ISSN 2371-350X

RSS Single dream of One Nation, Free of the Caste System

By

Siddhartha Rastogi

 

“When I visited the RSS Camp, I was very much surprised by your discipline and absence of untouchablity”

 

These words were spoken by Mahatma Gandhi on his visit to the RSS Camp at Wardha, Maharashtra, in 1934. He was astonished by the discipline and absence of untouchability in the RSS camp, where Swayamsevaks (volunteers of RSS) walked and ate together irrespective of the caste or creed they belong to. (Ref: Dr.Hedgewar – The Epoch Maker)

 

“This is the first time that I am visiting the camp of Sangh volunteers. I am happy to find absolute equality between Savarniyas and Harijans without any one being aware of such difference existing.”

Words of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar during his visit to the RSS camp at Pune in 1939. (Ref: Dr.Hedgewar – Seer Patriot and Nation Builder)

 

Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar– The founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) always believed that there are neither “touchables” nor “untouchables”, but only Hindus. He formed RSS on four basic principles.

 

“Shakha” – Enabling Self-Organization of Society: He mandated a dedicated one hour every day from people, who wish to contribute towards nation building and society.

 

Creating a Hindu Identity over Caste Identity: Hinduism is not a religion, it’s not a cult, and it’s a way of life. The Hindu way of life is not an organized belief system with dos and don’ts, but a science of salvation. To be a Hindu, you don’t need a certificate or to recite any verse. You need not believe in any particular God or book. You simply have to be honest to yourself. Hinduism firmly believes that each of us are born different and each one of us have the right to connect with our deity or universe or god, the way we choose and hence we have over 22 million gods and goddesses. Hinduism believes the way Bhakt (Worshipper) is, the same way his/ her Deity (Worshipped) is. For Radha, it’s Krishna, for Meera its Mohan.

 

Organization for Women on National Ideals: Dr.Hedgewar had very high respect for women. He believed that women can not only solve their problems but the issues of the society and country at large. Hence, they need to be empowered, educated and given tools to organize themselves in a group to achieve end result.

 

Shuddha Satvik Prem: The foundation of RSS was laid on a single unquestionable virtue of selfless love towards fellow volunteers. In RSS, he created a culture of no seniors and juniors only respect and care. Each member of RSS is only a sewak of Mother India.

 

In his book, Bunch of Thoughts, Madhav Sadashiv Gowalkar, second Sangh Sanchalak (Chief) of RSS mentioned seven kinds of communalism, one of them based on caste and creed. He articulated that the reason for degeneration of social structure is due to Varna Vyavastha (Caste system) which should be replaced by one’s Dharma, which includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and ‘right way of living’.

 

The reason why RSS allied themselves to the word Hindu is just because it represented the great vast of India spreading from Himalayas to Indian Ocean in the South.

 

As per Brihaspati Agama the word ‘Hindu’ is formed with the letter ‘Hi’ from the Himalayas and ‘Indu’ from Indu Sarovar (the Southern Ocean), conveying the entire stretch of India. Everyone residing in this part of land was called Hindu irrespective of the religion, caste or creed or color.

RSS thus has always advocated for One India, bringing national interest first above the state or regional interests, thereby giving freedom to think and act but joining hands whenever the country needs them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha Rastogi

Siddhartha was born to a learned middle class educated family in Semi Urban India. His father was an extremely honest man who because of his honesty had to pay the price in corporate world. Mother is a determined woman who ensured that children are being well taken care off. After a few years of birth, doctors called Siddhartha, a slow child having flat foot. He would fall more than he could walk. Determined mother ensured all therapies for her son to come out strong to fight the world. Siddhartha joined swimming when he was in 6th standard. Seeing other children of his class, he jumped in 10 feet deep pool and learnt swimming on his own, the very same day.

From that day there was no looking back. He topped his city in 12th and went to score highest in his B school exams. During his profession as banker, he became youngest branch manager of a MNC bank managing their biggest wealth branch in the country. There he found love of his life and got married. His love of his life emerged in the form of his daughter who completely changed him for good.

Siddhartha Rastogi is Director for a boutique Investment bank in India.

Siddhartha is a forward looking thinker & writer who has written a book on decision making. 8 Simple steps to effective decision making.

He writes on various social and current issues via his blog and can also be found on twitter.

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One Response to “RSS Single dream of One Nation, Free of the Caste System”

  1. Hello

    The above is an interesting exposition of the underlying philosophy of the RSS. This philosophy purports to uphold equality of all and harmony between all people. However, I would like to suggest that the history of the RSS, and its associated political parties like the BJP, do not practice what they preach. Unfortunately the RSS has promoted divisions along sectarian-religious lines within India, and does not represent the kind of society that Gandhi envisioned.

    A person is entitled to follow whatever religion they deem to be appropriate. You want to be Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Sikh – whatever you want, go for it. However, this is not a licence to discriminate against practitioners of other faith groups. The RSS has a long history of discriminating against the Muslim communities of India, promoting a sectarian political program that seeks to exclude Indians of Muslim background from the social and cultural life of the country.

    Gandhi himself sought one India, and was assassinated by a person who sought to sabotage talks between the Hindu Indian state and the Muslim Pakistani state. Indeed, the assassin of Gandhi was motivated largely by the philosophy of the RSS. Narendra Modi, current Prime Minister, is not only a lifelong RSS member, but is leader of the BJP. The latter has instigated anti-Muslim riots, sectarian pogroms and killings against the Indian Muslim community.

    When Modi was chief minister of Gujarat state in 2002, Modi helped incite a pogrom against Muslims that killed hundreds and displaced more than 200,000 in a campaign of ethnic cleansing. In Uttar Pradesh, the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots are another instance of ethno-religions separatism instigated by the exclusivist philosophy of the BJP and its political ally, the RSS.

    These riots and disturbances do not just appear out of nowhere. BJP state governments create a climate of hostility towards the Muslim communities, allowing the rightwing partisans of the RSS to do as they please. The BJP promotes a Hindu communalist version of India in its political outlook, buttressed by the Hindu supremacist vision of the RSS.

    Hope I was able to clarify my way of thinking.

    Thanks!

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