EVERYBODY knows that Sangh Parivar is a big family having many sister organisations numbering more than 80, fighting for the cause of Hindutva. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) are directly involved in propagation of Hinduism in the country, if I am not wrong. They have done lot of work in the country with the tireless efforts of many visionary leaders like Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya and others. RSS and VHP cadres have truly made many contributions and sacrifices in this regard. BJP represents the political wing of Sangh Parivar, if I have not mistaken. It appears that the RSS and VHP do not take much interest in politics, so also the other sister organisations.
Sangh Parivar believes that Bharat is a Hindu Rashtra, based on Sanatan Dharma, the oldest religion in India. It is correct. When Bangladesh and Pakistan can become Islamic countries, why India cannot be a Hindu country? Majority of the BJP members are Hindus. Muslims and Sikhs are also in the BJP. Minority Cells have been constituted in the party to look after the interest of the Muslims, Buddhists, Jains and Christians, etc. BJP workers maintain close relations with Muslim, Buddhist and Christian minorities in the party. They have joined BJP because they find that it can protect their interests better. That does not mean that they oppose the move to make India a Hindu Rashtra. In fact, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism were all born in India. They borrowed many things from Hinduism. So, they maintain close relations with Hindus.
On many occasions we have seen that the chiefs of RSS and VHP criticised Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee when he was Prime Minister and also Shri LK Advani for not taking steps to make Bharat a Hindu country. But Shri Vajpayee said the government at the Centre was NDA government and not the BJP government. Because, the Hindus did not vote for a BJP government, therefore, as head of the NDA government Shri Vajpayee was unable to help the Hindu organisations to satisfy them fully.
This happened because of lack of interest of Hindu organisations in politics at the time of elections. For electing MPs and MLAs at the Centre and States all the sister organisations should have worked for voting the BJP to power so that it could form a government at the Centre and States, wherever possible. But neither the RSS chief nor the VHP chief issued any direction to their cadres for canvassing for the BJP. They also did not ask the sister organisations of Sangh Parivar to canvass for BJP in rural and urban areas at all. They themselves voted for BJP, but they did not ask others to vote for BJP. So how could the BJP win? On the other hand, the BJP leaders, like leaders of other parties, fight for a ticket at the time of every election. So, where is their love for the country? Why people will vote for BJP leaders to elect them MPs and MLAs?
The present BJP chief Nitin Gadkari is said to be the choice of RSS chief Shri Mohan Bhagwat, as we came to know from the media. Since, Shri Bhagwat and Shri Gadkari have not denied it so far we take it as correct. Accordingly, he was later on formally elected by the BJP party. When Shri Bhagwat could directly or indirectly ask BJP cadres to elect Shri Nitin Gadkari as BJP president, why could he not give directives to all the chiefs of RSS sister organisations including the VHP and others?
In the case of Assam, the BJP and Sangh Parivar became a laughing stock during the last Assembly election. Either, Shri Mohan Bhagwat should have given directives to all the sister organisations of RSS to canvass for BJP for better results in the election or Shri Nitin Gadkari should have requested all the workers of Sangh Parivar. He did not do it and now he is unable to show his face to the BJP sympathisers in Assam. He arranged five helicopters at the time of elections in Assam, organised National Executive Meeting in Guwahati, and brought all the high profiles to campaign in elections to get only five seats from 10 making BJP a laughing stock. Money does not help always. People are intelligent now. They must give up hi-fi hotel culture.
The BJP leaders should lead a simple life like the cadres of other sister organisations of Sangh Parivar. Shri Mohan Bhagwatji should ask the BJP leaders to live a simple life. The facilities that they enjoy have become as a source of corruption in politics for which BJP has also become unpopular. In this regard, there appears no distinction between the BJP and other parties. Personal interests have eaten up their backbones. So, the facilities of MPs/MLAs should be taken back to the days of Pt. Nehru or Lal Bahadur Shastri, if corruption is to be reduced in our country.
My feeling is that the RSS and VHP should change their policy, if they want to have a Hindu government at the Centre or make Bharat a Hindu country. They should take full interest in politics. Unless they form a government of their own at the Centre, they cannot dream of a Hindu Rashtra coming true. The Christianity could penetrate in India and now have spread to many parts due to the advantage of British rule. Had there been no British Government in India, no Christian organisation could have come to India and spread Christianity. Likewise, during the Mughal era large number of Hindus were converted into Islam. Had there been no Muslim rule in India, no Hindu could have accepted Islam. In Kashmir, because of the blunder of some Hindu priests, the Islam could find a place. Prince Rinsin, who became the king of Kashmir and who was a Buddhist from Tibetan region, wanted to be converted into Hinduism. But the priests did not accept him. Because, they were very conservative. The chance was taken by the Islamic priest, to convert him into Islam. This facilitated the local Islamic priests to spread Islam in a Hindu majority state, which had made Hindus minority in Kashmir today. Emperor Asoka and Kanishka were Buddhists, so Buddhism could be spread by Buddhist monks all over the country and in many foreign countries during their periods. The Gupta rulers were Hindus, so Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma could be revived and spread all over the country, which is now continuing. The Ahom in Assam came from upper Myanmar. They had their own religion. But they accepted Hinduism as their way of worship and constructed many temples. Because of royal patronage Hinduism flourished in Assam.
Therefore, it is high time that the Sangh Parivar should modify its policy for taking interest in politics for formation of the government at the Centre and also in the States. Then only they will be able to achieve their goal. Character building is very important, no doubt, but politics is also important to fulfill their aspirations. Let the Sangh Parivar take leadership to take appropriate steps to unite all the Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs in the country and try to install an independent BJP government at the Centre in the coming general elections. It has become easier now, since Baba Ramdev’s wave to fight corruption in the country has touched all corners of the country.
(The writer is former Director General of National Museum, New Delhi and chairman of Indian Art History Congress, Guwahati. He can be contacted at 50, Parag Das Road, Ananda Nagar, Bamunimaidam, Guwahati-781 021)