Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PTI
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With very little to show on the ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ front, PM and BJP have no option but to fall back on their Hindutva base.

In his address to the World Hindu Congress in Chicago last week, RSS sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat once again urged that “Hindus of the world must unite”. He said Hindus are like “lions” and should not be afraid of the “wild hounds” invading their territory.

There was tremendous applause to his appeal, particularly when he referred to the “wild hounds” attacking Hindu lions. The audience at once understood the symbolism.

It is clear now that those who still believe that Narendra Modi or the BJP/RSS will not polarise voters on the Hindu-Muslim issue and concentrate only on “development” are living in a fool’s paradise.

Individual now greater than organisation

Two days after Bhagwat’s speech, the national executive of the BJP met in New Delhi to launch its 2019 propaganda blitz. Party president Amit Shah told BJP leaders gathered from all over the country that “Narendra Modi leads the party, whereas Dr Manmohan Singh follows the party”. This actually violates of the philosophy of the BJP and its mentor, the RSS, which believe that no individual is greater than the organisation.

But the reason they now place leader above party is because they have realised that the state is far more powerful and has control over all institutions. Indeed, the state, led by Modi, now controls the levers of the RSS in Nagpur.

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Yet, there was Bhagwat, trying to assert the ideology of Hindutva over the idea of development, pointing to a conflict of sorts between the worldview of the RSS and that of the Modi-led BJP.

But Bhagwat and Modi operate in tandem, because they are dependent on each other. Amit Shah cannot run his electoral war machine without the ground support of the RSS cadre. And the BJP has become so servile to Modi and Shah that sitting MPs, MLAs and even corporators are financially dependent on them.

As a result, state power, financial muscle, and Hindutva ideology have formed a deadly triangle. The strategy is rather simple. Modi will keep quiet on lynchings, cow slaughter, beef, and talk about “development”. Bhagwat and others in the Sangh Parivar, meanwhile, will loudly or subtly campaign for Hindu mobilisation and Muslim bashing.

Towards the final phase of elections, even Modi gives up the facade of development and tries to divide the voters on communal lines, as we saw in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

Hindu Rashtra

With very little to show on the “sabka saath, sabka vikas” front, the PM and his party have no option but to fall back on their traditional base. It has been a long journey for the BJP, from Gandhian socialism in 1980-85 to Hindu Rashtra via the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s rule from 1998 to 2004.

True, the idea of a Hindu Rashtra is not yet the official plank, but it is constantly floated to keep it alive. Many hardliners in the party have begun to say that “when” it returns to power in 2019, the Hindu Rashtra process will start unfolding.

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But there are others in the parivar who argue that it is not necessary to formally convert India into a Hindu Rashtra. That would alienate Kashmir as well as Mizoram and Nagaland. If all the institutions of governance are under the RSS’s control, then the system will effectively be run on those lines, without touching the Constitution. Bhagwat’s appeal in Chicago is aimed at that objective.

It is not just capturing the institutions and aggressive propaganda that can win elections. One requires an ideological framework. Hence, the need for Hindutva as the ideology.

The end of ideology and idealism

When Daniel Bell propounded his ‘End of Ideology’ thesis in the early 1950s, the context was World War II. Bell’s argument was that ideologies of the 19th century were based on the utopian ideas of universal good, the notion of liberty and equality. In future, he said, people will tend to support the collective identities in terms of culture, language, ethnicity and so on.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the defeat of socialism in Eastern Europe, the debate on ideology disappeared. Communist China adopting market-driven capitalism further emphasised this ‘End of Ideology’.

But the ideologies of religious fundamentalism had started taking shape before Bell proposed his theory. The birth of Israel was an assertion of Zionism. The Muslim Brotherhood too had started capturing the imagination of some. The Hindu Mahasabha (founded in 1915) and the RSS (founded in 1925) reflected that trend. India’s Partition and consequent holocaust were the ugly manifestations of the ideology of religious and cultural fundamentalism.

Also read:In election year, Modi and Shah have a new headache — the angry upper caste voter

There is no debate today in the media, in the field of academics or in political circles about these ideologies that shaped the history of the 20th century. The current discourse is on brazen materialism, the idea of success, the necessity of “killer instinct”, the idea of profit, as against the ideas of liberty, equality, fraternity and so on. It is not just end of ideologies, but the end of idealism too.

