5th August 19:16
True Colour of Fascist Hindu Rashtra
What is this Hindu Rashtra? - Golwalkar, VHP and Manu's India
What is this Hindu Rashtra ?
by Sitaram Yechuri
The second aspect refers to its conception of the social order in its
Hindu Rashtra. Golwalkar acclaims Manu as the "first and greatest
lawgiver of the world" who "lays down in his code, directing all the
peoples of the world to go to Hindusthan to learn their duties at the
holy feet of 'eldest born' Brahmins of this land." (Golwalkar, 1939,
pp.55-56). Now what does the Manusmriti say? Having firmly established
the hereditary division of society into the caste system, the
"Serving Brahmins alone is recommended as the best innate activity of
a Shudra; for whatever he does other than this bears no fruit for him"
(123, Chapter X).
"They should give him (Shudra) the leftovers of their food, their old
clothes, the spoiled parts of their grain, and their wom-out household
utensils" (125, Chapter X).
"A servant (Shudra) should not amass wealth, even if he has the
ability, for a servant (Shudra) who has amassed wealth annoys priests"
(129, Chapter X).(All these quotations are from Doniger and Smith,
The Manusmriti then proceeds to define the outcasts and untouchables
who have no place in society at all and defines their menial
activities. The intolerant caste structure finds echo in Golwalkar and
the Saffron Brigade today because the Manusmriti is also based on an
exclusively 'Aryan' social organisation.
'Un-Aryan coarseness, cruelty, and habitual failure to perform the
rituals are the maninfestations in this world indicating that a man is
born of a defiled womb" (58, Chapter X).
Among those who do not fall into this four caste category, are the
tribals, Dravidians, and especially the Andhras:
`From an outlaw who is a ruler are born the (castes) 'Pugilist'
(Jhalla), 'Wrestler' (Malla), and 'Licchavian' (Lichavi), 'Dancer'
(Nata), 'Scribe' (Karana), 'Scab' (Khasa), and'Southerner' (Dravida)"
(22, Chapter X),
"From a 'Hunter' (nisada) is born an 'Inferior Worker' (Karavara), who
works with leather, and froma 'Videhan' (the name comes from the
ancient kingdom of Videha, on the banks of the river Ganga) come an
'Andhran' (Andhra) and a 'Fatty'(meda), who live outside the village"
(36, Chapter X).
Specific inhuman treatment is meted out to women:
"In childhood a woman should be under her father's control, in youth
under her husband's, and when her husband is dead, under her sons'.
She should not have independence" (148, ChapterV).
"Good looks do not matter to them, nor do they care about youth; 'A
man!' they say, and enjoy *** with him, whether he is good-looking or
"By running after men like whores. by their fickle minds, and by their
natural lack of affection these women are unfaithful to their husbands
even when they are zealously guarded here"(15).
"Knowing that their very own nature is like this, as it was born at
the creation by the Lord of Creatures, a man should. make the utmost
effort to guard them" (16).
"The bed and the seat, jewellery, lust,anger, crookedness, -a
malicious nature, and bad conduct are what Manu assigned to women"
"There is no ritual with Vedic verses for women; this is a firmly
established point of law. For women, who have no virile strength and
no Vedic verses, are false-hood; this is well established" (19,
While there is a lengthy description of the code that should
government's relations with women, for the woman the Manusmriti has
"But a woman who is unfaithful to her husband is an object of reproach
in this world; (then) she is reborn in the womb of a jackal and is
tormented by the diseases (born) of (her) evil' (30, Chapter IX).
Not to mention, however, the various other provisions like banning
widow marriages (64; 65, Chapter IX). It is not as though such love
for the Manusmriti was confined only to this book by Golwalkar. Much
later in his Bunch of Thoughts he said:
"Brahmin is the head, King the hands, Vaishya the thighs and Shudra
the feet. This means that the people who have thus, four-fold
arrangement, i.e., the Hindu people, is our God". (Golwalkar,1966, p.
It is this understanding that prompted the RSS to oppose the
amendments to the Hindu Code Bill after Independence, and it is this
understanding that today propels the Saffron Brigade affiliates to
reassert the Manusmriti. Witness the aggression at the `Dharam Sansad'
held in December 1992 and the castigating of the present Indian
Constitution as "non-Hindu". Note the following report that appeared
in the RSS mouthpiece Organiser (May 10, 1992):
`The 2nd state Hindu Advocates Conference Organised by the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad at Madurai onApril 18 and 19, 1992, has demanded the
review and redrafting of the Constitution. Shri V.K.S. Chaudhary,
Advocate General of U.P. in his key-note address asserted that the
Manusmriti rendered `justice for all'. Manu took the entire mankind
and its needs for ages and evolved his code. Manusmriti was for all
times and ages and for all mankind".
In this context, the significance of upper caste Maharashtra Brahmins
being the leaders of the RSS till date must be noted.
"The centrality of Maharashtra in the formation of the ideology and
organisation of Hindutva in the mid-1920s might appear rather
surprising, as Muslims here were a small minority and hardly a threat,
and there had been no major riots in this region during the early
1920s. But Maharashtra had witnessed a powerful anti-Brahmin movement
of backward castes from the1870s onwards, when Jyotiba Phule had
founded his Satyashodhak Samaj. By the 1920s, the Dalits, too, had
started organising themselves under Ambedkar, Hindutva in 1925 as in
1990-91, was an upper caste bid to restore a slipping hegemony..."
(Basu, Dutta, Sarkar, Sarkar and Sen,1993, pp. 10-11).
The vision of a social order under the Hindu Rashtra is thus one which
legitimizes both the inhuman caste oppression and the denial of
elementary rights to women. Under such a dispensation, criminal
practices such as Sati may not only be legitimised but may well be
glorified. This vision outlined by Golwalkar continues to form the
basis for the Saffron Brigade to establish its vision of a Hindu
Rashtra. If it today claims not to have republished this book in the
1950s, it has little to do with repudiating this vision. If this was
so at all, then it was due more to the defeat of fascism in the Second
World War and the liberation of millions from its oppressive yoke.
With the Golwalkar-formulated ideal having been smashed, the Saffron
Brigade could not propagate it in India. Domestically, following the
assassination of Gandhiji, its offensive remarks about the Congress
could not have been much of a comfort. But the essential understanding
outlined in the book,as noted earlier, continues to be the inspiration
for the Saffron Brigade today. The dual objective is: attempt to
straitjacket the internal diversity amongst the 'Hindus' under a
single domination, and generate hate against a community outside of
the Hindus - the Muslims. (For an exposure of the falsehood on the
basis of which the Saffron Brigade spreads this hatred, see Pseudo
Hinduism Exposed: Saffron Brigade's Myths and Reality: a CPI(M)
publication, January 1993). As a digression, it would be interesting
to note that even the symbol around which they seekthe internal
unification of the Hindu people - Ram and Ramayana - has avery rich
diversity. I recollect from my childhood the untenable characters in
the Ramayana, the kings south of the Vindhyas like Vali, Sugreeva and
Jambavanta who are depicted as animals and not humans. Was this not a
reflection of the attempt of Aryan domination over the Dravidians? Or
take the legend around the festival of Onam celebrated in Kerala: The
people of Kerala celebrate the annual return of their favourite King
Maha Bali, who is described in the Aryan version as the king of Asuras
(demons) who had to be killed by Vishnu in the form of Vamanaavatara.
A hero for one set of Hindus is the villain for the other ! (The
Saffron Brigade, however, may say that these kings were different.
Like the 'sants' who, when man landed on the moon, screamed that this
moon was different from the one referred to in the scriptures.) Or,
for that matter, take the entire interpretation of Ravanayana which
describes the epic as the story of Ravana, who having earned the
ultimate boon of not being killed by any living creature, gets fed up
with mortal life and engineers that God comes down in the form of
Rama, to be killed by his hands to achieve moksha. Vijaya Dashmiday,
instead of marking the triumph of good over evil, could well mark the
moksha of Ravana! (For a greater variety of the story of Ramayana see
Paula Richman, 1992.) In fact, the Kamba Ramayana in Tamil is found as
aversion authored by one Kamban in Thailand adorning the galleries of
the royal palace in Bangkok. A rich story of epic proportions, which
as Kamban says "it spreads, ceaselessly various, one and many at
once", is today being straijacketed for the political purposes of
establishing a fascistic Hindu Rashtra. To return to Golwalkar. In the
epilogue to his book he says,
`All past civilisations 'had their day, abode a day or two and passed
away', because they had nothing to fulfill. We, however, live on,
despite far greater calamities, and ever emerge triumphant masters of
the world. We have no reason to loose hope. Act first... a stage
sogloamed with woe, We all but sicken at the shifting scenes. And yet
be patient, our Play Wright 'will' show, in some fifth Act what this
wild drama means. Let us be patient" (Golwalkar (sic), 1939, p' 65).
