The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) believes the concept of being secular was “irrelevant” in the Indian context and the “artificial injection of secularism” was not needed in a social order as hospitable and assimilative as Hindu society.
Sangh publicity chief Manmohan Vaidya said at an event in Chennai that Bharatiya or Indian tradition has from time immemorial regarded all faiths and sects as one.
“Secularism evolved along the themes of separation of the church and state in Europe and since India doesn’t have a history of theocratic states, the concept of secularism is irrelevant in the Indian context,” he said addressing more than 80 columnists from the southern states at an RSS-organised seminar last weekend.
Vaidya’s remarks closely follow RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s suggestion to set up a committee to review reservation system. This remark has already evoked sharp political reactions.
“Perversion of the concept of secularism in India has resulted in the terming of nationalists as communal and people with communal thinking being hailed as secular,” Vaidya said in the presence of RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyaji Joshi, the second-most powerful man in the outfit which is the BJP’s ideological mentor.
“He also touched upon the historical constitutional debate between KT Shah and Dr BR Ambedkar, describing how Dr Ambedkar was against inclusion of the word secular in the Preamble to the Constitution as he felt India was naturally a secular society,” a RSS release quoted Vaidya.
The publicity chief also spoke in detail about the evolution of the concept of the Indian flag, quoting discussions of the flag committee constituted by the Congress Working Committee in 1931.
He said stalwarts in the committee felt representing different religions as colours of the national flag were a communal thought. The committee, according to him, had agreed that a saffron flag with a blue charka in the middle would have best represented Indian ethos.