Why RSS Is Angry
By Subhash gatade
01 June, 2005
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is furious with an American think-tank
for declaring it a terrorist organisation and lumping it with a host
of jihadi organisations and secessionist outfits.The Sangh leadership
has written to the Terrorism Research Centre, protesting against the
terrorist tag, but is yet to get a response.....
The 38 shortlisted
to give the Sangh company include jihadi biggies like Lashkar-e-Toiba
and Hizbul Mujahideen which have been declared Foreign Terrorist Organisations
by the US.The RSSs hardcore ideological foe, the Jamaat-IIslami,
too has found a place.
(US think-tank calls
RSS terrorist, Sangh fumes, MOHUA CHATTERJEE, TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ FRIDAY,
MAY 27, 2005 08:18:15 AM ])
Last one week has
seen a quantum leap in the 'hits' to a website belonging to Terrorism
Research Centre (TRC www.terrorism.com), a East Virginia based centre
dealing with 'Terrorism and security related studies'. And the reason
for the same is not difficult to understand. It was only last week that
news appeared a section of the press that TRC has declared Rashtriya
Swaymsevak Sangh (RSS) a 'terrorist organisation' and lumped it together
with a host of jihadi and secessionist outfits.The said list of 'known
terrorist groups in India' on the website bracketed RSS alongwith other
'known names' in the field namely Al Badr, Al Mujaheedeen, Lashkar-e-Toiba
to the likes of ULFA to the Hizb ul Mujahedin.
The most baffling
part of the whole episode as far as ordinary workers of the Parivar
are concerned is that TRC is closely connected to the American government.
The credibility of this centre vis-a-vis US government can be gauged
from the fact that many of its directors and researchers have closely
worked with US administration.
Coming close on
the heels of the visa denial episode wherein Narendra Modi was not allowed
to travel to USA by the US government, this much larger indictment of
the very raison detre of the Parivar albeit by an institute close to
the powers that be has left the Sangh bosses seething with anger.Ofcourse
they have protested against the terrorist tag, but according
to a report the "think-tank has not bothered to take the RSSwhich
calls itself a cultural organisationoff its website". It
is worth noting in this connection that it took more than eight months
for the RSS to formally react to this assessment of the TRC. The delay
between its appearance on the TRC website and a formal protest from
the RSS cannot be easily explained.Why did the RSS and its disciplined
Swayamsevaks took it so long to respond to the centre's observations
about its activities. Although the Times of India (TIMES NEWS NETWORK[
FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2005 08:18:15 AM ]carried a report about the same in
its print as well as electronic edition, even a cursory glance at the
website of TRC tells us that the name of the RSS was added to the list
way back in September 2004. Milli Gazette, a fortnightly published from
India even reported about the same in its print edition in 16-30 Sept
Is it matter of
pure oversight or part of the crisis of confidence through which the
Sangh Parivar is passing since its debacle at the hustings last year
Possibly it was
the same time when the Sangh Parivar was passing through one of the
most keenly fought internecine struggles in its history that it did
not find time to respond to this indictment.One can very well remember
the verbal duels between the 'conservatives' and the 'moderates' in
the Parivar then where their was even a proposal to float a party parallel
to BJP to defend Hindu interests. Quite recently the media itself was
privy to this 'ideological struggle' within the Parivar when the Sangh
Supremo Sudarshan castigated Vajpayee as well as Advani in no uncertain
terms. He even termed Vajpayee ( who wears his Swayamsevakatva on his
sleeves) as one of the worst Prime Ministers of India and asked these
oldies to make way for a younger lot.
There is a Sanskrit
subhashitam which tells us that calamities never come alone. This definitely
fits well with the plight of the Hindutva brigade these days.
Not only friends
but its adversaries would admit that the loss of power at the centre
is weighing heavily on the BJP and its fountain head the RSS. And this
indictment on part of the TRC is a further indication of this.Gone are
the days when the Advanis or the Vajpayees fancied themselves as the
superpowers partner in the civilisational conflict' and
when the ideologues of the hindutva brigade waxed eloquent about the
strategic and natural alliance between the Saffronites and the US. It
is rightly said that "[N]ot long ago Advani, sitting smugly in
the North Block, was giving the impression that Washington was in his
pocket, thanks to his bonhomie with the zionists and fishy deals worth
billions of dollars with the Israelis... ." ( The Milli Gazette,
Published in the 16-30 Sep 2004, print edition) But all that seems to
who spread violence in the name of religion are worse than terrorist
and more dangerous than an alien enemy...
( Quoted in the Supreme Court judgement in the Best Bakery Case)
going into the merits of the Terrorism Research Centre's nuanced observations
vis-a-vis the RSS which demands a more detailed treatment of the matter,
it would we good if we discern earlier records to see whether it is
for the first time that the hindutva brigade or any of its allied organisations
or their activities have earned opprobrium under the 'terrorist' category.
