Tag Archives: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

Dr Hedgewar sowed the seeds of eternity for RSS

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has dominated the social scene in all spheres of life today. Its opponents are worried over its ever increasing strength and they miss no opportunity to malign its name and fame. But in spite of all their attempts to defame the organisation, this ‘Rashtra Shakti’ is on the rise complicating their worries. On the other hand, the nationalist forces are happy and assured at the bright future of the country with its growing strength. They are willing to join and cooperate the RSS or any of its social welfare activity, and contribute their might in the process of nation building.

It has been observed that the number of those willing to join the RSS on internet was 1000 per month in 2012. It increased to 2500 per month in 2013 and 9000 in 2014! This is sufficient to indicate the growth of RSS. The secret of this growth lies in the pure national outlook of RSS and a chain of selfless, devoted, dedicated and committed workers.

While this huge Banyan tree, called RSS, is touching new heights, its roots are penetrating deeper and deeper searching new sources of the elixir of life. The very idea about the seed of such a huge Banyan tree enthuse our minds. It was Dr Hedgewar whose 125th birth anniversary coincides this year’s ‘Varsh Pratipada’. How was that seed?

Born on the auspicious occasion of Varsh Pratipada (April 1, 1889) Keshav Baliram Hedgewar was a born patriot. He came from an orthodox Brahmin family, which had no connection with the freedom struggle nor was there any major movement for freedom in the Central Provinces then. But the spark of freedom burnt in the heart of young Keshav and his heart throbbed for freedom. This urge of freedom became visible through many incidents of his childhood days. Noteworthy amongst them were throwing away the sweet box distributed to the students on diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria; or refusing to go for enjoying lighting and decoration on the government buildings to commemorate the arrival of George Vth in India, and many more such examples.

Young Keshav was the mastermind of ripping through the infamous Risley Circular that prohibited the singing of Vande Mataram in 1907 against the background of “Bang-Bhang” movement. When the School Inspector entered a classroom he was greeted with a shout of “Vande Mataram”. Obviously, Keshav was the inspiration of this protest. He opted for Calcutta to pursue his studies in Medicine as Calcutta happened to be the core centre of revolutionary activities then. He joined the Anusheelan Samiti, the topmost revolutionary outfit, and soon admitted to its inner most circles. After completing his medical studies and obtaining licence to practice, he came back to Nagpur but did not get involved in practice nor did he think for entering into a married life. His life aim was to free the motherland and he plunged into the freedom struggle then.

Dr. Hedgewar was entrusted with the responsibility of a volunteer corps of 1920 Congress Session in Nagpur. He raised the volunteer force of 1200 for it. Besides, he proposed two resolutions to the Draft Committee. One of them was related to full freedom of India. And the other was freeing other countries of the world from the clutches of imperialism. However, these resolutions could not see the light of the day. But when Congress passed a resolution of full freedom in 1930, Dr Hedgewar wrote to all the RSS Shakhas to congratulate the Congress. This showed his all encompassing vision.

Despite his differences he was of the opinion that all should join hands to throw off the shackles of slavery without weakening the movement. Due to this thinking he did not express his displeasure on Congress support to ‘Khilafat’ Movement, though he had differences with Mahatma Gandhi on this issue. He participated under the leadership of Gandhi in the non-cooperation movement and suffered jail term.

To achieve Independence is very important for any society but to create a society infused with national values, ethos and character to uphold and protect the freedom was more necessary and fundamental. Dr Hedgewar realised this and decided to start the RSS in 1925. He mingled with the youths and led them by his example through the technique of daily shakha, which happens to be real forte of RSS. Worship of strength, collectivism, discipline, patriotism, national pride and love and compassion for entire society and work selflessly for the society with full dedication were some of the virtues he wanted to inject and infuse into the Hindu society through the technique of daily shakha. Traversing the entire country in spite of his falling health, he succeeded in spreading the countrywide network of RSS in the short span of 15 years.

He did not have slightest of hesitation to use modern means to obtain desired results even though he had deep faith in our age-old culture and traditions. He always used to project his comrades to the forefront of the work and it was this style of his that laid a very strong, unshakable foundation of the RSS.

