Saturday, February 24, 2007

This Above all
He struck the Right chord

This year the RSS celebrates the birth centenary of Golwalkar, known to his followers as Guruji. He was the second in line after Hedgewar, who founded the organisation in 1925 and undoubtedly, the principal formulator of its creed. He remained its head and chief spokesman for 33 years till he died in June 1973 at 67. Amongst others in paying homage to him will be leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and the BJP.

Not many of the tribute-payers will bother to read what Guruji had to say about India’s past and future but will nevertheless vie with each other in praising him. No one can deny that the BJP and other right-wing Hindu parties acquired the status they enjoy today because of Guru Golwalkar. We owe it to ourselves to know more about him.

Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar was born in 1906 at Ramtek near Nagpur in a Brahmin family. Brahmin is important because Brahminism forms as important aspect of his views, leadership of the RSS as well as other fundamentalist Hindu parties.

All have been Brahminically top-heavy. He was educated at Banaras Hindu University where he came under the influence of its founder Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (Brahmin) who was nominally a member of the Congress Party but effectively a right-wing Hindu.

For a while, Golwalkar toyed with the idea of becoming a sanyasi-scholar but was persuaded to take active part in tackling societal problems. He joined the RSS in 1940 and was later nominated by Hedgewar as his successor and second sarsangchalak.

Golwalkar’s thinking was much influenced by Veer Savarkar (also a Brahmin). Both supported the caste system, asserting the superiority of the Brahmins over other castes and the need to keep their lineage free of contamination by inter-marriages with other castes. Both regarded Islam and Christianity as non-Indian because they originated outside India and believed that unless they recognised India as their fatherland and holy land, they were to be treated as second-class citizens.

Both believed in the superiority of the Aryan race and approved of Adolf Hitler extermainating millions of Jews in gas chambers. Nevertheles they supported Zionism and Jewish State of Israel for no other reason than it was forever waging wars against its Arab neighbours who were Muslims. Islamophobia became an integral part of Hindutva. L.K. Advani calls it a "noble concept". He named the Port Blair airport after Savarkar. They have a life-size portrait of him in Parliament. Najma Heptullah paid a floral tribute to him; Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Shah and Nawaz Hussain are active members of the BJP. We are never short of opportunists.

Returning to Golwalkar, I had read his Bunch of Letters earlier and put it out of my mind. I didn’t know of his We Or Our Nationhood Defined. It was published in 1939 and carried by the RSS journal Organiser.

It has been republished with the full text and A Critique by Shamsul Islam by Pharos Press. It substantiates all of what I have said. Golwalkar’s concept of a nation is as fellow: ".. thus applying the modern understanding of ‘Nation’ to our present conditions, the conclusion is unquestionably forced upon us that in this country, Hindusthan, the Hindi Race with its Hindu Religion, Hindu Culture and Hindu language (the natural family of Sanskrit and her offsprings) complete the Nation concept..."

Sanskrit was never the spoken language of the people who used their regional languages, some of them like Tamil and Malayalam claim to be older than it.

Sanskrit remained largely a monopoly of the Brahmins. There are other assertions of the Indian Aryans glorious past which are more fanciful than historically factual. To me they appear to be fabrications. You make your own judgment.

Nature’s miracle

On the morning of February 6 I was sitting in my back garden watching birds. It had suddenly got warmer. The day before I was looking for a sunny spot to bask in; this morning I was sitting under the shade of a mango tree. The chrysanthemums which were in full glory a week earlier looked bedraggled and woebegone. A few yellow jasmines came into flowers on the creeper covering my back verandah. They looked spectacular in their pristine gold. The peach tree, which is my favourite for a fortnight in spring, was still flowerless. I was in the garden for three hours before I decided to turn in for my mid-day meal. I took a round of my garden. As I came to the peach tree I was amazed to see over a dozen blossoms on different branches. It had performed the miracle in less than 80 minutes.

Jamboree in Lucknow

The BJP in its Lucknow session, planned to take out a marriage procession,

To wed a Sundari — the Delhi gaddi.

But what about the groom?

In the BJP grooms grow like mushrooms

Though underage, its President declared in rage

"Who else, but I and I alone?"

Last time Advani was Vajpayee’s sarvala

So this time he is ipso facto deserving varmala

And manohar’s murli sang a different vani

Never! never! Advani."

Their ally Nitish Kumar

Being a born Bihari

Says "None else than Atal Bihari."

But Vajpayee in this battle of aar paar

Will definitely favour his langotiya yaar

(Courtesy: M.G. Kapahy, Delhi)