Is BJP Fueled by RSS ideology or Modi-Shah Double Engine?

In recent years, the country has witnessed many communal incidents with violence erupting between Hindus and Muslims. In fact, most of these cases have disturbed the law and order situation greatly and some have even lead to the loss of lives and livelihood. For instance, the 2020 riots in Delhi resulted in several deaths. Similarly, the communal tension that erupted during the Ram Navmi possession disrupted the livelihood of many local vendors of Jahangirpuri. We are taking the note of Delhi incidents only because it is the centre of all political affairs in the country. But how these communal tensions occur at the first place? Are they fumed up by Twitter users who spread fake news, or TV channels that hold unnecessary debates on communally sensitive issues, or politicians who radicalize young citizens for their personal interests. Among all these factors, the contribution of politicians and their political ideologies have a greater role to play.

From Where it All Began: British Sowed Seeds of Communal Divide 

India is the largest democracy in the world. Its working mechanism supports basic rights to all citizens irrespective of their caste, colour, race, religion, or linguistic background. The constitution of India works on the fundamentals of secularism because it’s in the veins of all countrymen to respect all religions. It can be better related to the fact that India has witnessed a number of invasions. However, none of those could shake the principles of the countrymen. When it comes to building communal tensions, the British rule in the country has altered the demographic values to a great extent. It is because they sowed seeds of communal divide through their divide-and-rule policy, which is very actively professed by modern day politicians.  Even some political parties actively rely on religious issues to gain a upper hand in elections. These parties suppress other important issues by running fake propagandas in the name of religion. 

The Political Rise of BJP Paved Way for Opposition Attacks on RSS

From the time when Bhartiya Janata Party was formed in early 1980s, its members belonged to the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh. It is because the party founded itself on the ideals of nation building, which has been promoted by RSS since 1925. As BJP and RSS have had close relations, there has been political rumours that it is the RSS that directs all affairs of the Bhartiya Janata Party. Due to the close relationship of RSS members with the BJP functioning, the parties that opposed BJP’s ideology started targeting RSS. These parties claimed that RSS is ruining the nation by spreading hatred through its political wing- BJP. However, the Sangha parivar has always denied such claims and maintained that it is not a political organization, rather a social one that strengthens and unites the youth for the nation’s prosperity.  Recently, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat attended a function hosted by the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. CM Baghel stated that he invited the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief to show that the Congress party is not against nation building ideals of the organization.  The RSS leadership has even said that the Akhanda Bharat concept is not influenced by political affairs. Rather it is based on cultural and ideological practices as Hindustanis share the same DNA. That’s why Pakistanis and Bangladeshis have similarities with Indians.  The politically motivated voices of opposition parties were silenced when the RSS chief held a meeting with the dignitaries of Muslim community in New Delhi. In the meeting, both sides shared their respective concerns about the rising gaps between the two communities.  The Muslim side was represented by intellectuals including former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) S Y Qureshi, former Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung, former Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Lieutenant General Zameer Uddin Shah, former MP Shahid Siddiqui and businessman Saeed Shervani.  RSS chief, in one of his press briefing, following the controversy of Gyanvapi issue, stated that RSS has nothing to do with the temple-mosque issue. Even, he sidelined RSS from the Ayodhya Ram temple issue citing that the organization’s name was dragged due to unwarranted circumstances. He assured that the Sangha Pariwar actively supports the ideals of secularism and promotes the ideological practices of others. However, he mentioned that the culture to suppress other cultures and practices is intolerable to RSS.

Congress, TMC’s Opinion About RSS And BJP

The similarities between the right wing organization RSS and the right wing political party BJP gives space to opposition parties for promoting their politically motivated propaganda. These parties criticize BJP for promoting extremist practices on  the directions of the Sangha leaders.  Recently, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi slammed the meeting of RSS chief with Muslim intellectuals. He stated: “The intellectuals belonging to the elite class has nothing to do with the ground reality”. He added that it is just a false narrative carried out by RSS and BJP to fool the underprivileged Indian Muslims.   The Congress party, too, have said that RSS is responsible for spreading hatred among the countrymen. It has attacked RSS several times by quoting the killing of Gandhi by active RSS supporter, Nathuram Godse.  Although the Sangha Pariwar had sidelined itself from the murder of Mahatma Gandhi, the Congress still claims that RSS is responsible for Bapu’s killing. TMC chairman and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s opinion differs from that of Congress. Ms Banerjee in her public address recently praised RSS and said she doesn't believe that the right wing group is bad. She further added that there are many in RSS who ‘do not support’ the ideals and policies of BJP. No matter what political parties claim about the role of RSS in communal tensions erupting in the country, the Sangh Parivar has always refrained itself from entering the political arena. The rising intolerance between Hindus and Muslims involves lack of credibility from the top leadership. In many religio-political tensions, the name of BJP leaders  have erupted which in turn paved the way for speculations about the role of RSS in increasing intolerance in the country.

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