He not only kept in touch with various movements in the society aimed at Independence of the country even after he founded the RSS, but he also participated in them. In 1930, he participated in Gandhi’s Civil Disobedience Movement and participated in ‘Jungle Satyagraha’ in Vidarbha and suffered a nine-month jail term at Akola. But he also took care of RSS and appointed Dr LW Paranjape, his close associate as Sarsanghachalak and made arrangements of senior swayamsevaks to look after the Sangh work. The society was then divided in Congress, Revolutionary, Tilakites, Gandhites, Hindu Mahasabhaites and so on. Dr Hedgewar kept himself aloof from all such fractions yet he had good cordial relations with all of them. He sailed the RSS through such turbulences like an expert captain.

He ensured that RSS does not become yet another organisation in the society. He developed RSS as an organisation of the entire society. He introduced the tradition of ‘Guru Dakshina’ to make RSS self-reliant and self-sufficient. He placed the traditional ‘Bhagwa Dhwaj’, a symbol of dedication, renunciation, and selfless service, as the ideal ‘guru’. He was against projecting any individual as “guru” because he was aware of the shortcomings of an individual. That is why the RSS work is spreading to new areas and constituencies even after nine decades without diversions.

Dr Hedgewar was free from the ego of being the founder of RSS. Though he agreed to be Sarsanghachalak on the requests of his colleagues in 1929, he expressed his mind in 1933 meeting of the Sanghachalaks thus:
“I am fully aware of the fact that I am not the father or founder of the RSS; I am only performing the duties of a foster-mother of RSS as per your wish and would continue to do this so long as you wish and desire.

I would not care for any difficulty, problem or insult, etc. “Whenever you feel that RSS is suffering owing to my incompatibility you are free to appoint any proper and competent person to the post. I will owe my allegiance to the new incumbent and work as a devoted swayamsevak as happily as I have opted to work as per your order. For me personality does not matter. It is the mission of Sangh that matters, therefore, I would not hesitate to do any work in the interest of the Sangh”.

These thoughts of RSS founder Dr Hedgewar throw sufficient light on his unattached attitude and dedicated personality.

Dr Hedgewar introduced common uniform, route march, band, military drill, camps etc. to inculcate virtues like collective discipline, and rising above the self attitude amongst the swayamsevaks.

This was a very revolutionary and radical thought considering the social condition of his time. He did not give much importance to criticism against RSS, avoided debates and discussions and insisted on established cordial relations even with his opponents.

He followed the Sanskrit dictum that said ‘avoid debate’ and ‘sans opposition from all’. He remained firm in praise and criticism. Nothing could dislodge or dissociate him from his chosen path. He would accept the praise as inspiration to speed up Sangh work and criticism as ignorance of the critics.

In 1936, Shankaracharya Vidyashankar Bharati honoured him with the title of “Rashtra Senapati”. This news got wide publicity and letters started pouring in. But he directed all the swayamsevaks to refrain from using this honorary title as this would be in contrast with our nature. He even discouraged those who wanted to write his biography. “The nation first” attitude he created thus in the RSS.

He would teach not with words but with actions. He used to say that people would judge and like the RSS as they experience the RSS and not by publicity. We have sown the seed, now without discussing or publicising it we should work for nurturing it. The fruits would make the identity of the person who had sown the seeds known.

Therefore, even after his death, in spite of the difficulties, upheavals in national life, the RSS is marching on its chartered course undisturbed, unfazed encompassing the entire society. This success story of RSS is in fact the success story of Doctor Hedgewar’s dedicated, epoch-making, and meaningful life as an organiser par excellence.

Dr Manmohan Vaidya (The writer is Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh of RSS)

Advertisements

Justice K.T Thomas – “RSS Not Responsible for Gandhiji’s assasination”

 

 

Also read short Report in Indian Express

August 2nd, 2011 : Former Supreme Court judge K T Thomas praised the RSS for its discipline and said the propaganda that the organisation is anti-minority is “baseless”.

