Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat delivered a long speech during the organisation’s annual foundation day event—which coincides with the Hindu festival of Vijaya Dashami—on Friday, October 15th 2021. Bhagwat’s 2021 Vijaya Dashami speech focused on hyping Islamophobia by fanning communal sentiments over population growth, consolidating the Hindu vote bank, controlling Bitcoin and implementing a censorship regime to control the over-the-top (OTT) platform content.
The RSS supremo’s annual Vijaya Dashami speech often offers a glimpse into Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) major policies for the immediate future. The RSS is the parent body of the BJP and controls its policies and organisational functioning.
The RSS is the world’s largest armed state-sponsored paramilitary force and it’s also the global fountainhead of the Hindutva fascist movement. It has been accused of several pogroms against India’s minority Muslims and Christians that took place in the last 96 years of its existence.
India’s President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Modi, most of the Union cabinet ministers, legislators and heads of India’s provincial and local governments had been active RSS cadres at some point in their lives.
Though the annual event remained closed to the media for the second year in a row, it was reported that the Zionist consul general, Kobbi Shoshani, was one of the special guests during this event. The RSS is a staunch supporter of Zionism and white supremacy, and it wants to emulate its Palestine experience in India.
Recently, several foreign diplomats from Germany, Australia and the US have visited the RSS headquarters apparently to show the growing importance of the Hindutva militant organisation in the western imperialism-led circles.
What are the key takeaways from Mohan Bhagwat’s 2021 Vijaya Dashami speech?
Let us analyse a few important takeaways from Bhagwat’s speech.
Islamophobic population control policy
Bhagwat said that the population of religions of “Bharatiya origin” has been on decline vis-à-vis Islam and Christianity. He called these two Abrahamic religions “invaders” and said only Parsis and Jews came seeking refuge in India.
This rhetoric on the growing Muslim and Christian population is a part of the ongoing project of vitriolic propaganda against these minority communities by the BJP-RSS. Members of these communities, especially the Muslims, have been at the receiving end of organised mob lynching by RSS-affiliated militants regularly.
In his speech, Bhagwat specifically reiterated the 2015 resolution of the RSS’s Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal (ABKM)—its national working committee— where the bogey of Bangladeshi infiltration, which is a myth propelled by the BJP-RSS to incite the Hindus against Bengali-speaking aboriginal Muslims, was hyped.
The ABKM resolution pointed towards the growth of the Muslim population in Assam, Bihar and West Bengal as a dog whistle to fuel Islamophobia in these states. Through such propaganda, the RSS helps the BJP to consolidate its “Hindu” voter base. Due to this Islamophobic propaganda, the Muslims of Assam and other states have suffered state-sponsored violence and pogroms.
BJP-ruled states like Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh have been promoting Islamophobic population rhetoric. They are using population growth as a conspiracy theory to incite the Hindus against the Muslims.
The Uttarakhand government recently issued an utmost Islamophobic order using a fabricated population growth narrative. The bogey of “migration” was used, including the subtle reference to Bangladeshi infiltrators using the term “foreigners”, to vilify the minority Muslims living in four districts of the state.
The Uttar Pradesh government recently introduced a controversial population law that violates human rights and the concept of equality promoted by the Constitution. It’s not only anti-minority but also anti-Dalit in character. It will further deny employment and equal growth opportunities to marginalised communities in the economically impoverished state.
Through an amendment to the Border Security Force Act (BSF Act), the Modi regime has provided the paramilitary force—responsible for guarding India-Bangladesh and India-Pakistan borders—the right to search, seize and arrest in a stretch of 50 km from the borders. This will eventually override the state government’s role in managing law and order.
Moreover, driven by the RSS’s Hindutva fascist agenda, which has been controlling India’s border security policy for years now, the BSF may arbitrarily persecute Muslims and Dalits as Bangladeshi infiltrators using such draconian powers. This amendment and Bhagwat’s 2021 Vijaya Dashami speech are inter-linked and they indicate that the marginalised people at the border districts will suffer due to the BSF’s oppression from now onwards.
