The Vijayadashami (Dussehra) is the quintessential part of RSS’ history; it was the very day of Vijayadashami in 1925 when this Hindutva fascist organisation was founded by few British spies inspired by the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany. The Vijayadashami speech by the Sar Sangh Chalak bears a lot of significance as it sets the mood and political tonality of all Sangh Parivar affiliates, including the BJP. Thus, Mohan Bhagwat’s speech at the RSS headquarters, Nagpur, on 18 October 2018, was designed to set the strategy and manoeuvring tactics of the entire Sangh Parivar in a crucial year when states like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, ruled by the BJP, are going for polls and the Modi regime will face a re-election within seven months. The propaganda embed in Mohan Bhagwat’s speech at the RSS headquarters reaffirms all the obstructionist, fascist and bigot values that the entire Sangh Parivar represent and negates all attempts made by a section of the corporate media to portray the RSS supremo as a harbinger of positive change.
Key features of Mohan Bhagwat’s speech at the RSS headquarters on Vijayadashami of 2018 are analysed below to decipher the multi-layered message, which will play a crucial role in shaping the 2019 general election strategy of the BJP.
Ram temple in Ayodhya
By reiterating the demand for a Ram temple at Ayodhya, Mohan Bhagwat’s speech at the RSS headquarters signalled that the Modi regime, which is now facing immense difficulty in concealing the economic catastrophe happening to India, must focus on diverting the attention of the common people towards the communal battleground of Ayodhya, where the Hindutva fascists demolished a 15th century mosque – Babri Masjid in 1992 to polarise the Hindu voters exploiting the name of Ram, the Hindu deity. Ram temple took a considerable space in Mohan Bhagwat’s speech and it was for the first time after 2014 that Mohan Bhagwat has mentioned Ram temple in his Vijayadashami speech. Mohan Bhagwat’s speech asked the Modi regime to enact a law regarding the construction of a Ram temple at the very location of the demolished Babri Masjid so that the Supreme Court’s verdict can be superceded. This, the RSS feels, is important for the BJP to retain power as the law may help it in consolidating the North Indian Hindu votes during the forthcoming elections.
Mohan Bhagwat’s demand for a law to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya is neither unique nor surprising, rather a very mundane and ubiquitous propaganda that the RSS and the BJP have been spinning since many decades. However, the timings of this renewed demand, that too coming from the RSS supremo’s annual sermon, makes a lot of difference. Mohan Bhagwat’s speech has 203 words dedicated to the Ram temple, of which we would like to quote a significant part here.
“…Sangh has been associated with the sentiments of crores of countrymen, in the efforts of constructing a magnificent Ram temple at the birthplace of Shree Ram who is the personification of the life energy of the nation and an icon of upholding Dharma. The place of Janmabhoomi is yet to be allocated for the construction of the temple although all kinds of evidence have affirmed that there was a temple at that place. There is an obvious game-plan of a few elements to stall the judgment by presenting various newer interventions in the judicial process.
It is in nobody’s interest to test the patience of the society without any reason. The construction of the temple is necessary from the self-esteem point of view; it will also pave the way for an atmosphere of goodwill and oneness in the country. This matter of national interest is being obstructed by some fundamentalist elements and forces that play communal politics for selfish gains. Despite such machinations, the decision regarding ownership of the land should be expedited, and the Government should clear the path for construction of the grand temple through appropriate and requisite law.”
Now, while the RSS supremo spoke about nationhood and the national interest throughout his speech, he declined to adhere to the Constitution of that very nation when he audaciously called, on behalf of 1.3 billion people, Shree Ram the “the personification of the life energy of the nation”, reaffirming that the RSS excludes the Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and the tribals, who do not consider Shree Ram as the “life energy of the nation”, from its “nationhood” and there is no difference of opinion between Mohan Bhagwat and MS Golwalkar on this idea of “nationhood”, though the RSS topbrass have been trying to publicly distance themselves from MS Golwalkar’s toxic views on “nation” at public podiums.
By saying “…The place of Janmabhoomi is yet to be allocated for the construction of the temple although all kinds of evidence have affirmed that there was a temple at that place…”, Mohan Bhagwat consciously tried to influence the sub-judice Ayodhya dispute and tried to legitimise the demolition of a 15th century mosque by a gang of Hindutva-incensed thugs. The “yet to be allocated” sounds like that the RSS already knows about the judgement, about which one Uttar Pradesh BJP minister made an explosive revelation; it appears from Mohan Bhagwat’s speech that the only bone of contention in building the Ram temple is the delay in delivery of the verdict by the Supreme Court as the Sangh seems aware of the content of the verdict.
