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Published in the 1-15 Sep 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

RSS and Gandhi's assassination

By I. K. Shukla

Protesting too much becomes the criminal as Mourning becomes Electra. It is an age-long norm. The protest has to be loud and cyclical, i. e., a tirelessly repetitive triteness. It tricks no one. By this stratagem the criminal believes he has absolved himself - not of the crime but of its consequences. It absolves him of remorse, and it enables him to continue his career of crime without being handicapped by any moral inhibition. Not being caught - this artifice he perfects with passion and precision. This is his badge of honor, his feather of distinction and glory. Lying, therefore, becomes his tool, his necessity, his principle.

Patel on RSS’ role

"There is no doubt in my mind that the extreme section of Hindu Mahasabha was involved in the conspiracy. The activities of the RSS constituted a clear threat to the existence of Government and State."

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in his letter of July 18, 1948 
to Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee

"The speeches of the Sangh leaders are poisonous. It is a result of the venom that Mahatma Gandhi has been assassinated. The followers of the Sangh have celebrated Gandhiji's assassination by distributing sweets." 

Sardar Patel’s letter to the Sarsanghchalak of RSS on 11 September 1948

Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, right from its inception, has boldly gone on lying, and more brazen lying by every passing day. It has never allowed truth to trump it, or facts to faze it. This doggedness has marked its career as a phenomenon in Indian polity. Take its much touted claim of not being interested in politics, but only in culture. I had heard it in the 40s from many RSS mouths first hand. This assertion turned the truth on its head. It was in fact interested not a whit in culture but exclusively in politics. This agenda required destruction, not fostering, of culture. Culture, so-called, in its lexicon, became both its camouflage, and its conspiracy to carry forward its design of destroying historic India. It chopped culture to a pitiable and puny size for its perverted purpose, just as professional beggars on Indian streets have their limbs chopped by their owners to coax alms from the unwary. RSS chopped the minds of the young and impressionable reducing them to the size of a mustard seed which would permanently keep them shrunk and handicapped, unable to think, incapable of quest, retarded for ever.

It has massive number of recruits. But it lies about them point blank. They all remain unrecorded, unregistered in any RSS list. The RSS ill affords maintaining any such register. Do criminal gangs maintain registers of their members? It pretends that it charges no membership fee, hence no accounts need be maintained. This is another bald lie. What it calls Guru Dakshina, is the obligatory and sumptuous, consolidated membership fee by another name. Mere membership fee, annual or otherwise, would never fill RSS coffers to the brim as Dakshina does on various festivals of Hindu calendar.

Similarly, those who go to kill do not have formally or informally to be members or affiliates of the RSS. Even when they know they are, as the RSS knows they are, they disavow such nexus by "resigning". The irony here is transparent, a giveaway of their false claims. If RSS has no membership, why and what then did they resign from? Expedient, isn't it? Liars have to be clever but not fairly consistent. Their lies stretch to an exponential length.

Murders of political leaders are by and large conspiratorial. They are not publicized, nor admitted, nor boasted. But telltale signs never go unnoticed. They blaze the criminals randomly, suddenly. When Vinayak Savarkar (keep Damodar, his father, out) blessed Nathu (free Ram from being tagged to a seasoned criminal) Godse on the point of his farewell to perform the "mission" by uttering Yashaswi Bhav (Be famous), he blessed the assassination and the assassin.

For not doing any drastic thing, Hindu Mahasabha's Savarkar had repeatedly chastised the Sangh in the past. It was now time and turn of the RSS to rehabilitate itself into his affections the only way it could, the only way he would: Gandhi's assassination. It is this guru-shishya parampara (preceptor and pupil tradition) of criminality that is so dear to the fiendish fakery called Hindutva and that it promotes for its evil project of desecrating and demolishing India. It is this cult of murder and mayhem that it anoints as culture.

With its fascist and totalitarian antecedents, with its history of sabotage, collaboration with the enemy and national treason, Sangh is overdue for a permanent ban and total elimination from the socio-political system of the nation. No delay or excuse is admissible. Any procrastination in the matter would amount to tragic and criminal dereliction of duty costing the nation very dearly. Sangh and its various synonyms can stay alive and vitiate the socio-political atmosphere only at the cost of the Constitution. Unless we wish to witness "Hindu" terrorism wrecking and violating the Constitution with impunity and impudence day in and day out, it is high time it be stamped out. Gujarat was no aberration. It was a script prepared with rigor and ruthlessness long in advance.

Sweets were distributed by Sanghis and their cohorts on Gandhi's assassination all over when the nation was shell shocked and stunned into mourning a loss so monumental. If it had not been privy and/or party to the heinous crime, it had no reason for celebrating a national ignominy. This act alone shows it to be obstinately inimical to the million upon millions of people in India and abroad and contemptuous of national sentiment and honour.

