questions against Muslim League and Christian religious groups.

from:  RN Iyengar
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 13:58 IST

@VIDYA SUBRAHMANIAM ..
I don't understand. what point you want to make out of this article.
There is this unwritten law in India. whatever the Hindus do is wrong
and what other communities do is right.
Take for Example there are a lot of Muslim Parties which are directly
contesting election and supporting other parties.But if a there is a
Hindu party its not Secular.There are parties who are in line to get
the Minority votes..play the minority card.

from:  Arun
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 13:57 IST

Its understandable that RSS was banned because the murderers of bapu were at some point of time with RSS. What is baffling is why such a condition (not going political) was put on them to remove the ban?? Was congress then as its now afraid of sinking onto complete oblivion???

from:  varun
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 13:57 IST

Vidya Subrahmaniam is quite a linguist. She translates "pracharaks" as
"propagandists", and in an earlier article she claimed that one should
not worry too much as "Taliban" means "Students".

The bias is unmistakable.

from:  Sandeep K
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 13:56 IST

There are lies, half-truth and truth in this article. The only truth I
see is that RSS was compelled to write a constitution after Gandhiji’s
assassination. Apart from that, there is no any other undertaking with
Patel. And from the day 1 itself, the written constitution was just
for the purpose of documentation. RSS was never been an organization
working based on a constitution. The half-truth is that RSS is
involving in the politics. Yes, it is and it was. But not as an
organization, but still as a mentor. RSS clearly says what is in the
mind of their people and what needs to be performed for better life.
BJP takes it as a word from the father and most often obeys it. All
others are lies.

from:  Shyju Sankaran
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 13:12 IST


A very good article. RSS is a dangerous and violent organization dividing people into so many sects. People in south will never support BJP/RSS.

from:  A.RAJAMOHAN
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 12:56 IST

I just want to know that in which world "pracharaks" stands for "propagandists".
In elections all candidates do "prachar" for themselves. Does it mean they are involved in "propaganda"?
When Writer of the article covers an election then is "propaganda"
word going to be used in her article.

from:  mohit
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 12:54 IST

RSS founded and guided by few upper caste Brahmins keeps its existence purely on the ideology of hatred towards people of religion other than Hindus.

They claim to be working for Hindus but that again is incorrect. They work to keep Brahmin supremacy. They have used few pawns of lower castes like Modi, Uma Bharati, Kalyan Singh etc to create a facade of equality. However, the directions, decisions for these leaders come from Sarsangh chalak, who invariably is a Brahmin.

Any organisation that flourishes using hatred and rumour mongering will be in lime light for few years. But people will understand the real motives of these people sooner than later.

The character of this Organisation can be rightly seen after knowing their celebrations after the assasinations of one of the greatest souls of the world.

Masses need to realise the dirty ways of RSS of pitting one community Vs. others to gain political mileage. They used Advani to achieve their gameplan now it is Modi.

from:  Mandar Umrani
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 12:48 IST

Respected mam , let me clear one thing after voting who get elected? The ans would b
simply those candidate who get majority vote, I hope u agree, BJP/RSS did same thing
wht it sees to b correct in current politico situation, if narendra modi get selected it
does nt mean RSS urge BJP to select him as a PM candidate,it did wht people wishes
and there is no wrong in that thing, nothing is sacrosanct/permanant in ths pragmatic
world, we need to change, why u dont see RSS Is changing towards prosperity from its
orthodox tendency, nd if did wrong thn we ll get ans after election.

from:  amol bavale
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 12:24 IST

RSS is a threat to our multicultural and multilingual India, there is no
room for one identity or ethnicity, unity in diversity is a benchmark of
India, but the facts stipulate that the RSS is against to this wonderful
idea of India.

