Is RSS a terrorist organisation?


New Delhi: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was listed as a terrorist organization under threat group section by US-based Terrorism Research Centre and OODALOOP (, a risk management and consulting company. A lawsuit was filed in US court on 21 January, 2015 to label RSS as a foreign terrorist organization. Former Maharashtra inspector general of police SM Mushrif calls RSS India's biggest terror outfit.

RSS affiliates, or ‘Sangh Parivar’, has been charge-sheeted in almost 17 terror cases in India. There is a history of communal riots, terrorism and murders related to RSS and its outfits working under different names. But Sangh has a habit of disowning its Hindutva activists and Hindu extremist organizations once they are caught in any crime.

To analyse Sangh terrorism, a first-of-its-kind seminar under the banner of ‘Sangh Terror and Failures of Justice’, was organized by the socio-cultural organization, ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) on 9 August at the Constitution Club here. The panellists were eminent Indian personalities including members of Parliament.

Sangh terror - ANHAD
Sangh terror - ANHAD

The symposium was divided into four sessions. It commenced with the introduction of the terror activities of the RSS busted by the brave Maharashtra police officer and chief of Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), Hemant Karkare. He was the first to expose the real face of Sangh. First time in the history of India, Hindutva outfits were charged with terror crimes which were earlier placed at the door of Muslims. Karkare’s probe also uncovered the false arrests of Muslims on the pretext of terrorism.

Author Manisha Sethi of the Jamia Milia Islamia, said, “There is a deep prejudice against Muslims within the judicial system. Police have fabricated cases against the alleged terrorist organization SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India).”

Speaking on the role of the RSS in the freedom movement, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA from Maharasthra, Jitendra Awhad said, “Both Savarkar and Golwalkar wrote letters to the British seeking support. No RSS worker ever fought for the freedom of India.” On the current furore over Dalits’ oppression, he said, “There is no Dalit in Sangh’s Hindu Rashtra.”

An IPS officer, who was a part of the special investigation team of the Samjhauta Express blasts in 2007, Vikas Narain Rai, said, “No political party or government wants to have constitutionally-conditioned police. This is the reason behind the failure of the judicial system.”

On the issue of the institutional bias and spurious functioning of intelligence agencies, defence lawyer in the 7/11 Mumbai train blasts in 2006, Adv. Wahab Khan, said, “In the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, ATS arrested nine innocent Muslims, who were later acquitted after a few years as it was established that Hindutva outfits like Abhinav Bharat were involved. In the 2006 blasts, NIA falsely gave a clean chit to Swami Aseemanand, Sadhvi Pragya and Colonel Purohit. Court refused the contrived version of NIA and decline to grant bail to them.”

Khan highlighted the working of the intelligence agencies under the influence of political parties and the government. It is important to note that colonel Purohit was the mastermind of both Malegaon blasts and was an RSS cadet. He had studied in the Bhonsala Military School of Nasik, a private military school established by RSS which runs another sister military school in Nagpur.

Explaining the role of the RSS terror offshoots like Sanathan Sanstha and Abhinav Bharat, social activist Teesta Setalvad said, “Government is behind the liberty of Sangh outfits and that’s the reason Bhonsala Military School is running freely although it is involved in illegal and terror activities and has provided its premises for terror training. Today journalism is shamelessly politically influenced. There was no investigative reportage of the Modasa blast which happened simultaneously to the Malegaon blast and Sangh terrorists were involved in it also.”

Teesta is famous for Zakia Jafri-CJP Special leave petition that seeks a criminal trial of Narendra Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat, and 62 other politicians and government officials for their complicity in the Gujarat 2002 pogroms. She too is a victim of State terror as she has been threatened, oppressed and framed in fake cases and her bank accounts have been sealed recently on the ploy of FCRA violations by her NGO.

Journalist Hartosh Singh Bal, who broke the Niira Radia tape controversy said, “RSS is against the Republic of India; it used the Congress party to strengthen itself.”

It is quite distinct that many blasts and communal riots carried out by RSS affiliates happened while Congress was ruling the country. The most ironical thing is that RSS has expanded its wings and created a grand  Hindutva network reaching almost 57000 shakhas (branches) and 17000 Shishu Mandirs (schools) across India over 49 years while the Congress was ruling at the Centre. RSS was banned briefly under Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Narasimha Rao’s governments but has continued growing nonetheless. Large number of RSS men joined Congress and there are still RSS members in the Congress party in many states.

Author of “Godse’s Children: Hindutva terror in India”, Subhash Gatade, said that “RSS is against the Constitution of India. Sangh pushes Islamophobia and tries to create a nation dominated by Hindutva.”

JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar said, “We should not forget that Modi has worked for 27 years in the RSS”. Taking jibe on the recent comment in which PM said that ‘Shoot me but not Dalits’, Kanhaiya said, “It is the ideology of ‘killing’, Modi and his organisation (Sangh) bears. Why should anyone shoot him? He should give justice to Dalits, Kashmiris and suppressed minorities of India.”

The last speaker at the symposium was CPI(M) leader and parliamentarian Sitaram Yechury who said, “Terror is a tool used by RSS and BJP to achieve their aim of establishing a Hindu nation. Hindutva is a political ideology which includes cult of violence that Modi and RSS sponsor.”