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RSS invokes BR Ambedkar in fight against ‘urban naxals’

For the past few years, the RSS has been unequivocal in pursuing a campaign against the Left ideology, which it says has permeated academia, media and the social sectors.

india Updated: Oct 19, 2018 23:14 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
RSS,ambedkar,BR AMBEDKAR
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat with Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi during Vijay Dashmi function at RSS Headquarter in Nagpur, India, on Thursday, October 18, 2018. (HT Photo)

To sharpen its attacks against so-called urban naxals, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is now invoking the author of India’s constitution, BR Ambedkar.

On Thursday, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, delivering the annual Vijayadashami speech in Nagpur, drew attention to Ambedkar’s speech to the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949, in which he spoke about the need to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving social and economic objectives and abandoning the bloody methods of revolution.

Bhagwat mentioned in the speech while making a pointed reference to the unrest among the deprived sections, which he attributed to instigation by “selfish, power-hungry politics” that disrespects social harmony, and legal and Constitutional discipline, and with “an eye on votes in the upcoming elections” encouraged “these machinations.”

For the past few years, the RSS has been unequivocal in pursuing a campaign against the Left ideology, which it says has permeated academia, media and the social sectors.

The organisation claims Maoists, known as naxals, have forged links with members of civil society to act as their over-ground networks. The term urban naxals has been coined for left-wing intellectuals who, the authorities allege, have links to Maoist groups.

“…But this time an atmosphere of divergence, separatism, violence, acerbic hatred and going to the extent of fueling anti-national sentiments is being created by exploiting these grievances. The leading faces of the groups from whom the slogans like ‘Bharat tere tukde honge’ (India will be divided into pieces) were emanated, have been at the forefront with their provocative speeches in such incidents at some places,” Bhagwat said.

He then went on to cite Ambedkar’s speech underlining the need to adopt only Constitutional methods, within the ambit of the democratic discipline. “…Every citizen and politician may remember the famous speech by honourable Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar delivered on 25th November 1949 wherein he advocates that without all-pervasive fraternity in the society, it is not conceivable for the country to move in the direction of justice, freedom and equality and to attain social democracy along with political and economic democracy.”

Ambedkar had stressed that where constitutional avenues are open, there can be no justification for unconstitutional methods, which he said were “nothing but the Grammar of Anarchy”.

“That is exactly what Sangh has been stressing too. The deprivation and discrimination that people of certain castes and tribes face has to be weeded out by society and government working collectively. Those who incite violence against the state as a response to discrimination or poverty do not have the best interests of people at heart,” said a senior RSS functionary.

A similar reference was made to the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak. Bhagwat said that when the country was “neck deep in a cesspool of hypocrisy, falsehood, selfishness and divide; became weak, defeated and disintegrated; and was getting fragmented by repeated thrashing of the brutal atrocities perpetrated by the cruel, intolerant, savage foreign invaders from across the border,” it was Guru Nanak who showed a “new path of self-enlightenment”.

While the critics of the Sangh allege that these references are attempts to appropriate religious and national leaders who were not from the Sangh’s fold, Ratan Sharda said , author of ‘Secrets Of RSS - Demystifying The Sangh’, said the Sangh has had a long tradition of paying homage to great leaders.

First Published: Oct 19, 2018 23:13 IST

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