Rarely have "high value" murderers been brought to justice, rarely have the culprits paid any price for their misdeeds. And, legally well tutored in advance, the assassins and arsonists in Gujarat took care to be "mobs", not persons, and to destroy all evidence of their carnage. Among their advisers was K. K. Shastri, an octogenarian, said to be a Mahabharata "scholar". He was, among others, aiding and abetting the "Hindu" terrorists.

But another octogenarian, Shri Chunnilal Vaidya, a Gandhian and a committed Sarvodaya leader, in a booklet SPITTING AT THE SUN, written in 1998 

(Gujarat Lok Samiti, Gandhi Ashram, Ahmedabad - 380 027) records six out of ten attempts made on Gandhi's life. In his preface, A Word or Two, he writes:

"I was also aware of the fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party had very recently, in its organ BJP TODAY had come out with an article which implied that Godse played a tool in the hands of the British imperialists. Really, no sane person, not to talk of a national party, can own up a heinous crime as the one committed by Godse. But, I must add, much more will have to be done to clear the dust generated till now. [Note how cleverly the BJP, in its earlier incarnation as Jan Sangh, and in its prime inspiration of Hindu Mahasabha, absolves itself from being "a tool in the hands of the British imperialists". As a declared policy they offered to be collaborators of the foreign enemy and throttle the national struggle for freedom from the imperialist yoke of John Bull.]

I am sorry, there are some insinuations against RSS in this small work, and that too in spite of the Organization's publicly disowning of the perpetrator of the heinous crime. But its anti-Muslim and anti-Gandhi mindset are two handicaps - one born [innate] and the other acquired. These are also denied by it, but its followers and their deeds tell a different story altogether. I wish I were wrong."

Briefly the six attempts on Gandhi's life by those imbued with the spirit of Hindutva's communal fascism:

1. In 1934. Gandhi was on way to a reception by Poona Municipality. A bomb was hurled at him but it hit the car ahead, and Gandhi was saved. The Chief Municipal Officer, a couple of constables, and four others were injured.

2. In 1944, Panchgani. A man with a dagger rushed toward him. According to Manishankar Purohit, the proprietor of Poona Surati Lodge, the assailant was none else but Nathuram Godse. B. D. Bhisare Guruji, the ex-Congress MLA from Mahabaleshwar and Chief of Satara District Central Bank, had snatched away the dagger from Godse. Gandhiji soon sent for Godse, but he did not turn up![The coward did not want to be recognized.]

3. September 1944. Gandhi was scheduled to leave Wardha for Bombay to meet Jinnah. A group from Poona went to Wardha to attack Gandhi and sabotage the program. When Gandhi came to know of it, he insisted that he would walk along with the demonstrators and not board the car until they allowed. But before his departure, the police had apprehended the group. One of them, G. L. Thatte, was detected carrying a dagger, but he told the police that he had only intended to tear off the tire of the car by which Gandhi was to travel. Quite early in the morning Mahatma Gandhi's personal secretary, Pyarelal, had also received a phone all from the D. C. P. cautioning against any probable untoward happening at the hands of the demonstrators.

4. June 1946. Gandhi was traveling to Poona by a special train. They had hatched a plot to derail the train in the dark that night between Neral and Karjat by putting huge stones on the rail track. Thanks to the engine driver's vigilance and skill the tragedy was averted although the engine was damaged. Later on, mentioning this incident in a prayer meeting Gandhi said: "So far I have been saved from seven attempts on my life. But I am not going to end up that way. I hope to live for 125 years". Nathu retorted in his journal AGRANI: "But who will let you live?" This implies that he had already determined to kill Gandhi long before the Partition, used as a pretext for what they call 'Gandhi-Vadh'.[This is another variant and reminiscent of the dictum Vaidiki Himsa Himsa na Bhavati. That is, Vedic violence is no violence.]

5. January 20, 1948. Madanlal Pahwa hurled a bomb at Gandhi at the prayer meeting. It missed him, Gandhi continued his prayer unperturbed.

6. Ten days later Godse assassinated Gandhi on the prayer ground. Over a long span of years attempts by Hindu fundamentalists to eliminate Gandhi were afoot. All they were looking for was the chance to do so; any excuse was good enough to assassinate Gandhi, and they spared no pain to find or fabricate it.

