Patriotism, Religion and Ideology of RSS

Ram Puniyani
January 7, 2021

Word ‘anti-National’ has been more in vogue form last few years. Simply put all those who are criticizing the RSS and its progeny are labeled as anti-National. As fountainhead of Hindu Nationalism RSS is becoming stronger, it has been trying to link patriotism and religion. While hailing Hindus for their loyalty to this nation, the subtle hints are being circulated about Muslims in particular that they are more loyal to Pakistan. In cleverly worded articulation, (HT Jan 02, 2020) the chief of RSS, Mohan Bhagwat said that Hindus are patriotic by nature due to their religion.  He also twists a sentence of Gandhi to state that Gandhi’s patriotism had its origin in Hindu religion, “All Indians worship motherland. But Gandhi said my patriotism comes from my religion. So if you are a Hindu then you will be an automatic patriot. You may be an unconscious Hindu, you may need awakening, but a Hindu will never be anti-India.”

Before analyzing the subtle hints hidden in this formulation let’s understand that when RSS began, its major ideologue M.S. Golwalkar was forthright in praising the Nazis and recommended the treatment for Muslims and Christians (Foreign religions, according to RSS) on the lines which were used by Nazis for Jews. Now from last few decades as RSS is becoming more powerful through it multiple organizations like BJP, VHP, ABVP, Vanvasis Kalyan Ashram, and through its infiltration into different wings of state, media and education, it is using more subtle language, while communicating the same  Hindu nationalist ideology. The meaning and content remains the same, which Golwalkar had outlined in ‘We or Our Nationhood Defined’, but the presentation is well decorated, subtle to the extent of confusing many in the society.

As far as Gandhi is concerned, for him religion was a personal matter. He did call himself as sanatani Hindu, but his Hinduism was liberal and inclusive. His religion had more to do with moral values. He derived his spiritual strength from all the religions, "I consider myself as good a Muslim as I am a Hindu and for that matter, I regard myself as equally good a Christian or a Parsi". (Harijan, May 25 197, page 164). There is respect and inclusivity for people of other religions in his practice of Hinduism. This is in total contrast to exclusivist, narrow understanding and practice of Hinduism of RSS, which is continuously raking up issues to frighten and intimidate people of other religions. As Gandhi’s practice of his religion was liberal and inclusive he could lead the people of different religions in the struggle against British rule.

He also did not connect up religion and nationality or for that matter to patriotism. In that sense patriotism, love for one’s country and countrymen, is not rooted in the religion but in the ‘Nationhood’ which is not an outcome of religion for that matter. His use of word religion has two levels. One is the popular notion of customs, identity, faith etc. and second the morality inherent in the teachings of religion. Though he is very clear that morality is the core of religions, the likes of RSS or for that matter even the Muslim communalists (Muslim League etc.) take his use of the word purely at the level of rituals, holy places etc. only.

The ideologues, who are a part of Hindu nationalist outlook, close to RSS mindset, are burning the midnight oil to dig fragments of sentences, not only from Gandhi and other national icons to present as if the values of these makers of ‘India as a nation’ had ideas similar to that of RSS. In the process they retain the RSS ideology while trying to get more legitimacy by showing their similarity to the great icons of India’s freedom movement and the process of ‘India as a nation in the making’.

So now the formulation is that Hindus are naturally patriots, they can’t be anti national. The other side of this is that the nationalism and patriotism of those belonging to other religions is suspect, subject to certification by those who have a monopoly of being patriots and nationalists, those claiming to represent Hindus.

This totally bypasses the great contributions of Muslims and Christians in making of modern India. Where do you place the millions of Muslims who followed Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad who stood not only against British rule but also against the concept of partition of India? Where do you place the likes of Shibli Nomani, Hasrat Mohani, and Ashfaqullah Khan? How do you value the contribution of Allahbaksh who was instrumental in organizing the conference of Muslims to oppose the resolution for separate Pakistan by Mohammad Ali Jinnah? There were innumerable organizations formed by Muslims who rubbed shoulders with participants in the struggle for freedom movement.

In Independent India people of all religions have contributed with equal zeal in making of modern India, in all the fields of industry, education, sports, culture and what have you. Are they not patriots or nationalists?

On the other side this formulation of Mr. Bhagwat is a clever defense of the one trained in its shakhas who murdered Gandhi, Nathuram Godse. How do we label those who participated and led in demolition of Babri Mosque, which was called as a crime by the Supreme Court? As per Bhagwat do acts of killing of Gandhi, Kalburgi, Dabholkar, Gauri Lankesh and Govind Pansare fall in the category of patriotic acts? Where do so many Hindus involved in spying, smuggling, black marketing etc. are to be placed?

