May 2, 2014

BJP will have a lot to thank RSS and Mohan Bhagwat for!

It’s like a holding company and its subsidiaries. Very often, the holding company asks its subsidiaries to run their business their way, and thus appoints CEOs, gives them targets and then does quarterly or annual reviews! In the same manner, RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) used to look at BJP as its subsidiary, even when BJP won elections the last time! At that time, BJP was more or less independent as RSS gave much autonomy, hoping that Vajpayee would stick to the principles of RSS. However, Vajpayee became more populist and RSS was not necessarily the most satisfied with him always. Insiders in RSS believe that BJP went out of power because RSS principles were not followed properly by Vajpayee. Despite that, RSS followed its style of looking at BJP as just another subsidiary and gave it reasonable autonomy.

In fact, the RSS has always called itself a social movement and never a political party. Its aim has been to build a robust, democratic and free India since 1925. It believes in the Hindu philosophy of inclusiveness, peace and tolerance. Although it has been called extremist – because of its Hindutva goals – what is appreciable is that it has never focussed on Hinduism as a religion. It’s not as if RSS members are asked to go to temples and pray, neither are meetings etcetera held in temple premises or with references to religion. RSS believes in spreading the philosophy of peaceful coexistence of Hinduism through a strong, disciplined, social organisation, which makes it clear that peace is a choice and not a compulsion out of fear. The Muslim Rashtriya Manch – a social arm of the RSS, which now has more than 10,000 members across the nation – is further evidence of the same. RSS’s history of social work and service has been acknowledged even by Nehru when he invited them to participate in the Republic Day Parade in recognition of their social service during the Sino-Indian war of 1962, and by Shastriji when he sought their help for controlling traffic in Delhi during the India Pakistan war of 1965 in order to free the police for defence duties.

Thus with a clear-cut goal of spreading the sparkling Hindu philosophy of universal peace through a strong India, and prosperity for all by economically uplifting the downtrodden, based upon the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family), RSS remained largely apolitical, despite an unparalleled grassroots support base of about 6 million social workers and members. However, having seen how its basic principles were compromised during the last stint of BJP, and realising that this is a great chance to come back to power, this time it seems that RSS has decided that it will definitely play the role of a guiding hand and help BJP not only come to power but also to stay focused, non-corrupt and disciplined. So if BJP comes to power, RSS has not only decided to have a team of 2000 key personnel guiding the government (and keeping the governance clean, non-corrupt, sacrifice-oriented and greed-free, as per RSS philosophy), it has also already assigned them strategic duties in order to see to it that a BJP victory is ensured this time.

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