Monday, February 1, 2016

Learning from SHaPE: What Golwalkar actually said

I got to read a friend's post about RSS' Vishwa Sangh Shivir. A PGP from IIMA, Ami, happened to attend the shivir and wrote a beautiful post (here) about it. This reminded me of one of my long-gone blog for "policy, politics, economics", called Pragmatica. The blog couldn't be continued but I had saved the posts. Today, got reminded of a post from that blog and sharing the same here:

Friday, November 16, 2012
Last post was about the course SHaPE (Social, Historical, and Political Economy) of India. The course is over now but in the process, we hit a treasure trove of  knowledge. The participants raised a lot of interesting and intriguing questions and I discovered a lot in my effort to meaningfully answer them. For example, during the course, I gave an assignment on contributions of these influential figures of post-independence India - B.R. Ambedkar, Ram Manohar Lohia, M.S. Golwalkar, J.R.D. Tata and another public figure of own choice. The purpose was to make participants discover beyond text-book information, mostly limited to Gandhi-Nehru and family.

Post-submission, I received many interesting questions. One such question is given below, followed by my answer. I am copying everything verbatim except the name of the participants. Any formatting, spelling or grammar errors are not removed. If you wish to read the full book yourself, please drop your e-mail id here as a comment. Now, set all your previous judgments, favorable - unfavorable prejudices, and opinions aside to read the communications below:

While reading about MS Golwalkar, i came across different articles and interviews which represented conflicting views of his philosophy.
eg, in his book "Bunch of Thoughts", he was very critical of Muslims, Christians and Parsis, and said that they can't have same right over the country as Hindus do, whereas in an interview given to Dr. Jeelani, he said that "a Muslim is as good as a Hindu. It is not the Hindu alone who will reach the ultimate Godhead. Everyone has the right to follow his path according to his own persuasion."
How do we resolve these differences in his writings and his speeches? What can be treated as reliable source of information, and what is just writer's personal bias?

I think there is a lot of misrepresentation of thoughts of RSS and specially Golwalkar. I think what you have read is from different sources. So I thought that in order to be a better judge of RSS / Golwakar, why not read his major book - "Bunch of Thoughts" ourselves. Therefore, I am attaching a word file with the complete book. Also, I'm copying some excerpts from the book for our common understanding.
But, unfortunately, what do we see all around us today? Some are Hindus, not out of conviction, but out of reaction. To give an example, our workers once approached a prominent Hindu leader during the signature collection campaign demanding ban on the slaughter of cows. But they were greatly shocked to hear him saying, "What is the use of preventing the slaughter of useless cattle? Let them die. What does it matter? After all, one animal is as good as the other. But, since the Muslims are bent upon cow-slaughter, we should make this an issue. And so, I give you my signature." What does this show? We are to protect the cow not because the cow has been for ages an emblem of Hindu devotion but because the Muslims kill it! This is Hinduism born out of reaction, a kind of ‘negative Hinduism’.
Once a gentleman asked me whether we are organising Hindus in order to counteract the various activities of the Muslims. I simply told him that even if Prophet Mohammed had not been born and Islam had not come into existence, we would have taken up this work just as we are doing it today, if we had found Hindus in the same disorganised, self-forgetful condition as at present. The positive conviction that this is my Hindu Rashtra, this is my dharma, this is my philosophy which I have to live and set up as standard for all other nations to follow-well, this should be the solid basis for Hindu reoorganisation.
Then there were the Jews and Parsis who had come here as refugees. The Jews were ignored as they were very few. The parsis, though small in number, were an intelligent, industrious and prosperous community. But to a large extent, they had merged in the mainstream of the Hindu life here. They had developed intense love for our motherland and were in the forefront of our freedom struggle. Dadabhai Naoroji, Pherozeshah Mehta and Madame Cama became symbols of inspiration for all freedom fighters.
In spite of this catholic and rational approach of Hindu Rashtra towards the so-called minorities, it is amazing that some people should harbour fear that the 'minorities' live in mortal peril if Hindu Rashtra comes into its own. The fear, if at all genuine, can only be due to their misconception that 'Hindu Rashtra' would treat other religious groups in much the same way as the Semitic religions did. The first Semitic religion was Judaism-an intolerant faith. It was this intolerance that nailed Christ on the Cross. Then came Christianity, the child of the former. That too was equally intolerant. Doubtless Christ was a great saint. But later, what went on in the name of Christ had nothing to do with him. It was no Christianity but only 'Churchianity'. The saying "There was but one true Christian and he died on the Cross" is true to the letter. The Christians committed all sorts of atrocities on the Jews by giving them the label 'Killers of Christ'. Hitler is not an exception but a culmination of the 2000-year long oppression of the Jews by the Christians. Then came Islam – a long story of 'Sword and Koran' written in the tears and blood of millions of innocent human beings. It’s latest chapter of 'Pakistan', the self-declared theocratic Islamic State, is no different with the entire Hindu population butchered and driven out from its western wing and the same process continuing in its eastern wing. All these have ingrained in their blood intolerance of other faiths.
The fear that Hindu Rashtra will imperil the existence of other religious groups arises by applying the above Semitic yardstick to it and imagining that the concept of Hindu Rashtra in analogous to that of the Semitic states notorious for their religious bigotry and persecutions.
There is the story of ‘Saint Xavier, who used to experience the highest joy of his life when he used to see the new converts trampling upon their former gods and goddesses, razing their temples to the ground and insulting their own parents and elders who remained Hindus. And even as recently as during the Congress rule (a de facto Christian rule?) in Kerala after the quitting of the British, hundreds of ancient and scared Hindu temples, including the famous one at Shabarimalai, were desecrated and their idols broken by the Christian vandals. It is the same Christian fanatics who smashed the Vivekananda Memorial Tablet on the Vivekananda Rock at Kanyakumari. Such are the men who come to us to preach that Christianity would shower bliss of peace and milk of human kindness on humanity!
So long as the Christians here indulge in such activities and consider themselves as agents of the international movement for the spread of Christianity, and refuse to offer their first loyalty to the land of their birth and behave as true children of the heritage and culture of their ancestors, they will remain here as hostiles.
Q: Some Muslims in U.K. would like to join with us in this effort. Should we encourage them to do so?
A: Provided they are prepared to own the Hindu culture as their own. They could have their own way of upasana but should consider the Hindu heritage and history as their own.
The Muslims, Christians and Jews etc., have perfect upasana swatantrya, freedom of worship so long as they do not seek to destroy or undermine the faith and symbolism of the national society. They should subordinate their exclusive claims for final and sole revelation vis-à-vis the national society. They could bear witness to their faith in life and speech but they should not indulge in any unfair and unspiritual modes of conversion.

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