Indian RSS’s Hindutva operations and Hindu readiness for conversions in Gujarat!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
Today, India is literally controlled by RSS which has closely knit links with almost every political outfit in the country, particularly the ruling Hindutva BJP and former rulers of pseudo secular parties like Congress party. In fact, all these parties helped the RSS to grow in size and political strength. The Congress government which ruled the country mainly thanks to with solid Muslim vote banks that are controlled by paid Muslims leaders. The close nexus between RSS, Congress, BJP and Muslim leaders got exposed in the ghastly demolition of the historic Babri Mosque in UP. Congress and BJP play hidden roles against Muslims and Islam- and against truth.
The RSS leadership and BJP HQ are deeply worried that 1,735 Hindus applied officially to Gujarat government, now controlled exclusively by BJP as the most dominant and ruling party in the state, for conversion in 5 years.
The Hindutva worry is real as against all strenuous effort to convert Muslims and Christian into Hindu religion at least as a mere formality, the conversion activities are happening in the reverse gear. They are concerned if their Ghar wapsi movement has backfired and terrified even the Hindus.
As many as 1,735 Hindus in Gujarat sought state government’s permission to convert to another religion in the last five years, Chief Minister Anandiben Patel told the Legislative Assembly here on March 16. Chief Minister, who also handles the state Home department, also informed the House that total 1,838 people from different parts of the state had applied for conversion in last five years. “Out of these, the Home Department gave its consent to 878 applicants of different religions during that period,” Patel added.
The Chief Minister was replying to a Congress MLA Tejashree Patel’s written query seeking details of applications received by the state Home Department from citizens, who wish to embrace another religion, in the last five years (till October 2015). Out of total 1,838 applicants, the highest number of applications- 1,735 – came from Hindus, followed by Muslims (57), Christians (42) and Parsis (4). No one from Sikh and Buddhist community applied for conversion during that period, Patel said in her written reply. Highest number of applications from Hindus were received from Surat district (515), followed by Rajkot (388) and Porbandar (325).
Talking to reporters after the session, the Congress MLA told reporters that government should form a committee to find out the reasons behind such a high number of Hindu applicants. “The state government should take this matter seriously and conduct a survey through a committee to find out why Hindus want to change their religion,” Tejashree said.
Newly-elected state BJP chief Vijay Rupani demanded that the state government should act tough against conversion activities in the state. “BJP firmly believes that religious conversion (of Hindus) must be stopped in the state. I request the government to take strict action against those who are involved in conversion activities,” said Rupani, who is also the Road Transport Minister in Gujarat Government.
Whether or not the RSS and “family” would accelerate the ‘Ghar wapsi’ public shows as a retort to anti-Hindutva mindset of Indian Hindus would depends on how seriously the RSS-BJP would view the anti-Hindutva trend. Hindus see the Hindutva approach an old barbarian and colonialist trend.
Meanwhile, members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will start wearing brown trousers from Vijaya Dashami this year. RSS Sanghchalak (Konkan region) Satish Modhi said the Sangh members would start wearing brown trousers in place of Khaki shorts from Vijaya Dashami, which falls in October. Khaki shorts, the trademark RSS dress for 91 years, are on their way out and making way for “modern” brown trousers as part of the organization’s landmark endeavor to “move with the times”.
Even though other parts of the uniform have been changed from time to time, khaki shorts remained in vogue till now. The decision to phase out khaki shorts was taken at Rajasthan’s Nagaur during the annual meeting of Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the highest decision-making body of RSS. Over the rapid expansion of RSS, Modh said the organization has 56,959 shakhas (branches) in the country (promoted with help from governments), of which over 5,500 were added in last one year thanks to the Modi government . There are 625 shakhas in Mumbai-Konkan region, Modh said. When asked if Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity was the reason behind this rise in number of shakhas, Modh said, “It cannot be denied that the present atmosphere is favourable. However, Modi is not the sole reason for it. The government was formed in 2014, but the change had started way back in 2012 when Congress led UPA under Sonia-Manmohan Singh was in power. Modh reasoned that people’s realization of value of RSS, its perseverance and hard work led to the rise in shakha numbers.
Upon conquering the Hindu minds with Hindutva poison and winning elections, the RSS and BJP have begun work to silence the Hindus and others by denying breathing freedoms to the people. Noted Indian historian Ramchandra Guha said there is a dearth of right-wing intellectuals in the country as he dismissed RSS as a bunch of “low-level ideologues” and termed BJP as the most “anti-intellectual” party. He also said what is happening in JNU is “worrisome”. “There is a certain level of truth to the accusation that universities have been colonized by the Left. But that cannot be changed unless the Right throws up better people. You cannot have your principal spokesperson in Hindi film villain Anupam Kher, or still less extremist Praveen Togadia, or Smriti Irani. They will only drive our discourse further and further into the mud”, he argued.
The BJP is sadly the most anti-intellectual party in India and perhaps worldwide. Unfortunately, RSS were the most profoundly anti-intellectual people. M S Golwalkar was a garden-variety bigot. “We don’t see people like C Rajagopalachari, who were a profound and complicated thinker,” Guha said at the Penguin Spring Fever festival here.
Although worrying, the rise of right wing Hindutva ultra nationalism in the current date is by no means as bad as what happened in the 80s and 90s. It is at the moment geographically confined. UP where Muslims are the target of Hindu political parties, is worrying because it is a large state that is why the stakes are highest. Guha also said that within India, the thought of Hindu fundamentalism was terrifying, because they are the majority. Globally, so-called Islamic terrorism is a very dangerous phenomenon perpetrated by anti-Islamic forces to insult Islam and injure genuine Muslims and is a danger even to the survival of human civilization.
Within India, Hindus are 85 per cent. Hindu fundamentalism, promoted by successive governments, is much more dangerous than any other disgrace on earth. “I am terrified at the thought of Hindu majoritarianism, because that is what we were not. If India was anything, it was not to be a Hindu Pakistan,” the historian said. He said religious pluralism was always fragile in India, and stressed on the need to be vigilant against fundamentalists on all sides.
Guha talked about the rising tendency of people to view scholars as people not very useful to the country, saying that the denunciation of scholarships and universities was “unfortunate”. “This kind of vulgar denunciation of scholars and scholarships and universities is deeply unfortunate. Though one should not exaggerate how widespread it is, what is happening around a premier and distinguished educational institution JNU is worrisome. I think the attack on our universities is unfortunate and ill-timed, I am sure many people in JNU agree that soldiers play a more important role than scholars. In my opinion, teachers and doctors play an important role. Scholars play a role in shaping the national consciousness and understanding,” he added.
Everyone plays a role in society and RSS-BJP duo cannot claim exclusive right to criticize others and issue “patriotic” certificates and pass on judgment about hanging those who oppose Hindutva or RSS or BJP governments.