Speaking at a function here,attended by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat,he also said the “smear campaign” against the RSS that it was responsible for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi must end.

“There is a smear campaign that RSS was responsible for Gandhi’s assassination just because the assassin was once an RSS worker,” he said,adding that the organisation had been “completely exonerated” by the court. “This smear campaign must end against RSS,” he said.

“Can the entire Sikh community be responsible for Indira Gandhi’’s assassination,” Thomas asked.

“I am a Christian. I was born as a Christian and practise that religion. I am a church-going Christian. But I have also learnt many things about RSS,” he said.

He said he became an admirer of the RSS in 1979 when he was posted as district judge of Kozhikode,adding that simple living and high thinking was its hallmark.

During the Emergency,RSS was the only non-political organisation which fought against it,he said. “We owe very much to RSS for sacrificing many lives for regaining our fundamental rights,” said Thomas.

“The propaganda that RSS is anti-minority is also baseless,” he said,adding that he is a great admirer of the organisation as it gives importance to discipline.

Guruji, a drasta, not a prophet – S. Gurumurthy

  • Introduction

    A series of thought provoking and profound articles titled Sri Guruji: A Drishta authored by Sri S Gurumurthy begins in Organiser from this week. The author had originally written on this subject as a long introduction to a book titled Reminiscences of Sri Guruji by Sri K Suryanarayana Rao, a veteran RSS worker, who has intense experience of and with Sri Guruji. The introduction of the author to the book on Guruji is being rewritten and serialised by the author specially for Organiser.

    In his articles, the author studies, investigates, analyses and the far-reaching thoughts and expositions of MS Golwalkar, the second Sarsanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on the philosophical and ideological foundations of Hindu Nation and the unified but diversified cultural ethos of the Hindu society. The author explains how Golwalkar’s thoughts and expositions, heavily questioned and harshly criticised in his lifetime, have been validated and vindicated long after he had given expression to them. Madhav Sadhashiv Golwalkar, affectionately called by his students in Benaras Hindu University as “Guruji’ – which name later stuck to him for life – laid the ideological foundations of the RSS and, by silent and sustained work, built it into a mighty socio-cultural, national movement under his leadership spanning over three decades.

    He led the organisation through the pre and post Partition days, the most turbulent time in the recent history of India and also of the RSS. Post Partition, the most popular and powerful leadership of post Independent India, that had inherited the entire goodwill of the freedom movement, used that power and influence and banned the RSS on false and malicious charges that were later established to be fake and attempted to wipe it out. But the attempt failed and the RSS emerged out of the ordeal without blemish and became more and more powerful to finally emerge as the most powerful organisation in the country. How Guruji led the RSS at that critical time is a profound lesson and unprecedented example of outstanding leadership in crisis. And how the swayamsevaks, inspired and led by him, faced the onslaught of the pre-constitutional Indian government, that had no constitutional injunctions against use of state power, is story of high risk, sacrifices and courage for the RSS itself and the organisations inspired by it to study, imbibe and emulate in future. Guruji established the basic truth that, when everything goes against, an organisation sails through the crisis aided only by unwavering conviction in its foundational thoughts.

    In the upcoming series, the author brilliantly and with illustrations, explains how, like all saints and seers spoke ahead of time, Guruji also looked beyond his times and at the future of India and the world, while placing his profound thoughts before their times had arrived. In his mission to keep the profound thoughts and the mission based on them alive through the complex and turbulent times, Sri Guruji repeatedly transcended the compulsions, the complexities and the arresting influences of the context in which he lived. The author explains how Guruji voluntarily, and even gladly, risked being misunderstood and faced unpopularity repeatedly tell the unpleasant truth contrary to the main and but superficial discourse of the day, to keep alive the foundational truths about this ancient nation deep in the inner consciousness of the people of the country.

