Golwalkar: the brain of RSS

Golwalkar: the brain of RSS
By Kashif Hoda
The Milli Gazette Online
26 February 2006
RSS is planning to celebrate birth centenary of the second RSS chief Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar. While K. B. Hedgewar is responsible for setting up RSS and the initial leadership, it was the genius of Golwalkar that firmly established RSS in the Indian political scene. It was he who developed most of the strategies that are still in use by RSS. He gave RSS the vision that still inspires its cadre.

Therefore to understand RSS it is important to understand Golwalkar and his teachings. Golwalkar was born in 1906 near Nagpur. He entered Banaras Hindu University in 1906, got his B.Sc. degree in 1926, M.Sc. in Zoology in 1928. He joined BHU as a teacher and worked there till 1933. Golwalkar was very apolitical in his student life; the only political activity before he joined RSS in 1931 was to meet Hedgewar in 1929. Exactly what led him to get involved in politics to such a degree in a short span of two years, to resign from his job and move to Nagpur, is a mystery.
Hedgewar worked on his new disciple to train him for a future leadership role. Meanwhile, Golwalkar got himself enrolled into Nagpur University to study law, getting his LLB degree in 1935. Probably the militaristic routine of RSS was unable to satisfy the intellectual and spiritual need of Golwalkar, in 1937 we find him leaving RSS to move to Bengal and become a disciple of Swami Akhandana at Sargachi. Just a few months later, Swami dies, and a confused Golwalkar goes back to Hedgewar. He remained attached to his Swami’s mission all his life though, he never cut his hair and beard as instructed by the Swami.

