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Is RSS a Terrorist Organization?

Ram Puniyani [[email protected]]

Terrorism has been witnessed as a horrific phenomenon, more so in the current times. What is terrorism itself
is a matter of debate at one level and at another the  definition of terrorism changes from person to person, group to group and country to country.

One does not know as to what criterion the US based
 Terrorism Research Center, the US think tank on this issue, has used but it has gone on to label RSS, the  patriarch of Hindutva organizations, BJP, VHP, Bajarang dal etc., as a terrorist outfit. RSS shares  this category with other organizations defamed in different parts of the World as terrorists like Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Hamas etc. Sangh’s (RSS progeny) own definition and understanding of terrorists has been summed up by RSS pracharak (propagator) and current Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi in the sentence, “All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims!” How come  a Muslim baiter organization itself has been so labeled!

It seems from amongst the various definitions floating around about terrorism, the one stating, killing of
innocent persons for political goals, seems to be the one followed by this center. It goes without saying that in this definition generally states are not included. Lately some states have been called as
terrorist states and BJP had been urging upon US to declare Pakistan as a terrorist state. Some states have been listed as terrorists by US itself. We will not go on to discuss the violence of the state and its
goals, which is quite a complex phenomenon. We will also not touch upon the bias exercised by those defining terrorism. In a limited way we follow the definition, killing of innocents for political goals, we will try to see whether the assessment of US based center is true.

It is important to concede here that terrorism emerges
from ideology of groups with specific goals. It is
also important to realize that all those who
manufacture this goal and ideology, which leads to
violence are terrorists or rather they are the real
ones’. And if the blame is to be apportioned, they
should be held more responsible before the finger is pointed to those who use sword, bullets or AK 47 or
who pilot the planes to ram into WTC or the like.

No doubt the RSS pracharks will never even go to pick
up arms, to kill anybody personally. Even in RSS shakhas training is given only for wielding lathis, batons. Of course keeping with times RSS progeny Bajarang dal and Durga vahini have begun to give  training in the use of firearms and VHP is
distributing knives, disguised as trishuls in thousands, but in RSS shakhas these are no no. Apart
from the lathi wielding the other part of the training is bauddhik (intellectual). This training is based on
the spread of hatred for minorities, hatred for
secular and democratic values. It goes on to say that
in this nation of Hindus, others, Muslims and Christians are aliens, also that Communists, Muslims
and Christians are internal threat to Hindu nation.

The venom of hate is tailor made for each community. Muslims are equated to yavan snakes. Prof Bipan
Chandra narrates his experience in listening to the shakha training. While on a morning walk he overheard the young boys attending the shakha being told that Muslims are like snakes. It is easier to kill a young snake rather than the grown up one. The message of this ‘intellectual’ exercise is too clear. The inspiration and methods of Hate are picked up from the Nazi Germany. RSS ideologue Golwalkar articulated it, “ German race pride has now become topic of the day. To keep up the purity of nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of Semitic races-the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-neigh impossible it is for races and cultures having differences going to the root, to be  assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.” (M.S. Golwalkar, We or Our Nationhood defined, Nagpur 1938 p.27).

One wondered whether RSS really means it. But to one’s utter shock one was told by a senior RSS
ideologue that if a person of the stature of Gandhi
could not solve the ‘Muslim problem’, what can the
present small genre of pseudo secularists achieve! As per him (and apparently as per RSS) there is a single
solution to this problem, what one knows as the “Final Solution”! This hate ideology, which is drilled in the heads of young recruits is the base on which the foundation of communal violence comes up. The RSS ideology’s outcome first got manifested in Godse’s murdering of Gandhi. Of course RSS never owned the fact that Godse was trained by RSS and was RSS pracharak before he decided to join Hindu Mahasabha. His brother Gopal Godse maintained in different interviews that they (his brother Nathuram and he himself) had never left RSS. Most of the inquiry commission reports on the communal violence (Justice Reddy, Vithayathil, Venugopal, Madon and others) have shown irrefutably that their has been a role of some organization affiliated to or floated by a pracharak
of RSS, which has played crucial role in the violence.

The strategy is very clear, RSS trains the volunteers who carry on the RSS work by joining or floating
different organizations. The advantage of this
strategy  is that the blame of riots can never come
directly on the RSS.