    The author draws a parallel between the dissent of Guruji to the main discourse of his times and the dissenting views against the majority judgement in judicial cases. Comparing Guruji’s dissent to the ruling ideas of his times to dissent by a judge in judicial proceedings differing from the majority judgement, the author says like the dissent by a judge in a judicial case is regarded as an appeal by the dissenting judge to the future conscience of the judiciary, the dissenting expressions of Guruji was an appeal to the future conscience of the people of India. The author quotes judicial authority that describes the philosophy of dissenting judgements thus: “A dissent … is an appeal to the brooding spirit of the law, to the intelligence of a future day, when a later decision may possibly correct the error into which the dissenting judge believes the court to have been betrayed.” The author says that it was in this spirit that Guruji, while keeping alive the fundamentals of this ancient nation in his times and through his thoughts and expositions, was making an appeal to the future conscience of the people and the leadership of India in various walks of life.

    Who is a Hindu?

    Both Indian and Western commentators tend to use such terms as “militant Hinduism”, “Hindu fundamentalism”, “religious revivalism”, or “reactionary Hinduism” to describe the ideology of the (RSS) movement, although these terms may seem inappropriate category for the study of Hindu religious phenomena. Hinduism is without foundation texts, defined dogmas, and institutional structures that are characteristic of most varieties of fundamentalism in other belief systems. This point of view finds frequent expression in modern Indian thinking, with emphasis on Hindu view of life as grounded in a spiritual experience that is essentially rational and humanistic.”

    Resembles the speeches delivered decades ago by Guruji Golwalkar among his followers? Yes, it is Golwalkar’s thoughts. But not his words. Now go further.

    “No precise meaning can be ascribed to the terms ‘Hindu’, ‘Hindutva’ and ‘Hinduism’ and no meaning in the abstract can confine it to the narrow limits of religion alone, excluding the content of Indian culture and heritage”; “Ordinarily, Hindutva is understood as a way of life or a state of mind and is not to be equated with or understood as religious Hinduism.”

    Rings like Guruji’s words uttered somewhere some half a century ago? Yes, it is his views. But not his words.

    Neither of the two quotes are in Guruji’s words. But both carry Guruji’s thoughts. These views were expressed long after—actually three decades—after Guruji passed and several decades before that Guruji had expressed these very thoughts.

    Fundamentalism Project in US agrees with Guruji decades later

    The first quote, which contains Guruji’s thoughts but not in his words, is that what the editors of the five volume Fundamentalism Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences involving international group of scholars had approvingly allowed. It is an extract from the essay “The functioning of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh: To Define the Hindu Nation” by Ainslee T Embree. Embree’s essay is contained (at pages 618-619) in the book titled Accounting for Fundamentalisms: Dynamic Character of the Movements, p.617-52, Volume 4 Fundamentalism Project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Chicago University Press ISBN: 0-226-50885-4). This book is the fourth of the mammoth five-volume research work on the emerging phenomenon of religious fundamentalism produced by the authors of the Fundamentalism Project in 1995, more than two decades after Guruji had passed away. The author has independently evaluated the ideological premises of the RSS – read Guruji’s thoughts – and accepted his thoughts almost in the very words Guruji had uttered them.

    When the Fundamentalism Project says that “to use such terms as “militant Hinduism”, “Hindu fundamentalism”, “religious revivalism”, or “reactionary Hinduism” to describe the ideology of the (RSS) movement, although these terms may seem inappropriate category for the study of Hindu religious phenomena” it is only repeating what Guruji had said decades earlier. Guruji had also pointed out the difference between rejuvenated Hinduism and reactionary Hinduism and explained how rejuvenation of Hinduism is wrongly labelled as “revivalism” and “reactionary”. Guruji had been consistently and with mathematical precision, articulating the difference between “positive” Hinduism and “negative” or “reactionary Hinduism”. By taking the most sensitive issue of cow slaughter as an example Guruji says that while reinstating faith among Hindus in cow protection is positive Hinduism, the views of those Hindus who had opposed cow slaughter not because of love of cow, but because Muslims kill them constituted “reactionary” and “negative” Hinduism (Bunch of Thoughts (p. 70) Book comprising the speeches of Guruji given over decades compiled in 1960 and printed and published as the first edition 1966: publishers: Jagarana Prakashana; Kempegowda Nagar; Bengaluru-560019). More on the Fundamentalism Project and how their view agrees and approves of Guruji’s thoughts in the later parts of the series.

