India is a land of many tongues. Some say themselves as Bharatiya, some say Hindu and some say Indian. No matter which language we are using, the only thing that need to be understood by all is, we all are talking of one and the same thing.
A few months ago, I met with a Christian family from Agra and they asked a lot of straightforward questions about the RSS. I answered every one of those queries. They attended some RSS programs and had a first-hand experience of the Sangh. Now, when they meet a co-religionist who claims that RSS is anti-Christian, they pose three questions to them:
- Is your opinion based on your own experience?
- Have you ever met with a Sangh functionary?
- Have you read any literature from the RSS?
Invariably, the answers they get are in the negative. During a subsequent routine tour, when I was in Agra, this family insisted I should stay with them. They also arranged my meeting with the Bishop there. We went to the Bishop’s office and the meeting went well. But we can’t expect such openness from the Left-inspired RSS haters.
There is a Marathi poem, roughly translated, which goes: Those who are habituated to say “Yes” do not want to hear any “No”. And those who are habituated to say “No” have no place for a “Yes”. In the same vein:
In our “inclusion” of all we also include these “intolerants”.
But in their (intolerant) tolerance they cannot tolerate us, the “inclusive”.
During his travels, the RSS Sarsanghchalak often meets influential people from all walks of life. During one such interaction, he met with a well-known industrialist who suggested that in place of using the word “Hindu” the Sangh should use the word “Bharatiya”. To this Dr Mohan Bhagwat replied, “For us, there isn’t much difference between the two terms. However, the term Bharat has a territorial connotation while the term Hindu has value-based resonance.” This is the reason why Pakistan-born academic Tarek Fateh refers to himself as Hindu. Hence, you can say Bharatiya and we can say Hindu. Some others may say Indic. We would understand that we are all speaking of one and the same thing. This is what is meant by Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti.
But in the dogmatic worldview of communists these values, so Bharatiya in their essence, hold no significance. Their tribe insists that in the so-called “secularist” lingua franca Hindutva is a pejorative. Should you deviate from this language, then even the right to live is denied. You are not even worthy of being tolerated, let alone be engaged with. In Kerala, the bastion of communist intolerance and a Stalinist enclave, from March 1965 till May 2017, over 233 RSS workers have been killed for the only reason that they were working for the Sangh. Significantly, 60 percent of them were former communists.
As many times as one may try and explain the idea of a Hindu Rashtra in conceptual terms and its true meaning, communists and left-leaning “intellectuals” — sans engagement or debate — will define it only as narrow, divisive and exclusive. They will quote some old letters or an article and copy, paste and reproduce it without any allusion to historical context or deliberation. They will never pay heed to what RSS leaders have been saying during these years and continue to say till today. The reason is simple — it’s their Orwellian response of “two legs bad”!
However, just because they choose to look away and obfuscate at every given opportunity, the irrefutable fact remains that there are Muslims and Christians in the RSS. As Hindus, we do not believe in conversions, hence these Swayamevaks keep following their religious practices freely. In 1998, there was a three-day camp of the Vidharbha Prant (in Maharashtra) where 30,000 Swayamsevanks participated in full uniform, staying in tents. These camps normally take place only over the weekend and a headcount in undertaken of participants to make special food arrangements for those who observe a fast on Saturdays.
During the headcount, it emerged that as it was the holy month of Ramzan and there were 122 Swayamsevaks who were keeping rozas, they needed to break their fast after sundown. Accordingly, arrangements were immediately made to facilitate this. Had it not been the month of Ramzan, no one would have noted that there were Muslims among Swayamsevaks in the camp.
These are stories drawn from real- life experience which do not usually make it to the hallowed pages of mainstream publications. However, if you observe carefully and eschew the rhetoric that is peddled therein, their stark intolerance and fascist approach to heterogeneity of ideas is clearly visible and increasingly stands exposed.
A recurring theme of their commentary in recent days has been that Pranab da has shown the RSS a mirror; well, the Sangh is quite open to looking into the mirror and does so every year at Chintan Shivirs and the Pratinidhi Sabha! In these meetings, a careful examination of the activities undertaken and course correction if necessary is deliberated upon. Such a meeting took place as recently as in the month of April in Pune.
But when will ‘left-liberals’ who stake claim to the progressive values of inclusiveness but display every aspect of intolerance in their actions look in the mirror as see beyond their hatred of the RSS? Whether or not they choose to look into the mirror, their truth is reflected in their actions and the public continues to take note of the rampant hypocrisy, between words and actions.
On a lighter note, one must express one’s gratitude. Had it not been for their shrill display of intolerance, the media would not have turned the lens on a program that is an annual RSS event and always has distinguished guests invited to speak.
Thanks to the intolerance of communists and those inspired by their hollow rhetoric, the general public got to witness live transmission of the programme.
From June 1 to June 6 the official RSS website received an average of 378 hits/requests each day; on the day of the program attended by Dr Pranab Mukherjee we got 1,779 hits/requests. Need one say more?
(The writer is Sah Sarkaryavah, RSS)
Writer: Manmohan Vaidya
Courtesy: The Pioneer