Rakesh Sinha, an RSS leader, introduced a private bill in the Rajya Sabha, where he is a nominated member, on population control. The rhetoric around the bill is also Islamophobic, blaming the community, which constitutes only 14.23% of India’s population—vis-à-vis 83.8% of Hindus—as the cause of population growth in India.
A recent Pew Research study has busted the myth around Muslims fuelling India’s population. Yet, the RSS is keen to use the Muslim population growth conspiracy theory as a weapon to incite Hindus to loath and oppress the minority community.
Such an arrangement will provide the Modi regime with a subterfuge to divert the poor people’s attention, while it carries forward the neoliberal economic reform agenda that will enrich the super-rich at the cost of the poor.
Apart from stoking Islamophobia, Bhagwat’s 2021 Vijaya Dashami speech used the Bangladeshi infiltration bogey to advocate a speedy implementation of the draconian National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC or NRC), which has been mandated by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 (CAA 2003), passed by BJP’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government.
The NRC exercise aims to disenfranchise the marginalised and ostracised Bengali-speaking Dalits, aboriginal tribal people and the poor belonging to the lower castes of the Hindu society, along with Muslims and other oppressed minorities.
Millions of Hindu refugees from Bangladesh, who are victims of the blood-stained partition of the united Bengal, have been living in India for decades but they have not been provided citizenship by the Indian government.
The majority of these refugees are from ostracised Dalit communities like Matua, Namo, etc. They are vulnerable to losing their citizenship and becoming stateless cheap labourers in India if Bhagwat’s NRC exercise is completed.
Though Modi’s government passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA 2019), purportedly to provide citizenship application rights to refugees from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan belonging to six scheduled non-Muslim communities, it hoodwinks the Bengali-speaking Hindu and Buddhist refugees as it will only allow 31,313 registered refugees to apply for citizenship.
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This is a reason that the Modi regime has been deliberately delaying the publicising of the Rules of CAA 2019, as it will expose the hollowness of the law to the refugee Hindus, who are also a big voter base for the saffron camp.
Bhagwat’s 2021 Vijaya Dashami speech specially mentioned the population growth of Muslims and Christians to titillate that Dalit base of the RSS. The agenda is to divert the Dalits and tribal people from the anti-NRC movement by presenting it as only a Muslim issue.
During the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections, despite the BJP’s multi-billion rupees propaganda, continuous groundwork by several anti-NRC activists among the Matua and other non-Muslim refugees helped to undo the BJP’s propaganda and reduced the Party’s overall vote share among these communities.
At present, Bhagwat’s 2021 Vijaya Dashami speech used the rhetoric on infiltration and NRC to cause major confusion among the aboriginal people of Tripura and West Bengal, especially the Koch-Rajbongshis, who will lose citizenship as their land was annexed between July 1948 and January 1950, without the treaties of annexations specifically mentioning the citizenship status of these people. Moreover, millions of them don’t even have any land or domicile documents to prove their legacy before 1948.
Knowing these facts well, the RSS and the BJP conceal them from the common people and create an illusion regarding the purpose of the NRC. “The NRC is however not meant for those people who have been living in India as citizens for generations,” Bhagwat said.
As only the upper-caste, elites and middle-class have their citizenship in India due to their access to documents, it will be the marginalised who will become victims of the NRC, as they can’t show, according to Bhagwat’s diktat, that they “have been living in India as citizens since generations” using legally-validated documents.
What’s the fuss behind OTT censorship, Bitcoin and the drug menace?
Bhagwat dealt with the topic of censoring OTT content during his speech. “Children have mobile during these corona times, and they are watching (content) online. However, there is no control over what they are watching and what they are not, and there is no control over what’s shown on the OTT platforms,” Bhagwat said.
He stressed that the government must control Bitcoin, as it’s not known which states are controlling the cryptocurrency. Bhagwat alleged that money from the drug trade is used by “anti-national” elements, without naming them but linked them with the “neighbouring country”. He said all sections of the society “from the rich to the last man” are falling for drugs.
After stating all these briefly, he asserted that the government must work towards controlling these issues, leaving the ball in the Modi government’s court.
