HT Image
HT Image

The original Hindu Rashtra

The Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, Golwalkar was effusive in its praise of the Hindu essence of the Himalayan State. Nepal, he said, "is the only State that proudly proclaims itself a Hindu Nation...."
By Ramachandra Guha | None
UPDATED ON JUN 17, 2008 10:09 PM IST

Many years ago, I picked up a 31-page pamphlet with the intriguing title, King Mahendra and the RSS. I cannot remember now where I found it — whether on the pavement in Daryaganj, or in Mumbai’s New and Secondhand Bookshop, or at the superb Prabhu Book Service in Gurgaon, or even in Bangalore’s own Select Bookshop. The last seems most likely, since the pamphlet was published by the Karnataka branch of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and was printed in February 1965 in Bangalore.

Anyhow, years after I discovered this pamphlet, it has acquired an unexpected topicality. For in the last week of May 2008, Nepal became a republic, and its 240-year-old monarchy entered the ash-heap of history. The last ruler of Nepal, once God in the Flesh, the Representative of Vishnu on Earth, now became plain old Mister Gyanendra.

The pamphlet I found was connected principally with Gyanendra’s father, King Mahendra, also known as God in the Flesh, the Representative of Vishnu… etc. It told the story of an aborted visit of the Nepali monarch to the neighbouring Republic of India. Apparently, “a couple of years” before the pamphlet was printed, that is to say in 1962 or 1963, the Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, M.S. Golwalkar, had visited the temple of Pashupatinath in Kathmandu. Before or after he paid tribute to the shrine, the RSS chief had called upon the King of Nepal.

Golwalkar recounted the details of his meeting with King Mahendra in Organiser, the house journal of the RSS. He first acquainted the Nepali monarch with the work of the Sangh. Then, speaking of “the unbreakable relations of Nepal and Bharat, owing to their unity of religion and culture,” he invited the king to preside over the annual Makar Sankranti celebrations held at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur. Unfortunately, Mahendra was not free in January 1964. So Golwalkar invited him again the next year. This time the king agreed.

On Christmas eve, 1964, Golwalkar released a press statement confirming that the visit was on. Two weeks later, on January 8, 1965, the royal palace in Kathmandu said that the trip to Nagpur has been cancelled. This was deeply embarrassing for his hosts, since the visit had been widely publicised in RSS shakhas across the land. There were only a few days left for Sankranti. Where, now, would they find an equally distinguished chief guest?

Although he could not come, King Mahendra sent a message to be read out at the RSS meeting held in Nagpur on Makar Sankranti, January 14, 1965. Nepal, said the king, “has always acted as a sentinel of India. Both have almost the same culture and both are animated by the same ideal of life… This is a matter of glory for the entire Hindu world”.

The king continued: “It is our desire to build up Nepal as an ideal Hindu Kingdom in the eyes of the world from every point of view... Even in days when some Hindus were victims of an artificial atmosphere and were ashamed of calling themselves Hindus, Nepal securely maintained herself as a Hindu Kingdom. All Hindus should take special pride in this fact.”

The reading of the king’s message was followed by the speech of the Sarsanghchalak. This was even more effusive in its praise of the Hindu essence of the Himalayan State. Nepal, said Golwalkar, “is the only State that proudly proclaims itself a Hindu Nation. Nepal, treading the path of her own genius, has rejected Western and other types of democracy and has adopted the time-honoured panchayat system of Hindu Democracy... Surely, Nepal finds a pride of place in the hearts of Hindus all over the world”.

The RSS chief’s rejection of ‘Western’ style democracy is noteworthy. So, too, is his praise of the ‘Hindu’ system of democracy allegedly in force in Nepal. In the late 1950s, Nepal briefly had a proper democracy. Then, the king dismissed the lawfully elected government and threw the Prime Minister, the great patriot and democrat B.P. Koirala, into jail. He further imposed, manifestly against the will of the people, a political system where there were no parties and no elected national government, thus further consolidating his own (and undeniably autocratic) rule.

The king’s proposed visit to the RSS headquarters was promoted by a man called Tulsi Giri, who was then Chairman of Nepal’s (unelected) Council of Ministers and an active proponent of the partyless Panchayat scheme. The pamphlet quotes Giri as saying: “Our King is a Hindu King of a Hindu Kingdom. Why shouldn’t Hinduism be a basis of unity [between Nepal and India]?” Giri also claimed that “Nepal would never go red as she was a Hindu kingdom”. After the trip was cancelled, Giri told the Hindustan Times that “it would have been the fulfilment of one of my dreams if the King had been able to visit Nagpur for I wanted to project him as a world leader of Hindus. He was the only King of the only Hindu Kingdom in the world who could lead the Hindus of the world”.

