Chief Guest of "Nagpur"


Mr Pranab Mukherjee, the ex-President and ex-Minister, has again hit the headlines. He attended the final session of the Rashtriya Swasaymsevak Sangh (RSS) training camp, and shared the dias with Mr Mohan Bhagwat, the Vishwa Hindu Parisad (VHP) stalwart. He has even gone to the extent of calling K B Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS, India's 'great son'. This has anguished the Congress to which Mr Mukhrejee belonged during his entire political career. He built up his political career by clinging to the petticoat of Mrs Indira Gandhi.

It is well known that the RSS, or for that matter the whole of the Sangh Parivar, had deep roots in the British imperial project of dividing and ruling India. They also propagated the Manuvadi gospel of caste oppression. They openly declared that Muslims would have to remain subservient to their own brand of Hindu culture and must be deprived of even voting rights till they express their allegiance to the Hindu religion. They openly exhorted Hindus not to fight the British but to fight Muslims, Christians and communists.

It is not that the RSS only acted as virtual lackeys of their British imperialist masters. They openly admired the Nazi type of nation-building and massacre of Jews in Germany, and even contacted Italian fascists. Such a combination of subservience to British rule and advocacy of Fascism and Nazism is unique in Indian history. Perhaps this is one aspect of the greatness Mr Mukherjee has referred to. In the trades and industries of upper India, there were, and still are, large numbers of Muslims, while these enterprises were controlled by Hindu banias. For this reason, the RSS and Jan Sangh became very popular with them, because the RSS version of nationhood provided them with a theoretical tool of super-exploitation of the toiling classes.

It is a fact that in the political outfits outside the Sangh Parivar, there are many who are privately hate of religious minorities and dalits, but cannot openly articulate their beliefs for the sake of political career. Did Mr Mukhrejee belong to this type when he was in the Congress? It is an interesting question to which Mr Mukherjee alone can provide an answer.

Vol. 50, No.50, June 17 - 23, 2018