The RSS on the Anvil of a Century: Leisurely Musings

The first part of a series exploring the evolution of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is all set to touch the centenary milestone next year.
The RSS on the Anvil of a Century: Leisurely Musings

LET’S BEGIN WITH A memorable quote from Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri:

In the history of the world, it is only Hinduism that gave not only to India but to all her neighbours an organic conception of society based upon economic as well as spiritual needs…it attempted to mitigate the evil consequences of great disparity by aiming at only the essentials…Liberty and law were synthesized to achieve spiritual freedom.

To say the same thing slightly differently, it is only Sanatana Dharma that guarantees spiritual freedom, which is the only true freedom. Viewed from the Darshanic standpoint, this is why the Indian spiritual tradition has not theorized human life in all its aspects with all its frailties. The distilled essence of spiritual freedom can be captured in just one word: transcendence.

This living civilizational experience of transcendence is the total opposite of the Abrahamic conceptions of creation, god, government, and law, all of which basically seek the mind-control of entire populations. This mind control is primarily enforced through fear. The greater the fear, the more pious the Abrahamist, and therefore, a greater threat to world peace. Atheism, secularism, communism and other Godless “isms” are derivatives and reactions against this original Abrahamism. Which is why they have no independent standing.

If there was no Christian or Islamic jealous male God, there’d be no atheism or secularism or communism. These irreligious and godless ideologies are thus defined in terms of negation just as how Pakistan defines itself as “anti-India.”

Such worldviews manifest themselves even today in the form of say, America’s foreign policy which decides for other nations what’s good or not for them. This is imperialism disguised as foreign policy. Over the last seven decades, “bringing democracy” has been the standard code word for American military intervention. In its basic nature and motivation, it is not different from bringing the Gospel to lands where the Word of God has not reached.

This intolerant worldview derives from a self-righteous and destructive appeal to the ego. This is why it has such a powerful hold over the masses who subscribe to it. Both Abrahamisms place the human ego at the centre of all creation. The cost has been an appalling and prolonged pillage and destruction of nature and the heartless erasure of entire civilisations on a global scale. The record of a post-Christian, secular Europe is even more gruesome: the horrors of competitive, international colonialism leading to two world wars. In both wars, the Church has gleefully played the part as a handmaiden of colonialism.

The late Ram Swarup’s masterly exposition of these phenomena on the philosophical plane is worth its weight in gold.

Eventually Muhammad…destroyed the idols around the Kaaba, declaring: Truth has come and falsehood has vanished! Wonderful!  To say the least, the sentiment was merely optimistic and lacked true spiritual insight.  It takes more than an invading army of crusaders or a demolition squad with sledgehammers to establish the domain of Truth. Truth cannot be ushered in by replacing one godling with another… To win something of the spiritual light requires self-work, self-churning, self-shedding, self-discovery.  The enemy on the path is not the multiplicity of god-symbols but the unregenerate heart… or what the Yogas call the mudha and the vikshipta consciousness… Spiritual darkness, or falsehood, has a source deep in our being; it is rooted in the dualities of the mind (dvandva), in egoistic life (aham)… and in a deeper nescience (avidyA)… True spiritual demolition involves the demolition of the desire-gods and the ego-gods, the demolition of the false gods that reside in conceited theologies, in pretentious revelations and fond beliefs.

It is astounding when we recall today, how the same secularism that had caused two world wars was transformed into the unofficial state religion of India for more than half a century. It is not an accident that in the name of defending this secularism, our fundamental freedoms were squelched, millions were thrown in jail, millions tortured, and thousands, killed. From one perspective, it can be said that the Emergency was imposed to “defend” secularism.

More than thirty years ago, Sita Ram Goel had pretty much nailed the fraud called secularism when he declared, “I have no use for a Secularism which treats Hinduism as just another religion, and puts it on par with Islam and Christianity… Secularism is a new name for national subversion.” (Emphasis added) 

EVERYONE WHO SWEARS BY INDIAN SECULARISM will and must swear by its progenitor, Nawab Nehru, who placed it over and above the Constitution. It is now common knowledge that Nehruvian secularism meant the pampering of Muslims at the cost of Hindus. But what is known less are the practical implications of this spurious secularism.

In its heydays in the1970s and through much of the ‘80s, the benchmark for secularism was based on which greeting you used: namaste or salaam. Good morning was secular while Ram Ram or Jai Ram ji ki was communal. In Government service, promotions were denied and demotions granted on such parameters. Oped pages were rife with “debates” on such topics.

A secular government was one which imposed a retrospective “Prasadam tax” to the tune of ₹ 20 crores on Tirumala laddoos – from 1975 to 1986.

A secular government was one which bullied the Ramakrishna Mission to declare itself as secular.

A secular government was one which allowed an unvarnished fanatic like Syed Shahbuddin to impose an unwritten Emergency on public discourse.

A secular Prime Minister was one who performed Mujras before Ahmed Bukhari, the Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid.

And the biggest casualty of this secularism was the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Its story is a real-life epic of our times.

To be continued

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