A court that can send a Muslim man to gallows, only to appease the “collective conscience” of the majoritarian mob, despite acknowledging that no evidence could prove his guilt, can certainly fulfil the wishes of the RSS in Modi-fied India, as the trend of past verdicts show. Thus, Mohan Bhagwat’s speech gave a clear hint that the Supreme Court’s verdict will likely be in its favour and neither the Muslim community will get their mosque nor will they be compensated for the immense loss of life, livelihood and the collective dignity of the community since mid-1980s. The Supreme Court seems to be in a mood to help the RSS in disenfranchising and then subjugating the Muslim population of the country as second-class citizens.
“It is in nobody’s interest to test the patience of the society without any reason.” – This part of Mohan Bhagwat’s speech exemplifies a veiled threat to the court and the opponents of the RSS on the question of construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya at the site of the demolished mosque. The RSS is threatening of losing “patience” and it means violence and bloodshed over the temple in the election year, which can help the BJP to reap electoral benefits in 2019 general election. The “society”, mentioned by Mohan Bhagwat, is not the Hindu society at large but the gang of rabid Hindutva hate mongers, upper-caste elites, Brahmanical urban middle-class and a section of backward caste members and Dalits who are radicalised through Hindutva fascist indoctrination or hired in lieu of money.
Though this idea of a “society” behind the Ram temple campaign can be as loosely-held hodge-podge of the RSS but the threat is indeed real.
Mohan Bhagwat said, “...The construction of the temple is necessary from the self-esteem point of view; it will also pave the way for an atmosphere of goodwill and oneness in the country…”. It’s clear that he is talking about the “self-esteem” of the RSS and its hardcore supporters and not about the “nation” as the national self-esteem can come through the construction of an egalitarian society, by ending economic inequality, socio-economic exploitation of one section of the society by another and the end of communal and sectarian division of the society.
While it’s clear that the RSS or the BJP can’t ever dream of attaining such self-esteem, hence their “self-esteem” will be found in altering history textbooks to make Hindu rulers “win” wars that they lost and through the construction of a temple by demolishing an archaeological treasure. No wonder, the RSS is a Hindutva fascist organisation that thrives on the oppression of the minority communities by the majority and by the suppression of the rights of the exploited people by the exploiters and usurers. No wonder they want the rule of reaction over the rule of progress.
It will be wise to not speak about “an atmosphere of goodwill and oneness in the country”, which Mohan Bhagwat’s speech said will prevail following the construction of the Ram temple. There is no threat to “an atmosphere of goodwill and oneness in the country” except for Hindutva fascism that tends to impose the tyrannical rule of Hindi-Hindu-Hindutva throughout the country, which oppresses minority communities, promotes communal terrorism, abets state-sponsored terrorism, vindication of the Muslims and Christians, supports the oppression of Dalits, tribals and women for the sake of Brahmanical hegemony and to appease the greed and lust of corporate sponsors of the saffron camp. Mohan Bhagwat’s speech missed calling the RSS -the principal threat to “oneness” in the country.
By saying “…This matter of national interest is being obstructed by some fundamentalist elements and forces that play communal politics for selfish gains…”, Mohan Bhagwat’s speech must be talking about the RSS and its progeny. There is no visible “fundamentalist elements and forces that play communal politics for selfish gains” of the Sangh Parivar’s magnitude. There have been no such “fundamentalist elements and forces” apart from the RSS that can control the government apparatus and run every key institution of the country by issuing diktats. The RSS is the sole organisation of that kind, which Mohan Bhagwat avoided naming due to obvious reasons.
Ram temple will remain a very hot topic for the BJP in the coming days, especially during the Supreme Court verdict (all set to come before the 2019 general election), as the loose cannon of the BJP, Subramanian Swamy has already claimed that the BJP can’t fight the 2019 general election using economy or development as its weapons, as the Modi regime has left both in doldrums through its unapologetic corporate appeasement policies. The sarcastic and obnoxious Eminence Grise Subramanian Swamy, spilled the beans over how the Modi regime will try to repeat the 2014 strategy of polarising the Hindu voters using Hindutva propaganda before the election and splitting the Muslim votes by intensifying the antagonism between Shiites and Sunnis. Therefore, it’s evident that the RSS and the BJP will use communal polarisation and incite violence throughout the country by playing the Ayodhya card, its long-term trump card, once more in the 2019 general election to gain majority.