One recalls that after the defeat in 1937 elections, Muslim Leagues and Hindu Mahsabha stepped up their
Hate other campaigns as they could not win the elections on the appeal of their religion. RSS also stepped up its hate other campaign. These poisonous seeds of hatred were dormant and are bearing the poisonous fruits more so after the decade of 1980. This hate other ideology passes through different conveyor belts and its final stop is that where the poor gullible sections take up arms, intoxicated by the opium of hate ideology which is laced in the language of religion for desired effect.

Every terrorist outfit has its own agenda. Al Qaeda
was trained by CIA via Pakistan to throw away the
Socialist Russia’s occupation of Afghanistan. LTTE is a reaction the Sinahala domination of Tamils,
Khalistainis were the expression of deeper
dissatisfaction of Sikh masses on economic and ethnic
grounds, ULFA again is the expression ethnic problem handled in an insensitive way and so on and so forth. RSS and Muslim League in pre-partition times were the expression of the fears of feudal elements that their
norms and values are under threat in the wake of modern education, industrialization and the values of Liberty, Equality and fraternity becoming the major ideology of the struggling masses. The same fear, existential anxiety, of another middle classes has got crystallized in the politics of RSS. And this is the coming up of dalits and women demanding social and gender justice some themselves. Whatever is the deeper societal agenda, RSS methods and mechanisms of action do give rise to the VHPs, Bajarang dals and Durga Vahinis. It is probably this deeper understanding of the dynamics of RSS functioning which must have  prompted the research center to label it as a terrorist organization.

RSS training is on twin tracks. One is the physical one, games and all that. The second is the bauddhik
one. It is the latter which motivates its progeny to  incite people to take up arms and kill the ‘other’, the ‘enemy’ in the ruthless fashion. The anatomy of a riot, violence, is very interesting and complex both at the same time. How the average dalit, adivasi,  worker with empty stomach and non existent future is mobilized as the foot soldier of RSS agenda, is something social scientists have to explain. RSS pracharak may be at the same time sitting and giving a quiet discourse on Hindu values, Hindu rashtra while RSS ideology will grip the section of population to unleash violence, to kill the innocents. It does achieve the political goal of consolidation of section of Hindus behind RSS; it does make them come back to power or strengthen its power. The definition with which we began was killing of innocents for power or political agenda is terrorism. And that’s precisely what RSS work does.

The only point of overt confusion some times can be that unlike Osama, or the AK 47 weilding terrorist in
parts of the World, RSS volunteer will appear to be the apostle of quietness. And this is the wiliest and cleverest part of RSS operation. To achieve its goal, to get the minorities beaten and killed without taking up the arms oneself. The violence is leased out by clever social and psychological manipulation. In that sense AK 47 may miss the target but a mind poisoned and initiated by Hate ideology propagated by RSS will come out as violence some time or the other, here or
there, it’s just a question of time. Culture, the cloak of this organization is the most subtly
disguised cover for the terrorist goals of this
organization. This terrorist outfit kills many birds
in a single stone, the birds being minorities and weaker sections of society. But of course there will
be much noise that name of RSS should be taken off from the list of this research center. In case of RSS,
this outfits’ culture is the terror for large sections of minorities and weaker sections of society in India.

US think-tank calls RSS terrorist, Sangh fumes Add to

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2005 08:18:15 AM ]
Surf 'N' Earn -Sign innow
NEW DELHI: The 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 think-tank has not bothered to take the RSS—which
calls itself a cultural organisation—off its website,
leaving the Sangh bosses seething with anger.

Though the East Virginia-based organisation is an
obscure outfit, the RSS is not ready to let the
"issue" pass. "It has been there on the list for a
while now. We had written to them when we got to know
of it and asked them to remove us from the list, but
they have not," said spokesperson Ram Madhav.

The reasons for resentment are not far to seek, for
others on the list virtually make up the who’s who of
the terror club.

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 RSS’s hardcore ideological foe, the
Jamaat-IIslami, too has found a place. So have
secessionist orgnaisations like the Ulfa, the NLFT,
and ultra-Left groups like the People’s War.

The RSS might find some solace from an interesting
inclusion—the Osho cult is also on the list. It is the
first time that the Oshoites, known for their
controversial views, have been accused of terrorism.

Though this should raise strong doubts about the
criteria used by the centre to slot organisations, the
RSS has reasons to feel surly.

For all its opposition to the "neoimperialist" US,
strong sections within it have fancied themselves as
the superpower’s partner in the “civilisational