RSS sans the mask - radical face of fundamentalism

Indresh Kumar has yet again exposed the face that the Sangh takes care to keep under wraps


Ajay Singh | October 27, 2010

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is once again in the news for all wrong reasons. One of its important office bearers, Indresh Kumar, figures in the charge sheet filed by the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) of the Rajasthan police on the serial blasts in Ajmer. Indresh Kumar figures as a person who interacted with those accused of engineering the blasts not only in Ajmer but also in Malegaon and Modassa.

Mere acquaintance with a law-breaker is not a crime. But Indresh Kumar’s association is reported to be more than an acquaintance. Investigation into his role has followed interrogation of the prime accused of Malegaon, Colonel Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh and others. Kumar is believed to be a senior functionary of the Sangh who has devoted a large part of his career to raising Hindu consciousness in Nepal and Jammu and Kashmir. He is an archetypal RSS personality who aptly fits into the Sangh mould – celibate, taciturn and self-effacing. Though the RSS is crying foul over the investigation, calling it motivated, Indresh Kumar will be left to fend for himself if the investigation closes in on him.

This is not the first time that an RSS functionary has been found involved in crossing the legal boundaries in pursuit of their ideological dream. That the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi had an RSS background is not a disputed fact.  Apparently the fault lies with the RSS ideology which is not averse to “militaristic strategy” and rather endorses such values to attain its goal. And its goal is unambiguously making India a ‘Hindu Rashtra’.  By implication, the RSS pursues a political goal while donning the mantle of a “socio-cultural organisation”. The organisation has been managing this contradiction quite well so long as its political affiliate – Bhartiya Jana Sangh and later Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – drew its sustenance from the RSS fountainhead.

But the situation has reversed now. While the BJP’s experience in parliamentary politics and its emergence as a major political party has imbued the party with a sense of accountability, the RSS still continues with its contradictions. This is precisely why the RSS tacitly encourages people such as Pravin Togadia, Giriraj Kishore and Sadhvi Ritambhara to make provocative speeches. In fact, whenever its mask of a socio-culture organisation slips away it exposes the  hideous political face shaped by an ideology that is pretty close to radical fundamentalism of a different variety.



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