Anarchy devours its children

In this philosophical vacuum, the RSS is baring its fangs. However, it is unlikely to have a long shelf life. Any divisive ideology will end in its own demise. The Aryan fundamentalism of the Nazis ended up destroying Hitler and dividing Germany. There are hundreds and thousands in the RSS who still harbour tremendous support for Hitler. The glorification of Nathuram Godse is a manifestation of that.

What Bhagwat and Modi do not comprehend is that their nemesis is not too far away. It is not a question of 2019 alone. History has a longer run. The more they take an aggressive posture, the bigger the backlash will be.

This aggression of Bhagwat, Modi and Shah is not because of their confidence in 2019, but because of their fear that the future does not belong to them. Anarchy devours all its children.

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12 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Please don’t tell Hindu rashtra

    Hindus are peaceful people and peaceful Nation
    but the aryavarta Hindu rashtra very dangerous.

    The Hitler Aryan community

    Today in India the Aryan RSS brahminical terrorist create the country aryavarta Hindu rashtra like Hitler fascist.

  2. Ketkar says: ” India’s Partition and consequent holocaust were the ugly manifestations of the ideology of religious and cultural fundamentalism.”

    … poor fool, gave himself away – he thinks the 1300 years of Islamic butchery, rape, pillage, and loot … as chronicled by Muslim historians no less … didn’t happen. Dumb fellow he must be to think that people are supposed to forget their collective history of 13 centuries of standing up against bigotry spanning from Morocco to Malaysia and beyond. But then whoever has seen this piece of turd call Ketkar speak on TV knows him, he is sold out to the very marrow to the Congress Party establishment – even before he came into the RS at their behest. Just a useful idiot of the 125 year old party of chamchas, chors and ch***yas.

  3. The writer conveniently forgets that his party and the joint opposition are the ones who are dividing and polarising the society on the basis of caste, creed , religion etc. You can’t expect not to be hit back when you continue to play the dirty game and be selectively myopic and expect your wrong not to be caught. The congress rule of last 70 years is testimony to all the ills that this country has had to face and we as citizens are still paying the price. So nothing you say can be worse than what we experienced in your party’s rule.

  4. Totally baised and with nothing to back up. Its author personal views being a RS member from Congress. The fact is RSS and BJP are the way they were always, it’s pappu n Congress got cganged. The proof is recent pappu’s Mansarovar yatra the media is given it a name call soft Hindutva. It’s totally for politics and if it’s for politics one should understand RG a product of dynasty don’t deserve it. What he did for people? Nothing just being Gandhi not going to help. While our PM proved himself across.

  5. A highly biased view possibly more politically motivated by the opposite camp.You guys seem venerating a colossal leadership failure of the PM of an earlier political dispensation,seemingly finding hidden virtues and indulge in unfair bashing.Passive acquiscence by toeing the party line in scam ridden coalition is
    often worse than acive collusion….

  6. As usual the fearing person quiting the brave act as act if fearing. This clearly shows the jaundice eyed vision n version if the article. Let print discuss who n how HBU is controlled , media is better biased. When lynching is still discussed daily report of girls n nuns by side called priests are not talked in print. Any days are not Far away these report will be irrelevant.

  7. RSS and BJP stand for United India and that philosophy is possible only in a Hindu Ram Rajya. We have seen our neighbor Pak created as an Islamic nation and we have seen how minorities have been crushed and not even allowed to participate in government machinery. So the Gandhi Nehru priciples of secularism based on appeasement of minorities will not work any more as even Western nations with liberal form of domocracies have realised encouraging multi culturalism was a terrible mistake and are going back to nationalism.

  8. The article is interesting and, in my opinion, is fairly accurate of the assessment of the current political scenario. I have little doubt that Modi and company will hesitate to pull out all it’s polarizing options in the run up to the coming elections. It’s going to be a dirty tricks game at it’s worst. I only pray that our country will come out of this phase wiser and more mature.

  9. Our prime minister is the strongest person I have ever seen.I like him very much because he hails from a poor family who can understand the woes of public.Jai hind!!

  10. I think my opinions are not biased for or against RSS. The writer has particularly mentioned that RSS is aiming to control all the Institutions with an objective to impose their philosophy. It may be so. However, in doing so how they are deviating from last govt actions. In the past Congress and Left supporters controlled institutions in order to possibly impose their views. The selection process was never neutral.

    If so, there is nothing abnormal. The common man always suffered in the process so it hardly makes any difference.


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