RSS represents the ‘Nation’

Sankara Narayanan

Shocked after BJP's rout in the Delhi assembly polls, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat met senior Sangh leaders recently in Delhi and asked them why the cadres failed to read the mood of the people. He is believed to be distressed about the "disconnect" of BJP Workers with voters and also wants the party to make "perceptional correction". He has noted that perception of the people about the government is becoming negative with reports that it is seen as anti-poor and pro-corporates. He wants it to be altered.

During the meeting, held as part of a monthly exercise, Bhagwat reportedly discussed the reasons why BJP, which had received support from RSS, suffered such a heavy loss in Delhi. "It is a routine monthly exercise where top RSS leaders meet and discuss important events in the country and also review the Sangh's activities," a top RSS leader told. The RSS brass is learnt to have discussed in detail the reasons behind BJP's drubbing at the hands of AAP and mulled what corrective measures to take now to recover lost ground.

RSS had put all its might behind the Delhi BJP, which was not a cohesive unit due to years of infighting. A Sangh leader told, "Till the end, the cadres reported a tough fight but nobody could see the thrashing that the party got." More than the loss itself, Bhagwat was concerned about the fact that BJP leaders and local workers were not clued into the ground reality and failed to foresee the strong rejection by the people of the Capital.

RSS's karyakartas (officials) had been brought in two months before the polls. First there were 70 who took charge of each assembly constituency. They sent reports of infighting and how party workers were divided and demoralised. RSS pushed in more people, and towards the end, there were more than 70,000 RSS workers on the ground. But it was probably too late. RSS has asked Ramlal, BJP organisational secretary, who coordinates between the Sangh and the party, to go into the causes of the defeat and prepare a report.

RSS adopted the same type of aggressive involvement in 2014 general elections and the subsequent state assembly elections. Its entry into the electoral politics is a routine matter now. No longer a hush hush matter as it used to be earlier.

RSS all along has been maintaining itself a cultural organisation. It always proclaimed that politics was not its forte. Bharatiya Jansangh earlier and BJP now endorsed/endorses this view. But Bhagwat's latest anxiety and the subsequent advices/directives to BJP and to the central govt speak volumes about the reality.

In fact the parachuting of Narendra Modi as CM of Gujarat, protecting him from the onslaughts within after 2002 carnage, the projection of Modi as campaign chief and prime ministerial candidate before 2014 general elections and sidelining of L K Advani are all the game plans of RSS. Advani was unceremoniously removed from the post of BJP's chief for praising Jinnah as a secularist. This was out and out the outcome of a fatwa from RSS.

BJP is a newer avatar of Jansangh, which was founded in 1951. It was a brain child of the then RSS supremo late M S Golwalkar, who outlined the scheme of Hindu Rashtra. BJP is the product of the RSS. It was because of Golwalkar's initiative and need for political front for the RSS that Shyama Prasad Mukherji was wooed away from the Hindu Mahasabha and asked to head the political wing of the RSS that will function under the guidance of the RSS. So Jansangh was fathered by the RSS. Bharatiya Janata Party was the new name of the Jansangh.

The RSS, right from the beginning has taken a different but comprehensive stand in its strategy. The RSS was for overall control of the society and not just after political power or rule. It wanted control over both the rulers and the ruled. It clearly perceived that the two concepts—the nation and the state—are distinctly different. It stood for national regeneration and not for that haphazard bundle of political rights—the state. Mohan Bhagwat, co-secretary of the RSS stated in the RSS weekly Organiser in Mrach 2000, "Rashtra Niti not Raj Niti is important for the Sangh".

The RSS cadres are all aware of Golwalkar's Hindu Rashtra thesis. This is not the creation of a political party. So the 'Nation' controls politics. Hence, BJP has to be subservient to the Hindu Nation and the RSS represents the 'Nation'.

Few can believe RSS is a cultural organisation and BJP an independent political entity. And one has to take the impression given that Bhagwat did not like to be seen as taking interest in day-to-day affairs of the party with a pinch of salt.

Vol. 47, No. 38, Mar 29 - Apr 4, 2015