from:  Tajammul
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 12:22 IST

In the article Ms Vidya Subrahmaniam just tried to defame the RSS as anti-secular and political organistaion. Writer saying that the "Indivgidual memebers have indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity and murder is totally erroneous and far from relaity.You can't understand the true value and idelogy of this organisation without being part of it. RSS volunteers always involved in releif and rehabilation in many natural calamities like 2001 Gujrat earth quake,recently in uttrakhand floods and their work well acclaimed by many individuals,organistions and media group.
The elevation of Modi as PM candidate is entirely BJP decesion and RSS involvement is deniable.

from:  Abhimanyu
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 12:07 IST

The Congress Party displayed its inability to handle the Dalai Lama issue that resulted in aggression by China. There was only one silver lining in the rule by Lal Bahadur Shastri. The original Congress Party was overruled by Indira Gandhi who formed Congress (I) that promoted the family rule.
When the basic character of Congress has been altered, the issue related to RSS does not arise. RSS has been known for its helping hand whenever any national calamity has struck any corner of the country.

from:  AK Kashyap
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 11:46 IST

if Ms Vidya Subrahmaniam wants to be admired and adored as a no nonsense journalist with a neuatral and no partisanship, she must write after researching about...
Why and what made Gandhiji asking the INC to be disbanded after 1947 and how itwas never allowed to happen?
Why India is being taken to a doom and its extinction due to seris of Cong [ I ] conceived,promoted and practised PSEUDO SECULARISM?

If Ms Vidya can do it, she will an answer RSS has perforce changed its stance also...
Nothing is permenant in life and politics except CHANGE it self, Vidya Jee knows...

from:  bob bharadwaj
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 10:14 IST

Entry of RSS into political sphere has dangerous overtones. It breeds
disunity among Indians- Hindus vs Minorities, Secular vs Hindutva-ites.
These differences are turning out to be points of a deep conflict
within Indian society. RSS must know that India cannot prosper with
their particularistic ideology, It needs a universalistic ideology in a
true spirit of 'Vasudev Kutumbakam',which RSS claims to hypocritically
follow.

from:  jignesh
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 10:07 IST

This makes interesting reading. RSS never took part directly in the political activities of
this country. As responsible citizens they do have an interest in the proper welfare of its
people and the security of this Nation. To active this twin objective they have from time
to time intervened to influence the BJP to take the right decision that would be beneficial
to Indian people. This does not interfere with the promise given to Sardar Vallabh Bhai
Patel. Whereas the Congress party gave so many assurances to the Mahatma Gandhi for
continuing to be a political entity. Gandhi wanted Congress to be disbanded after
Independence. By practicing vote bank politics they have killed the secular ethos of this
country. By encouraging corrupt politicians like Karunanidhi, Lalu and Mulayam they
have denied the people of India an honorable solution to their problems.In the long run,
RSS has proved to be the lesser evil.

from:  sarath
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 10:07 IST

Bapu asked Patel, Nehru and others to dissolve congress, but they didn't. Maybe if he hadn't been assassinated, the political scenario would have been different. The decision makers of 1949 are dead and buried. It is the time to renegotiate.

I fail to understand why a Hindu organization is wrong, or has to be non-political while any other community organization can say/do anything. Why do you 'unbaised/secular' (being fulla sarcastic here) people have to push a majority community so much that it starts feeling threatened.

from:  arindom
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 10:06 IST

Respected Madam, your article about RSS backseated politics in todays
scenario is excellent except some two three things. U wrote that
"individual members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have indulged
in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity and murder and
have collected illicit arms and ammunition" is totally away from the
reality and force the reader to not believe anything u wrote. RSS
workers r purely dedicated to serve for the humanity and very
disciplined that they should never wanted RSS image spoil due to their
wrongness. I request u to please not to understand RSS by just seeing
RSS from away. RSS Shakha is the place where u can understand RSS.
Please dont use shortcut to understand RSS.

from:  Pradeep Shende
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 10:02 IST

