RSS has the Tradition of Having Betrayed Our Freedom Struggle
Kerala Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan addressing the rally for communal harmony at Mangalore.
Translated from Malayalam by Samuel Philip Mathew and Subin Dennis.
At the outset let me express my happiness at being able to participate in such a rally, particularly a rally for communal harmony. Today, in our country, preserving communal harmony is of utmost importance. Several efforts are on across the country to create fissures in our communal harmony. What is especially striking is the fact that it is the RSS which is leading the Government of our country that is behind these efforts. The RSS has always been open about this – since its inception, the RSS has propagated discord among religions and sought to spread communal hatred.
RSS is not an organisation that is in the mainstream of our society. Unfortunately, it is this organisation that has the right to decide the policies of our country. The leadership of our Government, including the Indian Prime Minister functions according to the dictates of the RSS. RSS was formed in 1925, when the Indian freedom struggle was intensifying. RSS has been functioning for 22 years when the Indian freedom struggle was at its peak. But, we need to recall that the RSS played no role in the Indian freedom struggle. While they played no role in the freedom struggle, they did play their own role during that era. Almost all organisations formed during that period participated in the freedom struggle and adopted the stance that the British should leave the country. There were differing opinions among those who fought for the cause, but all of them were united in the stand that India should be independent and that the British should leave our country. This is where the RSS was different. The RSS at that time not only kept away from the freedom struggle, they even refused to demand that the British should leave India. On the contrary, they adopted a stand in favour of the British staying on in India. Savarkar himself had met the Viceroy and informed him that the Sangh Parivar was not part of the freedom struggle and that their interests were the same as that of the British. RSS has the tradition of having betrayed our freedom struggle.
RSS was never ready to see the country as one and to unite the people. Right from the beginning they have attempted to divide the people on communal lines. Thus, the RSS went on to lead communal riots in our country. We need to remember that RSS is an organisation that is against the unity of our country and our people. They have always tried to divide our people. Naturally a pertinent question comes up here. Why was Mahatma Gandhi killed? No one will say that Mahatma Gandhi tried to attack anyone from the RSS. However, a long conspiracy was hatched under the leadership of the Sangh Parivar to kill him. We need to recognise the fact that just as the weapon in Godse’s hands was used to kill Gandhiji, Godse was merely an instrument in the hands of the RSS. We also need to remember that when Gandhiji was killed, the RSS distributed sweets in the places where they were present.
Public anger rose up against the RSS which killed Gandhiji, and the RSS was banned. At that stage, the RSS made efforts to appease some of the rulers at the centre in a big way in order to get the ban withdrawn. Even after the ban was withdrawn, the RSS has continued on the same path. We need to think what kind of ideology the RSS follows. Five years after the RSS was formed, BS Moonje, one of their founding leaders, went to meet a few international leaders of that time. He went to meet the role models of the Sangh Parivar. One of them was Mussolini. RSS fully adopted the fascist organisational structure of Mussolini’s organisation. There were these training centres of Mussolini’s fascist organisation where they imparted training to their cadre. Moonje was very much excited when he saw them. Moonje discussed with Mussolini the details of that training and how it could be replicated in India. It is that organisational structure which the RSS adopted. It is Mussolini’s fascist organisational form which the RSS follows even today.
RSS received its ideology from the Nazism of Hitler’s Germany. There was no other organisation in the world that was as overjoyed as the RSS at Hitler’s annihilation of the minorities. The nations and organisations of the world had condemned what Hitler had did. But the RSS welcomed it and praised it.
All the distinguished persons of our country are supposed to yield to the wishes of the RSS! They are supposed to surrender to the RSS! They should not think independently, they should not express their own ideas! If they do that, if they express ideas different from that of the RSS, they will not be allowed to live in this country, says the RSS. The secular forces of this country has one thing to say, unitedly, to the RSS – this country belongs to all of us. RSS has no special rights here. Everyone who resides here has the right to live here, to express their opinions freely and to write what they want to.
