Hindustan for Hindus: RSS has used it to provoke anti-Modi sentiments

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RSS's 'Hindu' stand is a political ploy
The controversy over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's statement that all citizens of Hindustan are Hindus has been well utilised by an hapless Opposition and the thirsty mainstream media in India. The point is: The issue was raked up by the RSS mainly to counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi who recently certified Rajnath Singh as the "captain" and Amit Shah as the "man of the match" while speaking about the BJP's splendid victory in the Lok Sabha election held earlier this year. The right-wing outfit is perhaps feeling a bit let down as Modi is stealing all the limelight and made the statement out of frustration.

The controversy was raked up deliberately to a political purpose

But the way the Opposition and the media began projecting it as a threat to India's identity, the episode took an entirely different colour. A debate arose on whether Modi's government is becoming majoritarian in nature and could pose a serious threat to minority communities of the nation.

India is different from the west: Here the State precedes the nation

Speaking in a programme in Odisha recently, Bhagwat said if those residing in America, Germany and England could be termed as Americans, Germans and English, then why not those residing in Hindustan can be called Hindus? Bhagwat's logic isn't perfect for India can not be compared to western countries where the idea of nation precedes the State.

A nervous RSS has raked up Hindutva for it knows Modi has an enemy in that idea

In India, it is the State which precedes the concept of nation and since the State in India has toyed with a vague form of secularism over the years, the Bhagwats have conveniently confused the Indian audience by raking up the issue of 'Hindus in Hindustan' to create a problem for the Modi government. Bhagwat knows very well that if there is a controversy over the sensitive issue of Hindutva, the onus will finally be on Prime Minister Modi for he has been targetted quite often on the grounds of majoritarian politics in the past.

RSS has raked up the Hindutva issue to regain limelight

It will be better if the Opposition and the media stop focussing on the Hindutva debate to defame Prime Minister Modi as that could spiral out of control in no time. The RSS has chosen the collision course vis-a-vis Modi so that it doesn't remain sidelined at a time when the BJP has its largest mandate in history and sparked off the Hindutva debate to make its presence felt and create an indirect pressure on Modi. It's just a repetition of what had transpired between K Sudarshan and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the early 2000s when the NDA was in power.

BJP's second decisive moment due in some time?

The BJP might soon face its second decisive moment (the first was the elevation of Modi as the party's face in the post-Vajpayee and Advani era) if the differences in the Parivar intensify. The new leadership in the BJP will care less about the ideological baggage for it has already tasted an unprecedented electoral victory, which ultimately counts in politics. If Modi's team continues to excel in the future elections in various states (including the 2014 Maharashtra and 2017 UP elections), then there will be little looking back for it. The RSS is clearly disturbed over its immediate future and doesn't want to play a second-fiddle role to its softer side.

As far as the opponents are concerned, they are trying to 'save' the country's secular character. They, however, have forgotten that these shallow debates matter more before a major election, not after. India will remain a pluralist country no matter what Bhagwat says or the Congress feels. Let us not make the atmosphere poisonous by indulging in unnecessary controversies.

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