    Supreme Court approves of Guruji’s views on Hinduism half a century later

    The second quotes are from the judgement of the Supreme Court (in RY Prabhoo Vs PK Kunte AIR 1996 Sc 1113 is now popularly known as the Hindutva case). In that case, Supreme Court was called upon to consider whether ideology of Hindutva was communal. Guruji had always referred to Hinduism as an “all embracing” “way of life” of the people of this country and “not (a) narrow religion” (p72/137); he also used to refer to it as Hindu culture (p51/p78). The Supreme Court, decades later, came to acquire the same view that Hinduism “may broadly be described as a way of life and nothing more” and “in fact it does not satisfy the narrow traditional features of any religion or creed.” (Hindutva case p.1127). The Court also said the terms ‘Hindutva’ or ‘Hinduism’ may be to promote secularism or to emphasise the way of life of the Indian people and the Indian culture or ethos” (Hindutva case p.1132). So, word for word what Guruji had been saying for decades earlier the Supreme Court agreed with the views of Guruji.

    Now look at the chronology. The first Volume of the Fundamentalism Project came out in 1991; and the last and the fifth Volume, in 1995; the fourth Volume, which is cited here, came out in 1994. The Supreme Court judgement on Hindutva came out in 1995. Guruji who became the Sarsanghachalak of the RSS in the year 1940 passed away in the year 1973. It means that Guruji, who was articulating the RSS ideology since 1940 for 33 years till the end of his life in 1973, more than two decades before the Fundamentalism Project volumes and the Supreme Court judgment were out. And yet the thoughts and expressions of Guruji which were mindlessly, and at times maliciously, criticised were endorsed by the Fundamentalism Project and by the Supreme Court. So what Guruji spoke decades earlier was not only in tune with the intellectual, cultural and religious analysis of Hinduism contained in the Fundamentalism Project of 1990s but also consistent with the secular constitutional perspective of the Supreme Court regarding Hindutva. When Guruji spoke that what he did, his views were criticised as anti-secular and communal. But the very views of Guruji were later accepted and endorsed by intellectual appraisal by the Fundamentalism Project and legal scrutiny by the Supreme Court. It only means that what Guruji spoke was ahead of his time.

    These are just illustrations to show how Guruji’s thoughts unacceptable then became acceptable later. The later parts of this series will more exhaustively deal with how Guruji’s views on various subjects have been vindicated by time. But before that serious exercise begins, here is a background of Guruji to those uninitiated about him.

    Guruji – a spiritualist who subsumed himself and his self for the nation

    Guruji became the second Sarsanghachalak of the RSS an original, but less understood and mostly unfairly judged, man-making and nation-building movement founded by Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, who chose Golwalkar as his successor. Guruji, a spiritualist by nature, training and temper, was a disciple of Swami Akhandananda, a direct initiate of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Guruji, an intelligent young man, matured into a towering intellectual who subsumed, like all saints in the Indian tradition, his total self in building the RSS. The spiritual dimension of Guruji that lay hidden deep in him perhaps subtly influenced his thought and action.

    This spiritual element in him seems to have enabled Guruji to defy and overcome the arresting and compelling influence of the contemporary times, vault over the current issues, look at the future transcending and overcoming the excruciating pain of ignoring, context from that vantage point and appeal to the conscience of the people and the nation. That is why many who knew him regard him as Drishta – a Seer. As the second Sarsanghachalak of RSS from 1940 till 1973 when he breathed his last, Guruji led the RSS for 33 years. He relentlessly expounded the ancient Hindu philosophy and way of life, not merely in the context of his times, but with a vision of the future. He ceaselessly toured different parts of the country year after year, met people, shared his thoughts with them and built arguably the strongest grass-root organisation in the world. The intellectual and moral courage implicit in his articulation and the clarity with which he expounded his ideas, are legendary. Even those, who questioned Guruji’s thoughts in his lifetime and later, could not deny the courage of his conviction and sincerity of his purpose. Guruji assumed the leadership of the RSS in 1940 when the movement for Partition of India, that eventually succeeded, was assuming dangerous proportions. So some of his thoughts ought to be read in the context of the extreme heat that the movement for Partition had aroused.