Much water has flown after 1949. The present day Congress is not the
original Congress. We hardly find any congress leader who is nation
minded now. Even Gandhiji's wish to abolish Congress after
independence was not fulfilled by the Congress. When this is the
case with one national party, how can we expect RSS not to enter
politics. Even if Sardar Patel were to be here now, he would have
welcomed the decision of RSS in nominating Mr Modi as Prime
Ministerial candidate in the present circumstances. We need a firm
man irrespective of party feeling to take charge at the centre and
Rahul is too young and does not possess enough maturity to shoulder
the responsibility. It is the feeling of majority of youngsters that
a strong man is needed at the centre to curb corruption, run the
administration with a firm hand and fight against terrorism while he
should also have courage to face the neighbouring countries who are
posing as friends but act otherwise. I welcome the decision of RSS.

from:  G Sankaran
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 10:00 IST

I am impelled to post this comment as an academician with good grasp of the Socio-Economic-Political, Historical and cultural dimensions of the Post Independence India and on occasions with the first-hand experiences too. While pole-vaulting between the true events and exchanges between the Sardar and the Sangh and elevation of Modi in 2013, this article woefully falls short of providing truthful perspective.

The very purpose of this article seems to be to establish that the RSS has conveniently reneged upon the tacit agreement between Sardar Patel, Guru Golwalkar and Dr. SP Mukherjee that had facilitated in lifting of the ban imposed on RSS, post the Mahatma's assassination; by virtually foisting Modi as the PM face of the BJP.In taking this sweeping swipe, the Author had overlooked the fact that even continents do indeed drift over a period of time. A lot of water had flowed down the Holy Ganges since 1948-49...Modi indeed is truly the favourite of the Rank & File of the BJP today.

from:  Kumaraguru Bhagavatula
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 09:47 IST

On the issue of BJP picking Modi as PM candidate, BJP
made a decision keeping with the wishes of it cadre. In this RSS acted as an umpire,
I do not see anything wrong with it

from:  Ram Prasad
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 09:44 IST

It is quite informative article.

from:  jaywant suryawanshi
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 09:13 IST

Covertly or overtly the RSS has been at the helm of affairs since the outset. Are we really surprised?

from:  Pallav Pareek
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 09:11 IST


BJP must answer the Indian electorate why RSS meddled with who will be PM post 2014 elections

also BJP must answer why its ally siva sena then chief said nothing wrong with dynastic politics ?

Ironically both BJP and Congress are playing with Andhra state irresponsibly and caused many deaths of innocent people by stoking emotions with divisive politics

Today India is not having good stature leaders ,only opportunistic politicians playing the divisive games

I appeal to Indian electorate to read ,think and then Vote in an informed decision way
thanks

from:  Rama Mohana Rao Anne
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 09:07 IST

Is the situation the same now as it was in 1949? Do we have any leader
like S V Patel who can render service like him? When conditions are no
longer valid, promises are bound to change. Quite surprised that such
articled are published in The Hindu.

from:  Sushma
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 08:58 IST

Vidya Subrahmaniam article on RSS' antecedents with regard to the promises made to
the government of India. I had heard this point discussed in brief by Mr. K. Veeramani
in one of the TV channels of Tamilnadu but now I am clear about what exactly is RSS.
The point is why RSS cannot be banned for moving away from its promise. RSS has
proved that it's not a cultural organization in any sense and RSS must accept that it is
the political master of BJP. Appointment of Modi just proves this point beyond doubt.
People must understand the nefarious designs of RSS with regard to the constitution of
India. A well-timed article.

from:  LRaj
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 08:56 IST

It is difficult to be totally non-political in a democracy. Every time you vote you are performing a political act. But the RSS does not field candidates for political office. In that sense it is non-political. Its members and officials express opinions on national and international issues. But that is only exercising the freedom of expression.

Most if not all the people involved in the reprehensible acts of 1948 are dead. We cannot continue to be prisoners to it. If so then the Khilafat Movement (led by Mahatma Gandhi) and the Moplah Rebellion that followed could also be revived and its today's successors reviled.

Of course we should learn from history, but should not become prisoners to it.

from:  N.S. Rajaram
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 08:55 IST

The author has done well to show RSS in a bad light and characterize "lines" from its manifesto in proving that RSS reneged.
The ground reality is RSS is the single most efficient organization in country which focuses on 'character building' and 'nation building'.
I urge the author and many others like her to see what thousands of RSS grass root workers do.
Coming back to facts, yes RSS did commit not to contest elections, and it does stick to its commitment, even when it knows its overwhelming support from the masses. Please dont forget that one of countrys our best leaders are actually RSS' gems. Contribution of leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and JP can never be forgotten. And yes RSS does play a role in Indian politics in the background. It might be a moot issue, but influencing a party in a positive motivational way, which ultimately helps our country to get a better leader is definitely not against the constitution nor its own manifesto.

I would really appreciate if the author even tries to play fair and place all parties on the table to compare them. Name a single national party/alliance which has a 100% clean record. I will be surprised if you could come with up a name. Ever heard of any RSS leaders in any scams ? any corruption cases ?
There always men/leaders who are more enthusiastic/ more passionate and more aggressive than others. You will find such leaders/men in all parties. But I believe that an organizatio/party is much above an individual or a couple of individuals. When you look at a party/organization try to see what has it accomplished as a group as an organization. I am sure the author would be able to see atleast some good aspects of RSS and so will be others too.

from:  Apoorva Karnik
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 08:48 IST

Sounds like a desperate attempt to malign the RSS. Over a period of 60 years things
change. What is so sacrosanct about not getting involved in politics ? This is not a
crime. I sincerely suggest to the editors of The Hindu to not waste time, money,
energy, effort in publishing such articles which frankly clearly indicate a veiled
agenda, and get behind those that are in power, posing to be in the service of the
people, and merrily filling their own pockets, through scams, mega scams, tumbling
out one after the other.

from:  Bhaskar Bhattacharya
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 08:33 IST

Organizations like the RSS are like period costume in an ultra modern play.Although their spokesperson will try to give a veneer of reason to their core agenda but their foot soldiers with whom we get to interact more often are uninhibited in expressing their biased uncompromising attitude towards all those who are not in sync with them.Their antipathy is not limited to religious minorities alone.One basic truth though is they themselves are in a minority although they claim to be the conscience keeper of a particular religion. Their ideology is limited to a small section of people identified with that religion.There are the different versions of the Ramayana, their are atheists, there are practitioners of black magic, there are festivals celebrating the return of the demon after being vanquished by god incarnate and there are discriminated lot, all these are the different constituencies of the whole.But attention is always grabbed by those who shout the loudest!

from:  Jairaj Menon
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 08:30 IST

If BJP is interested in nation building it should enact a rule that its
members should not get involved in RSS activities whether they are good
or bad. This will induce other political parties to follow the same
principle.

from:  V.Udaiyanathan
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 07:58 IST

Hurry up, 'The Hindu', get the C.B.I. on to them, in view of this
serious offence the RSS has caused you and the country. After all,
you have carried on for years your own propaganda against the RSS,
yet, darn it, their influence is still intact.
Do it, while the C.B.I. is still the Congress Bureau of Investigation.

P.S. Do you not think 'The Hindu' is an anachronistic, RSS type of
name for your paper?



from:  Murthy
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 07:53 IST

Even though article raises some valid points but fact remains that RSS has instilled a deep sense of natioalism in millions of Hindus who inspired by such feeling carry on their work in respective feilds. In todays time of despair, youth of the nation looks upon one such Sangh's swyamsewak to provide leadership with clear vision based on Nation First and free country from current corrupt and sycophant regime.

from:  Sanjay Nagpal
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 07:38 IST

A well-writen article, which needs a few corrections. RSS has always been a non-political organization. There is historical evidence to show that during the pre-independece period, RSS was tilted towards the Congress and not towards Hindu Mahasabha. It did not share its organizational strength with the Mahasabha. Gandhiji's assasination changed all this. The assasination rendered the Hindu Mahasabha politically untenable and became extinct thereafter. Thus there was a political space for a pro-Hinduist party, which was left vacant. Dr. Mukherjee, an original congressman, left Hindu Mahasabha on the issue of admitting Muslims within the party. Mukherjee agreed to lead a new party named as Jan Sangh. Initially, Golwalkar himself was not very serious about forming a political party,as in the aftermath of independence, Congress had no competition. Whatever one may say, there is a space for a pro-Hinduist party in the political spectrum of India and BJP has filled it. This is history.