Mohan Bhagwat’s Speech Focused a lot on Urban Naxalism
Mohan Bhagwat’s speech dealt with the problems of “Internal Security” and “Disturbing Trends” in great length, mostly with circumlocution to avoid directly lauding the police and military action against the tribal people in East and Central Indian territories, where the mining corporations are trying to evict the indigenous people with state power to grab their land, river and forests. The RSS is the political and cultural footsoldier of these mining giants and working extensively to evict the tribal people from their land.
“An atmosphere of warmth and goodwill needs to be propagated by eliminating all such discrepancies within the society and embracing these brethren of our society with dignity and affection.”
Though Mohan Bhagwat asked the Brahmanical upper-caste Hindu elites and urban middle-class to embrace “these brethren”, he forgot to mention that the “brethren” about whom he is talking, didn’t ask for the “embracing”, which actually means Hindufying and compartmentalising the tribal people in a caste block, rather, the “brethren” is simply asking the corporate funders, whose money fuels Mohan Bhagwat’s juggernaut of communal fascism, to simply take their hands off the land, rivers and forests that are owned by the tribals. They won’t simply allow the corporate thugs, their lapdog state machinery and the RSS goons to occupy their resources, their source of livelihood and life, at any cost. Their resistance can’t be defeated by mass conversion of tribals into Hinduism and its caste system, their resistance will end only when they will defeat the corporate monstrous sharks and reestablish their common ownership over their land, rivers and forests.
Not ending with the tribal resistance, Mohan Bhagwat’s speech also talks about how important it’s to fight “Urban Naxalism”, the oxymoron coined by the RSS lackey, semi-porn filmmaker and an alleged sexual abuser, Vivek Agnihotri. Mohan Bhagwat’s speech reiterated the same points Arnab Goswami loudly yells each evening on the tv. The usage of the “Bharat tere tukde honge”, a falsified slogan ascribed to JNU students by the Zee Media, an organisation owned by the BJP-supported MP Subhash Chandra, has now become official terminology of the RSS as it found place in Mohan Bhagwat’s speech, which signals that the persecution of the activists, arrested in June and July of this year over charges of Bhima Koregaon violence, a purported “plot to kill Narendra Modi”, some “Maoist letters”, etc., will continue and many more critics of the Modi regime, especially journalists, advocates, trade union activists, farmer organisers, tribal-Dalit-minority rights activists, etc. will also have their share of the ordeal in the days to come and using Mohan Bhagwat’s speech, the state machinery in states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi will unleash severe violence on those who dare to question the Modi regime, its policies and its atrocities.
“But this time an atmosphere of divergence, separatism, violence, acerbic hatred and going to the extent of fueling anti-national sentiments is being created by exploiting these grievances. The leading faces of the groups from whom the slogans like ‘भारत तेरे टुकड़े होगे’ were emanated, have been at the forefront with their provocative speeches in such incidents at some places.” (sic)
By referring indirectly about the JNU students like Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, etc., along with the Dalit activist of Gujarat and a Congress-supported MLA, Jignesh Mevani, the RSS supremo clarified that the target of the RSS will be people like them and it will try to incite mob violence against such activists by spewing venomous propaganda, as the state is unable to prosecute these youth due to lack of credible evidence to nail them even in the lower courts and due to growing support for these youth at different corners. When plans like killing Umar Khalid failed, the possibility of mob violence at different places only remains bright keeping in view the RSS’ modus operandi in the last few years.
“To establish a new, unfamiliar, uncontrolled, outrightly biased Naxal leadership with blind followers solely committed to them is the ‘Neo-Left’ doctrine of these urban Naxals. Their cohorts already established in social and other media, intellectual circles and other institutions are associated with such activities from start to finish. They execute this by defending such activities through intellectual and other methods, through delusory public campaigns related to agitations, while keeping a safe distance and maintaining their so-called eminent positions. They are experts in freely using deceit and poisonous provocative language to make their vicious campaign even more potent.