Interestingly as RSS is making a show of paying respect to Gandhi, at the same time its trained pracharaks and fellow ideologues and many of its affiliated organizations are openly paying respect to Nathuram Godse. This Gandhi anniversary tweets praising Godse were aplenty, mostly from Hindus. That just shows the ideological manipulation capability of the multithreaded hydra, RSS. Only such an organization can simultaneously make the show of paying obeisance to Gandhi while quietly enhancing the ideology which led to his murder.

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Agencies
January 12,2021

New Delhi, Jan 12: In more trouble for WhatsApp, which is facing criticism over its revised user data policy in India, New Delhi-based think-tank Cyberpeace Foundation said on Monday that China-based hackers are targeting WhatsApp users in the country with the promise of 'part-time' jobs. Such proliferating messages on WhatsApp, which come with attached links, claim that one can earn Rs 200 to Rs 3,000 in a day in 10 to 30 minutes.

"There are multiple links that redirect to a common URL and each link uses different numbers to send a message," the foundation said in a statement.

"It can be observed that the same outgoing link is used for all the links with variation in the numbers. The parameter in the links indicates that they can be redirected to WhatsApp in all regions and in languages other than English," said the report.

The CyberPeace Foundation along with experts from Autobot Infosec Private Ltd has launched an independent investigation into the matter.

"In all the links, the same redirection and outgoing sources were generated. However, in one link, a different URL was found and one new IP address that belongs to one of China's hosting company Alibaba Cloud," the report said.

When the URL is manipulated, an error code is displayed in Chinese language, the report said, adding that the domain names found during the investigation seem to have been registered in China.

"The IP address of the link is 47.75.111.165 and it can be traced to Alibaba Cloud, the city Hong Kong and the country China," it further claimed.

The news comes at a time when WhatsApp is asking users to either give their consent to sharing data with Facebook or lose their accounts after February 8, triggering a heated debate globally, including in India.

 

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coastaldigest.com news network
January 15,2021

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Mangaluru, Jan 15: The Dakshina Kannada district unit of Social Democratic Party of India today organised a massive ‘SP (superintendence of police) office chalo’ in the city demanding the arrest of BJP workers who had allegedly raised ‘pro-Pakistan’ slogans during Gram Panchayat poll victory celebration in front of a polling booth earlier this month. 

The other demands of the protesters included release of the ‘innocent’ Muslim youth who were arrest on sedition charge and suspension of Beltangady police sub inspector Nandakumar over mishandling of the case. The SDPI claims that the BJP workers deliberately raised pro-Pakistan slogans with an intention of putting blame on Muslims. 

Thousands of people, mostly workers of SDPI from across the district took part in the massive protest, said to be the biggest gathering in the coastal city after covid-19 lockdown. 

The protesters that were marching towards SP’s office, however, were stopped by the police half way through near Clock Tower in the city. The angry protesters continued to raise slogans against BJP and Belthangady police until Mangaluru City Police Commissioner Shashi Kumar visited the spot. 

Mr Kumar thanked the SDPI workers for being peaceful throughout the protest and accepted memorandum from them and promised to hand it over to Inspector General of Police - Western Range, who is currently not in city.

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News Network
January 16,2021

New Delhi, Jan 16: The alleged WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV with former CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), which were leaked on social media, suggest that the controversial journalist was least stricken by the news of Pulwama attack which shook the entire conscience of the country, on February 2014.

Pratik Sinha, co-founder of Altnews, shared a part from the leaked messages wherein Arnab express his joy over the "massive spike" in viewership through the coverage of the terrorist attack.

On the day of attack, at 4:19 PM, Arnab was allegedly saying to Partho: Sir 20 min ahead on the biggest terrorist attack of the year in Kashmir…only only channel with a ground presence.

After a while at 5.43 PM, he was saying: Have planned some build-up thing after we spoke. Idea to gain massive spike. So used his (Prime Minister Narendra Modi's) speech and pushed it by a bit."

It is a known fact that the media benefit from the public's eagerness to obtain information about terrorist attacks. For sensationalist TV channels and newspapers, the fear and fascination generated by terrorism is a substantial part of their business.

"This attack we have won like crazy," the anchor allegedly said in the wake of the attack which killed 40 soldiers.

The leaked-chats is the latest development in the ongoing TRP scam case in which several television channels are accused of manipulating viewership data by bribing the audience.

Many other messages between the anchor and the officer suggest that Goswami was in close proximity with the power corridors at the Centre.

Social media is intrigued over the abbreviation "AS" used in the chats denoting powerful persons.

The alleged leak will bother both Arnab Goswami and Whatsapp, at least for a few days, which has been repeatedly claiming that messages in the platform and cannot be viewed by a third party. The Facebook owned platform had given a first page advertisement in all leading newspapers in India to reassert its claims on ensuring privacy of the consumers.

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