THE INTERWOVEN HINDUTVA FABRIC EXPOSED
he political vibrancy of the country’s mainstream got focussed on the visit of the former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee to the headquarters of RSS, Nagpur to address the trainees of the RSS on 7th June 2018. The visit of Pranab Mukherjee was, invariably by all the political parties except BJP, commented as contradictory to the lengthy political career and the stand taken by him. Though Pranab has held the prime position as the President of the country, discharging the responsibility without any political favour to any side; it is equally impressive that he hailed to the helm of office by his different functionary roles in Congress party. The tinge of Congressman in Pranab cannot be obliterated but it should be ensured such political tinge does not reflect in his decision making while holding the highest office of the country. Such functioning without any political tinge has to be explicitly known to the people of the country even after demitting the office of President of India.
In this background of functional tradition of the President’s position even after demitting it, the visit of the former President, Pranab Mukherjee to RSS headquarters assumed significance. It is a well-known fact that RSS is an organization which was banned three times in Independent India. During the announcements of the ban on RSS, its enforcement and subsequent lifting of ban, the Congress party was ruling at the centre. Both on the ideological front and on the activity side both Congress Party and RSS are opposite poles altogether; so also the political relationship between the prime leaders of both the organizations. RSS is an organization committed to the practice of Hindutva as the sole indigenous belief of the country. Congress Party is wedded to the prevalence of many religious beliefs in the country in a harmonious way, with the State, distancing itself from the activities of any particular religion. In that sense Congress Party is committed to secular principles as per the Constitution of the country. On the action front, RSS is not a political party but it is the ideologue behind the functioning of BJP. RSS discharges its political agenda through its extended organizational arm, BJP. Congress Party declares explicitly its political functional nature both in British India and free India. The visit of Pranab to the headquarters of RSS, Nagpur was criticised by many frontline leaders of the Congress party. The top brass Congress kept mum, it has to be construed negatively in favour of its functionaries. The comments, passed by the present top brass against RSS and its principle of Hindutva with its monoculture agenda in recent times heavily would reveal the exact meaning of the mum of the top brass.
The text of the speech, delivered by Pranab was well planned and prepared; and presented well on the scheduled day. Content wise the speech reflected the ideology for which Congress party has also been proclaiming that it strives for. The agenda of RSS has nothing to do with the contents of Pranab’s address at its headquarters. How best the visit of Pranab to Nagpur and his presence at RSS headquarters addressing to the trainees could be capitalised in the background of many events wherein M.K. Gandhi, and other prominent personalities addressed the cadres of RSS in the past.
The contents of the speech, delivered by those leaders are conveniently forgotten by people, to say more, made to be forgotten by RSS. If at all anything revealed partially in their speech content, they are more like words out of context or reading in between the lines, but on any account favouring the stand of RSS. Only the visits of such great leaders to RSS event were focussed by RSS at present to accomplish the idealism of Hindutva for its propaganda. The visit of Pranab to Nagpur would also be projected by RSS in future the prelude of it was uttered as ‘a significant event in our country’s contemporary history’ by the senior leader of BJP and hard core RSS ideologue, L.K. Advani. With all the contemporary criticisms made in media and amidst mass, a feather to the RSS cap has been added through the visit of Pranab and in that prime purpose RSS has pocketed its ball very correctly. Besides the prime agenda of RSS over Pranab’s visit, a bonus has been awarded to RSS, of course meticulously by Pranab. The words of Mihir S. Sharma in ‘Postcards from Nagpur’ (Business Standard – 9th June 2018) will amply prove the bonus awarded to RSS by Pranab.
“Must obviously Pranab Mukherjee wrote in the RSS visitor book that he had come to ‘honour’ the RSS’ founder – a man who had uncompromisingly illiberal views that have no place in modern India – as a ‘great son of mother India’. It is true that Keshav Baliram Hedgewar was not, say, an admirer of the Nazis in the manner of his successor. Yet he was clear that Indian Muslims are ‘foreign snakes’, and his attitude to Indian nationalism was nothing if not ambiguous given that he kept the RSS carefully out of the Gandhi – led freedom movement. The India that Hedgewar is a ‘great son’ of is not the India that Mukherjee described in his speech.”
The writings of Pranab about RSS’ founder K.B. Hedgewar in the visitors’ book will be a value addition to the projection of Pranab’s Nagpur visit by RSS in future. The praiseworthy wordings recorded by Pranab will remain a valuable certificate to RSS, nullifying the effects of the contents of his speech about modern India, which is unnecessarily appreciated even by Congressmen positively.
More than all these intricacies associated with Pranab’s Nagpur visit, the track record in favour of Hindutva during his Presidential term remains very relevant for RSS.
At the fag end of his tenure at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi, Pranab Mukherjee who had to be neutral to all religions of the country, showed his special affinity to Hinduism and to then Hindu Mutt head, at Kancheepuram who happened to be the lobbyist of Hindutva. Pranab Mukherjee paid an exclusive visit to Kancheepuram to meet the Mutt head, the Late Jayendra Saraswathi, without any other agenda related to President’s Office. No protocol was observed for his visit to Kancheepuram as President of India. The visit was purely personal when Pranab held the highest office of the country as the first citizen. Who is supreme, Mutt head, the advocacy of Hindutva or President of India? What message did the visit convey to the entire citizens? RSS understood the message very aptly and accomplished its agenda by inviting Pranab Mukherjee, to visit RSS’ headquarters and address its cadres. When will the rest of country understand the message?