Nothing is confirmed yet. But theory may have already turned into practice if one goes by what an Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) probe into the Malegaon blasts has stated: the members of an ultra-rightwing organisation, Abhinav Bharat, were plotting to assassinate senior RSS leaders whom they thought “were not doing enough for Hindutva”. At the very onset, one should be very careful of matching perceptions with facts. The two main suspects, Dayanand Pandey and Ramesh Upadhyay, may well be part of a group that is fringe enough for us to not make a division yet between ‘hardcore’ and ‘softcore’ Hindutva organisations. The fact that, of late, the RSS has been relatively ‘inactive’ on the ‘Hindutva’ front can make certain votaries of the Sangh parivar terribly upset. Like the way many ‘fundamentalist’ Islamic groups rage against mainstream Islamic groups for not being ‘Islamic’ enough.
Some quarters with ‘unholy’ — and unlawful — expectations, may believe that the RSS (never mind the BJP) circa 2008 is not enough to push for the ‘Hindu cause’. Data found on the laptop of a suspect arrested in the Malegaon case seems to suggest — if not yet confirm — that a group within the stereotypical ‘saffron’ fold thinks that the RSS has gone soft. That is the nature of any strong ideological fraternity: part of it will keep insisting that the mainstream has sold out — and, therefore, ready to be bumped off to make space for itself, the ‘real thing’.
The challenge facing the BJP-RSS is double-fold. One, to convince us that the Sangh parivar is in line with the law of the country. Two, to take a stand on terrorism for what it is, regardless of whether it comes from within its clan or outside. It’s still too early to say, but if there is a Hindutva-versus-Hindutva fight underway, it’s logical and best to support the less violent and virulent one. Even if that means forgiving past misgivings that may have nurtured the birth and growth of the very forces that now think that the RSS-BJP has become ‘too secular’.