    From those turbulent times, for over a quarter century after the country attained political freedom, Guruji had expressed his views with unwavering consistency on issues concerning the future of India though he spoke in contemporary conditions. A recall of what Guruji spoke in his lifetime in the light of later history brings out the fact that much of what Guruji spoke had had greater relevance to the future, though he spoke in the given context. While articulating his views, Guruji tended to defy the compulsions of the context and contemporary attractions of his times and placed before the people the eternal agenda of Hindu India. Guruji had shared his thoughts with the people of India for over three decades as the head of the RSS and it is almost four decades since he passed away. But his work did not end with him; it continues through the RSS, which he had shaped into a mighty influence over the society. He has left behind a vast and trained human asset of high quality, which renews itself through the very work of the RSS. This quality human resource carries on his work.

    Guruji – not a Prophet but a drishta (seer)

    But Guruji was not a Prophet. He did not prophesy. In fact, the Hindu tradition does not recognise or believe in any Prophet or prophesy. Hinduism does not postulate prophesies. Prophets in other traditions discover the what they regard as the only true religion and God and prescribe them to their followers and equally mandate that all other religions and Gods are false. The truth propounded by a Prophet becomes the final and the only truth. This applies to all monotheistic faiths which are explained in detail in the parts that follow. But Hinduism is founded on the basis that the ultimate truth is one but sages view and describe it differently. Therefore there is nothing like one way of worship being true and others false or some God being true and other Gods false. Hindus therefore believe that great seers come and guide the people from time to time and the tradition of seers continue as an unending stream. So, no one’s thought is the final prophesy or valid for all times as in the case of faiths propounded by prophets. Hinduism is not propounded by any person. Sages and seers expound the principles of Hinduism. Hinduism believes that if people persist with following the thoughts of the past beyond their period of validity, they will be frozen in the past and rejected by the course of history; else, they will cause immense violence and harm to the society and to the world at large as different dogmatic faiths and prophesies have done. So before accepting what a seer had said in the past for guidance in future, Hindus understand that the seer’s role is a chapter in the continuing tradition of great men born from time to time to guide the people. So Hinduism rejects the very notion of prophesy and prophets, understands only Drishta.

    The first test to know whether one is a Drishta – seer – is to know whether one’s thoughts are just contextual, namely to satisfy the contextual needs and demands or to win the approbation of the people in his times or for power or whether he spoke detached from the contemporary situation with the future in vision. The crucial test is whether one has defied the compulsions of the present and willingly courted unpopularity to stand by and tell the truth. And the ultimate test is whether the future has validated those thoughts. The heart of the analysis here is whether Guruji’s thoughts spoken over half a century ago were expressed with the future in mind or the context as the compulsion and whether they have been validated or rejected by history after him. The parts that follow this part probe into the thoughts and sayings of Guruji. The probe ultimately establishes that Guruji was a Drishta who transcended the context and its compulsions and limitations and rose to a vantage point from which he could see into the future. In the process what he spoke then was unacceptable and unpopular then but became later as the time for his thoughts expressed ahead of time arrived.

    The endorsement of Guruji’s views on ‘Hinduism’ and ‘Hindutva’ by the Fundamentalism Project and Hindutva case are just two illustrations that whet appetite of the readers for the highly interesting and informative fare that this series unfolds on how history has repeatedly validated Guruji. The two examples establish how Guruji’s thoughts dismissed by the establishment in his times became accepted later by the course and force of history. Fundamentalism Project and Hindutva judgements are not literary works. They are the outcome of historical developments after Guruji. Here is the background of how these two historical developments had occurred, which will show that Guruji’s thoughts were validated by what history unfolded after him.

