Tag Archives: muslim league

BOOK REVIEW: THE RSS–ICONS OF THE INDIAN RIGHT by Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

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    It is a well-researched book published in the year 2019. The publishers are Westland Publications, Chennai. The main book comprises of some 405 pages and then you have the end notes and the index. The price of this book is Rs 799. Before I touch the book, let me brief you, about the author.

    Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay began his career in journalism in the early 1980s and is best known for his reportage on the rise of Hindu organisations and their politics. He writes columns for several newspapers and web portals, and is also, a well-known face, on the Indian television news channel, as a political commentator.

    His other books include the best-selling Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times; and Sikhs: The Untold Agony of 1984. Nilanjan is an unabashed college drop-out. He lives with his family in Delhi-NCR.

    The subject book comprehensively explains the genesis of RSS. In present times RSS is almost close to an untouchable organisation for some in India and even abroad. But why, is the moot question. On the face of it, RSS has been, an apolitical organisation in many ways, so to say. But why and how did this right wing organisation become pan India. Was it to save the Hindus and unite them against the onslaught of Muslims primarily, and why forget the British tyranny against Hindu culture—primarily the caste system. The book explains it all through the individual accounts of eleven RSS icons that the author goes on to detail. In a nutshell can one say RSS was a befitting counterweight to the Muslim League? Figure it out for yourself by reading the book. Taking the cue from the book further.

        In the history of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is known for the domineering presence of Konkanastha or Chitpavan Brahmins, it is probably one of the biggest rarities of fate that its founder was born into a family of migrants from a village in Telangana.

    In the early decades of the 19th century, several landless Brahmin families who made their living as priests in Nizamabad district, were forced to flee their homes under the Mughal rule. Many chose to settle in Nagpur, a city that was ruled by Maratha Bhonsle kings, mainly because, the dispensation, supported Vedic learning. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar’s great-great-grandfather was among those who had made the city his home. Gradually, these immigrant families from Andhra Pradesh began to assimilate, and not only did they adapt to Maharashtrian customs, but also began looking up to local historical icons as their very own.

    The book gives a good account of partition and the initial Bengal links of some of the RSS leaders such as Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Golwalkar aka Guruji that goes to show how Bengal was indeed the think-tank of that India. The book unearths certain facts that we’ll never venture to find out in our day-to-day life. One of the peculiarities of national politics at that time was the practice of simultaneous membership in multiple organisations. For instance both the Indian National Congress and Hindu Mahasabha boasted of common members.

    RSS was formed for the promotion and safeguard of Hindus. And at the time of partition when refugees entered India from Pakistan RSS did stellar work in looking after them in terms of food, shelter and security. These refugees soon started off with small trade but they didn’t snap their relationship with the RSS, rather they became members of RSS. And did you know that Veer Savarkar was not a member of BJP’s erstwhile political avatar the Jana Sangh, nor the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), but leaders of the Sangh Parivar, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, always held him in great esteem.

    Yes a fog of mystery does surround the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh—or RSS even today—the largest cadre-based organisation in the world. The political tow-chain that goes on between the RSS and its political offshoot earlier Jan Sangh and now BJP is covered in the individual accounts quite comprehensively which is otherwise a mystery for the common man of India.

    The author chronicles the personal and political journeys of the most important men (and a woman) of the Hindu Right-wing, digging up, little-known, but revealing facts about them. Let me narrate a few of them only to build your interest in this book.

    KESHAV BALIRAM HEDGEWAR: The founder of the RSS, and its first sarsanghchalak, was called ‘Cocaine’ as a young revolutionary, who transported subversive literature for a group back home in Nagpur. Although, Keshav was originally a Brahmin from Telangana, he had little trouble in securing entry into the subversive world of Bengali radicals.

    VINAYAK DAMODAR SAVARKAR: This leading light of the Hindu Right had once invited the vegetarian Mahatma Gandhi to dinner and had told him that unless one consumed animal protein, one would, not be able to challenge the might of the British. Well … few had faced the tyrannical wrath of the British Raj than Veer Savarkar having spent an aeon in Kalapani—so was it a reaction to the deep agonies that he suffered in the jail?

    MADHAV SADASHIV GOLWALKAR aka ‘GURUJI’: The iconic ‘hermit-ideologue’, whose appointment as sarsangchalak was challenged by many in the RSS itself, had maintained, the only work that needs to be done is to unite and organise fragmented Hindu society into a large corporate entity through the daily work of RSS.

    SYAMA PRASAD MOOKERJEE: A brilliant academic-statesman who became part of Nehru’s Cabinet. Mookerjee had several differences with the prime minister. He once asked Nehru: ‘Are Kashmiris Indians first and Kashmiris next, or are they Kashmiris first, second and third, and not Indians at all?’

    BALASAHEB DEORAS: This towering pracharak had a strong dislike for religious rituals, and referred to himself as a ‘Communist’ within the RSS—‘it is highly debatable if he believed in God, or if, in any way he needed Him.’

    DEENDAYAL UPADHYAY: The man who propounded the ‘philosophy’ of integral Humanism was opposed to the partition of India and recommended that, ‘if we want unity, we must adopt the yardstick of Indian nationalism, which is Hindu nationalism, and Indian culture, which is Hindu culture.’

    These and other leaders, including Vijaya Raje Scindia, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Askok Singhal and Bal Thackeray, are all covered in the book. Through the individual stories of the organisation’s tallest leaders, a larger picture emerges. In spite of a three-time ban on RSS in a multicultural and secular India—and despite the RSS’ insistence that it has no truck with electoral politics—the group is, and will be, the hand that’ll always rock the BJP’s cradle. The author by and large maintains a fair balance between criticism and appreciation of the RSS which I liked. He has done a good amount of homework and has got inscriptions from various sources which only adds to the flavour of the book. Yes narration is in long and at times bulky.