RSS had publicly said during that time that Germany is the model India should follow in solving our domestic issues. Hitler annihilated the minorities in Germany. Remember the massacre of the Jews by Hitler. The RSS was all excited about such barbaric acts. The godfathers of the RSS, including Golwalkar, have written in praise of such policies of Hitler. Those were the kind of policies which the RSS adopted as their own. The RSS adopted those policies fully in India. In other words, the policies of the RSS and the policies of Hitler are the same. RSS has accepted Hitler’s Nazism as its own ideology. You could see that the language of the RSS is similar to that of Hitler. Hitler wrote on how to deal with the minorities. The RSS adopted the same policy here, in the same form. For Hitler, there was only one group which was a minority there – the Jews. Hitler saw the Jews and the Communists, whom he referred to as Bolsheviks, as the domestic enemies of the country. The same stand and the same policy were written down in their books by the RSS as their own policy. And they have gone on to implement it. Here they said that the major minorities in India – the Muslims and the Christians – are the domestic enemies of the country. Along with them, following up on Hitler, they depict the Communists also as the country’s domestic enemies. Thus, just as minorities and the Communists became domestic enemies for Hitler in Germany, the Muslims, Christians and Communists became the domestic enemies for the RSS in India.
This is the policy which the RSS implemented all over the country. It can be seen that it was the RSS which led the communal riots which occurred in India. Communal riots in which thousands of people were killed have happened in our country. The RSS had led all those riots. They have special kinds of training for that. How to organise a riot? How to create communal tension? Once the communal tension grows into a riot, what kind of false propaganda should be used to provoke and excite the common people? The RSS has specific training facilities for all of these. This uniformity can be seen in all the communal riots which the RSS led. It can be seen that the particular methods that they learned through their systematic training have been widely used in those riots.
RSS is against secularism. That India should not be a secular country has been their stand from the very beginning. On 17 July 1947, ‘Organiser’, the RSS mouthpiece, wrote an editorial titled “National Flag”. Our national flag was decided upon after extensive discussions. However, the RSS was absolutely against it. They unleashed a scathing attack against the flag saying that it did not have any elements of our country and that it was not suitable to our country. The name India was also objected to by the RSS. On 31 July 1947, the same ‘Organiser’ wrote that the name of the country should be Hindusthan [which is different from Hindustan] and not India. All these were as a result of their policy. Their understanding from the very beginning has been that India should be a country with a religion-based state. They are opposed to the idea of a secular country. That is why inside the Parliament, one of our rulers, the Home Minister himself, said that the inclusion of secularism in our constitution was the reason for all our troubles. We should realise that this is what the RSS is.
It is this RSS which today has got the power to decide the destiny of the country. They are proceeding with utter intolerance. Several hours would be needed to talk about them. Such cruelties have been imposed on our country under their leadership. RSS has become the manifestation of intolerance. That intolerance has spread to our country’s rulers as well. Just as they killed Mahatma Gandhi, the Sangh Parivar has killed several people who are important for the country, and who are dear to the people. M M Kalburgi’s killing here is still in our minds. The secular mind of our nation was very much pained at that murder. Kalburgi was a progressive writer. Why was he killed? Not just Kalburgi, Govind Pansare – he was somebody who exposed the RSS well. He exposed their false campaigns on the basis of historical facts. Intolerance, Govind Pansare was killed because of that. Narendra Dabholkar fought strongly against superstitions and evil customs. He was also murdered. All of these were done under the leadership of the Sangh Parivar. None of these three people who were killed had done anything wrong. As progressive writers they were constantly engaged in debates, for our country, for our people. It was the intolerance against that which led the RSS to kill them.
