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RSS Ultimatum to Muslims: 
A Challenge to all minorities and other secular forces

The RSS ultimatum has been issued in the context of the genocide, ethnic cleansing and terrorism unleashed in Gujarat with the full collusion and support of the power that be. At the same time the Resolution seeks to ‘alert’ the Hindus to the threat of Muslim militancy, says Syed Shahabuddin

At Bangalore in mid-March, the Pratinidhi Sabha of the RSS adopted a Resolution in which it stated: "Let the Muslims understand that their real safety lies in the goodwill of the majority." This statement is an ultimatum to the Muslim Indians, and by implication to other Indians who are not Hindus or committed to the philosophy of Hindutva. But it is fully in accord with its fascist ideology. The RSS obviously rejects the Constitution based on the principles of Freedom, Equality, Justice and Fraternity. It has a Hindu-centric view of India and its strategic mission is to transform the secular State into the Hindu State, with all non-Hindus, nay, all those who do not swear by the Hindutva ideology as second-class citizens and politically, economically and socially under the permanent dominance of the Sangh Parivar. It has long propagated the view that after a ‘thousand years of slavery’, the Hindus have now gained freedom to lord it over the non-Hindus so that they settle the account of the centuries with their ‘historic adversaries’. It thus sees non-Hindus not as equally free Indians but as vassals, born to obey the demands of their masters and to ingratiate themselves with their wishes and firmans. The only difference between Nazi-Germany and Hindu India is that the theory of the master race is substituted by that of the master religion and the master caste.

The RSS Statement is a negation of Indian nationhood; it is a denial of the democratic principle and the universal norms of civilized living; it threatens to take over the basic function of the State – to protect the life, property and honour of its citizens, of course, if and only if they follow its dictates and ‘behave’.

Controlled by the Sangh Parivar, manned by the Pracharaks, the State machinery penetrated from top to bottom by sympathizers and camp followers, the Indian State has virtually lost its élan vital. It stands hijacked by the Parivar. It has lost the quality of love and compassion implicit in democratic governance; it stands petrified, tolerates barbarity, savagery and a deliberate division of the people into ‘we’ and ‘they’ and does not lift a finger. What is worse, the Sangh Parivar gloats over it, justifies it and salutes it as ‘mass upsurge’, ‘people’s movement’, a ‘rebellion’ beyond the power of the government to quill. 

Religious minorities constitute 20% of the national population. No one in his senses can think of liquidating 1/5 of the population. Then what is the game plan of the Sangh Parivar? It has defined its course of action with great precision. Since Hinduism is a religion without dogmas and has a wide theological spectrum, its real objective is assimilation – religious and cultural. The Hindu pantheon in any case is big enough to accommodate a few more deities, as Advani and Joshi have generously affirmed. Mass violence with state support is meant to pulverize, to soften, to demoralize and emasculate the target groups, to pave the path towards their surrender and subjugation, to their willing acceptance of the Sangh dispensation.

This explains why the RSS ultimatum has been issued in the context of the genocide ethnic cleansing and terrorism unleashed in Gujarat with the full collusion and support of the power that be. At the same time the Resolution seeks to ‘alert’ the Hindus to the threat of Muslim militancy. Thus the Sangh Parivar seeks to fan hatred and revenge in the mind of the Hindus and incite them so that they enter the arena with clenched teeth to deal the final blow to the ‘historic adversary’, but without any fear of retaliation. Thus training the Hindus, demoralising the Muslims and penetrating the state apparatus are the three prongs of its campaign.

If the RSS nurses even an iota of national interest and patriotic sentiment, it should ask itself what the purpose of it all is! Social harmony indeed rests on the goodwill of all social groups towards the others – whether religious, racial, linguistic, culture or caste. Diversities that characterize our people cannot be wished away. The Hindu-Muslim dichotomy generated by fanning communal sentiments cannot be a permanent phenomenon. The rising demands of every identifiable group within the Hindu society for its identity to be recognized and for its due share of the national cake cannot be ignored in the age of ethnicity. The strategic objective of the RSS is to restore Brahmanical dominance over the rest of the people. But this is simply beyond the reach of possibility.

