The RSS does not crave Hindu domination as is the general perception and the biggest opposition to the Sangh is from Hindus themselves, claims BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal.
He has come out with a book titled RSS: Building India Through SEWA which talks of RSS’s history, ideology and policies, and their subsequent impact on the nation. Mittal says that he wrote this book to differentiate between fact and fiction that is at the heart of the debate on the RSS, and to attempt to clarify RSS’s contribution to and position in Indian society.
In a country as diverse as India, contentious issues are naturally, aplenty. For a young democracy like India, that critical areas in gender equity that affect the lives, dignity and safety of women remain untouched only because they are encased in religions that are non-Hindu, is a great shame. According to Mittal, the RSS does not crave Hindu domination as the layman in India has been led to believe. It is the hurt to Hindu sentiments that is being done to appease minorities over 70 years since India attained freedom, which is the point of concern, he argues.
Most prominent among these concerns is the painful Ram Janmabhoomi issue – painful to the majority Hindu population of India, which has historically never interfered in any other community’s religious activity or invaded anyone’s country, and which yearns to see the restoration of Bhagwan Shri Ram Lalla’s temple at the site where it was destroyed by Mughal invader Babur’s hordes in the 16th century, he writes in the book, brought out by Har-Anand Publications.
Amidst all this, Mittal says, it is a travesty that the largest opposition to RSS is from Hindus themselves, those Hindus who have been educated through Western-Christian models of schooling where the historic horrors and violence of the global advance of Christianity are never taught, but where Hindu students instead imbibe a culture of prejudice to their own origins, contempt to Vedic practices and Hindu cultural organisations. The RSS to them is seen as communal when no action of it ever would fit that description.
Never has its outreach by volunteers in saving lives during disasters discriminated on caste and religion, and not one of RSS’s affiliate organisations like schools, trade, farmer and student unions and others prevented any Indian from joining them. It is instructive to note that in Uttar Pradesh, for instance, the excellent schools run by Sewa Bharti, which have always had Muslim students, are now seeing an upsurge in Muslim student enrolment, according to news reports
He claims that the RSS has never had double standards on such issues like triple talaq and nikah halala in Islam. The Sangh has also been active earlier in fighting for reform in Hindu society like abolition of Sati and enabling legal recourse for married women harassed on account of dowry.
He also says that a Uniform Civil Code is a demand that the RSS stands by because of the rightness of it. It has always been clear for RSS that one country must have one set of laws and there can be no separate laws in the name of minority appeasement as is currently the practice in India.
He alleges that there are factions that will cause imbalance or incite violence in the name of the RSS – but asserts this is neither the position of the organisation nor is it supported by its leadership in actions or messaging.
The book, in his words, attempts to describe the work of the RSS since its inception, its history, the core of Sewa Karya, the structural organisation, busting the myths of the RSS not having participated in the Independence movement of India, the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, and the organisation’s dynamic nature through generational change.