After Mohan Bhagwat, the Sarsanchalak of the Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), addressed the ‘positivity unlimited’ theme about Covid calamity of India on 15 May, 2021, even secular writers in the national media started a chorus of Modi devil, Mohan Bhagwat angel song. ‘Bhagat snubbed modi’, ‘Bhagat advised him to accept collective responsibility’, ‘The RSS is for course correction’ and so on were their themes. In the social media also this theme made rounds.
Just before this grand talk of Bhagwat giving a course correction message to Modi, Arundhati Roy, a well known writer, in a write up in a web news portal asked Modi to step aside and wanted any other RSS man to take over the Prime Minister position. She appealed to Modi in an uncharacteristic way “Please Step a Side…There are many in your party who can take your place for now…with the approval of the Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh-can head the government and a crisis management committee” (Scroll.in). In other words she wanted Mohan Bhagwat to take charge of making a new Prime Minister and he should play the crisis management game. Some former ‘Modi Bhakts’ like Tavlin Singh are giving various suggestions to the Sangh to go for major course correction. The corona crisis has changed the moral code of secularists and Bhagwat and RSS are appearing as ‘postivit unlimited’ network. If Modi goes, everything will be fine.
Exactly this kind of secular intellectual understanding of Mohan Bhagwat and the RSS that pushed more Shudra/ Other Backward Class (OBC) youth into the political fold of Modi whether he is a Shudra OBC or not but is with an OBC certificate in hand. Modi gave the impression with many self promotional tags that he is a poor OBC but MBC man, that he was a chaiwala, his mother was a servant maid, that he was chowkidar. The OBCs across the country–including in South India tilted towards him.
Mohan Bhagwat is a strong anti-reservationist with open statements after 2014 elections also. His repeated statements about review of caste based reservations made the central Government to force the EBC 10 percent quota with constitutional amendment. The key intellectual theory of merit and anti-caste based reservations came from the RSS Dwija ideologues. Modi though has been privatizing all state sector job sources to benefit his monopoly capitalist supporters, openly has not spoken against reservation, keeping the OBC votes in mind.
If Modi loves electoral tyranny, the RSS as an organization loves Manudharmic tyrannical rule by systematically undermining elections. From Hedgewar to Golwalkar to Mohan Bhagwat the theory and practice of authoritarian control over the India nation is formulated in their writings and practices, by generating fear of Muslim threat inside and outside.
No Shudra/OBC/Dalit wrote its theory and headed the organization from 1925 till now. Its theory writers and executionars were mainly Brahmins with a strong sanathan dharmic anti-science bent of mind. They attacked Jawaharlal Nehru for his scientific approach as pro-Western.
The corona death knell is rooted in a long drawn out anti-science campaigns of the RSS and Hindutva networks, apart from other factors. Except Jawaharl Nehru and V.P Singh all other prime ministers were made to obey their dictat. They never had a scientific temper of their own. The so-called scholar Prime Minister P.V Narsimha Rao was very sympathetic to the Hindutva and Atal Bihari Vajpayee was their own anti-science man. The RSS spread anti-science superstition into every layer of Indian society. Even the Indian Muslims and Christians got influenced by their anti-science campaign. If Mohan Bhagwat is heading that total anti-science structure, Modi is heading the state ( one major part of that structure) which is struggling between science and myth because of brahminical control over it for more than seventy years.
For the ninety and above years the RSS has been campaigning for cow urine, dung, and anti-allopathy medical practices. Ram Dev is their ideological inheritor. The Kumbh kind of primitive spiritual mobilizations were the main tasks of the RSS. The RSS has been competing with Muslim organizations like Tablighi Jamaat in negating science and communalizing consciousness of masses. The competition between the RSS and the Muslim conservatives checkmated the development of medical science in India.
The RSS claims that it is the largest socio-cultural organization in the world but it has not built a single major health care centre in the country. It is true that though Muslim rulers ruled India for hundreds of years but never built good hospitals, as they built manuments like forts and memorials like Charminar and Tajmahal in the name of ruler’s beloved women and so on. The RSS also worked on the campaigns of building temples but never health care centres.
The RSS attacks the Christian missionaries as conversionist, though they have not converted many in post independent India. But they built many hospitals starting with the Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore in 1900 AD. When Mohan Bhagwat himself got corona he got treated in an allopathic hospital called Kingsway hospital, Nagpur ( one can see its English or Christian name. (IE 16 April, 2021). The medical bulletin said that he ate high protein diabetic food at a time his cadre in many states keep campaigning about cow urine and cow dung treatment. He never condemned such activities in public. What does this cultural nationalism mean? His secular admirers must answer.
If RSS and its leaders like Mohan Bhagwat are projected as angels by individualizing Modi like Arundhati Roy and many other intellectuals did or doing after the corona pandemic struck the nation the Shudra/OBCs/Dalits/Adivasis will get into much bigger danger. They will move into the Modi fold more and more. There is a sentimental representative response by communities which are denied access to power for a long long time in India.
There is a Muslim centrric Dwija intellectualism with Hindu majoritarian theory by bracketing all Shudras/OBCs/Dalits/Adivasis as part of not only Hinduism but that of Brahminism of the RSS type. It is Brahminism that made their life untouchable, unseeable and agrarian toiling donkeys. Even the top agrarian Shudras like Jats, Gujjars, Patels, Marthas and so on also did not get the right to priesthood in Hinduism that the RSS is claiming to be leading as a religious nationlist organization.
Many such intellectuals never opposed the RSS Brahmanism but only opposed communalism keeping the minority question in focus. The Dalit/Adivasi/Shudra liberation is much more historical question. The liberation of these forces is linked to development of scientificism. The RSS headed by Mohan Bhagwat is against scientificism. In order to get rid of Modi’s megalomaniacal leadership, if they rely on Mohan Bhagwat the RSS does not get weakened. After Jawaharlal Nehru no other Congress leader countered the RSS with scienticism as their ideological basis. Rahul Gandhi tried to build a critique of RSS and faced cases, but now he also has stopped. His focus is also on Modi without showing visible Shudra/OBC leader in his party. That definitely helps Modi even now.
The focus now is only on removing Modi. That may be all right for opposition parties. Assume that the RSS side-steps Modi and installs Amit Shah or Yogi Adityanath. Is that okay? Who is a democrat in the RSS and how does that person help the nation to get out of the present morass? The second wave of corona spread with kumbha mela, with elections in which the karyakartas of RSS worked at ground level. Did they not spread the virus from house to house, village to village and town to town? What did Mohan Bhagwat do when all that was happening? Even in a crisis do not commit a mistake that deepens it.
Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd is a political theorist and author. His latest book is the Shudras–Vision for a New Path co-edited with Karthik Raja Karuppusamy