RSS influence having serious implications on education, judiciary in India

Islamabad, April 24 (KMS): Dr Saif-ur-Rehman Malik, Director, India Study Center at Institute of Strategic Studies, has said that apart from political engineering, the Rashtriya Sewak Sangh in India has now gained a considerable influence on education and the judiciary having serious implications for Indian scholarship on secularism and the justice system.

Addressing a webinar organised by Institute of Regional Studies, Dr Malik said that since its inception in 1925, RSS has grown from a small group of volunteers into a large umbrella organisation with six million active members and several Right-wing offshoots promoting the “Hindu First ideology” all over India.

While commenting on BJP-RSS nexus, he said that PM Modi, a lifetime RSS member is indebted to RSS workers for strengthening the BJP strongholds in a number of constituencies. Since Modi’s coming into power, the RSS has been able to induct its hardcore disciples into many key positions in the government, and this process is continued to create a group of RSS loyalists for greater control on political and domestic affairs said, Dr Malik.

Dr Malik said that PM Modi being in power is ensuring synchronisation of its policies with the RSS ideology. Currently, the RSS loyalists Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and several members of Modi’s government are seeking a nationwide ban on cow slaughters in India and pushing PM Modi to do so. The hardline RSS by and large want to see Modi as the anti-Islam, anti-Muslims as well as anti-secular figure in India. On approaching its 100 years in 2025, the RSS and the Sangh Parivar’s hold over the Indian state apparatus as well as the civil society and the institutions will grow exponentially, he opined.

While speaking to the occasion, Dr Mujeeb Afzal, from School of Politics and International Relations, QAU, said that RSS is essentially striving to create a “hierarchal society” in India where the Hindu ethos have complete supremacy. The identity of other sects is strictly subordinate with the acceptance of Hindu primacy, he added. By doing this, Dr. Mujeeb said that the RSS is following the European idea of romantic nationalism by creating Right-wing paramilitary groups (the Shakha system) purposely to promote the Hindu ideology. He continued that virtually now the RSS has an army of Hindu nationalists working to rekindle Hindu thoughts in the society and become a model of “Hindu Rashtra” to be emulated by all Indians. Prof Mujeeb was of the view the RSS assertiveness is a kind of regret that they did not participate in the national struggle against the British. While echoing Dr Malik’s comment on BJP-RSS nexus, Prof Mujeeb said that the BJP is completely under the RSS sway. The General Secretary of the BJP even at the district level directly comes from the RSS, he added.

Arish U Khan from IRS said that the RSS today has greater influence in Indian domestic as well as foreign policy affairs having far-reaching consequences not only for India itself but for the neighboring countries including Pakistan. He called for greater understandings of RSS, its ideology, and approach to deal with the regional repercussions.

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