Treasonous activity by taking help from enemies of the nation is considered as an additional skill. It can be unmistakably seen if we investigate the source of the content and narration in their social media campaigns. The actual presence of Jihadi and terrorist elements in one way or other in such incidents is a common factor among all these. So the emerging conclusion is, this is a bigger canny conspiracy in collusion with forces from within and outside the country. ” (sic)
Clearly, this part of Mohan Bhagwat’s speech tries to portray the intellectuals, writers, authors, journalists or other democratic, anti-fascist and progressive people as the enemy of the “nation”, which the Brahmanical, feudal and comprador capitalism-funded RSS is trying hard to protect from the onslaught of the poor. The vision is clear, the RSS wants the state machinery to crack whip on dissenters and officialise the undeclared emergency reigning in the country by using paranoia over a combo threat of “Urban Naxals” and Jihadis. It will not be surprising to see the forthcoming FIRs filed by the Pune Police, Maharashtra Police, or any other police force against Modi’s opponents and critics use the same content from Mohan Bhagwat’s speech on Vijayadashami 2018.
Dealing very cunningly on the topic of handling the critics of the Modi regime and Hindutva fascism, especially those who fight for the cause of the poor, the marginalised, the exploited working class, peasantry, Dalits, tribals, minorities and other oppressed people, Mohan Bhagwat presents a policing policy, which can translate into censorship on not only media but also on social media. A mass-scale gagging operation to silence the genuine opponents of Hindutva fascism is already on with the active participation of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook (which is randomly blocking accounts of critics of the Modi regime, especially journalists and activists, and then collecting their IDs to reopen the account), Mohan Bhagwat’s speech just confessed what’s going around.
“To eliminate such tendencies, the Government and administration have to alertly ensure that such incidents, of which trouble mongers can take advantage of do not take place. At the same time, they will have to keep a constant vigil on such incendiary elements and forces so that they are not able to perpetrate such nuisance. ” (sic)
The policing on the activists, critics and journalists will continue and it will get intense with the forthcoming elections. There is a good chance that many RSS men will be out there breathing over the shoulders of those fighting against the Hindutva fascism. The support of police and the state will be on the side of the RSS and this sort of aggrandizement will certainly fuel excesses, which will result into gross human rights violation, abuse or violence against the critical minds. The RSS wants to ensure that no mind that can critically think is left outside prisons or its vigil, lest they educate, unite and agitate people against the anti-people policies of the Modi regime and its agenda of permanent communal polarisation of Hindus, especially the Dalits and tribals.
Indoctrination of Young Minds Through “New Education”
While talking about “Sanskar”, which essentially means carrying forward the inhumane Brahmanical rituals, beliefs and traditions of the Hindu society by the new generation, Mohan Bhagwat particularly stressed on the role of “new education policy”, which is the RSS’ mission of imparting completely bigotry-filled, communal, deceitful propaganda as educational lessons and targeting the children of the Hindu community for radicalisation.
“Today, it has become pertinent that the younger generation gets the foundational virtues of humanity and good character in family life. Nowadays, the education curricula and the general atmosphere of the society almost lack these values. Time is running out in the wait for the implementation of the new education policy. Even though there are many individuals and organizations making efforts for these changes both at societal and government levels, our home and family are always in our hands for making such efforts. It is necessary to see whether we are fulfilling our responsibility towards the new generation to shape their minds with virtues of natural affection, self discretion, family and social responsibility and by setting our own example of prudence in an informal and pious environment or not.” (sic)
While discussing about the urgency of implementing the “new education policy”, Mohan Bhagwat’s speech mentioned, “many individuals and organizations making efforts for these changes” (sic). It actually meant the efforts made by the RSS-led Hindutva propaganda department, which is now changing syllabus of students, from school to university level, these days. The Congress has always played the role of a meek opponent who, afraid of voter retribution, never tried undoing the anti-people education policies set by the Sangh Parivar. Thus, if everything falls in place, the RSS will have its way in bringing forth the reactionary education curriculum by 2022.
By implementing the “new education policy” the RSS wants to turn each school and college into a radicalisation camp of Hindutva fascism. Alike close to a million of RSS proselytisers, apparatchiks and bigots that the RSS manufacture every year through its Nagpur-based academy and the network of Saraswati Shishu Mandir and Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram-run educational institutes-cum-Hindutva terror factories, now each school, college and university will manufacture such puppets, in millions and millions, who will intensify the communal antagonism in the society and fuel pogroms, massacres, mass rapes and genocide targeting Muslims, Christians and tribals.
While talking about the family values, Mohan Bhagwat’s speech actually meant the consolidation of Brahmanical practices and asked the RSS members to ensure, in a cryptic way, that women are regulated by the institution of Brahmanical-feudal “family” and women’s attempt to carve their own space is thrashed, if required with violence. The “fulfilling our responsibility towards the new generation to shape their minds with virtues of natural affection, self discretion, family and social responsibility” means nothing more than Sangh’s cryptic opposition to the liberty that the LGBT members have won for themselves, which the RSS considers as a threat to the “natural affection” and “family”. This part of Mohan Bhagwat’s speech on Vijayadashami echoed the patriarchal supremacy of the Brahmanical society, which the RSS and the BJP upholds, despite tall claims about women empowerment and LGBT equality.
