NATIONAL

Golwalkar and the BJP

NEW DELHI MAY 9. The Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, virtually disowned the pro-Hitler views expressed by "guruji" M.S. Golwalkar, a former `sarsanghchalak' of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, in the Rajya Sabha on May 6, but did not explain why in almost every office of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and now, in several ministerial offices at the Centre (including Parliament House), his portraits hang alongside those of Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar. After all, German Government offices today surely do not hang portraits of Hitler nor does the BJP decorate its offices with pictures of Osama bin Laden.

The fact is that both Mr. Vajpayee and the Union Home Minister, L.K. Advani, grew up at the feet of "guruji" who is still revered as the most influential of all RSS heads who gave the organisation — and the BJP, the political arm of the RSS — its so-called "ideological'' moorings and formed the young minds of Mr. Vajpayee and Mr. Advani during their impressionable years.

Mr. Vajpayee dismissed Golwalkar's openly fascist views as "his own (`weh unke apne vichar the')'' and added that the BJP had "nothing to do with the book (`us pustak se hamen kuch lena-dena nahin hai')'' and that his party "had never given its stamp of approval (`sangathan ne kabhi un vicharon par mohur nahin lagayi')'' to those views. But he did not say when and where had the BJP (or the Jan Sangh) distanced itself formally from the views of Golwalkar.

The question that needs to be asked loudly is why it has taken Mr. Vajpayee all of 60 years to distance his party from what Golwalkar had said? Why is it that in spite of his criminally obnoxious views he is revered by the Sangh Parivar and considered to be the guru of all gurus? In fact, contrary to what Mr. Vajpayee said, the BJP has so far never repudiated Golwalkar's views, let alone denounce them.

A close look at Golwakar and a comparison with what the RSS, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal are saying almost everyday establishes the fact that the views of the Sangh Parivar are no different from those of Golwalkar.

And this is what "guruji'' had to say in `We on Our Nationhood Defined': "To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic races — the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here...a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.'' The Sangh Parivar insists that all Hindus are of Aryan origin, and denounces historians who suggest that Aryans came from Central Asia at a later date to push the Dravidians to the South.

His "formula'' for nationhood was "five unities'' — geographical (a common country), racial (all people belonging to one race), religious (all `nationals' must follow the same faith), cultural (the same culture) and linguistic (a common language). And he admitted that in India the "knotty problem'' was religion and language. The "language" problem was resolved by (falsely) suggesting that there was a unity since all Indian languages were derived from a common root language — Sanskrit. Golwalkar's views on the "five unities'' perhaps explains the old Jan Sangh slogan, "Hindi, Hindu, Hindusthan".

The only problem left, according to Golwalkar, was that of the religious minorities. The answer to the question why the Sangh Parivar activists even today see themselves as the only true "nationalists'' and look upon Christians and Muslims as "traitors'' can also be found in Golwalkar.

This is what he said: "in Hindusthan, the land of the Hindus, lives and should live the Hindu nation...only those movements are truly `national' as aim at re-building and emancipating from its present stupor the Hindu nation...All others are either traitors and enemies to the national cause...''

And finally, here was Golwalkar's solution to the minorities problem: the "foreign elements'' (Christians and Muslims) may "live at the mercy'' of the "national race (Aryan Hindus) as long as the national race may allow them to do so and to quit the country at the sweet will of the national race. That is the only sound view on the minorities' problem. That is the only logical and correct solution.''

The frightening thing is that this is exactly what has happened in Gujarat — the minorities have been told that there is no place for them there and that they are free to go to Pakistan.

Even in Parliament, when Muslim MPs get up to speak, the BJP backbenchers are often heard saying "go to Pakistan''.

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