Tag Archives: Sangh Parivar

Discourse of Hindu Unity and Challenges in the Struggle Against the Right


In a recent book Hindu Ekta Banaam Gyan ki Rajneeti [Hindu Unity versus the Politics of Knowledge] (Vani 2019), my colleague and friend Abhay Kumar Dubey raises some extremely important issues that have now become central to the struggle for a more just and inclusive India. The book is in Hindi and written in the highly provocative and combative style that characterizes most of Abhay’s writings but there is something profundly disturbing – and enlightening – about the key point that  he has to make. In this brief piece I discuss it here for the benefit of the non-Hindi reader (which is not the same as ‘English-speaking’ or ‘English-educated’). However, those who understand Hindi and are interested can watch the 42-minute discussion between Abhay Dubey and myself (recorded in Janaury this year) for the Youtube book discussion channel Parakh run by Kamal Nayan Choubey. The video is embedded this post below.

The central concern of the book is with certain blindspots in what Abhay calls the ‘Centrist discourse’ [madhyamargi vimarsh] or interchangeably, ‘anti-majoritarian discourse’ [bahusankhyakvaad virodhi vimarsh] – which, for some reason, has been rendered as ‘secular ideology’ by Yogendra Yadav in a recent piece in The Print. (Yadav’s piece and Rajmohan Gandhi’s response in defense of ‘secular ideology’ can he read here and here). In keeping with Abhay’s usage, I will use the term ‘anti-majoritarian’ rather than ‘secular’ discourse for this specific configuration that emerges in the the 1990s, for as we will see, this is not a simple continuation of the secular discourse of the 1980s. For the earlier discursive formation, however, I will continue to use the term secular and we will see below how the two differ.

The blindspots that Abhay insistently and relentlessly draws the readers’ attention to, have to do with the very superficial and often hugely misleading understanding of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its deeper connections with the much longer and larger history of the project of forging ‘Hindu unity’.

Continue reading Discourse of Hindu Unity and Challenges in the Struggle Against the Right

Why Modi and Sangh Parivar Want to ‘Disremember’ Golwalkar

PM Modi didn’t mention former RSS chief Golwalkar on his recent 114th birth anniversary. The idea is to implement his ‘essence’ in private while not mentioning him in public.

Why Modi and Sangh Parivar Want

The 114th birth anniversary of Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar went unnoticed. Barring a stray article by a second-rung leader of the saffron party in a national daily, none from the top hierarchy deemed it even necessary to remember the second chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) who followed the organisation’s founder, KB Hedgewar.

Interestingly, while Twitter-savvy Prime Minister Narendra Modi found time to tweet about his litti chokha conquest at Hunar Haat in Delhi, there was not a single line about Golwalkar on his timeline that day. It appeared a bit strange because in his book titled ‘Jyotipunj’ on the “greatest social workers” who “burnt their lives to glow the Motherland”, Modi had devoted forty pages to Golwalkar. “The life of Golwalkar Guruji is a fine example of dedication. Guruji, possessed all those qualities which are expected of an individual who lives for his goal—patience, determination, perseverance,” he wrote.

Was Modi’s or his senior colleagues’ silence inadvertent, or deliberate?

( Read the full article here : https://www.newsclick.in/Modi-Sangh-Parivar-Want-Disremember-Golwalkar)


Why exoneration of Sadhvi Pragya should worry everyone who stands for justice

Why exoneration of Sadhvi Pragya should worry everyone who stands for justice

There are a few photographs which the bigwigs of the Hindutva Brigade/Sangh Parivar would like to be erased from public memory. One such photograph shows Sadhvi Pragya, an ex-member of the ABVP, sitting with Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Rajnath Singh and few others. As it was later revealed they had gathered to console the widow of a BJP leader from MP, who had just died.

Public memory is very short but one can stretch it a bit to recollect the tremendous consternation in BJP/RSS circles when Sadhvi Pragya was arrested by the Anti Terrorist Squad led by the legendary police office Hemant Karkare on 23 October, 2008 for her alleged role in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast. This photograph had suddenly gone viral when there were denials by many leaders of the saffron brigade that they had never met her.

Now that the NIA, the federal agency established by the government to combat terror in India, has given a ‘clean chit’ to Sadhvi Pragya and few of her accomplices, should one expect that all those photographs showing her proximity to various leaders of the saffron establishment would be prominently exhibited? It must be remembered that leaders of BJP have even claimed that it was an act of “treason” to arrest her.

(Read the remaining article here : http://www.catchnews.com/politics-news/why-exoneration-of-sadhvi-pragya-should-worry-everyone-who-stands-for-justice-1463399413.html)

National development, order and disorder – The tactical algorithm of the BJP today: R Srivatsan

Guest Post by R. SRIVATSAN

“Khamosh! Kutte!”  [Silence! Dog!]

(Unconfirmed rumors about the phone answer given by the most powerful man to Ehsan Jafri, when the latter called up the Gujarat administration for protection from the mobs during the Baroda riots in 2002.  Jafri was slaughtered and hacked limb from limb soon after the protection he sought was withdrawn, or rather never provided.)

algorithm:  noun, a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.

