While talking to a Cornell college professor, Rahul Gandhi lamented that the RSS was making use of its educational institutions to propagate its tunnel vision.`Wherefrom money comes to run hundreds of thousands of schools’, he asked.
The RSS, founded in 1925, is not only distorting history, and polluting syllabi but also compelling the BJP government to appoint its nominees to key posts whether academic or political.
The RSS’s rationale is that it is their government. As such, they have every right to make appointments to all political and non-political posts and revise the syllabus according to their own version of history.
A bird’s-eye view of appointments
Besides president Kovind Nath, a dalit, and Hindu-monk Yogi Adityanath, several parcharaks (apostles) were nominated for appointment as Chief Ministers, Governors and Cabinet Ministers. The nominees included ML Khattar, Chief Minister of Haryana, Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarkhand, Devender Fadnavis (Maharashtra), and Ram Thakur (Himachal Pradesh).
The veterans appointed as governors included Balramji Das Tandan (Chhatisgarh), Ram Naik (UP), Om Prakash Kohli (Gujarat), Keshri Nath Tripathi (West Bengal), Kalyan Singh (Rajasthan), Vidya Saga Rao (Maharashtra), Vaju Bhai Bhala (Karnataka), Padmanabha Acharya (Nagaland), Jagdish Mukti (Assam) and Tathaghat Roy (Tripura).
Dr, Lokesh Chandra was made President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Ram Bahadur Roy, former ABVP organizing secretary who was jailed during Indira-Gandhi- imposed emergency was appointed to the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts. Baldev Sharma, the former editor of the RSS’s Hindi mouth-piece Panchajanya, was appointed Chairman of the National Book Trust.
Shakti Sinha, a Private Secretary to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was rewarded with appointment of Director of Nehru Memoria and Library. The memorial was hub of Nehru-Gandhi legacy. A small-time actor Gajendra Chauhan was appointed Chairman of the Films and Television Institute of India. Hindu Nationalist Anupam Kher was appointed head of India’s Board of Film Certification.
Realising that educational institutions are key agents for ideological dissemination, the RSS thrust its nominees as vice chancellors and directors in universities and cultural institutions of higher learning.
RSS’s version of history and its conscription of power
A distorted version is taught in RSS-run Vidya Bharti schools. Hindu caste system is well delineated in Rig Veda, Manusmriti and Bhagavad Gita. However, the RSS preaches that the Muslim Turks initiated the untouchability. Turks introduced commodes in India. “Hindus who refused to convert to Islam were forced to clean them. And, thus they became untouchable.”
While addressing a large gathering at Muzaffarpur, Bhagwat said, `RSS volunteers were so disciplined that they could be mobilized in a matter of days should the constitution and laws of the country so demand’. Many senior retired armed forces officers, including former Army Chief General VK Singh, have joined the RSS.
Bhagwat’s bonhomie with politicians, media, judiciary, industry, religious leaders and civil society reflects that the RSS would continue to keep the Modi government under its octopus claw. Also, it is keen to extend its influence in political, societal and non-governmental spheres. To deepen its roots, the RSS has initiated programmes like Family Awakening (parivar prabodhan), Village Development (grama vikas), and Social Harmony (samarasatta).
Read more: The RSS’s ubiquitous influence in India
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. He knows many languages including French and Arabic. The views expressed in the article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.