Golwalkar accompanied Hedgewar in all his trips to set up shakhas in different places. Golwalkar was trained and his personality built up so that he could become an acceptable leader. In 1938 A book comes out “We or Our Nationhood Defined.” It was supposed to be written by Golwalkar, and was a clear attempt to raise his profile. Later Golwalkar himself admitted that it was an abridged translation of another book in Marathi.
During Hedgewar’s final days, when he was too sick to travel, it was Golwalkar who took care of business associated with RSS, and took complete charge of the organization. Therefore, it is not surprising that in 1940, bypassing some senior leaders who were with RSS since the beginning, Golwalkar was made head of RSS.
Golwalkar is the longest serving chief of RSS and also may be the most successful in terms of increasing membership and establishing shakhas. Hedgewar left RSS with about 50 shakhas and 100,000 members and when Golwalkar died he had expanded its reach to 10,000 shakhas and membership running above a million.
RSS under Hedgewar was resigned to its status of a junior member of the Hindu Right, playing second fiddle to Hindu Mahasabha. Mahasabha leaders didn’t treat them as much more than a youth organizer with no mass movement or vision for the future. In fact, V. D. Savarkar commented that “the epitaph for the RSS volunteer will be that he was born, he joined the RSS and he died without accomplishing anything.”
Hedgewar developed his organization as a street-fighting machine; cadres were well trained to fight the “enemy” and enhance passions by the disinformation campaign. RSS continues to be a master of the rumor industry, but inspite of their emphasis on physical training, there is little evidence that RSS members get involved in actual physical fights. Lower caste communities are utilized to do the dirty work of rioting once they have been initiated. The credit for this transformation goes to Hedgewar.
Soon after taking over RSS, Hedgewar tried to make it a separate identity from Hindu Mahsabha. The RSS as a result became more anti-Socialist than Mahasabha, while maintaining its anti-Muslim stance. This expanded its social base to include all the people who lose from any radical social change. That increased its membership as well as giving it financial security. While most of India was revolting in a peaceful way against the British occupation, RSS chose a non-confrontational approach. For them being patriotic had nothing to do with being anti-British.
In his book “Bunch of Thoughts,” Golwalkar writes that “the theories of territorial nationalism and of common danger, which formed the basis for our concept of nation, had deprived us of the positive and inspiring content of our real Hindu Nationhood and made many of the ‘freedom movements’ virtually anti-British movements. Anti-Britishism was equated with patriotism and nationalism. This reactionary view has had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the freedom movement, its leaders and the common people.” It is really ironic that this is the same organization that now treats Subhash Chandra Bose as a patriot who was clearly anti-British in his approach and did not mind taking the assistance of Germany and Japan to fight the common enemy.
RSS these days have turned anti-Christian but they were never anti-British, in fact RSS tried to channelize the nation’s anti-British feelings into anti-Muslim sentiments. The youthful energy of the members was kept busy by occasional clashes with the Muslims. The British Government must have been happy that scores of youth were kept out of the freedom movement.
It is possible that RSS was hand-in-glove with the British Government in their plan to keep their cadre outside the freedom movement. We find that RSS accepted all the restrictions placed on it by the government of the time. The khaki shirt was replaced by the white shirt because it was similar to the military uniform; canvas shoes replaced leather boots and the belt was dropped altogether. RSS preferred Anti-Muslim sentiments in place of Anti-British.
While the Indian leadership was in prison because of the quit Indian Movement, RSS laid the foundation stone of Hedgewar Bhawan in 1945. It was completed in less than a year’s time. Its compound is big enough to hold an assembly of 9000 RSS men. This lavish construction comes on the heel of the Bengal famine, for which RSS, a voluntary organization, was not involved in helping the people. In fact RSS did nothing to stop the partition of ‘Akhand Bharat’, which puts them in the same group with the Muslim League, as the group who favored the two-nation theory.
It is difficult to imagine what was going through the mind of Golwalkar at that tumultuous time in Indian history; it must have taken a lot of effort not to be active. Nathuram Godse, who used to accompany Hedgewar in his travels, killed Mahatma Gandhi. The ban on RSS was a difficult time on its organizational history, it exposed the weakness of the Organization, and all this time the emphasis was on physical exercise and creating an army of clones. RSS found little support in its effort to revoke the ban. It was able to gather only nine lakh signatures to petition the government.
Failing in its effort to launch a movement against the ban, Golwalkar started to use lobbying to get the ban removed. After coming out of the ban, RSS started infiltrating different sectors by launching their own organizations (eg. student organizations, trade unions, and farmers unions). About 50 front-organizations were created to cover different sectors of the society. Clashes with China in 1957-59 gave RSS a platform to come out of hibernation. RSS started many campaigns against cow-slaughter, the Urdu language, and formation of the Malappuram District in Kerala etc.
Jawaharlal Nehru was very much against lifting the ban against RSS, but towards the end of his career, Nehru initiated the process of making peace with RSS. Lads of Golwalkar were invited to join Republic day parade in 1963. That was the first and the last time that they were part of the Republic day parade, but it was a nice propaganda tool for RSS.
The atmosphere of the 1965 war with Pakistan was fertile for RSS growth. On the eve of the 1967 election, RSS mobilized the various Hindu organizations to stage a massive anti-cow-slaughter demonstration outside Parliament in November 1966. This movement coupled with Congress’ inaction lead to a major defeat for the Congress and many RSS men became ministers in many of the north-Indian states. This brought another chapter for RSS, which enabled them to use state machinery to promote the cause of RSS.
But apparently they grew too fast and were unable to cope with their success. Indira Gandhi’s shrewdness and defeat of the Pakistani army in Bangladesh made RSS ineffective. RSS works better under the environment of fear. The strong leadership style of Indira Gandhi confused RSS strategists, and thus the death of Golwalkar in July 1973 left behind a demoralized organization. In spite of this his legacy lives on, directions and strategies that he gave to this organisation are still followed by RSS.
In brief, this was the public life of the second RSS chief Golwalkar. The evil design planted by him continues to give fruit. In this centenary year there will be many articles praising Golwalkar, and as is the style of RSS, they will be re-writing history to show us how great a leader he was. To understand Golwalkar, we have to cut the hype and simply have to read his words as follows:

On caste system:
“There is nothing to prove that it (the caste system) ever hindered our social developments. Actually caste system has helped to preserve the unity of our society.” (Bunch of Thoughts p.108)
“The history proves that Mohammadan could win over North West and north east areas easily where Budhism had shattered the pattern of caste system. Gandhar which is Kandhar now, was converted to Islam completely. But contrary to this, Hindu religion was strong in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh despite Muslim rule because caste system was strictly followed there. (Bunch of Thoughts]

On Nationhood:
“When we say, “This is the Hindu nation”, there are some who immediately come up with the question, “What about the Muslims and Christians dwelling in this land? Are they also not born and bred here? How could they become aliens just because they have changed their faith? But the crucial point is whether they remember that they are the children of this soil? …. No. Together with the change in their faith, gone are the spirit of love and devotion for the nation.” (Bunch of Thoughts)

Solution to the Minority ‘problem’:
“The foreign races in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment – not even citizen’s rights. There is, at least, should be, no other course for them to adopt. We are an old nation; let us deal, as old nations ought to and do deal, with the foreign races, who have chosen to live in our country. (We or Our Nationhood Defined)
“German race-pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up with the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races- the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and Cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for use in Hindusthan to learn and profit by” (We or Our Nationhood Defined)
The author is also the editor of website www.indianmuslims.info

Bhagalpur Riots & MF Husain ‘Biradari Bahar’ (Expelled From Community)

Nitish Kumar has ordered re-opening of 27 cases of Bhagalpur riots of 1989.. One of the worst massacres in Northern India, the riots were instrumental in turning the Muslims in the state against Congress.

However, Lalu Prasad Yadav did nothing to get justice to the victims of the Bhagalpur riots. The figure of deaths was around 3,000 and almost all the victims were Muslims. Let us see what happens!

Meanwhile, the All India Muslim Tehwar Committee’s self-styled President Dr Ausaf Shahmiri Khurram has announced that the majlis-e-shoora has decided to ex-communicate MF Husain from the community urging all Muslims not to keep any social contact with him and shun him as an outcaste as he has been playing up with sentiments of Hindus again and again.

Mr Khurram who has a history of ex-communicating Zahira Sheikh for being a ‘munafiq’ and then Nawab Pataudi ‘for hunting’ and bringing disgrace to the qaum. This is the third ex-communication in two years. Let us see who is next on his list for ex-communication!

The death of four boys in Kashmir and verdict in Best Bakery

The death of four boys in Kashmir is undoubtedly a sad event. Naturally anger spilt on the streets. The Army has defended itself saying that it has been very restrained and proessional in its approch.

Such incidents are unfortunate because killings of innocent hit the confidence of the citizens on armed forces. Of course, the army and police work in harsh conditions but in a state like Kashmir such deaths can’t be treated as routine.

Meanwhile, the good news is that nine persons have been convicted in connection with the Best Bakery case. In this case justice has been delayed but surely done at last.


Muslim Congress leader sacked for reward on cutting MF Husain’s hands!

Congress leader Akhtar Beg announced that if anyone chopped off the hands of MF Husain, he will reward the person with Rs 11 lakh. Beg, a Vice-Chairman with Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee and a senior leader in Indore, made this announcement two days ago.

Except Zee News and an agency no where this news was prominently displayed. Later a recently-floated Hindu Personal Law Board’s Ashok Pandey from Lucknow announced Rs 51 crore for killing MF Husain in UP and this was flashed everywhere.

Now the Congress has sacked Akhtar Beg and no explanation from any Congress leader that why he was expelled from party for six years. No one said that whether it was this ridiculous statement that did him in or anything else.

Beg made the statement probably to prove that Muslims do condemn the portrayal of nude goddessess also. That’s a fact Muslims do criticise and are vocal but the media doesn’t report it as I have maintained again and again.

Apparently frustrated of burning effigies of MF Husain and issuing statements that were not printed, he made this bizarre announcement to gain some attention. Ironically, this was even not reported. In process he got out of the party and is now shunned by all.