from:  Pramod Patil
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 07:34 IST

So long as the party runs on democratic principles and not on dynastic or authoritarian functioning as is happening in Congress party, it does not matter who is behind BJP whether RSS or others. Persons who are not familiar with Indian ethos are making political decisions unlike RSS which is basically of Indian origin. It is high time your correspondent started criticizing objectively the undemocratic and dynastic functioning of Congress rather than spending time on criticizing BJP .

from:  MVJRao
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 07:27 IST

A very informative article indeed.
But the timing seems to be aimed at persuading the voters to allow continuance of the Nation's looting by Congress and other Regional parties.

from:  K M RAMAKRISHNAN
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 07:22 IST

The author is trying to connect disjointed events of history to the current political scenario. Suddenly, Advani appears larger than life, after having been at the opposite end of the spectrum all along simply because he has opposed Modi recently. Advani's praise of Jinnah's secularism was a travesty of truth. Jinnah personally might have been such a person but apart from the August 11, 1947 speech where he feebly attempted to espouse a secular Pakistan, there is no history of him having been a votary of secularism. On the contrary, he promised a theocratic state to Islamists like Mawdudi, Usmani or various Pirs. Anyway, these have got nothing to do with elections of 2014 except in the delusional theories of the author. Even if the RSS has influenced the BJP, there is no violation of any earlier promise to Patel.

from:  Subramanyam Sridharan
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 06:25 IST

Thank you to the author and to "The Hindu" for an informative history
piece. RSS talks as if Sardar Patel was a friend, but history shows
otherwise. Also, am glad the mask of "RSS is a cultural organization"
has been exposed. The organization is not about art, music or dance
anyway but merely a reactionary party of petite bourgeoisie that calls
itself patriotic.

from:  Raghu Venugopalan
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 06:09 IST

A good case for banning RSS again, for breach of contract.

from:  Ranga
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 06:06 IST

RSS is all upper caste Hindu male party. In its leadership there is no
female, no minority, no SC. Yest, with its dominance and dictation of
BJP it will set the policies of BJP if Modi is elected PM. It is
indeed shocking and an abomination that Modi is so beholden to RSS. In
any other country RSS would be a Terrorist organization and banned for
ever. In India it continues to enjoy greater and greater power. RSS
mission is clear. Its Mission is to convert India into a Hindu fascist
state and they have selected the right person to deliver that. Mr.
Modi in his disposition is dictatorial and disposed to fascist
tactics. Mr. Modi's greatest achievement in Gujarat is not good
governance as claimed by his supporters, it is using violence to
subjugate the restless Muslim Minority.

from:  Naveed
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 05:53 IST

And what happened to Gandhi's suggestion to congress to work as a social organization after independence?

from:  suneel p
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 05:25 IST

The author seems to have presented his views in a rather shrewd way ... while she has taken the liberty to quote every defamation of RSS seems to have forgotten all about how they have serviced the nation in times of calamities / emergencies etc.
let alone the role in national integration in goa, DNH etc. and has conveniently forgotten the role in 1962 war, and subsequent wars. Author could have presented a balanced view in the light they even were present in 1963 Republic Day Parade.
While some of the criticism may be valid but author looses more informed readers when she uses words like "arson, robbery, dacoity and murder and have collected illicit arms and ammunition". RSS cadres are well known for their strength of character and selfless service.
I believe Author treads on a UNDESIRABLE AND DANGEROUS path of Historicism himself.

from:  Neeraj
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 04:12 IST

Ms Subramanyam, one cannot live in a vaccum or in an unpopulated island. The Indian Constitution has been changed so many times that fresh earth can be seen on the graves of the founding fathers.
Madrassas are no longer the place of religious education - they have been turned into factories creating cannon fodder for the the jihadist agenda.