    Historic drive behind Fundamentalism project

    Even though “fundamentalism” – where religion overrides science – has been in public discourse for decades, it was only in 1987 that a study on fundamentalism by global scholars was instituted by the American Academy of Social Sciences. The fundamentalism project was the response of the Western – read Christian – scholarship to the movement of history and the outcome of the West-driven global historical process. This study was no accident. It was compulsion of history. The rise of militant Islam and a resurgent church, both contrived by the West to counter communism, had weakened the “secularisation theory” that evolved in the West in 1950s and 1960s. The theory had prophesied that the more westernised a traditional society became, the less religious it would become, and modernity would have the last laugh and tradition, its last breath. The modernisation process opened before the US the possibility of drawing the Middle East Islamic nations into its orbit and away from the Soviet’s.

    But the secularisation theory received a huge setback in 1979, six years after Guruji had passed away. Three historic developments took place in the same year – the Iranian Revolution, the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and a Cardinal from Communist Poland becoming the Pope, John Paul II. The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan forced the US to legitimise, promote and weaponise Jihadi forces, the likes of Taliban. The Iranian Revolution triggered robust bottom-upward Islamisation campaign all over world. Pope John Paul II criss-crossed the world tirelessly, drew large crowds of young people everywhere, particularly Europe. In this historic process, the Pope dynamited the communist rule in Poland which eventually brought down communism; the Islamisation tsunami initiated by Iranian Revolution swept across the Muslims world; the Jihadis’ victory over the Soviets in Afghanistan legitimised the concept and forces of Jihad; and political Islam began rising with the support of the West. These historic developments forced the West study the meaning of, and respond to, these historic developments which challenged the secularisation theory.
    The core thesis of the study was that reaction among adherents of different religions to globalisation of Western modernity constituted “fundamentalism”, thus substituting ‘modernity’ for ‘science’ as conflicting with religion. It was while analysing Hinduism and the ideology of RSS as part of their work, that the project scholars concurred with the views of Guruji, but in their own words thus: terms like “militant Hinduism”, “Hindu fundamentalism”, “religious revivalism”, or “reactionary Hinduism” used to describe the ideology of the (RSS) movement ‘seem inappropriate’ for ‘Hindu religious phenomena.’ And being ‘without foundation texts, defined dogmas, and institutional structures’ like in most varieties of fundamentalism in other belief systems, according to modern Hindu scholars, the Hindu view of life is grounded in ‘spiritual experience that is essentially rational and humanistic.’

    Undeniably, it was the historic developments studied by the fundamentalism project, not anyone’s opinion, that validated Guruji’s view that Hinduism was different from other religions. But, decades ahead of the fundamentalism study, Guruji had distinguished Hinduism from the dogmatic faiths. The fundamentalism project, after studying the features of the monotheistic faiths and their conflict within and with secularism, had to distinguish Hinduism from them, which Guruji had done decades earlier. More on Fundamentalism Project, Guruji and RSS later.

    Historic background to the Hindutva case

    The Hindutva case was not a bipartite litigation between two parties as litigations normally are. It represented an ideological clash between two conflicting thoughts. One was the establishment view articulated by Pandit Nehru, which regarded Hinduism as just a religion like the monotheistic faiths which clashed with one another and also with secular rule. The other was the RSS view articulated by Guruji that the inclusive Hinduism was never, and would never be, in conflict with any religion or with secularism as it was superior to secularism, since it accepted all faiths and not negated any. But, how did this case of clashing ideologies land in the Supreme Court? The Hindutva case was the product of Ayodhya movement, which had originally targeted to build a temple for Sri Ram at his Janmasthan on which a mosque that was dysfunctional for decades stood. But gradually, the Ayodhya movement evolved as the response of the people and the forces of history to minority appeasement and other pseudo-secular distortions in Indian polity. The hitherto unchallenged idea of minorityism as equal to secularism was challenged by the movement. Hindutva or Hindu cultural nationalism emerged as the antidote for pseudo-secularism. The Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena, which had adopted Hindutva as their ideology were targeted as fundamentalist, communal and unsecular. Therefore, the election of some of their candidates was challenged on the ground that the concept of Hindutva was anti-secular and therefore constituted communal appeal for votes.