Now, 43 years down the line, Nepal has in fact gone ‘red’ (a change of colour commendably achieved via the ballot box). Meanwhile, the monarchy has been abolished, and the former king made to vacate his palace. Perhaps, in the spirit of the contents of the pamphlet King Mahendra and the RSS, the now homeless, jobless, commoner carrying the name of Gyanendra can be invited to Nagpur to assume a honoured place among the men who presume to lead the Hindus of the world.

Ramachandra Guha is a historian and the author of India After Gandhi.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
The concerns surfaced on Saturday, when at least two doctors groups – the Tamil Nadu doctors’ association and a group of doctors in Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia hospital – indicated they were reluctant to take Covaxin.(HT_PRINT)
The concerns surfaced on Saturday, when at least two doctors groups – the Tamil Nadu doctors’ association and a group of doctors in Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia hospital – indicated they were reluctant to take Covaxin.(HT_PRINT)

Experts warn against partial immunity, mutation risks

By Binayak Dasgupta, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 02:47 AM IST
The two experts also said that it is important to ensure that immunisation programmes avoid controversy that could fuel vaccine scepticism. For instance, the approval to a vaccine without efficacy data “was not a good idea”, according to John P Moore.
Close
“India is one of the largest ecosystems in the world. Today, more than 41,000 startups are engaged in India and involved in different types of initiatives."PM Modi said.(PTI)
“India is one of the largest ecosystems in the world. Today, more than 41,000 startups are engaged in India and involved in different types of initiatives."PM Modi said.(PTI)

PM Modi unveils 1k-cr fund for startups

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 02:29 AM IST
“This fund will help in the launch of new start-ups and their growth,” the PM said at Prarambh, the startup India international summit jointly organised by the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) and the industry.
Close
The Co-WIN app is meant to facilitate real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries, besides assisting programme managers across national, state, and district levels.(AFP)
The Co-WIN app is meant to facilitate real-time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualised tracking of beneficiaries, besides assisting programme managers across national, state, and district levels.(AFP)

Process goes manual at several locations

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 02:39 AM IST
Due to difficulties in uploading data on the app, which has been developed by the central government to monitor and track the inoculation process, health care workers in some districts had to put up information about the vaccine recipients on the digital platform manually.
Close
Manish Kumar said it wasn’t a coincidence that he was a part of the first batch of frontline staffers at the premier AIIMS to be vaccinated, all of whom received a jab of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.(REUTERS)
Manish Kumar said it wasn’t a coincidence that he was a part of the first batch of frontline staffers at the premier AIIMS to be vaccinated, all of whom received a jab of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.(REUTERS)

Manish Kumar first to take shot in Delhi

By shiv sunny, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 01:20 AM IST
Manish Kumar on Saturday emerged as the face of a months-long global effort against time to develop an inoculation against the infection that has killed over two million people. He said he always believed in the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.
Close
No comments were made on the reports that many doctors expressed apprehension about taking the Covaxin shot.(Bloomberg Photo )
No comments were made on the reports that many doctors expressed apprehension about taking the Covaxin shot.(Bloomberg Photo )

Concerns over Covaxin as some cite ‘lack of data’

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 01:14 AM IST
The controversy escalated during the day as reports said those receiving Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin were asked to sign consent forms before being inoculated because the jab had been allowed by the government in “clinical trial mode”.
Close
The drive began simultaneously across dedicated vaccination centres set up across the country, where doses of Covishield and indigenously developed Covaxin were administered to people.
The drive began simultaneously across dedicated vaccination centres set up across the country, where doses of Covishield and indigenously developed Covaxin were administered to people.

Shielded and vaccinated: India begins mammoth immunisation drive

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 01:04 AM IST
According to data compiled from states by HT, 200,297 people were vaccinated. The number was shy of the 300,000 that was being estimated but still far higher than what was recorded by any country on its first day.
Close
Employees welcome health workers carrying Covid vaccines at a hospital in Mumbai on Saturday.( Bloomberg)
Employees welcome health workers carrying Covid vaccines at a hospital in Mumbai on Saturday.( Bloomberg)