The "wild drama' is unfolding its fascistic proportions. Ge****
Dimitrov says that 'It is in the interests of the most reactionary
circles of the bourgeoisie that fascism intercepts the disappointed
masses who desert the old bourgeois parties. But it impresses these
masses by the vehemence of its attacks on the bourgeois governments
and its irreconcilable attitude to the old bourgeois parties'
(Dimitrov, 1972, p. 12 ). Note today the vehemence with which the
Saffron Brigade has mounted its attack on the very fundamental pillars
of secularism and democracy that define the polity of independent
India. Note also the vehemence with which it today places the entire
blame for the wanton destruction of the Babri Masjid on the present
government policies and not as an act committed by the Saffron Brigade
in flagrant violation of the Constitution and the law of the land.
Further' Dimitrov notes:
'Fascism puts the people at the mercy of the most corrupt and venal
elements but comes before them with the demand for 'an honest and
incorruptible government' speculating on the profound disillusionment
of the masses... fascism adapts its dem-agogy to the peculiarities of
each country. And the mass of petty bourgeois and even a section of
the workers, reduced to despair by want,unemployment and insecurity of
their existence fall victim to the social and chauvinist demagogy of
fascism,' (Dimitrov, 1972, p. 12).
It is precisely this feature of fascism that defines the demagogy and
campaigns of the Saffron Brigade today. (Note the fact that. while
professing to offer 'incorruptible' governments, the BJP government in
Madhya Pradesh 'donated' property worth more than Rs. 15 crores to
various organisations of the RSS parivar (India Today, October 30,
1992). Note also the recent exposure in The Times of India of the
haste in which the Kalyan Singh government in Uttar Pradesh sought to
transfer land worth nearly Rs. 5 crores to Sadhvi Ritambara gratis !
Utilising the discontent arising out of the bourgeois-landlord class
policies, they are attempting to divert this, not into channels that
will reverse the conditions of impoverishment that continue to grow
but into religious communal channels to advance their objectives. By
placing before the people the construction of the Ram janmabhoomi
temple as the only agenda, the Saffron Brigade, in fact, is
strengthening the very edifice of exploitation that's heaping miseries
on our people. In conjunction with the open attempt to seek
imperialist patronage for its purpose, this spells doom for the Indian
people. The Saffron Brigade today has clearly revealed that the actual
conditions of the people and the alleviation of their miseries are not
its concern. That more Indians than the entire population of the
United States live below an abysmally low poverty line is of no
concern to it. That children in our country, outstripping in millions
the entire population of many a country, are forced to earn a
livelihood is of noconcern to it. That more Indians die every year
from malnutrition than the entire population of Australia is of no
concern to it. Can such a diversion of the people's discontent for its
political ambitions be allowed? In the name of Ram, the Saffron
Brigade today seeks to consign crores of Indians to conditions of
growing impoverishment. Not only this, but the Saffron Brigade's
agenda has inflicted a colossal damage on our economy. Following
December 6,1992, thousands of crores of rupees worth of property was
destroyed, apart from the incalculable damage caused by the Bombay
riots to the economy and to India's standing internationally. Now,
Advani threatens to place the destruction of mosques in Mathura and
Varanasi on the agenda - the surest guarantee to plunge India into a
continuous conflict at the expense of the lives of thousands of
Indians. Golwalkar and the Saffron Brigade would, however, say, "...it
is not these that are our bane, but the dormancy of National
feeling..." (Golwalkar,1939, p.62). The agenda that the Saffron
Brigade is posing before the country and the methods that it uses to
achieve its objective are nothing but an expression of an Indian
variant of fascistic rule. Both in terms of the form of state and in
terms of its economic and social policies, the BJP has exposed itself
as the most reactionary section of the ruling classes. The present
attempt by the Saffron Brigade is not merely one of establishing a
medieval, theocratic "Hindu Rashtra", but one of negating the very
basis of democracy and secularism. Such a fascistic threat, it must be
noted, is not about a mere change in the ruling party of the country.
It is not about the normal succession of one party replacing another
at the Center. It means that parliamentary democracy based on
secularism is replaced by an open terroristic dictatorship based on an
intolerant theocratic ideology. It is a change not merely in form but
in content - a most vicious change at that. The Saffron Brigade's
agenda has to be defeated today in order to safeguard modern India.
Unless India is saved, it cannot be changed for the better.