Mohan Bhagwat: A magician from Nagpur

Radhakanta Barik

I get some students to my class room from Nagpur which is the headquarter of the RSS. On inquiry they tell me that they have never visited the place nor they know where it is located. This year my student told me, “I have heard from her parents that this is a ghost house.” Every city has one or two ghost houses where people always talk of mystical stories which haunt them. They look at the house in awe and fear and they are a lot of speculations regarding the happenings in the house. This year the chief of the RSS came to the centre of Lutanist Delhi that is Vigyan Bhavan which was constructed with a purpose to hold the public lectures of eminent scholars or philosophers. Once I heard a lecture here from Prof Amarty Sen which was chaired by his economist friend Manmohan Singh. Both were friends from Delhi School of Economics when they used to go on cycles to the school. Those days Delhi was the city of cycles and it was prestigious to go on cycles on the part of Professors. The morphology of the city has changed and the pedestrian and cycle paths have been taken over by the motor car owners who have created terror in the minds of pedestrians and walkers. The same thing is happening to the RSS which has created fear in the minds of an ordinary middle-class citizen that is the reason that the headquarter is known as the ghost house.

Bhagwat spoke many things but did not initiate the dialogue which is absent in the Hindutva discourse. It was a initiated by Savarkar who was busy in creating a monologue. Gandhiji wanted to initiate a dialogue with him by going to his village where he was staying but no result. The same tradition has been prevailing till today. There is no exception to Bhagwat who spoke a lot but without speaking anything. Many people who participated in the conclave at Vigyan Bhavan have not got any answer to their questions. They have written in their columns in various papers. The real question is what is their relation with Indian Constitution? That brings the question whether the RSS has legitimacy or not. The laws of state must work over the RSS. They cannot hide in the ghost house of Nagpur. They have to come out and speak to people of India. They had an opinion of the constitution that it does not reflect the social cultural ethos of a society. They want to reinvent the caste hierarchy where Dalits and Muslims are the subordinate rung which carries the burden of the society. Their cultural view is this that Hinduism is a unified cultural value of our society. There are many Hinduism as varies from each region to region. There are other religions which are egalitarian in nature which demands an answer from the Hindu heads. Moreover Hinduism is not Hindutva and they cannot hide behind Justice Verma's judgment that Hindutva was a way of life. There are many ways of life which changes with every twenty miles while going one end to the other. The RSS chief unless answers the serious questions to the people of India, he has not spoken anything till today.

The RSS chief speaking rarely sense but he spoke a lot in the Vighyan Bhawan conclaves with the selected liberal intellectuals. We saw the position of Bhagwat is untenable. But the real threat is coming from the fringe groups which have been created by the RSS such as Bajrangdal, VHP and Sanatan Santha. All these groups developed around the politics of the Rathyatra led by Advani in the year 1990. For instance Bajrangdal group is consisting of hardened criminals who killed Steins and children while sleeping in the open jeep. The VHP combined a militant Hindutva tone with the communal mobilization of a section of high caste Hindus against the Muslims and Christians. Their militant face I confronted once in the train journey from Ahmadabad to Delhi. I was travelling in the AC bogey but I was the number one waited listed passenger. But the TTC gave the seat to somebody else who showed his VHP card. The TTC told me the story of the person belonging to the VHP who would harm him if he would not offer the seat. That was the time Gujarat had a Congress government but fear of the VHP was keeping people mum. The Sanatan Santha with a serving general and some leading RSS members floated a gang which conspired to create riots in the Muslim dominated towns and involve in bomb blasting in the Masjids such as Hyderabad and Ajmeri. These cases continued till Modi government came. The way Modi government put pressure tactics on the investigation team resulted in releasing these culprits from the jail. These fringe groups started working in the western part of India in an organized manner by killing four important rationalists including Gauri Lankesh. The police investigations have revealed their conspiracy and systematic way of working as a terrorist group. These fringe groups slowly are taking the space of the RSS. Bhagwat realized the importance of the support of liberals who could defend the RSS as a nationalist organisation. Keeping this in view he spoke to the liberal intellectuals as the threat from the extremist groups is real. This explains his fear and anxieties of the future of the RSS who have combined Hindutva with commercial enterprise. Bhagwat himself a member of Big business house as a partner of the Nagpur politician who is the most important minister of the present cabinet of Modi.

The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's delirium in the Vigyan Bhavan explains his political expediency. He understands the political moment and forces working against the Hindutva forces. By telling that Indian politics cannot be made as told by Modi 'Congress Mukta" but it needs to be 'Congress Yukta". Their narrow understanding of Indian public has been realised by Bhagwat. Indian public is a product of constitutional politics rather than the Hindutva politics.Public is an imagined concept who evolved while working under the Indian Constitution by taking up public issues. It is interesting to note they have never negotiated with the Hindutva politics at no moment.  Winning the 2014 general election made Modi and Shah blinded with power and their march towards the Hindurashtra. That 31percentage of Indian voters are not the supporters of the Hindurastra, majority of them voted the BJP as a part of the negative voting because of frustration with the Congress rule for a decade. This frustration led them to vote a regional politician to the national scene who does not understand the dynamics of national politics. A politician dealing with the Gujarati traders and industrialists shifted their stage to national stage which is being laughed by the Indian public. Realization of this theatrical politics where the main actor turned into a Shakespearean hero with a villainous attitude in every day politics.