Does the RSS realize the consequences of more Ahmedabads for the country? Does the RSS compute the national loss in terms of economic losses including inflow of foreign capital? Does it know the damage it is causing to India’s relations with its neighbours to the north, to the west, to the east, all Muslim States? Does it appreciate the moral defeat that it is imposing on the country on Kashmir? Does it realize that violence to accelerate the process of assimilation only derails the slow but steady movement towards national integration? Does it know that even a worm can turn? And what might happens if the Muslims and Christians and Sikhs are forced to the wall by the pressures of majoritarianism? 

But majoritarianism will not work. Uniformity cannot be enforced; culture and language cannot be imposed; religions, even sects, cannot be absorbed.

Hindus and Muslims co-exist and interact peacefully throughout their common motherland, except in crisis situations deliberately engineered by the Sangh Parivar on one pretext or the other. The RSS is an adept in this task, it has been injecting the poison of hatred and revenge, distrust and suspicion in the body politic of India for the last 75 years. It is not surprising that the poison erupts from time to time and since the RSS has penetrated the administrative and the police machinery, it enjoys the support of some misguided elements and its cadres succeed, through such collusion and collaboration, in inflicting horrible injuries on innocent people only because they do not profess to be Hindus.

For Muslim Indians, India is their motherland; all they aspire to is to live in peace, in dignity, give of themselves in the service of the country, share the wealth created by common endeavour and play a modest role in managing its affairs in keeping with democratic norms and constitutional provisions. No Muslim Indian dreams of restoring Muslim rule. No Muslim Indian has any Pan-Islamic or extra-territorial loyalty. The average Muslim Indian is a law-abiding citizen and sees his security in terms of a social environment which is based on brotherhood and good neighbourliness.

And yet no Muslim Indian is prepared to abdicate his legitimate rights and responsibilities, to discard his religious identity to accept this redesignation as ‘Mohammadi Hindu’, to stop Azans, to close Maktabs and Madarsas, to hand over his Masjids, Mazars and Qabristans, to accept family laws at variance with the explicit mandate of the Qur'an, to ‘revise’ or ‘edit’ the Qur'an to please the Sudarshans, to stop Haj pilgrimage, to forgo his mother tongue, to accept cultural Hinduisation, to forgo the legitimate pride in Islam’s contribution to what India is today, even to sacrifice his freedom of choice in elections as Vajpayee demands.

But the Muslim Indian bears no ill-will towards his Hindu brethren. He has always respected the genuine religious sentiments of the Hindus and indeed politically voted them into power. Since the latter also form a minority in many villages, towns, districts and even States of the country, politically, he demands no less for them than he does for himself i.e. justice and equality in accordance with law. It is this interdependence and the common engagement to resolve any differences, that may arise at the interface at any level, by recourse to the rule of law, which provides the warp and the woof of the national fabric. 

The essential condition is that the State must be neutral and non-aligned; that it should not lean towards the religious majority and maintain equidistance in situation of conflict; that it should not propagate the majority religion through public education and information systems; that it should care equally for all its people irrespective of their religion.

Muslim Indians do not recognize the RSS as the self-appointed guardian or the sole spokesman of the Hindu community. Even at its zenith, the BJP, its political front, secured less than 20% of the national votes in the General Election. What exactly then is the locus standi of the RSS? What are its credentials? Whom does it represent? Today it looms larger than life because its political wing the BJP runs the Government at the Centre and in several states. But tomorrow when it is out of power – and out it will be – many rats will leave the sinking ship. 

But this is precisely the problem. It is this intimation of losing power, which has made it desperate to push ahead. The RSS is thus playing an anti-national game by preparing the ground for chaos, for a civil war in every corner of the country, from the urban mahallas to the rural tolas! It is no more engaged in an electoral game to consolidate Hindu votes through communal polarization but plans to carry the battle for Hindutva, to every village, town and district of the country. But beyond that it plans to move the country decisively forward towards its goals by staging many Ahmedabads, encouraging what it calls ‘Hindu upsurge’ across the country, foment a ‘mass rebellion’ against the State based on a secular Constitution and to take over power.

This is the RSS game. The challenge is not, I repeat, to the Muslims and other minorities alone but to the Indian State, to the Constitution, to the Democratic System, to impose the dominance of a small minority in the name of Hindu Religion, Hindu Culture and the Hindu Nation and to perpetuate it through coercion and assimilation!

Will the State sit up and take notice? Will the secular forces join hands to neutralize the monstrous threat.

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