The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
The RSS entirely agrees with Gandhiji’s ideal that, “In Hinduism there is room enough for Jesus, as there is for Mohammed, Zoroster and Moses,” and that, “Majority of the Muslims in India are converts from Hinduism because of circumstances. They are still Hindu in many essential ways and, in a free, prosperous and progressive India, they would find it the most natural thing to revert to their ancient faith and ways of life.”
Due to the British policy of ‘Divide and Rule’ and the politicians’ proclivity to compromise and temporize, the country suffered the trauma of the partition. But the Sangh Parivar has no doubt that the unities, the varieties and the strengths of our ancient civilization will prevail before long. RSS has been continuing the task of nation building since its inception and continued the work tirelessly through the tumultuous period of 1930s and 40s. But it was rudely shaken by Gandhiji’s killing and the government’s political exploitation of that national tragedy.
The RSS, along with millions of people, did not approve of Gandhiji’s Muslim appeasement policy – starting with support of the Khilafat movement – but, it had the greatest respect for the Mahatma. Indeed, Gandhiji had visited the RSS winter camp in Wardha in December 1934 and addressed the Delhi RSS workers in Bhangi colony, in September 1947. He had appreciated the ‘noble sentiments’ and ‘astonishing discipline’ of the RSS. He had never criticized the RSS. But, after his assasination, 17000 RSS workers – including Shri Guruji – were accused of ‘conspiracy of murder’ of the Mahatma followed by RSS workers going on Satyagraha.
During all this time not one MLA or MP raised this issue in any legislature. For the RSS, it was the moment of truth and this truth, as enunciated by Gokhale, was, “What cuts deep in politics cuts deep all round,” and that unless the RSS grew political teeth and wings, it would always be at the mercy of unscrupulous politicians. This was the context in which Shri Guruji came up with Bhartiya Jana Sangh under the leadership of Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee in 1951. And in the very first general elections the BJS emerged as one of the four nationally recognized parties and since then, the party has never looked back!