While effort after effort was made to establish the culpability of Narendra Modi for the Gujarat riots, they all failed to produce any evidence that was acceptable in a court of law.   News records speculate that the administration, on direct orders, turned a blind eye to the rampage of the mobs.[1]

Much was made of his innocence, and after more than a decade of political exile, Modi has risen as the star of the BJP’s ruling formation since the last election.

India’s national development now is touted as set to occur at a blistering pace crossing 7% in the coming years.  This is the redoubtable Gujarat model where industrial development is paralleled by stagnant or retrogressive movement of all indicators of social development and well being.

Key to understanding the significance of this is the unpacking of the term ‘national development’ in the Modi mantra (the name being convenient shorthand for the BJP and the rising class which supports it).

What does ‘national development’ signify for the BJP and its supporters?  How should this ‘belief’ in the nation be read?

To understand this, it is important to look at the spate of responses of the right wing to recent events. Continue reading National development, order and disorder – The tactical algorithm of the BJP today: R Srivatsan

House of Cards


Courtesy Indian Express
Courtesy: Indian Express.

Anybody with a passing interest in consistency or coherence might be forgiven for being stumped at the political spectacle unfolding right now. Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured us that his government was committed to reservations. The statement was made at a ceremony to inaugurate the Ambedkar memorial at the Indu Mills compound in Mumbai. The fact that ordinary Dalits, in the habit of thronging any joyous celebration on Ambedkar in big numbers, were kept out of the ceremony, is possibly irrelevant. After all, officialese is officialese, and no political party – certainly not the BJP – has a monopoly on stiff-necked commemorations of people’s leaders that want nothing to do with the people. It is Modi’s commitment to reservations and the Indian constitution that is of interest. In some ways a statement of this nature made at the inauguration of an Ambedkar memorial, makes perfect sense. Apart from the occasion and locale, also not coincidental was the timing of Modi’s statement – one that he himself alluded to, when he referred to the bitterly fought Bihar elections now underway, “With a BJP government in power and polls getting under way, a malicious propaganda is being spread that the government is against reservation…”. The fact that the anti-BJP mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in Bihar has made reservations one of their chief planks, with Lalu Prasad Yadav declaring in his inimitable style that he will kill himself if reservations are removed, is relevant.

Zooming back from the Ambedkar memorial event, the PM was clearly also responding to the threat to his Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas model begun a couple of months ago by the irrepressible Hardik Patel. Patel – erstwhile BJP supporter, self-styled Patidar-Patel revolutionary and a wild child in imminent danger of being silenced (or coopted) by the BJP – was temporarily subdued by the Gujarat administration following the wave of violence over his first call for reservation, but resurfaced a couple of days ago to be the nightmare Modi hadn’t dreamed yet – saying his aim was to expose the “Gujarat model of development”. This is for the current party nothing short of the youngest born of a rambling illustrious family running into the street from the family mansion saying our house is made of mud! our house is made of mud!

Continue reading House of Cards

Statement on the Loksabha Elections, 2014: P.A.D.S.

Guest Post : P.A.D.S. (Peoples’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism) Statement on Elections

The Loksabha election results of 2014 surprised everyone. They are beyond the wildest dreams of even the most ardent BJP and Modi supporters, and worse than the worst scenarios imagined by  BJP’s political opponents. Even though these elections results are singularly stunning, phenomena like these have diverse reasons. A comprehensive understanding and meaningful response require that all these reasons be dispassionately explored and evaluated.

First, the votes behind these results. BJP polled 31% of votes. Never before has a party with so few votes won a mjority in national elections. Clearly, the first past the post system has benefited it disproportionately, more than any other ruling party in the past. This electoral system has amplified the BJP victory and made it look so impressive.  However, BJP’s electoral achievements in other domains must not be discounted. For the first time it managed to dislodge the Congress as the main party to represent Assam in the Lok Sabha. Fighting alone, it garnered 17% of votes in West Bengal and made determined bids in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In all states where it fought a straight battle with the Congress, its vote share was above or close to fity percent. It ran the most expensive and well organised campaign. Among all contestants, only it appeared determined to win and left no stone unturned to achieve its objective. It played the communal card astutely in UP and Bihar, with full paraphernalia of communal riots, started more than a year ago, and unabashed use of Hindu religious symbols. At other places it was the ‘development’.  The BJP victory is actually Mr Modi’s victory. For the first time since Mrs Indira Gandhi after  the 1971 and 1980 elections, a single person has come to acquire such a mandate at the national level.  These results show a significant shift of electoral politics to the right and marginalisation of non-communal forces. Continue reading Statement on the Loksabha Elections, 2014: P.A.D.S.

Bombers for a Cause ?

Bombs always make news – even when they do not explode.

Terrorists of various stripes as well as criminals know it very well. And they time their actions accordingly.

Bombs – even if they do not explode – or even when they cause symbolic damage have an added traction for the politicos of the right. They pay rich dividends.