This slim booklet includes nuggets of historical facts debunking the popular myths. Adverting to the Lucknow Pact of 1916 Vaidya writes: "Gandhi was a new entrant in the public life of the country. He had no share [part] in the Lucknow negotiations. Who were the leaders then? Annie Besant, Lokmanya Tilak, and Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Justifying the pact [which gave Muslims representation in proportion to their population], Tilak observed: Some eminent people accuse us of attaching far greater importance to the Mohamedans. I would go to the extent of saying personally I would have no objection if self-rule were granted to the Muslims alone. If the Rajputs also get a similar right, I won't mind. Nor would I object to this right being given to the most backward classes among the Hindus. This statement of mine reflects the national spirit of all India. When you are struggling against the third force, above everything else, all you need is your own unity - communal and political and ideological. (Bipin Chandra, et al. Bharat Ka Swatantrata Sangharsh, 14th Reprint, 1997, p. 120.)

It is salutary to recall Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who wrote in his letter of July 18, 1948 to Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee:
"There is no doubt in my mind that the extreme section of Hindu Mahasabha was involved in the conspiracy. The activities of the RSS constituted a clear threat to the existence of Government and State." [So too now the activities of RSS have constituted, more starkly, a blazing threat to the nation as evinced in Gujarat and umpteen other places. ]

He wrote on 11 September 1948 to the Sarsangh Chalak of RSS:
"The speeches of the Sangh leaders are poisonous. It is a result of the venom that Mahatma Gandhi has been assassinated. The followers of the Sangh have celebrated Gandhiji's assassination by distributing sweets." [Neither have Sanghis eschewed their venom, nor have their leaders stopped speaking far more poisonously ever since. Hence, the present and clear danger they pose to national security and national honor urgently impels slapping a ban on their various outfits. They can be suffered only at the cost of India's survival.]
Another perfidy perpetrated on the nation by the acolytes of Savarkar was his portrait hung in the parliament. No nation had ever honored a renegade so blatantly. Savarkar, with his repeated pleas for forgiveness and mercy, with his contemptible offers of loyalty and service to the British empire, should have been erased from the nation's collective memory. Instead, he was obtrusively burnt into it. Insulting the memory of martyrs and patriots who did not compromise with the alien-White-Christian-imperialist invader and despoiler, Advani named the Andamans Cellular Jail after a cringing, groveling cretin like Savarkar. It was Savarkar who had given the prime call for the division of India along communal lines, long before Jinnah. Instead of denouncing him for this breach, his camp followers and mini-Savarkars made him, an abomination, into their icon. He will ever remain an archetypal figure of cowardice, national betrayal, and Hinduist disgrace.

Savarkar had said in the 1937 session of Hindu Mahasabha at Ahmedabad: “India cannot be assumed today to be a unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary, there are two nations in the main: the Hindus and the Muslims.”

And on 15 Aug. 1943 he repeated himself: “I have no quarrel with Mr. Jinnah's two-nation theory. We, the Hindus, are a nation by ourselves; and it is a historical fact that the Hindus and Muslims are two nations.”
Sanghis lie when they deny the Hinduist drive and Savarkar's role as an ace architect of India's Partition. The other big lie embedded here is Hinduists' three-fold false claim: 1. that they represent all Hindus or their interests; 2. that Hindus are a homogenous entity, not Homo Hierarchus; and 3. that the minority of Hinduists (Poona-based Brahmins) are Hindus, the majority, who lack any vision of politics except that rooted in communal divisions.
It is to erase this bleak record of Hinduist blemish and anti-national shame that BJP stymied and smothered in every way it could the publication of Toward Freedom, edited by such eminent scholars and historians as Sumit Sarkar, K. N. Panikkar etc., as a major project of ICHR. The Hinduists of Sanghi cult, committed to violence and vivisection, and soaked in hatred, want their treason erased and forgotten. Instead, they would have generations of Indians learn that Moonje- Hedgewar- Golwalkar- Savarkar were our national leaders! Having wallowed in lies and crimes for decades, the pseudo-Hindus look glaringly akin to a professional mafia. They have to be excised from the system, like a malignant cancer, to keep it wholesome.

RSS and its cohort have thrived on lies and lethality. India, lacerated by them, has bled long and massively. The pattern of its denials and lies is inherent to its character. But it would not get away with its responsibility and role in Gandhi's assassination. It knows more than its opponents that it was involved in a serious and sustained manner in the most grisly crime of the century. Crying hoarse its innocence in the matter will not wash. Why? Because it was proud of its evil deed as a mission it successfully and signally accomplished. In such crimes no one, not even a tyro, would leave an incriminating trail. Plausible deniability, contrived as a lame recourse, is sheer casuistry, but it is not an escape hatch, nor a stain remover.

But there are straws in the wind, and even dead leaves lying about or fluttering in the wind, tell a tale. They cannot be silenced.

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