Hindu Vivek Kendra

12. Agenda of the authors of the Report

12.1 We can give many examples which will more than amply prove that the authors, and the publishers, of the Report have an agenda. For example, the Report says that the first Indian act of Hindutva was the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. What the communists about the Mahatma is well documented. But these same communists also know very well that even after serious attempts by a regime that was virulently opposed to the RSS, no evidence could be found about its involvement or of its members.

12.2 It is true that Nathuram Godse was a member of the RSS for about two years in the early 40s. But, then, Godse was also a member of the Congress Party and assisted it in the independence struggle.

12.3 The Report talks about rapes of Christian nuns. The most notorious incident was that of four nuns in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress government there has confirmed that the dastardly act was done by some 24 tribals, half of whom were converted to Christianity. In another case in Orissa, the forensic report clearly showed that there was no rape. (In this latter case, one has to wonder about the state of mind of the persons who asked the nun to come out in the public and make a false claim of rape.)

12.4 Of course, people will mention about the burning of Graham Staines and his two sons. Here too the Sangh organisations have been cleared of any guilt in the incident by the Wadhwa Commission. However, it is pertinent to reproduce two of the recommendations of the Commission:

· Point No. 9: There should be a Code of Conduct for the political parties when their leaders make statements without verification in a situation like the present one. Leaders cannot make statements merely for gaining political mileage. Their statements should be subdued and not to fan the fire when the atmosphere is communally surcharged. It is the duty of everyone to have regard to each other's faith and to spread a message of love, peace and kindness. Murderer is a murderer to whichever faith he may belong. A criminal is a criminal. Religion need not be brought in such matters. Allow the police to make independent investigation of the crime uninfluenced by politics or religion or caste.

· Point No. 10: Media, both print and electronic, has also to exercise restraint. Screaming headlines should be avoided which have the effect of misleading the public and creating more tension and suspicion among different communities. News headlines in the cases of rape of nun and murder of a Christian boy and girl after rape have been noticed. One cannot imagine the damage that might have been caused to the polity by such headlines and reporting. Reporting of communal strife should not be done without proper verification or an ordinary crime given a communal twist.

12.5 The Report also alleges that in the distribution of the relief after the Gujarat Earthquake of January 2001, the Sangh was deliberately not making it available to the Muslims and the dalits. In this respect, it would be worthwhile to quote from an editorial in The Times of India.
· "The RSS has been very active in relief and rehabilitation work...There are, however, unconfirmed reports from Gujarat that the ideological bias of the RSS towards certain communities and castes is already evident even in the task of providing relief." (Editorial, "Political Aftershocks", The Times of India, Feb 6 2001.)
12.6 Eleven words of praise, based on confirmed reports. And 29 words of damnation based on unconfirmed reports. Strange seems to be the manner of professionalism in Indian journalism.

12.7 Within a couple of days, the RSS spokesman wrote to The Times of India asking for the details of these unconfirmed reports, so that the organisation could take the necessary corrective actions. As of this date no such information has been received. One does guess that it is difficult to provide details of unconfirmed reports.

12.8 Moreover, a photo, from a website of the Times of India group which showed a Muslim family, along with many others, in a huge tent set up by the VHP, was sent to the editor. A photo of a couple of nuns of the Missionaries of Charity bringing a patient to a VHP medical camp was also sent. Was there an acknowledgement of the blatantly false charge by The Times of India? If there was, at least this section of the Report need not have been written.

12.9 When there was a mid-air collusion just over the village of Charhi Dadri in Haryana, the first group of people to reach the site were members of the Sangh. That a large number of victims were Muslims did not deter them in providing the necessary assistance in pulling out the bodies from the wreckage and helping in undertaking the final rites. This effort was recognised in the Saudi newspaper Al-Riyad.

12.10 A couple of other points need to be taken up. The authors of the Report talk about Hinduism as a religion. Obviously the level of scholarship of the authors must be quiet low, and their integrity non-existent, if they stoop to this low level. All serious scholars on Hinduism would clearly state that referring to it in the same context as Christianity and Islam would guide the person in a completely wrong direction.

12.11 The essence of Hinduism can be taken up from Prof Klaus Klostermaier, who spent quite some time in India before quitting the Jesuit order, has to say.

· "Hinduism will spread not so much through the gurus and swamis, who attract certain number of people looking for a new commitment and a quasi-monastic life-style, but it will spread mainly through the work of intellectuals and writers, who have found certain Hindu ideas convincing and who identify them with their personal beliefs. A fair number of leading physicists and biologists have found parallels between modern science and Hindu ideas. An increasing number of creative scientists will come from a Hindu background and will consciously and unconsciously blend their scientific and their religious ideas. All of us may be already much more Hindu than we think." (A Survey of Hinduism, p 414. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd, Delhi, 1990.)
12.12 A second point needs to be mentioned is about Friends of India Society International (FISI). This organisation came to be to co-ordinate the opposition to the Emergency declared by Smt Indira Gandhi between 1975-77. A large number of persons of Indian origin, living in the UK and the USA, came together as a spontaneous act to oppose this rape of democracy. In a very short time, the persons involved came to realise that a huge majority of them had a Sangh background. Just as in India, where the major ground level opposition was by Swayamsevaks, the international experience was no different.

12.13 The organisers of FISI decided to continue with the organisation in the post-Emergency period, so that there is a forum availed to the Indian Diaspora to take up issues which are of concern to the land of their ancestors, without in any way hurting the interest of the land where they are now settled. And yet the authors of the Report allege that this organisation, which worked so hard to help in restoring democracy in India, is itself an undemocratic organisation. Perhaps they do so because the Communist Party of India, under instructions of the erstwhile Soviet Union, supported the Emergency.

· Q 7. But Hindutva organizations claim that it is the missionaries and madarsas which initiate the problem. Is this not true?

· It is mostly not true. There may be missions which convert. There may be madarsas where hatred is taught. (Emphasis added.)

12.15 Obviously the authors of the Report have a poor opinion of the intelligence of their readers. But, then they do seem to have proved this right at least in case of those who have come out in their support!
12.17 In the same spit-and-run tactics, the authors of the Report say:
12.18 The RSS has been banned three times. The first time was in the aftermath of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. It has been more than adequately established that this was a political move, to try and destroy an organisation which was thought to come in the way of implementing the political agenda of Nehru. The second time was during the Emergency of 1975-77. During this period many other organisations were banned for the simple reason that they all opposed the Congress Party of Indira Gandhi. (Which Congress Party was approached by Setalvad of Sabrang to finance the anti-BJP campaign at the time of the last elections.) The third time was after the demolition of the Babri structure that stood at the Shri Rama Janmabhoomi. This ban was not confirmed by the commission which went into the legality of the ban.

12.19 The VHP was banned two times. The first was along with the third ban on the RSS. The second one was after the statutory period of this ban was over, and this was summarily overturned by the concerned commission. Thus, it is clear that yet again the authors of the Report have to resort to being economical with the truth in trying to take forward their agenda.

12.20 The authors claim that their Report has been 'meticulously researched'. If so, could they list out the cases where the 'VHP and RSS workers have been implicated in murderous activities'?