On the rare occasion that I do flip through Sangh´s preposterous theories, they make me cringe; out of shock or disgust, I am yet to ascertain. And although, I consider patriotism a virtue, and think that India´s liberal left may have over-stretched their definition of free speech, I do most definitely think that cultural nationalism inherent in the Sangh parivar is a dangerous influence. The RSS postulates, admittedly, is filled with every muck and filth one can imagine in that genre. But beyond that, there are other aspects I find rather disturbing both as an Indian and a Hindu, in the Sangh parivar – the “enemy” or “patient” from within – however one may choose to see them.
1. Unlike many, I take no serious offense of the RSS´s display of hairy limbs through airy Khakhi shorts or their funny parades with sticks, on the contrary I find it amusing. But I am offended by the hypocrisy of their morality brigade, which has reduced the term “Indian culture” to a stupefying binary, to be shoved in our faces every time someone steps a little bit beyond their imaginary line of decency. While religion may provide personal solace and comfort; as modern beings, we should not rely on religion for deriving our concept of morality and decency. Our social conscience is inherent in the democratic system of government we have accepted vis a vis a dynamic constitutional morality.
2. The Sangh Parivar is high on rhetoric sensationalism. Their intellectuals are virulent, like a bad bout of diarrhea during the monsoon, pouring out their thoughts on everything from birthday cakes to the paternity of Feroze Gandhi, taking offence of almost everything. Their dumb, are great mathematicians, for they keep count of condomns, cigarette stubs and have great insight in to the number of children per family required to save Hindu-India. This odd mix of hyper-sensationalism and hyper-sensitivity in their rhetoric is definitely pathological and has great potential to create a perception bias among the less educated masses.
3. Strangely, they also seem to come up with cures and fixes for everything from common cold to queerness through Yoga. No doubt, Yoga has its health benefits but the way the Sangh shows a penchant for it borders obsessive compulsive. The next thing you know they will be peddling yoga as a cure for the Syrian crisis. Sure! if only we could somehow get the Russians to beam Ramdev’s TV show to Assad’s strategy-room. The Sangh definitely knows how to transform something absolutely healthy to the most absurd, and this typically is symptomatic of obscurantist revivalism. The tragedy of such revivalism lies in the unwillingness of educated Hindus to undertake an objective critical re-appraisal of their heritage. Unless Hindus accept the onus of promoting their heritage in modern Indian society sans obscurantism, there is no way forward.
4. The Sangh ideology has a strong anti-Muslim bias. The founder of RSS, Hedgewar, refered to Muslims as , “Yavana snakes” and the Muslim community he declares is so dangerous that it “must be watched in all its actions with greatest distrust possible” !!!. While, modern India cannot overlook the particular national security threat that Saudia Arabia´s specific version of petro-Islam poses to India´s heterodox Muslim society, it is suicidal to answer Muslim orthodoxy in India by Hindu orthodoxy and communal distrust. Any form of religious conservatism, Hindu or Muslim will be defeated only when we achieve a greater degree of social progress, and learn to trust one another and co-operate.
That being said, in all honesty, I think the hysteria of Sangh realistically re-writing our constitution and making us into a Hindu Pakistan, or Modi metamorphosing into a Hindu Hitler, is rather an inflated political one. Nevertheless, there seems to be menacing trends about the Sangh such as its cultural nationalism, retrogressive moral brigades, unrestrained Hindu revivalism/orthodoxy and a strong anti-Muslim bias that may be divisive to Indian politics and detrimental to the progressive hyperbole that we envisage for India.
If banning the RSS were once more a viable option, I see no harm in it, but who will tighten the noose ?