Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister, like so many other Bharatiya Janata Party stalwarts, makes no bones about having been a member of the Rashtriya Swayem Sevak Sangh (National Volunteer Corps). The RSS has ubiquitous influence in all states and Union territories. Without its consent, no-one can get a party ticket or contest elections.
The RSS is a conglomerate of disguised terrorists. Indian media dare not focus its violent activities, but it is sometimes exposed by viral images of violence by its workers. Images show the RSS members participating in Delhi riots, lynching suspected beef eaters, or Muslim prayer goers. The RSS militants get identified while chanting religious slogans. Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, was an RSS member. It was the RSS that had spearheaded the demolition of the Babri mosque on December 6, 1992.
What does the RSS stand for?
The present-day advocates (pracharak) of the RSS claim that their organization is ‘a pacifist organization’. But, an ideologue, M.S. Golwalkar, referred to Christians and Muslims as “internal threats”. He praised Nazi Germany as an example of “race pride” from which India could learn. Satish Misra, a political analyst at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi says, [Indian prime minister] “Modi is the most loved child of the RSS.”
Read more: Op-ed: Future of Muslims in India
Neerja Chowdhury, a political commentator and columnist reported: ‘The party advocates that to be a true Indian one has to be a Hindu. It describes other religious minorities, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, as part of India, because their faiths originated there. They believe that even India’s Muslims are actually Hindu because their Hindu ancestors were forced to convert to Islam’.
The anti-conversion laws in states, ban on cow slaughter, annexation of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir State, and now combined civil code on the anvil are the RSS’s demands. The RSS wants to convert non-Hindu to Hinduism under its homecoming (ghar wapsi) policy. C.P. Bhishikar’s biography of Hedgewar, Keshav Sanghnirmata tells how tbe RSS founder equated Muslims to “yavana” snakes. RSS spurns Indian Constitution and believes India is a place for Hindu nation (rashtra) to live exclusively in.
Re-branding or damage control?
The RSS has been busy re-imaging itself in media as a `cultural, not a `genocidal movement’. Sunil Ambekar, secretary of the RSS’s student wing (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) launched the book ‘The RSS: Roadmaps for the 21st Century’. As a prelude to the book launch, the RSS hosted an in-house closed-door briefing for foreign journalists based in India. Earlier, it held an all-India enclave in which intellectuals from all over India, including the RSS’s puppet Muslim Munch also participated.
Marginalized communities, religious minorities, particularly Muslims, a vocal and vibrant civil society and critics of government policies have been under increasing pressure for a long time
The RSS’s genocidal role is a caricature of the Indian constitution, visualizing a `sovereign socialist secular democratic republic’ and its article prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. Indian army/CDS chief’s outburst to overrun nuclear Pakistan or exercise military options on China is synonymous with the Hindutva mentality. His statement caricatures the Indian prime minister’s assurance at all-parties’ conference China did not trespass an inch of Indian territory.
The Hindu civil and military leadership is nostalgic about ancient India’s prosperity during the Maurya and the Gupta periods achieved through total-war tactics (Major General Rajendra Nath, Military Leadership in India: Vedic Period to Indo-Pak Wars). Indian army is wedded to a keynote of Krishna’s strategy: `End justifies the means. The truth may often have to be sacrificed in pursuit of victory (Karma Parva)’. Brihaspati and Kautilya (Arthashastra) stress koota yuddha (no-holds-barred war or maya yuddha (war by deception) against the non-Hindu.
India’s manifestation as a rogue state
A rogue state: A state that flouts international treaties and conventions is a rogue state. India reneged on its commitment to hold a plebiscite in illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir State. It expresses disdain for the UN resolutions pointing out human rights violations in India. A recent case in point is India’s outrage on international outcry on the molestation of women in India, including at Hathras (Uttar Pradesh).
Not only the UN, but also the European Union have expressed profound sadness and concern over ‘the continuing cases of sexual violence against women and girls in India’. Maria Arena, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, listed a litany of areas of concern in India with a reminder: “It is high time for India to translate words into action.”
Is the world concerned about Modi’s India?
In a statement, Arena, the Chair of the European Parliament’s human rights panel, reminded India that as a sitting member of the UN Human Rights Council, the country had pledged to “continue to foster the genuine participation and effective involvement of civil society in the promotion and protection of human rights”.
“Therefore, I call on the Indian government to meet this pledge, in a manner worthy of the global role model it aspires to be. It is high time for India to translate words into action. In this context, I also wish to call on the EU to address these concerns within the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue.”
In a background note circulated along with the statement, it was pointed out that the 2004 EU-India Strategic Partnership is based on shared values of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights
Pointing out that the rule of law is the very cornerstone of the EU’s relationship with India, Arena referred to the Amnesty International India report on human rights violations committed by Delhi police during the riots in the capital in February. “Marginalized communities, religious minorities, particularly Muslims, a vocal and vibrant civil society and critics of government policies have been under increasing pressure for a long time.
Widespread protests over the proposed citizenship verification process and the discriminatory citizenship law amendments have resulted in arbitrary detentions and an unnecessary loss of life. Journalists and other peaceful critics continue to be arrested under draconian counter-terrorism and sedition laws, while human rights defenders are unceasingly and severely targeted by the authorities,” Arena noted. She also expressed concern over Amnesty International India being forced to halt its work in the country “due to government reprisals”.
In a background note circulated along with the statement, it was pointed out that the 2004 EU-India Strategic Partnership is based on shared values of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Further, it was pointed out that both countries had endorsed the “EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025” during the 5th European Union-India Summit on July 15, reaffirming commitment to promoting the shared values of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Earlier in January, six different political groupings in the European Parliament moved separate resolutions against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Together, the resolutions had the backing of 626 members of the 751-member European Parliament. Indian diplomats had to work overtime to defer the vote to March, by which time the pandemic bailed India out of the tight spot.
Mr. Amjed Jaaved has been writing freelance for over five decades. He has served the federal and provincial governments of Pakistan for 39 years. His contributions stand published in the leading dailies and magazines at home and abroad (Nepal. Bangladesh, et. al.). He is the author of eight e-books including The Myth of Accession. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.