Is the Congress only party which works on the basis of master-servant relationship? Sonia Maino Gandhi has challenged that assumption by breaking the sound of silence. All these years, her long and stoic silence was being considered as a sign of acquiescence. Sonia has proved that she is indeed the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi, who dealt her opponents with an iron fist.
So, is Lal Krishna Advani, a slave of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), as Sonia Gandhi has termed at a poll rally in Margao? Anybody who is aware of India’s political history will bear witness that L.K. Advani has indeed been a ‘slave’ of the RSS. There is nothing new in this utterance but yet it will find a unique place in the political history. Sonia’s lips have given it Congress affiliation. The vacuum left behind by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has finally found an echo in the voice of his grand daughter-in-law!
If Congress is a budiya (old lady) then RSS is by no means a gudiya (doll). Congress was born in 1885, an old political party indeed. RSS breathed life in 1925. If one applies Narendra Modi logic, RSS too will fall under the category of budiya! What more, this ‘budiya’ has given birth to ‘gudiyas’ legitimate as well as illegitimate. BJP, VHP and Bajrang Dal can claim to be legitimate while Abhinav Bharat, Ram Sene will be ‘branded’ as illegitimate although both have been begotten by RSS, the gudiya-in-chief of Sangh Parivar!
RSS was founded in September 1925 at Nagpur on Dussehra day by Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a medical doctor. Hedgewar was a disciple of Balkrishna Moonje who had sent him to Calcutta in 1910 to pursue medical studies. His unofficial mission was to learn terrorist techniques from the Bengal secret societies. He joined Congress after returning to Nagpur, following in his mentor’s footsteps. Both the master and servant were “disenchanted” with the Congress soon.
In their book The Brotherhood in Saffron, Walter K. Anderson and Shridhar D. Damle record how Hedgewar began to lay intellectual foundations of RSS at a time of escalating Hind-Muslim animosity in Nagpur. They write,
“Hedgewar began to develop the intellectual foundations of the RSS. A major influence on his thinking was a handwritten manuscript Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s Hindutva, which advanced the thesis that the Hindus were a nation. The central propositions of Savarkar’s manuscript are that Hindus are the indigenous people of the continent and that they form a single national group.”
RSS was succeeded by Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar after the death of Hedgewar on June 21, 1940. RSS did grow under his leadership but yet remained on the margins of Indian politics. It was known as a militant Hindu group notorious for its role in communal riots.
An understanding was reached between Golwalkar and the Hindu Mahasabha leader S.P. Mookerjee which led to the formation of the political arm of RSS, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh on October 21, 1951. Jana Sangh merged into Janata Party in 1977. After the fall of the government in 1979, Jana Sangh broke away with Janata Party and renamed it as The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on April 5, 1980.
After the shameful defeat of BJP in 1984 general election, BJP was given a new lease of life by Rajiv Gandhi government when it opened the locks at the gates of Babri Masjid in February 1986. BJP adopted a resolution on Ayodhya on June 11, 1989 at Palampur which demanded that “the sentiments of the overwhelming majority in this country – the Hindus be respected and the site in dispute must be handed over to the Hindus and a mosque built at some other place.” The resolution did not specify what will happen to the Babri Masjid; it was demonstrated only on December 6, 1992.
Construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya is one of the first demands of a ‘cultural’ and ‘fascist’ RSS ‘budiya’. BJP is the 29-year old ‘gudiya’ of the same ‘budiya’!
RSS, as it claims, is apolitical cultural organisation but it has floated its political arm in the form of BJP! The BJP policy has always been dominated and influenced by RSS agenda. Immediately after Palampur resolution, L.K. Advani said, “I am sure it will translate into votes.” After the November 1989 election, he expressed satisfaction that the issue had contributed to the success of BJP. In 1991 election, Advani was confident that Ram Temple movement will influence voters. On June 18, 1991 he proudly said,
“Had I not played the Ram factor effectively, I would have definitely lost from the New Delhi constituency.”
And immediately after the demolition of the Babri Masjid and subsequent riots that followed, he wrote that if the Muslims were to identify themselves with the concept of Hindutva there would not be any reasons for riots to take place. In July 1992, he argued in Lok Sabha speaker’s chamber:
“You must recognise the fact that from two seats in Parliament in 1985 we have come to 117 seats in 1991. This has happened primarily because we took up this issue (Ayodhya).”
From 1999 to 2004, BJP had convened many meetings just to convince the RSS top brass their helplessness over Ram temple because numbers in parliament didn’t add up to pass legislation for the same. Anderson and Damle put it thus,
“It is questionable if the BJP could survive politically without the RSS cadre, and the cadre will not stay unless the leadership of the party stays firmly in the hands of the ‘brotherhood’.”
The Italian scholar Marzia Casolari has documented, on the basis of archival evidence, the RSS’s links with and admiration for Mussolini’s fascist regime.
Doesn’t this brief Advani pattern resemble that of a slave of the master? The sole job of a slave is to serve the interests of his master no matter how despicable and abominable the assigned job is. All through his life Advani has tried his best to please the RSS top brass.
Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who once proudly said – the Sangh is my soul – had worked hard to woo Sanghis. On his visit to Nagpur on August 27, 2000, he had literally surrendered the post of prime minister to a swayamsevak. He had said,
“The post of (prime minister) may go tomorrow, but I will always remain a humble swayamsevak.”
Sonia Gandhi, the queen of Congress, has highlighted the BJP-RSS relationship though there are RSS-sympathisers within the Congress as revealed by RSS general secretary Ram Madhav recently.
Slavery was officially abolished in Britain in 1833 but it is still prevalent in Indian politics.
Sunday Inquilab, April 19, 2009