Sheer Misogyny in Mohan Bhagwat’s Speech
Though in the last few years both Mohan Bhagwat and Narendra Modi tried to portray a women-friendly image of the RSS and the BJP, especially after Rahul Gandhi’s accusation that the RSS has not opened women Shakhas due to its misogynist views. The RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat’s speech on Vijayadashami 2018 at Sangh headquarters in Nagpur refused to bend to gender equality, especially over the topic of the Sabarimala conflict between the Brahmanical forces and women of Kerala.
“The decisions taken without considering all aspects and patiently creating the mindset of the society, will neither be adopted in actual practice nor will they help in creating a new social order in tune with changing times and positions. The situation arising out of the recent verdict on Sabarimala temple shows the similar predicament. The nature and premise of the tradition that has been accepted by society and continuously followed for years together were not taken into consideration. The version of heads of religious denominations and faith of crores of devotees was not taken into account. The plea by a large section of women, who follows this tradition, was not heard to. The legal verdict has given rise to unrest, turmoil and divisiveness in the society in place of peace, stability and equality. The questions such as why only the Hindu society experiences such repeated and brazen onslaughts on its symbols of faith, obviously rise in the public mind and lead to unrest. This situation is not at all conducive for the peace and healthiness of the society.”
Mohan Bhagwat didn’t mention though when did the “Hindu society” experience “such repeated brazen onslaughts on its symbols of faith”. It’s evident that the Muslims have lost their mosques, even access to public land for namaz on Fridays; Christians have lost many churches and in many places opening a church for a prayer meeting is practically impossible due to the pertinent threat of Hindutva fascist violence. Nowhere had the Hindu faced the “onslaught” even once. Except for the Dalits and backward caste members who regularly face the onslaught of the upper-caste Hindus, the Brahmanical upper-castes didn’t for once face any real challenge to their socio-economic and cultural hegemony in India.
The Supreme Court’s verdict on Sabarimala Temple entry for women actually affirmed the Constitutional rights of the women in the society and the supremacy of the Constitution on all institutions, including religious ones. Constitutional morality must supercede religious and casteist moralities, as the latter may even allow killing people for marrying outside caste or religion. If the entry of women to Dargah’s sanctum sanctorum is a victory for the Muslim women as per the RSS and its toady media, then the right to enter the Sabarimala Temple is a victory for the Hindu women by that logic. The RSS’ hypocrisy on this topic shows how utter male-chauvinist this organisation is and how threatened the Indian women’s condition will be if the RSS and the BJP ride to power in 2019 and change the Constitution by 2022 using brute majority to turn India into a Hindutva fascist Hindu Rashtra with the people devoid of all rights.
Mohan Bhagwat’s speech at the Nagpur headquarters of the RSS on the occasion of Vijayadashami clearly manifested the finalised agenda that the Sangh Parivar and the Modi regime will religiously follow in the months to come. The doctrine of using Hindutva fascism and rabid communalism will certainly help the BJP to polarise many voters, especially if the backchannel work of instigating communal violence is done incessantly by the RSS appendages like the VHP and the Bajrang Dal. The volatile territories of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, etc. will provide fodder to the BJP’s political mission of turning the country into a communally torn warfield.
Knowing this, after Mohan Bhagwat’s speech rang the eerie bell, the forces opposing the Narendra Modi-led regime, Hindutva fascism, corporate loot and plunder in India, feudalism and comprador-crony capitalism must delve now to prepare a nationwide strategy to counter the renewed communal propaganda of the RSS. There is an urgent need to fight back the communal onslaughts targeting Muslims, Christians, tribals and Dalits. By building a people’s front against the forces of fascism from the grassroots, the fight against the Hindutva fascist regime can take a really lethal turn. It’s imperative that by not ignoring Mohan Bhagwat’s speech, a strategy is worked upon by different stakeholders of the resistance and the poor, the downtrodden masses to counter and defeat the Hindutva fascist regime of Narendra Modi and his sycophants. If we don’t act today as a progressive power block, there may be no tomorrow for us to see.
An avid reader and a merciless political analyst. When not writing then either reading something, debating something or sipping espresso with a dash of cream. Street photographer. Tweets as @la_muckraker