The only two disciplined organisation in India happens to be CPI(M) and RSS. They are cadre based , value based and succession is on merit and service - NOT based on dynasty and lineage.

Advanis' praise of Jinnah is unpardonable and he deserved what he got. Maybe the leadership of the party had gone to his head. The only people to bring him back to earth was RSS - and rightly so.

What we need now is a strong, clean and effecient adminstrator with a solid politcial bed-rock supporting him to lead us out of the mess created by 10 years of the family rule.

It's a small price to pay, if RSS has stepped out of its constitution.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 04:03 IST

Is it likely that Arun Jaitley's recent letter to the PM was driven by the same fear that forced the installation of Narendra Modi by the RSS?

The fear that Mr Modi would be implicated in the conspiracy to 'attack Mussalmans' and the pogrom of 2002 in Gujarat, the game that the RSS has been adept and a past master at according to Sardar Patel?

The fear that the fake encounters as propaganda for the Gujarat CM being tough on terror and the target of terrorist outfits would be exposed as bogus and Amit Shah and Narendra Modi would be up for their just desserts.

Should this not be a matter for a PIL to look into and if thought appropriate disband the RSS?

Does this not call for a complaint/application under RTI to the Election Commission on the operation of the BJP and the utilization of its political funds and and the government support it receives towards furthering the goals of the RSS and its frontal organizations?

from:  Prabhudas
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 02:54 IST

It is well known that the people who distributed sweets were communists
masquerading as RSS men. To gloat over murders is anti-thesis to hindutva. In fact
Golwalkarji used to quote as a mark virtuous behavior - what Rama told Vibhishana
at the time of last rites to Ravana "maranaantaani vyraani" - enmity ends with death-
period!. Intellectually alienated Communists are adept in orchestrated acts of
narrowness, lies and deception as many other trans-national ruthless politically
motivated outfits are!

from:  seshadri
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 02:53 IST

I congratulate the writer and Hindu to produce well informed article. now the need of the hour is the secular and democratic forces of the country come together to fight the communal agenda of the communal forces. India can only progress when all the minorties feel safe.


from:  surindersangha
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 02:21 IST

If history is to be dug up, then the author should not be selective. Did not Gandhiji advise
(which, in his case amounts to a command) that Congress should be disbanded after
Independence but went back on it when he chose Nehru to be the PM?

from:  Ramakrishnan
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 02:15 IST

Its the problem with the two biggest party in politics and of entire
nation , Congress is killing Gandhi and Patel every day by playing
devisive politics( Telangana!! ) and RSS not respecting its own
constitution.

from:  sourabh
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 02:09 IST

Dear Author, Sangh has always been the ideological guru of first the
Jana Sangha and then BJP. Nobody has ever denied it. Both have always
been close. But talking about being political is outright hypocrite.
Because nowhere in your article you have mentioned what Gandhiji wanted
for Congress. Did he not want to abandon it? What would he think if he
was alive turning his congress into a Family business. Sorry sir, but
appears you just want to nail BJP down. By hook or by crook.

from:  Ankit
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 01:30 IST

What about Gandhiji telling Congress to close shop?

from:  ganesan
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 01:22 IST

nice things... that you have published....

from:  shiv
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 00:55 IST

It is perfectly okay to forget a promise done in 1949 to end a 66 year old chaos called Congress ...

from:  Neeraj Upreti
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 00:50 IST

Lets put it this way. BJP needs the RSS more, and not the other way around. This is RSS way of nation building, and if the BJP didnt like it, it was free to part ways.

In my opinion, RSS is what is holding the nation together. Without RSS, this nation is ready to crumble. The RSS has been much maligned under the Congress rule the last 60 years, and I dont see anything wrong in it wanting a breather in the form of a strong BJP that can lead the nation out from the depths it has sunk into.

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Oct 8, 2013 at 00:38 IST
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