Friday, February 24, 2017
Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar founded Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on the day of Vijayadashami on 27 September 1925. When RSS was established its philosophy and aims were not precisely defined. As a majority of organisations founded at the time were focussed on achieving independence for India, the general perception at the time was that the RSS had the same aim. In a few years, the organisation grew, using the tool of emotional evocation. “Saffron flag is national flag,” and “Hindustan for Hindus” were the principles repeated in intellectual discussions of RSS.
After the death of Hedgewar, MS Golwalkar took charge of the organisation. Based on the speeches he delivered and the positions he propounded, Golwalkar wrote “Bunch of Thoughts” in 1966 -- a publication that is now sacred scripture for Swayamsevaks.
Golwalkar strongly opposed modernity and its values. “Bringing all mankind on one equal carnal level, abolishing their personal and common characteristics and aiming to establish society without government is completely contradictory to our tradition,” he said. This indicates that whatever is contradictory to Hindu tradition should not be accepted -- and has been a guiding principle for the RSS in the years to come.
Further, Golwalkar added that economic inequality is an integral part of Indian culture. For Golwalkar, social equality and justice that aim to bring humanity on an equal platform were condemnable ideals and goals.
In my understanding, when society is build on an unequal base, it is obvious that political power and means of production will be the private property of specific classes. To retain its superiority this class constantly and heavily extorts the common people In this type of society poor class of labourers and landless peasants becomes the slaves of the richer class.
When Golwalkar says people should retain their personal characteristics, what does he expect from these countless slaves?
Golwalkar advocates an unequal society as an integral part of Hindu culture, where “richness” is the characteristic of the rich classes, and “slavery” the characteristic of the poor. So, should today’s Indian society retain these characteristics? Should it advocate this world view?
Retaining personal characteristics is mainly a thought of personal development. But personal development cannot be possible in unequal economic conditions. In Golwalkar’s concept of retaining personal characteristic there is no scope for personal development.
Today we see,Indian society has become apostate. Shudras and labourers are leaving farming and entering politics -- traditionally the domain of Kshatriyas; Brahmans are manufacturing boots and sandals -- traditionally the domain of Shudras. In Golwalkar’s worldview, this is unacceptable. What this is happening is against Hindu lifestyle, he said.
Golwalkar says “The glorious tradition in which Vashishth, Vishwamitra, Chanakya,Vidyacharan, Samarth Ramdas were born and which blossomed because of Shriraam, Chandragupt, Krushnadevraay and Shivaji, We should revive it”. We should carefully inspect this tradition and note that in this so called glorious tradition there are no, Buddha, Mahavira, Charvaaka, Tukaram, Ashok, Akbar, he says.
The tradition which RSS proposes as tradition of India is actually a tradition of Brahmin superiority and to revive that tradition is the main agenda of RSS.
(The writer is a journalism student. This article appears in Young Citizen as an Opinion piece).