    The establishment view had contended that Hindutva was just a religion and communal idea and that was countered by the other view, articulated for decades and decades ago by Guruji, that Hindutva was an all inclusive concept and way of life of Indians, not a narrow religion, nor opposed to other religions, or to secularism. The Supreme Court accepted the latter view, that of Guruji, by an appraisal of the concepts of Hinduism and Hindutva. So it is again the course and force of history, which have established the truth of views of Guruji on Hindu cultural nationalism represented by Hindutva.

    Series unfolds the historic forces that validated Guruji’s thoughts Beginning with the two illustrations of Fundamentalism project and the Hindutva ruling, the series discovers several such illustrations and unfolds how Guruji’s views on different subjects have been vindicated by historic forces and how Guruji was ahead of time. Based on research and analysis, the series presents how Guruji’s thoughts were validated by time and brings out:

    How historical accounts always proved, and as the Supreme Court of India later affirmed, Guruji’s view that minorities of India were always part of the mother Hindu society and culture;

    How Guruji’s perception that all people of Bharatavarsha and Bharatakhanda have common culture and traditions have been accepted and endorsed even by Pakistan government later;

    How precisely as Guruji had warned against disregarding and weakening the core culture in the name of composite culture or multiculturalism there is growing realisation in the West that shift to multiculturalism has weakened the core societies and core cultures in US-West;

    How Guruji’s views on cultural nationalism objected to by Westernised thinkers as illiberal in his times are re-appearing in the West as the corrective to multiculturalism;

    How Guruji’s enunciation of the concept of assimilation of minorities into the mainstream or core society is now viewed by Western thinkers positively as being inevitable to avoid societal and national disintegration and violence;

    How, as Guruji had warned against, the ambivalence in cultural nationalism confuses the West promotes multiculturalism which is destabilising societies;

    How Samuel Huntington’s “No” to multiculturalism echoes that what Guruji had said decades earlier;

    How Guruji’s insistence on cultural nationalism as the bulwark against cultural decline and national chaos, is now proved by Western experience;

    How Guruji’s warning that minority appeasement would promote minority separatism has now become a national and also global concern;

    How Guruji’s emphasis on the inevitability of culture and civilisation as essential identities for a people and nation is being validated by the emerging perception that unless such diverse identities are recognised, the world would slip into violence and disorder;

    How Guruji battled to save the nation, Hindu society and minorities by his formulation of majority-minority relations that transcended the contextual compulsions;

    How contrary to the popular notion, Guruji and Pandit Nehru had actually broadly agreed on cultural unity and minority assimilation, but differed only on applying the terminology ‘Hindu’ nation;

    How contrary to the popular view, there was complete convergence of views between Guruji and Gandhiji on cultural and civilisational unity and continuity of India and on assimilation of minorities;

    How Guruji’s untiring efforts to establish that “Dharma” was different from “religion” is now being accepted in public discourse;

    How Guruji views on “Dharma” as a trans-religious concept expressed decades years ago have been gradually accepted by the judiciary and in politics;

    How Guruji’s appeal to align the Anglo-Saxon structure of the Indian Constitution insensitive to the age-old culture of India with inclusive Hindu view of life is now becoming broadly accepted in judicial and public discourse;

    How Guruji adumbration of “the other mind of contemporary Indian leadership” is now the mainstream view according to the Fundamentalism Project;

    How Guruji has been proved right on the character of Islamists and of Pakistan as a state and on the situation prevailing in Pakistan;

    How Guruji was on the dot on the nature and emergence of China which was to happen a decade after his lifetime;

    How Guruji’s dissent against the establishment thinking of his time was an appeal to the brooding conscience of India and its validity is being recognised after him; and

    How, therefore, Guruji was a drishta, who saw and spoke ahead of his times and was validated by history after him.

    Yet, Guruji, whose views were validated after his lifetime, was criticised in his times, maliciously, as anti-secular and communal! And now in the weeks ahead follows detailed expositions on how the course of history, not just in India but all over the world, has validated Guruji’s thoughts.

    (The writer can be contacted at sgurumurthy@gmail.com)

    http://organiser.org/Encyc/2012/6/3/-b-Guruji–A–i-drishta–i–not-a-Prophet-III–b-.aspx