There remained a lifelong dilemma attached to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. On one side I believe that it is a wonderful organisation. A little share of childhood was spent in Shakha. But struggling with everyday living, parents later stopped me. With the growing age, I tried to understanding Sangh through books and mutual professional relations, but not by living it. Consequently, great regards for Sangh continued. More proximity had the dangers of being ‘branded’ as one, which was not appropriate for the profession of journalism. Experiencing dedication, and devotion of Swayamsevaks I see myself very small in stature. But when I witness their staunch views on nationalism, I wonder about the weakness of this wonderful organisation. Still, I believe that the only organisation in this world that can transform individual and national character is Sangh alone. And the foundational basis for that would be Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya’s ‘Integral Humanism’, only philosophy that provided vision for entire humanity after Marxism.
Another important facet of Sangh is character building among children. In the era of globalisation negativity through television is imprinting children’s clean mind with futile activities. When parents advise children to study, they ridicule this advice thinking instead of studies programmes like ‘Dance India Dance’ would make their future brighter. But in RSS programmes, these children are woken up at 5 am for physical exercises and thoughtful discussions, it implants seeds responsible citizens. Sangh is the source for holistic development.
However, purely ideological organisations can not think dynamically beyond their foundational concepts. Slowly and steadily it leads to a sense of persistence. And then these Swayamsevaks start viewing people like us with ‘suspect’. But Sangh never ends the contact, and invite us to write articles, place us with respect in their programmes and attentively listen to our criticism, though few Swayamsevaks display their radicalism traits.
So what problems do I have? And if I am wrong why I am not told? If I am right why necessary modifications are not done? I know that understanding of society and zeal to attain the perfection is inherent to the working of Sangh. My understanding is limited but it is also true that after 90 years could not change this “us versus them” expression. After giving my reasoning for criticism, I am generally treated with hatred.
Even Ambedkar writes in his book ‘Pakistan or Partition of India’ that Islam doesn’t allow a true Muslim to accept Bharat as their motherland and Hindus as their own family. Based on the same premise, many are of the view that Muslims do not fit in Sangh’s conception of nationalism. Then what is the way out? The same ‘us versus them’ or something else? Here the address delivered by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya on April 23, 1965 to workers (second address among the four addresses of Integral philosophy) can be remembered, where this visionary remarked, “Unity in diversity or expression of unity in multiple forms is the central feature of Indian culture. If we place this aphorism in our heart, there won’t be any struggle between powers. If there is a struggle, then it doesn’t symbolise our nature and culture, but destruction… one witnesses both love and hate between brothers, but we accept love as noble. The spread of brotherhood is our goal. If conflict is made out as the central feature of human nature and history is thus analysed, then hardly one can find any harmony ever.”
I have studied the rise and decline of many organisations around the world. The capacity and purity of
purpose as Sangh has, is unmatched. This then doesn’t explain that how after seventy years of independence issues such as corruption are being taken up by Anna Hazare and not by Sangh. Why the drawbacks of Hindu tradition such as exploitation of Dalits do not attract Sangh’s attention and
opportunities are handed over to Christian missionaries to lure Dalits or some Mualana is allowed to mislead them? Won’t it be more advisable to clean our homes at first place? I am expressing of gratitude to Sangh. In far distant forest lands many are being served selflessly. But flaws of Hindu tradition would have ceased to exist much before had they become a part of Sangh’s original thinking.
Nonetheless, I have always found something new to learn while interacting with Sangh. Hope that Sangh will eventually transform me.
The writer is a senior journalist