Nation receives a shot in the arm

By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Kolkata, Jaipur, New Delhi, Raipur
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 12:31 AM IST
Union Health ministry figures showed that roughly 191,181 people received doses at 3,351 sites. This was short of the 300,000-plus target but still well above numbers recorded by any other country on the first day of inoculation
Close
Nidhi Razdan said in January last year, she got an email from an “alleged Harvard human resources person” from what appeared to be an official Harvard email ID, with an offer letter and agreement.(Yogesh Kumar/Hindustan Times )
Nidhi Razdan said in January last year, she got an email from an “alleged Harvard human resources person” from what appeared to be an official Harvard email ID, with an offer letter and agreement.(Yogesh Kumar/Hindustan Times )

Razdan furnishes details of hiring fraud

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 12:22 AM IST
Nidhi Razdan said she was invited in 2019 to speak at an event by the Harvard Kennedy School, and one of the alleged organisers told her of a teaching vacancy. “A few weeks later I was ‘interviewed’ online for 90 minutes. It all seemed legitimate, the questions were thorough and professional,”.
Close
Wearing masks, hundreds of healthcare workers (HCWs) – some anxious, others impatient – queued up to get their first vaccine shots. (AFP PHOTO).
Wearing masks, hundreds of healthcare workers (HCWs) – some anxious, others impatient – queued up to get their first vaccine shots. (AFP PHOTO).

BMC begins mass inoculation as healthcare workers queue up for first vaccine jab

By Rupsa Chakraborty
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 12:13 AM IST
  • All ten vaccination centres across the city sported colourful curtains and were decorated with flowers. Some centres at BYL Nair hospital and Covid-19 jumbo centre at Bandra Kurla Complex also placed selfie spots with ‘I got my Covid-19 vaccine’ message in the backdrop.
Close
The demand was raised by Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), Lokshakti in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court on Saturday alleging bias against the three members in favour of the farm laws. (PTI PHOTO).
The demand was raised by Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), Lokshakti in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court on Saturday alleging bias against the three members in favour of the farm laws. (PTI PHOTO).

Farmer union seeks removal of 3 committee members alleging bias, appeals to SC

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 12:00 AM IST
  • In its response, BKU-Lokshakti through its advocate AP Singh told the Court that the Delhi Police application was unnecessary as Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code is already in place in central Delhi which restricts gathering of five or more persons.
Close
“Do you have a clear strategy in mind that could be summarised in three sentences?’’ Rahul Gandhi was said to have asked Jaishankar.(PTI)
“Do you have a clear strategy in mind that could be summarised in three sentences?’’ Rahul Gandhi was said to have asked Jaishankar.(PTI)

Rahul, Jaishankar spar at panel meet

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:58 PM IST
As the minister concluded an hour-long presentation, the Congress leader said it appeared to be a “laundry list” rather than a concerted strategy to deal with the Chinese threat. S Jaishankar responded by saying a simplistic approach could not be adopted in a multipolar world.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Over 3,000 personnel get Covid vaccine

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:50 PM IST
New Delhi The armed forces on Saturday kicked off the first phase of the Covid-19 vaccine drive at multiple locations across the country including Ladakh, Delhi, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam, where thousands of “Covid warriors”, including military doctors, nurses and paramedics were vaccinated against the coronavirus on a day India rolled out the biggest vaccination campaign in the world, officials familiar with the development said
Close
A nurse prepares a syringe with COVID-19 vaccine at District Hospital in Ukhrul, in Manipur, (AP Photo)(AP)
A nurse prepares a syringe with COVID-19 vaccine at District Hospital in Ukhrul, in Manipur, (AP Photo)(AP)

India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive begins. All you need to know

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:37 PM IST
  • The health ministry on Saturday said that close to 200,000 people were vaccinated on Day 1 of the drive.
Close
Young people enjoy the clear weather while a senior citizen practises yoga on the promenade at Marine Drive. (HT PHOTO).
Young people enjoy the clear weather while a senior citizen practises yoga on the promenade at Marine Drive. (HT PHOTO).

Mumbai records lowest temperature of the year, inhales cleanest air

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:23 PM IST
  • The Santacruz station of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) recorded a minimum temperature of 16.6 degrees Celsius, a degree below normal. This is the second lowest minimum temperature recorded this season following a mercury drop to 16 degrees Celsius on December 22 last year.
Close
A medic administers the first dose of vaccine to All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria, (PTI)
A medic administers the first dose of vaccine to All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria, (PTI)

List of prominent people who also got vaccinated today

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shivani
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:21 PM IST
Several high-profile people including Randeep Guleria, the director of Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and Serum Institute of India (SII) chief executive officer Adar Poonawalla also got themselves vaccinated to inject confidence amid the concerns over its safety.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP