Political Editor Soumitra Bose approached nonagenarian, 92-year-old, karak (pragmatic hardliner), fully active (more active, alert, agile than a 16-year-old, Touch Wood, though RSS doesn’t believe in it), “truly secular”, martinet to the core, cogent (laconic when needed) consciously or unconsciously no obscurantist of any kind, fundamentalism/fundamentalist words non-existent in his dictionary, appeasement null-n-void, hypocrisy unknown, always knowledge-gaining…Madhav Govind Vaidya for an elaborate interview. Rare-giver of interviews, if he does give interview, its indeed rarest of rare treat. For, his answers are veritable thought-provoking effecting/provoking/persuading interviewers to be pensive. Duly, elaborate questions were put to him. He answered them this way. We put it “As Is Where Is” from A to Z. Nagpur, Dt. 24-12-2014
Dear Shri Soumitraji
Received your questionnaire. Thanks for it.
I have decided to write a brief note on the RSS, which, I think will address all your queries.
I must admit that it is not easy to understand the RSS, because it is not like any other organization or institution or party.
The aim of the RSS is to organize the entire society. I repeat ‘the entire society’. And a Society is complex existence i. e. it functions throgh various fields of activity. Politics is one of them. No doubt it is an important sphere of social activity, but it is not the only one. There are other spheres also like, education, Dharma, industry, agriculture etc and also the society consists of various constituents like, women, students, labourers, tribals etc. Organization of the entire society will entail the organization of all these spheres and constituencies. Therefore the RSS has allowed, even encouraged its workers to go to these various fields. As for ‘Dharma’ the then SarSanchchalak Shri M. S. Golwalkar (Guruji) himself took the lead and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)was formed. But he did not become its Chairman. So, RSS is very much relevant for the whole Bharteeya Samaj.
Bharteeya denotes the extent of our motherland. As the Vishnu Puran Says
उत्तरं यत् समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम् ।
वर्षं तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र सन्तति:॥
It mean the land that is to the north of the ocean and to the south of the Himalayas is known as Bharat, and the people living there are Bharati. The word Hindusthan connotes, the character of the people.
Some serious misunderstandings occur, because many people think that Hindu is a religion like Islam or Christianity. No it is not a religion. It is a ‘Dharma’. Dr. S. Radhakrishan also emphasised that Hinduism is not a religion, but a Common-Wealth of many religions. I will have to write a long article to explain the concept of Dharma. But I will give a few words in our languages like ‘DharmaShala’, ‘Dharmarth Asptal’, ‘Rajdharma’ etc. Use the word religion or religious for the translation of these words and see how ridiculous they become.
Hindu is a name of our nation. Therefore RSS insists on Hindu Rashtra. People are the nation. What type of people constitute a nation? There are three main conditions. 1) Our sentiment for our country. We should feel that it is our motherland. 2)Common sentiments for historical happenings and 3)Our acceptance of a common value system. An atheist can be a Hindu. A Muslim attending a namaz in a Mosque or a Christian going to the Church can be a Hindu. But they must accept that other faiths and religions can also be valid. Those who accept and appreciate the purality of faiths and religions are Hindus.
If you accept this interpretation you can proudly say that India is by Hindus, of Hindus and for Hindus. And you can he proud of being a Hindu.
So my advice to all is to become true Hindus, not in name only but in character and behaviour.
Now about the Modi Government.
I don’t think that people are disillusioned with the Modi Govt. Look at the election results of J&K and of Jharkand State Assemblies. I think it is too premature to make a proper assessment of the performance of any Govt which has ruled for just six or seven months. A period of at least two years should be watched.
My view is that Article 370 of our Constitution should be scrapped. After all it was meant to be a temporary and transilional feature. According to me, this was due to the Muslim majority in the J&K state. The background of this special provision for J&K state is the partition of our country on religious basis. Now as all people are witnessing that 15 crore Muslim population is enjoying all the benefits in equal measure, and is living in India happily and honourably, why should half a crore of Muslims in Kashmir should have a separate Constitution?
There should also be a Common Civil law for all citizens of India. That is the unequivocal direction of Article 44 of our Constitution. The beginning may be made by enacting a common law for marriage and divorce. Muslim & Christian women-folk will whole- heatedly welcome this step.
As explained above the RSS is concerned with the life of the entire society. It will not identity itself with only any one sphere. Therefore it will always be above politics & Govt. The BJP has among its leaders many RSS trained persons. They must be knowing what RSS expects from their Govt. The expected performance of all the spheres of our social life will automatically encourage people to say ‘Hum Hindu Hain’.
M. G. Vaidya