There are so many people here who have been threatened by the RSS. Not just those who have been murdered, but also those who have been working for the benefit of our society, those who are well known within our country. You know of K S Bhagawan, you know about the threats against him by the Sangh Parivar. Similarly, Girish Karnad, the Jnanpith award winner, was also not spared by the Sangh Parivar. RSS has been following a policy which says that they would not tolerate anybody who is not ready to agree with the ideas of the RSS and to surrender to them. Huchangi Prasad, the young poet from Karnataka, a Dalit youth, his hand was the target of their knives. Blood was shed. He was threatened that his fingers would be cut off if he writes again. Journalist and writer Chetana Thirthahalli was threatened here for not surrendering to the dictates of the RSS. Ignoring the threats, she participated in a DYFI programme, and then she was threatened further. Extremely heinous threats, that acid would be poured over her, that she would be raped and so on were raised against her by the Sangh Parivar. The attacks against writer Perumal Murugan… Such was the state of affairs that he was forced to say that the writer in him has died. All of these happened in our country. The things that I mentioned earlier were events that happened continuously in Karnataka.
RSS had publicly said during that time that Germany is the model India should follow in solving our domestic issues. Hitler annihilated the minorities in Germany. Remember the massacre of the Jews by Hitler. The RSS was all excited about such barbaric acts. The godfathers of the RSS, including Golwalkar, have written in praise of such policies of Hitler.
The widely revered U R Ananthamurthy was on his deathbed. That was the moment RSS chose to spew its venom against him. They sent him a flight ticket to Pakistan! RSS is very keen to pack off many geniuses and distinguished persons to Pakistan. Apart from many prominent persons in our State, they would also like to send famous actors like Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan to Pakistan. M T Vasudevan Nair, winner of the Jnanpith award and Padma Bhushan from Kerala, happened to talk about the difficulties faced by the people in the wake of the currency ban. The Sangh Parivar, the RSS, wanted to send him also to Pakistan immediately. They wanted to send Kamal, a famous film director from Kerala also to Pakistan. They want to send Nandita Das to Pakistan. What is this? All the distinguished persons of our country are supposed to yield to the wishes of the RSS! They are supposed to surrender to the RSS! They should not think independently, they should not express their own ideas! If they do that, if they express ideas different from that of the RSS, they will not be allowed to live in this country, says the RSS. The secular forces of this country has one thing to say, unitedly, to the RSS – this country belongs to all of us. RSS has no special rights here. Everyone who resides here has the right to live here, to express their opinions freely and to write what they want to. The secular forces must unitedly take a strong position against the intolerance of the RSS.
RSS has tried to do away with the minorities. It even came down to the RSS attempting to decide what one should eat. This is what led to Akhlaq being beaten up and murdered, in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh. “You” are against “us” since you belong to a minority, according to the Sangh Parivar. An innocent man was killed because of that. Food was used only as an excuse to kill him. It was later proven that the meat taken from his house was mutton. Even as minorities were being targeted, in Una, Gujarat, this country and the world saw four Dalit boys being stripped naked, tied to a car and beaten up. Dalits are supposed to skin dead cows and clean others’ toilets; they are supposed to do only certain kinds of jobs. The methods of the same old chatur-varnya (four-varna) caste system was being used against Dalits by the RSS. What we witnessed in Mewat, Haryana was another version of this. A poor farmer and his wife were killed by the RSS. Two young girls of the family who had managed to escape were forced to come back as the criminals pointed a knife at the baby child of one of them. They threatened that the baby’s neck would be slashed if they didn’t come back. The girls were then gang raped. Everyone else in that family was beaten up brutally. This is what the RSS is doing in our country. Apart from the places I mentioned now, the states of Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab have all seen attacks on a big scale in the name of beef.