Recently, the Modi regime has brought new rules to curb the freedom of expression on OTT platforms as several Hindutva fascist forces have been complaining against web series and videos that show inter-faith relations. Several producers of content have come under vitriolic attack.
The RSS supremo’s diktat on this issue declared that India would continue to tighten the noose around the OTT platforms and make them abide the Hindutva fascist laws and rules.
As China recently banned cryptocurrency trading, the Hindutva fascists are also feeling insecure about the growth of this online currency. The Modi regime has been disarrayed so far regarding formulating a cryptocurrency policy.
If the BJP tries to ban cryptocurrency like China, it will affect the fortunes of its hardcore elite voters, who may have invested heavily in this volatile yet promising bubble. Therefore, while keeping in mind the investors’ interests, the Modi regime may bring legislations to control the cryptocurrency market soon.
Drug abuse has been a viral topic in India. Recently, the son of a famous Hindi film actor was arrested allegedly for drug abuse. The BJP has been using the teenager as a scapegoat to cover up a massive drug haul at Mundra Port in BJP-ruled Gujarat. The port is owned and managed by the Adani Group, whose patron Gautam Adani has been one of the principal sponsors of the BJP.
Following the example of the Philippines’ dictator Rodrigo Duterte—who has been running a purported “war against drugs” that killed over 12,000 poor Filipinos since June 30th 2016—the Modi regime is also trying to chalk out a populist lynching strategy using a hoax crusade against the drug menace.
Such a “war against drugs” will allow the BJP-led governments at all levels to unleash a reign of terror and carry out massive public persecution using a populist narrative. The voices of critics can be further gagged using draconian anti-drug legislation.
Foreign policy blueprint in Bhagwat’s 2021 Vijaya Dashami speech
Sinophobia and Islamophobia remained the two cornerstones of the foreign policy part in Bhagwat’s 2021 Vijaya Dashami speech. On the one hand, he criticised Pakistan and, on the other, he lambasted China, for their role in ousting the US-led imperialist occupiers from Afghanistan.
Sensing the growing isolation of India following its pro-American foreign policy faux-passe regarding the Taliban in Afghanistan, Bhagwat emphasised the need for dialogue while maintaining utmost vigil and intense border security management. This showed how desperately the Modi regime is trying to retain its investments in Afghanistan while not losing its face following the emergence of a new power bloc under China-Russia in the region.
Shoshani’s presence in the RSS function reaffirmed the ties between Hindutva fascism and Zionist fascism. It clarified that India under Modi will tilt unapologetically towards the Zionist terrorists in their occupation bid in the Middle East, rather than supporting the Palestinians and their just cause of liberation.
Bhagwat’s anti-China rhetoric also illustrated how the BJP-led government at the Union will continue to pursue the US-led military axis called Quad, which includes Australia and Japan also. This will be a disaster for India, as it’s used as a pawn in the US imperialistic scheme in what’s called “Indo-Pacific” war theatre and its people will be turned into cannon fodder to appease the imperialist quest for hegemony in Asia.
What happens after Mohan Bhagwat’s 2021 Vijaya Dashami speech?
Now that Bhagwat has given out the key points to the Modi regime, it’s expected that the government, which is facing stiff resistance from the 10-month-old farmers’ movement against agriculture reforms, workers’ resistance against the new labour reforms and reckless privatisation and, also, opposition from civil rights group over its violations of human rights and communal policies, will scale up an offensive against all its foes.
Islamophobia will be used in galore and the minority community will be persecuted severely in states like Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. In the North-East, India may bring new legislations against the Christian missionaries. The new BSF rules will allow the Modi regime greater control in Opposition-led States like Punjab and West Bengal.
Though Bhagwat’s 2021 Vijaya Dashami speech delivered a roadmap to the Modi regime, there will be stiff resistance as well. The farmers’ movement, the working class movement, etc, won’t give up. It’s still to be seen how and whether the Indian politics take a new turn from these movements and allow the people to bring the Hindutva fascist juggernaut to a screeching halt in 2022. If they can, then, of course, it will provide a new roadmap for India.