It is one of the easiest things to stigmatise, terrorise a community, a people. In an ambience where all such anti-human acts are projected as handiwork of the ‘other’ it takes very less time to polarise the ‘us’. It is common knowledge that the vitiation of atmosphere is so immediate and complete that all talk of harmony and composite heritage can just evaporate in a fraction of a second and the saner elements within can suddenly find themselves on the margins.

Kagal, a town in Kolhapur district, was witness to such an incident, where the police discovered a bomb making factory in the Lakshmi Hill near MIDC area. The culprits involved in this action could be nabbed before they could ‘operationalise their bomb’.

The gravity of the situation could be understood by the fact that police could bust this criminal module on the eve of Narendra Modi’s proposed rally in that area. It has arrested four youths who were involved in the operation. While Ajinkya Manohar Bhopade(22) and Aniket Bhivaji Mali(22) belong to Chokak village in Hatkananagale, Nilesh Babanrao Patil (20) is from Male Mudshingi, in Hatkanangale and Anil Popat Kharase (26) hail from Kabnur-Ichalkaranji in Hatkanangale. Patil and Kharase supplied material for bomb making and Bhopade – who has a diploma in electronics and Mali – who works as wireman have been arrested for making bombs. Continue reading Bombers for a Cause ?

Public Appeal by R.B. Sreekumar , Former DGP, Gujarat



1. For enfeebling the validity and credibility of evidence presented by me to Judicial & Investigating bodies and to denigrate my image, the publicity managers of the Chief Minister of Gujarat State, Shri Narendra Modi and the Sangh Parivar, are widely propagating many lies about the motive and time frame of submission of evidence by me against authors of 2002 anti-minority bloodbath. A totally blatant falsehood spread about me is that I had brought out incriminating material against those responsible for 2002 carnage and subsequent subversion of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) ONLY after my super-cession in promotion to the rank of Director General of Police (DGP) in February, 2005. This contention is utterly baseless, false, malicious and misleading.

2. The real truth in this matter is given below:-

Who is afraid of Tipu Sultan?

Ravi said the state government is not ready to name the university after Tipu Sultan. If they are going to set up a non-religious university then the name should be non-controversial…. Like British, Tipu is also a foreigner for us and we will not accept his name.

CT Ravi, higher education minister, Karnataka, Jan 25, 2013, 16:38 IST , DNA)

The fast changing political developments in Karnataka has rather overshadowed the manner in which Tipu Sultan- who died fighting the Britishers at Srirangapatna (4 th May 1799) – is being denigrated by people owing allegiance to Sangh Parivar. The latest in series happens to be the higher education minister of Karnataka Mr C T Ravi, who claimed that for them ‘Tipu is also a foreigner’ like the British.

The immediate context of this Tipu bashing is the decision by the central ministry of minority affairs to set up ‘Tipu Sultan University’ at Srirangapatna. Continue reading Who is afraid of Tipu Sultan?

Why RSS Wants to Forget Pracharak Sunil Joshi’s Murder?

It was a murder of an old activist, which the RSS would love to forget. It is a different matter that despite the innumerable ways in which it has tried to banish the memory of the whole incident it has found it very difficult to get away with it. And with the latest exposures in the Ajmer Dargah bomb blast case the whole issue has once again returned to haunt it.

“A former RSS pracharak, who was an accused in the murder of a Congress leader and his son, was shot dead in Dewas town, about 35 kms from Indore, late on Saturday.
Sunil Joshi, 45, was strolling in Chuna Khadan locality when assailants, who used a Maruti van and a two-wheeler, shot him thrice. He was declared dead on arrival in the district hospital.”
(Indian Express, Posted: Mon Dec 31 2007, 00:00 hrs) Continue reading Why RSS Wants to Forget Pracharak Sunil Joshi’s Murder?

Kilvenmani, Karamchedu, Chunduru… Orissa, Pratapgarh?

Reviewing Anand Teltumbde’s book Khairlanji: A Strange and Bitter Crop, Rajesh Ramachandran concludes:

The book however has a serious ideological flaw. It inadvertently falls into the Brahminical trap of theorising class conflicts in terms of positing Dalits against the new Shudra oppressors. Kilvenmani, Karamchedu, Chunduru and other examples are repeated at least seven times in the text to argue that new oppressors are Shudras. If that be, how does Teltumbde explain desperately poor tribals killing and raping Dalits in Kandhamal? The real oppressor is the caste hegemony perpetuated by the core Sangh Parivar constituency of the Brahmin-Bania-Thakur trinity. Is it any surprise that it was Parivar’s Brahminical commentators who first introduced the Dalit-Shudra contradiction to theorise the “failure” of Kanshi Ram’s Bahujan experiment and the split of the unbeatable BSP-Samajwadi Party alliance in UP. Hope the Dalit ‘holocaste’ series doesn’t serve this Hindutva agenda. [Mail Today, 26 October 2008]

Or, indeed, how does one explain atrocities against Dalits by Brahmins?