    Last but not the least, even if you fear reading a thick book, you could still read it as, one icon at a time, which will not make it monotonous. The chapters are self-sufficient. Language is plain quite easy to understand with occasional verbose. I would give the book seven out of ten. It makes an informative read.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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INTERESTING FACTS & QUOTES-18

Copyright@shravancharitymission

The difference between an enemy and an adversary. An adversary is someone you want to defeat, an enemy is someone you have to destroy. Our political leaders have started treating their adversaries as enemies which is sad.

What does the expression mutually exclusive mean: If two events are mutually exclusive, it means, that they cannot occur at the same time. For example, the two possible outcomes of a coin flip are mutually exclusive; when you flip a coin. It cannot land both on heads and tails simultaneously.

A rat’s ass: I don’t give a rat’s ass means a minimum degree of interest. The phrase is considered vulgar. Generally meaning minimum amount or degree of care or interest—usually used in the phrase don’t give a rat’s ass.

The boom barrier (also known as the boom gate) fell on gate no. 28C, of the Chunar-Chopan, railway crossing near Khairahi railway station, 180km from Allahabad, in the recent past. With this the last unmanned level crossing on Indian Railway’s 67,300-km track comes to an end.

The founder of the Brahma-Kumaris taught seekers not to renounce hearth and home, nor worldly responsibilities to get spiritual salvation but to attain it by balancing material life with the spiritual, through regular practice of soul-consciousness.

To be fair the British Raj did impoverish India. In this regard there are credible estimates available, from the leading British economist Angus Maddison that shows India’s share of world GDP shrunk from 24.6% to 3.8% between 1700 and 1952. However, Maddison also notes that in terms of per-capita GDP, India has consistently lagged behind several European nations even 2,000 years ago. By 1700, per-capita income of countries like the Netherlands and Britain was double or thereabouts that of India.

Ancient India had its time under the sun, but that is over. The modern world, led by China, is now playing a completely different ballgame. Today, China is known as the world’s factory.

The UAE launched in 2009 an ambitious 10-year plan to teach English to locals to prepare them for a future without oil, attracting English teachers from all around the world to come and teach local children. Meanwhile, the English-speaking population of the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka has already taken over India’s burgeoning BPO industry. So, India needs to wake up fast.

A huge tusker was crossing a wooden bridge. A fly was perched on his left earlobe. After they got across, the fly said, ‘Hey didn’t we really shake up that bridge?’ That sums up the human attitude today. Though we are a microscopic speck in the cosmic scale, we delude ourselves that we are the centre of creation. We think the planet is in peril when only human existence and their well-being are truly imperilled.

Though John Maynard Keynes was one of the most influential economic policy makers of the 20th century. Keynes did not actually have a degree in economics. In fact, his total professional training came to little more than eight weeks. All the rest was learnt on the job.

Despite the Rs 1.6 lakh crore annual PDS (public distribution system) subsidy.  India ranks at 103 out of 119 countries in the world Hunger Index, and 21% of Indian children between 0-5 years are malnourished. India’s touted demographic dividend could partly turn out to be a demographic time bomb.

India with the world’s youngest workforce, comprising, nearly a fifth of the world’s millennial is struggling to keep pace with changing times. Millennial or Generation Y, comprising 34% of India’s population are already 45% of the Indian workforce and by 2025 this number is expected to reach 75%.

According to a 2016, millennial survey by Deloitte, 16.8% of millennial evaluate career opportunities by good work-life balance, followed by 13.4% who look for opportunities to progress, and 11% who seek flexibility. Companies where millennial talent is a significant part of the workforce are implementing initiatives like relaxed dress codes and flexi-timing to attract and retain talent. Living in the gig economy, key skill for millennial is preparedness to move across industries and roles.

 There are 1.3 million Anganwadi centres across India. Anganwadi is a type of rural child care centre. They were started by the Indian Government in 1975 as part of the Integrated Child Development Services Program to combat child hunger and malnutrition. Anganwadi means “courtyard shelter” in Indian languages.

The Greeks probably invented the idea of organised competitive sports. Where, organised team as well as individual sports came mostly from the British.

Lights are very tricky. See how they behave. When blue green and red lights combine, they produce a white light. On the other hand, intersection of magenta, (purplish red) yellow and cyan, (greenish blue) leads to black that absorbs all colours. So be careful with lights.

Two-third of the paddy procurement in India is just from 5 states led by Punjab.

US confirms 90% of addicts experience a relapse shortly after undergoing de-addiction treatment. Around 22.5% of the world’s population is tobacco-dependent and 4.9% people have alcohol use disorder.

Over 80% of India’s workforce is employed in the unorganised and informal sector.

When over 18.6 million adults remain unemployed in India, what is the reason India still employs over 10 million children.

Fascism arose in Europe as a reaction to communism.

No Hindu worships the primary God of the Vedas today. Have you seen a temple of Indra today?

In 1934, the AICC passed a resolution prohibiting Congress members from also being members of the RSS, Hindu Mahasabha or the Muslim League.

14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities are in India.

India Pakistan partition of 1947 was an event that displaced around 15 million and killed a million.

Interesting lines & quotes:

I think Mark Twain sums it up pretty nicely: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do then by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

  Whoever, fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster—FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, German philosopher, poet and cultural critic.

Words on the street is that elections are already over, only the polling is left.

Mahatma Gandhi once said—’there is no way to peace, peace is the way.’

 Misery is the by-product of a lazy mind. Happiness is the by-product of an alert mind. Stop kicking yourself with regrets and guilt feelings. Give up feelings of being guilty. You will find yourself happy—SWAMI SUKHABODHANANDA

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****