People belonging to the Sangh Parivar killing other people belonging to the Sangh Parivar is what you are seeing here. You are all aware of the killings in the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts here, and I need not go into the details. Prathap Poojary was killed this last February 19th, early Sunday morning. Who was Prathap Poojary? An activist of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike, a leader of the organisation who called for a hartal today. A gang had robbed those who had come to perform Yakshagana at Kateel temple. And we come to know that Prathap was killed so that this information does not become public. Similarly, Vinayak Baliga, a BJP member – he was stopped while going to the temple on a bike and was killed. The prime accused is Naresh Shenoy, founder of the NaMo Brigade. This man had contested as a BJP candidate in the Lok Sabha elections. Nalin Kumar Kateel, the BJP MP, is also an accused in this case. In Udupi, Praveen Poojary was killed after it was alleged that he smuggled cattle. He was also a BJP worker. He was also killed by the Sangh Parivar. Thus, what you have to witness here is Sangh Parivar members killing their own fellow Sangh Parivar members.
You all know about Kerala, about the reform movement led by Sree Narayana Guru and what happened in Kerala in continuation to it. Some comrades told me earlier about the Guru having come here and spoken here as well. The result of the continuation of the renaissance movement led by him was that Kerala developed into a strongly secular society. It is in such a place that the RSS set off to establish themselves. The strongest force in Kerala, the Communist movement, the CPI(M) in particular, is their primary enemy. They think that by destroying the Communist movement, they can establish the influence of communalism over Kerala’s society. That is how attacks by the RSS were initiated there. If you examine the history of Kerala, around 600 comrades have been martyred in the State. 205 of those comrades were killed by the RSS. They had not done anything wrong. They took a strong position against communalism as part of their strong stand in defence of secularism. The RSS is intolerant towards that. The RSS is trying to weaken the movement of the comrades who are ready to fight and sacrifice their lives to protect secularism by murdering them. This is what the RSS has been doing continuously in Kerala.
Comrade Sreerama Reddy invited me several months back to participate in this Communal Harmony rally that you have organised. It became possible for me to come only now. When I decided to participate in this rally and the news became public, the intolerance of the Sangh Parivar came out in the open. Leaders of the RSS and the BJP said that they will not let me set foot here. Some even bragged that they will not let me set foot anywhere outside Kerala. I would like to make one thing clear regarding this. As someone who is serving as the Chief Minister of Kerala, I appreciate the Karnataka Government’s vigilance in dealing with this threat raised by the RSS. I thank the Karnataka Chief Minister and the Karnataka Government for this. The RSS can be dealt with only in this manner, by taking a strong stand. All of us should take this as a lesson.
This is what I have to say to the RSS. Quite naturally, in my journeys after I became Chief Minister, I have the protection of the police force which has the responsibility to protect me. They have weapons to ensure that. It could be said, if you like, that I travel in the midst of the protection of their weapons. It is something that is a customary part of our governance system.
But this is what I have to say to RSS and to those who challenged me. I, Pinarayi Vijayan, did not drop down from the heavens one fine day into the chair of the Chief Minister. I am not someone who doesn't know you, the RSS, directly either. My political activism all along has proceeded by seeing and knowing you.
Now I travel in the midst of the protection of the weapons of the police. But there was a time without it, when I had come to public life after completing my studies at Brennen College, Thalassery. If the new RSS men do not know about those times, they should ask the old RSS men. Then, I had walked amidst the knives you had drawn out and amidst the swords you held up.
When you couldn't do anything to me during those times, what do you think you are going to do to me now? You have been talking about having managed to stop my journey to Madhya Pradesh. As a serving Chief Minister, when I go to another state, it is basic courtesy that I accept certain things that the government of that State tells me. That government asked me not to go there, and I accepted it. But had it been the Pinarayi Vijayan who was not a Chief Minister, not even Indra (the king of Hindu gods) or Chandra (moon) would have been able to stop me.
So, your threats are not going to intimidate me. Then why make such unnecessary statements?
Our country has always responded firmly to such forces. All the progressive people here spoke up against the arrogant stand that somebody would be prevented from coming and speaking here. I thank all those progressive people, and the media which came out against the RSS stand in this regard.
I declare this programme inaugurated. I conclude. My greetings to you all.