We may get disgusted with the kind of statements either of Yaqub Qureshi or that of Akhtar Beg/Ashok Pandey but can’t even ignore them. They reflect the deeper problem. The fact that lack of dialogue between the communities, the lack of responsible and educated leadership amongst Muslims besides the fact that Muslims are always supposed to come and criticise if there is even an iota of fundamentalism on their side.

Like the much-reviled Tebbit’s test in England where India/Pakistan fans living in England cheering for their native country or England was taken asa test of patriotism. Muslims are always supposed to speak, raise their voice and prove again and again that they are patriot.

The press needs to take into account that it should treat all loonies in the same manner–either it is a Muslim fundamentalist or a Togadia. Else madness will continue and these kind of statements will keep on coming. And there should be same treatment. 

So if Qureshi is condemned, Pandey should also be condemned and booked for inciting passions. Akhtar Beg lives in Indore, one of the most communally sensitive cities in India. It has a very different kind of communal history unlike major killings or riots but of deep distrust amongst Hindus and Muslims.

Like Hindu labourers refusing to work with Muslim counterparts as earlier as in 60s and 70s.Once the capital of Holkars, this city was in focus for most part in late 80s due to the Shahbano issue. She hailed from Indore. The city has a substantial Muslim population and is part of the communally sensitive Malwa that borders Gujarat. (Rediff story on Akhtar Beg and Ashok Pandey http://in.rediff.com/news/2006/feb/23mf.htm)


Indian Muslims, Update

Sudheendra Kulkarni argues that certain political parties have been fuelling ‘minority complex’ among Indian Muslims for their own benefit. Barkha Dutt writes a good article in HT on the statement made by UP minister Yaqoob Quereshi on the cartoon controversy titled ‘Fringe, cut‘.

Meanwhile, John Ray of Blogger News Network does not agree with the argument that Indian Muslims are different from their counterparts elsewhere, and their action (or inaction) can be explained by the fact that they have the more immediate worry of their Hindu neighbours.

“Communal” (Hindu/Muslim) riots and violent clashes are endemic in India. Even Mahatma Gandhi could not stop it. It is true that Hindus and Mussulmen do get along in everyday life in India after a fashion but in India religion is a deadly serious matter. Reincarnation, for instance, is central to how a Hindu understands the world he lives in. If India has not produced Jihadis who go abroad to kill and maim, it is only because Indian Muslims have the more immediate worry of their Hindu neighbours.

UP Minister Promises Rs 51 Crore for Cartoonist’s Head

In a bizarre and dangerous development, a minister in the Mulayam Singh Yadav’s government in UP, Haji Yaqoob Quereshi has announced an award of Rs 51 Crore for cartoonist’s head who drew the caricature of Prophet Muhammad. He said that the people of Meerut would contribute for the award. The state government has come out with an equally bizarre and potentially more dangerous defence of the minister in question.

Principal secretary (Home) Alok Sinha said in Lucknow that Quereshi was just expressing the sentiments of the people of Meerut.

Sinha said it did not constitute any criminal offence. “The announcement had been made taking into account the feelings of the people… There is no offence to make such an announcement about a person living in a distant foreign country,” Sinha told reporters.

“In a democracy such announcements are made in a normal way… It cannot be said to be a law and order issue”.

I don’t know why Alok Sinha considers it to be ‘normal’, but it is of utmost concern to me that a minister in the most populous state of the largest democracy in the world makes such an announcement. And how does the Principal Secretary (Home) knows that Yaqoob Quereshi was expressing the sentiments of the people of Meerut? Is he insinuating that the Muslims of Meerut believe in this ridiculous announcement by the minister? AIMPLB members have critized the minister’s statemet ,

“Anyone who does anything wrong has to be punished under the law of the land to which he belongs,” pointed out Idgah Imam Maulana Khalid Rasheed. “Such statements only go on to help those targeting Muslims across the world.

There were riots in Mau in October 2005, and Muslim houses were burnt recently in Faizabad and the law and order situation in the state is deteriorating day by day.
 Jannatunnissa, whose home was burnt, weeps as she narrates her family's plight.

