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August 15, 1947 was a historical day in the eventful history of India. India got independence after a long and heroic struggle against the British colonial masters. India’s independence was also a milestone in the ongoing anti-imperialist liberation struggles world-over.

In India all those who dreamt of an independent India and survived to see it happen were jubilant and despite gloom due to communal violence celebrated this amazing day with great passion. However, there was one organization, RSS and its foot-soldiers who were not celebrating the birth of a democratic-secular India but mourning its birth.


RSS was ruthless in condemning the national Flag, the Tricolour which symbolized the united heroic freedom struggle for an inclusive India. On the eve of independence the RSS mouth-piece, Organizer, in its issue dated August 14, 1947, rejected this choice in the following harsh words:

“The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give may give in our hands the tricolor but it will never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.”­


The RSS organ Organizer in the same issue (14 August, 1947) rejected the whole concept of a composite nation in an editorial titled ‘Whither’:

“Let us no longer allow ourselves to be influenced by false notions of nationhood. Much of the mental confusion and the present and future troubles can be removed by the ready recognition of the simple fact that in Hindusthan only the Hindus form the nation and the national structure must be built on that safe and solid foundation, the nation itself must be built up of Hindus, on Hindu traditions, culture, ideas and aspirations…”

Thus Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Indians following other religions were ousted from the Indian nationhood.


The Constituent Assembly of India (CA) on November 26, 1949 adopted a model democratic-secular Constitution for India which was lauded nationally and internationally.
However, there was one significant exception. The Hindutva camp led by RSS which had consciously denigrated the anti-British freedom struggle mourned this historic achievement too. Three days after the CA passed Constitution the RSS’ English organ, Organizer on November 30, 1949, in an editorial, rejected it and demanded the archaic, anti-egalitarian’ Manusmriti, as the  constitution. It read:

“But in our Constitution, there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day, his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But tour constitutional pundits that means nothing”.

It is to be noted that Manusmriti decrees a sub-human status to Sudras and women.

The tragedy of the present democratic-secular polity of India is that an organization which openly declared its hatred for the former is ruling India thus presenting the gravest threat to India from within.

Shamsul Islam is a retired Professor of University of Delhi.Email:


  1. Farooque Chowdhury says:

    Thanks for efforts to bring up facts forgotten. The article, rich with arguments and information, helps learn. Professor Islam deserves thanks.
    However, it’s not only a case with the RSS, but with all sectarians. There’s nothing to defend or hide any sectarian. One sectarian bolsters another, one sectarian gets strength from another, and all sectarians are the same, and they work in close connection, and they have the same roots. A focus on all sectarians brings credibility to a discussion; otherwise the discussion appears biased, selling some other sectarian, defending some other sectarian. The story should be told in its entirety. The appearance of a bias position turns stark when all discussions repeatedly focus on a single part and never focuses on other parts although all the parts acted in cohesion.

  2. Farooque Chowdhury says:

    Was Mahatma happy on August 15, 1947? How he passed the day? Mourning by the RSS and the pain Mahatma felt are not the same. I again say so that there shouldn’t be any scope to distort my statement: the two — Mahatma’s pain and mourning by the RSS — are not the same; the two are opposite; the two are far, far away from each other. But, a partial tale keeps opportunity open for distortion, and distortion benefits sectarianism of all colors, not only the RSS. Who were benefited with the partition? First, the imperialism; next, imperialism’s lackeys. Who were the lackeys? The lackeys included the divisive forces. It was the people who paid most, who were hurt most. And, it was mostly the ordinary people, the poor, the poor dehatee people, who were hurt most. Were not there many players in this imperial game? It was not only the RSS. Who bolstered the RSS? Who were serving the RSS from the opposite end? The facts are bitter. There’s nothing to defend the RSS; but, why the entire story is not told? Opposing only one part of sectarianism will not help people. Opposing sectarianism of only one color is defending sectarianism of another color.

  3. Farooque Chowdhury says:

    The article says: “India’s independence was also a milestone in the ongoing anti-imperialist liberation struggles world-over.”
    What about neocolonialism the sub-continent’s colonial masters imposed? Was not it imposed in mid-August-1947? Was it the part of/milestone in the struggles against imperialism, which was going in many parts of the world during the time? This handing over of power was fundamentally different from those struggles.
    So, there’s no scope to characterize these two as the same.
    The struggles the people were waging in the sub-continent was different from the transfer of power made in mid-August-1947.
    The statement the article made (quoted above) is misleading. It neither identifies the anti-imperialist struggles nor identifies the transfer of power in the sub-continent. It equates the transfer of power to the faithfuls of imperial master with the anti-imperialist struggles. Such easy and simple equations are making many progressives friends of sectarianism and imperialism today. It’s happening everywhere. Thus it’s being found that so-called rights-advocates are trading with imperialism’s interests, are joining hands with the extreme rightists. That’s the reason to bring to notice the quoted statement.