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Notional crisis

Apropos of Sitaram Yechury?s article Lotus in the mud (December 28, 2006), the CPI(M) Politburo member has hurriedly quoted MS Golwalkar?s We, or Our Nationhood Defined, writes Balram Misra.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2007 05:54 IST

Apropos of Sitaram Yechury’s article Lotus in the mud (December 28, 2006), the CPI(M) Politburo member has hurriedly quoted MS Golwalkar’s (photo) We, or Our Nationhood Defined. The fact is that the book was originally written by GD Savarkar, the elder brother of Veer Savarkar, in Marathi, as Rashtra Meemansa. Golwalkar only gave it a free rendering in English in 1939 when he was not a Sarsanghchalak.

After becoming a Sarsanghchalak, Golwalkar distanced himself from the views expressed in We, or.... This has been elaborated by the historian, Devendra Swarup, in an essay published in the weekly, Panchajanya, in February 17, 1980. The write-up is based on an interview the author had with Golwalkar in 1962 at Prayag. The interviewer asked Golwalkar, “Country, race, language, religion and culture are said to be the five  syndromes of a nation. If all these elements are found together in their full bloom, shall we say that nationhood has been attained?” Golwalkar shot back, “[This] concept of nationhood... belonged to the 19th century. Now it is obsolete. It is not necessary that all these five elements be available together at a given point of time to indicate the group consciousness of nationalism.”

Swarup asked, “Doesn’t your book... interpret nationalism on the basis of these five elements?” Golwalkar replied, “Forget about that book. It is outdated.”

Yechury would have got the real, non-anachronistic picture of Golwalkar’s views about Muslims had he gone through real RSS literature. To quote one single book is indulging in sophistry.

The concept of nationhood propounded by Golwalkar as the chief of RSS (he became Sarsanghchalak in 1940) is based on sound premises. “When I consider about the country, I do not think in terms of Hindus and Muslims. How do people look at it? Mostly from a political angle. Everybody is busy in availing benefits from the political conditions of the country, either for personal or the community’s sake. There is only one way to defeat this status quo: to look at politics with a view of general good for the whole country.” (Rashtra)

Why are the Marxists so unscrupulously opposed to Hindutva? Because its very existence is threatened by Hindutva and real nationhood.