Jannatunnissa, whose home was burnt, weeps as she narrates her family’s plight.

Instead of looking after the security of its people and working for the development, the UP government and its ministers think that they can make such stupid announcements in the name of ‘sentiments’ and get away with them.

It is a sad, sad day for Indian Muslims and Indian Democracy.


Letter to Mr Vir Sanghvi regarding his column on Indian Muslims

Hussain Protests

Many Muslims have been surprised (even hurt) after reading the article written by Vir Sanghvi in the Counterpoint column of Hindustan Times on Sunday, which is without doubt the most read column of any editor in India.

The reason is obvious. Had it been written by any other person it would not have mattered that much but Vir Sanghvi is one of the best editors, an erudite and highly respected journalist.

BUT, now he also puts the onus on Muslims for not condemning fundamentalism of Muslims. Here is an emotional response that comes straight from the heart: Continue reading Letter to Mr Vir Sanghvi regarding his column on Indian Muslims

Sky has fallen: Muslim % in army asked

Aasmaan Toot Pada Hai Bhai!

Devoid of all issues the politicians and media have termed it as sacrilgeious that Muslims’ percent in the army has been asked.

“How dare they? Such appeasement!” that’s the reaction. As if, all secularist ideals have been demolished by this single question. When Mumbai riots and Gujarat carnage or Surat riots were occurring, who was perturbed by the massacre of Indian secularism?

No body is prepared to see any reason behind the question or just check out what exactly Sachar committe has asked for? It is no census of Muslims in army but is being labelled as such.

Come on, tell us what is rotten then that you are so worried. If you can’t reveal the figurest in detail, just tell if Muslims constitute even 2% or not? That is a very valid question and if you can’t even tell that then you do have either a guilt or bias.

Say loudly that you don’t want Muslims in army in sizeable numbers. Are Muslims any outsiders that such a hue and cry is being made as if the revelation of this figure will lead to Qayamat.

If it is very low, it will just put the onus on army to recruit more Muslims, which will probably not be a good idea for many. And what a legendary reply from the army “IT will lead to bad effect on the morale of army”. What is the logic of this argument. If it is a secular nation’s secular army, why should its morale be affected.

In 1947 India got independent and until 1967 not a single Muslim was appointed in the huge UP Police, Why? The SVD (Samyukta Vidhayak Dal) government that came to power in 1967 recruited some Muslims.

All these years it was Congress government in UP. A city like Lucknow that has 8 lakh Muslims has no Muslim ‘thanedaar’ at a police station. We are aware of all that, so what further travesty of justice can happen now? JJ Singh kuchh zayad hi naraaz hain. Aur bade bade ‘secular’ log bhi khafa hain.

Aisee naraazgi kaash kisi aise waqt nazar aaye jab hum ‘appease’ nahin ho rahe hon.

I condemn MF Husain

MF HusainI have no great understanding of art and I am not competent enough to judge merits of a painting or piece of art but the nonagenarian painter has been putting up many Muslims in the dock again and again.

Whether Saraswati, Bharat Mata and other goddesses have been painted nude in the past and sculpted in temples in India for centuries is not an issue with me.

In a pluralistic society, we have to draw a line somewhere. We have to be more respectful to the religion of the other though we may be slightly less reverant towards ours.

That is the concept of ‘waza-dari’. A Hindu may say Rama but I will write and say Ramchandra ji or Lord Rama. So is expected of a Hindu to be respectful to Islam.

It is here that MF Husain’s brush makes things complicated. He has a Muslim name. He should be responsible enough. In the past he has erred and apologised. Again he has done and apologised.

If you are such a great artist and value freedom of expression, don’t apologise to anyone. You are not  living in penury and can leave this country if you want. But you keep doing the same mistake again and again.

I strongly condemn your paintings. All the time Indian Muslims are told that they don’t come out openly and condemn acts of blasphemy, heresey when it concerns the other communities, I do that, In my humble, small way.

Adnan (www.indscribe.blogspot.com)


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