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Why such bias against Hindutva and the RSS?
Surprisingly, almost everyone who is not a BJP supporter, dislikes, even hates the RSS. There appears to be a natural antipathy. In the recent past, many friends and others I have known personally and many public figures, have not missed an opportunity to deride, criticize the RSS and to heap abuses and ridicule upon it.

Many of my friends whom I know extremely well and some who were in school with me; others whom I have met over the years and have been interacting with on a regular basis; all politicians including Shashi Tharoor, Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar and Mani Shankar Aiyar; Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghosh, Barkha Dutt, Arundhati Roy, Aruna Roy; the entire award wapsi team, in fact, the entire intelligentia 'hate club', not least the JNU faculty; historian Romila Thapar; foreign commentators and political analysts Christopher Jaffreylot and JA Curran, not to be outdone, have also joined issue! It is these so-called secularists and includes all shades of opinion, including most Muslims, together, V/s the RSS-BJP combine, its followers and well wishers, collectively referred to as the 'Hindutva brigade'!

The Hindutva brigade is also referred to as the saffron brigade. Anything the RSS might do is termed saffronisation, now a dirty word. Muslims operate madrassas where theology is taught. That is justified as the Quran says so; Christian schools operate Sunday schools and that is quite acceptable being a demand of Christianity; however, when the RSS operates schools for the marginalized, tribals and Hindus and Muslims alike, it is saffronisation. Logic!!!! Because Yogi Adityanath is the incumbent Chief Minister of UP, development promised by the Prime Minister in his pre-poll speeches will now be replaced by saffronisation.

The question arises as to what is secularism? Whereas the Oxford English dictionary stipulates secularism to be, 'no discrimination by the state against anybody in the name of religion', Shashi Tharoor believes that "secularism, as an Indian political idea had little to do with Western ideas privileging the temporal over the spiritual. Secular politics within the nationalist movement rejected the belief that religion was the most important element in shaping political identity. Indian secularism meant recognizing that India had a profusion of religions, none of which should be privileged by the state". Simply put, no individual or political party can be secular or non-secular, only the state can. Neither is the UPA secular, nor is the RSS-BJP combine non-secular. The Congress, however, is highly communal. From 1950 onwards when it first formed a government, it pitted the 2 communities......Hindus and Muslims.......against one another. It has been the 'state power' for over 50 years, since and reduced all non-Muslim communities to second class citizens. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on record having said that Muslims had first right on the country's resources!

The RSS on the other hand is a highly misunderstood organisation, though due to, perhaps it's own fault. None of its basic tenets, such as 'Hindu Rashtra' and cultural nationalism are read or understood. At the same time, no RSS literature advocates discrimination against minorities, nor the formation of a theocratic state. Moreover, it is not communal, as it believes in sarva dharma sambhava, that is respect for all religions, quite unlike Christianity and Islam, each professing to be 'the chosen one', while all others being non-believers, or worse, heretics.

The terms Hindu, Hinduism, Hindutva, Hindu Rashtra, cultural nationalism need to be properly understood, in context, before one may abuse, ridicule, reproach etcetera a philosophy which is not communal, is secular as in Indian parlance, which takes in account historical background, as well as the modern nation-state.

Incidentally, the RSS with a membership in lakhs, has 57,000 shakhas all over India. It runs thousands of schools and other projects for the marginalised, none of whom are discriminatedagainst on the basis of their creed or religion. It is also operating 3,000 ekal vidyalas in the Northeast, in the Imphal valley. The devastating flood in Kashmir, the Bhuj earthquake and others such natural calamities have been it's sphere of activity. It stands for Indian nationalism.

Last, but not the least, I am not a member of the RSS nor of the BJP.

(Source: Rakesh Sinha.....Indian Express, 24th March. Of swayamsewaks and intellectuals.)

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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