It was only two
years back that the US State department added internet sites of certain
organisations to the 'foreign terrorist organisations' list when "4
Jewish Web sites deemed terrorist (By Jerry Seper, THE WASHINGTON
TIMES)". Ofcourse the unusual alliance between radical Jewish groups
with Hindutva groups bringing together two extreme religious philosophies
from different parts of the world is premised on the fact that they
share a distant enemy namely the Muslims.The report stated :
Four Internet Web sites operated by two extremist Jewish groups have
been included by the State Department on its list of foreign terrorist
organizations the first time the list has been extended
to includeInternet sites.
The listing, which
went unnoticed when announced Oct. 3 in the departments annual
redesignation of the worlds terrorist organizations, includes
the four sites operated by the Kach and its offshoot, the Kahane Chai,
both of which have been designated by the department as terrorist organizations.
Interestingly one of these www.kahane.org (http://www.rediffmail.com/cgi-bin/red.cgi?red=www%2Ekahane%2Eorg)
has had an important relationship with Hinduunity.org.( which 'Promotes
and Supports Ideals of Bajrang Dal : VHP youth with Bharat) The Hinduunity.org
site then still showed a prominent hyperlink to the www.kahane.org site.Secular
activists in the states had known for long that, the website of Hinduunity.org
was hosted by Kahane.org. on a common server and bear the same IP address.
The particulars were:devserver.gwsystems.co.il (220.127.116.11) ( Ref.Notice
recently published in the Federal Register. (Federal Register: October
10, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 197) Page: 58738-58739))
Two and half years
back secular activists in the USA had after a painstaking work brought
out a report 'Funding Hate' which had exposed the linkages between the
funds collected by IDRF ( an umbrella organisation floated by Hindutva
brigade) which collected money in USA and the way the money thus collected
goes into sponsoring sectarian violence in India. A news item published
in 'Financial Times, London had boldly stated 'Cut the flow of funds
to instigators of sectarian violence' (( INDIAS HARD MEN, , page
16, 24 Feb. 2003 (no authors name given)). It need be noted that
it was not alone in raising its voice against the modus operandi of
the Hindutva formations in Western countries which supposedly had been
aiding and abetting sectarian violence at home. The report unambiguously
stated :A year ago India was scarred by some of the worst sectarian
violence since partition, when up to 2000 Muslims were killed in pogroms
in the western state of Gujarat, ostensibly sparked by an arson attack
by Muslims on a train that killed 59 Hindu activists. Human rights organisations
in India, the U.S. and Europe implicated two organisations in the well-orchestrated
attacks, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP or World Hindu Council) and
its youth off shoot, the Bajrang Dal (devotees of the monkey-god Hanuman).
Now a Finanacial
Times investigation has established that these groups receive extensive
funding from Indians abroad, collected mainly as tax-free charity donations
to front organisations in the U.S. and U.K.. This fund-raising is increasingly
coming under scrutiny. So it should as should the links between
these groups and Indias ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Behind the VHP and
Bajrang Dal stands a quasi-paramilitary body, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (RSS or Association of National Volunteers), which is the mother
organisation of the Hindu revivalist BJP. Described by Jawaharlal Nehru,
Indias first Prime minister, as an Indian version of fascism,
the RSS is at the centre of a protean network of front organizations.
This structure facilitates arms-length money-raising. It also
makes it easier for the RSS to deny it is inciting agitation against
Muslims and Christians.
Ofcourse IDRF (India
Development and Relief Fund), the US based charity organisation also
presented a report in defence of itself against charges made in a report
published last year that it was closely affiliated to the RSS and raised
funds for sectarian causes in India.(Not funding hate, says IDRF,Hindu
June 15, 2003) but that did not carry much ice and it was largely ignored
in the media.
..The modern day
Neros were looking elsewhere when Best Bakery and innocent
children and women were burning, and were probably deliberating how
the perpetrators of the crime can be saved or protected. Law and justice
become flies in the hands of these wanton boys...
( Quoted in the Supreme Court judgement in the Best Bakery Case)
It remains to be
seen how the RSS is going to react for its labelling if the 'Terrorism
Research Centre' sticks to its decision. There could be many routes
open before it but looking at the tremendous flexibility in cyberlaws
or the 'elasticity inherent in the concept of terrorism' it cannot be
said with guarantee that it would be successful in its venture.
But can this 80
year old 'cultural organisation' give a definitive answer to this query
that is it just a 'image problem' which has helped the barrage of propaganda
against it or there is a lacunae in its worldview and the activities
of its own or affiliated organisations which gives scope for its branding
in different ways by different people. Would the 'cultural organisation'
be ready for self introspection to check whether it is just 'neo imperialist'
bias that the TRC people have woken up to its 'terrorist' nature or
there are n number of things in its own weltanshaaung as well as organisational
methods and planning which leaves much to be desired and has helped
others formulate their position.
Gatade,B2/51, Sector 16, Rohini,Delhi-110085 Ph: 27872835