 On behalf of the BJP Bhagwat is speaking rather than speaking the new philosophy of the RSS. Indian public is crystallized in the preamble of the Indian constitution; We the people of India' where each caste or community have come to make this state as a contractual state rather than a theocratic state as accepted by the RSS. The changed language is not product of the changed grammar of the RSS politics but changed grammar of Indian politics today.

Mohan Bhagwat speaks of the RSS does not wield government's remote control. But the former Secretary of Higher education told me that they did not have any say in the appointment of VC or some powerful post in the educational institutions. There are people stand in the ministry and get their people appointed in the universities. The former BJP MP and Ex-governor of Karnataka T N Chaturvedi took a list to the former Director of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti a prestigious institution to select their people. He refused to do so he was removed from the job. This is happening in all cases including the CBI, Election Commission and CAG and CVC. This is the state of affairs in public administration where their people get all the key posts in the administration. The ghost story does not reflect in the Hindi films for a long time and in the Television serial except Bymokesh a popular detective from Calcutta was the only popular serial.

The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat speaking loudly for some days but his verbiage having no substance. He spoke in the presence of Amit Shah and Modi that the Ram temple would be built on the same spot whatever would happen in the supreme court. This indicates that he and the RSS both agree to the point that they do not respect this constitution and they want to frame another constitution according to Manushastra as they live like Alice in the wonderland. The RSS is an illegal organisation without any proper registration but getting foreign donation from the rich people. It is the richest organisation without any legality. They have grown illegally like dal(green algee) in the most polluted pond. Some months back I had gone to my village and found that the common pond which is the only source of water for their bathing and other activities have been covered with dal. The dal has gone so deep that it is difficult to see water in the pond. Some dedicated youths could not tolerate the nuisance of dal and once they decided to remove the dal at the cost of two lakhs. The same thing has happened to Indian politics where the illegal organisation like the RSS has spreaded like the dal it is difficult to see water anywhere. It needs cleansing like our village pond. The state must act against him he has gone beyond his legal preview and questioned the constitution and the Indian legal system.

The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in their conclaves where a lot of liberal intellectuals attended made a bluff that they have no association with the cow vigilantes and their attacks on the Muslims. It has been found the religion of the victim invariably a Muslim. Furthermore all these incidents have happened in the states ruled by the BJP. Moreover the police people had been caricatured in the case of attacks on the Muslims. Instead of protecting the victim which is their duty but they went to search for cows in their houses. In recent case happened in Rajasthan that policemen went to the goshala first to leave the cows which is about ten kms away and whereas the victim could have been saved by taking him to the hospital just six kms away. But the police men forgot their duty or advised by the RSS and BJP government to ignore the fact if the victim is Muslim. It is interesting to note down that 97 percent of attacks took place related to cow happened after the BJP came to power in 2014. Whenever the such happenings took place including lynching invariably the Muslims and some Dalits have faced the situation. The facts tell differently which go against the observation given by Mohan Bhagwat. Is he going to be recognized as the bluff master?

The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat speaks a lot now a days knowing well the organisation's colour remains the saffron. His speech makes the saffron deep and deep. Let us examine the statement of him they do not believe in cow vigilantes. But the organisation started with making politics on cow. Their organisation's foundation believes in creating riots on cows, beef and cow slaughter. This is their history for last 93 years from its origin. This time the BJP came to power in 2014. They planned in a much more systematic manner to take up the issue of cow politics by creating an army of cow vigilantes. The meeting got organised in Nehru Memorial Museum and Library with the help of the Ministry of Culture where a theoretician is sitting there. The lumpen who would organise the killing of the Muslims sat in the conference hall where their party leaders and some police officials including a lady IPS officer participated in the conclave and decided to go ahead. Those lumpen were present one could see their red eyes one would feel scared that they were the blood thirsty youths without education and without any idea. After the meeting they went ahead for attacking the Muslims in the name of illegally transporting the cows or keeping beef in their freeze. These are the old pleas by them as a popular Hindi film song says that 'a purana chal hai'. They have killed more than fifty people and their trials against them were going on. Some cabinet ministers went to garland them. The minister of culture who allowed holding the meeting illegally and went to place the national flag over a man who killed a Muslim on the plea there was beef in his freeze. This has been taken seriously by the Supreme Court. Now they get scared of the stand taken by the highest judiciary and people were dead against the RSS and BJP. Bhagwat's statement came in such a moment which lacked honesty. We should be careful of their 'purana chal' as they work like a fascist organisation.

RSS suffers from the spiritual illiteracy which got exposed in the speech of its chief Mohan Bhagwat. He went to Chicago to speak where Vivekananda spoke.  In his speech refereed to Hindus as a lonely lion and the other was the wild dog. But dogs are a part of faithful animal who traveled with Yudhistira while he walked to heaven whereas other brothers left him. The lion is a symbol of protector of a religious place that is the reason why the sculpture of a lion is there in front of the temple. All animals according to Hinduism have souls and a close to spiritualism. For instance, in the philosophy of Dasabatar the tortoise has a symbolic importance as an abatar. Moreover in Odisha there is a festival 'chitau Amabashya' where we worship a shell and other water animals by offering a cake. He spoke where Vivekanand spoke in Chicago about the spiritualism which fascinated the whole world. The whole world must have laughed at Bhagwat's speech given in the same place. Let us fight for saving pluralistic traditions of Hinduism from the spiritual illiteracy of the RSS.

Prof. Radhakanta Barik, Retired Professor in Political science and a story writer in Odiya.

Oct 11, 2018

Prof Radhakanta Barik [email protected]

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