Three years of the Narendra Modi regime have seen a loud and lethal brand of “enforced nationalism” take centerstage, with the national flag, the national anthem, and other things adjudged national, being held up as instant markers of citizenship.
The supreme irony is that the RSS, the “cultural” organisation banned thrice since Independence and to which Modi and BJP owe their all, has had a pitiable relationship with the saffron, white, green—and blue—in the Indian “tricolour”.
As August 9 flies past and August 15 approaches, with promises of more bogus oratory on putting nation before self, Jawhar Sircar, the former CEO of Prasar Bharati Corporation, writes in The Telegraph, Calcutta:
“On the eve of Independence, when much of the nation was preparing to celebrate freedom, the RSS’s mouthpiece, Organiser, declared that the Indian tricolour will ‘never be respected and owned by the Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.’
“Apart from distorting facts like the age old reverence of Hindus for ‘three’, as is evident in the trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar, this reveals the nonsense that rules the minds of those who peddle faith for votes….
“Earlier issues of the Organiser, such as those of July 17 and 22, 1947, had also voiced the RSS’s opposition to many such national issues. But to get to the root, we need to see the book, Bunch of Thoughts, that the second head of the RSS, M.S. Golwalkar, published. He lamented that ‘our leaders have set up a new flag for the country. Why did they do so? It is just a case of drifting and imitating… Ours is an ancient and great nation with a glorious past. Then, had we no flag of our own? Had we no national emblem at all these thousands of years? Undoubtedly we had. Then why this utter void, this utter vacuum in our minds?’
“We would, in all fairness, be enlightened if Golwalkar could show us the ancient national emblem or the flag that he refers to, unless his intention is to substitute the nation’s culturally-composite flag with the Bhagwa Dhwaj. This saffron ‘split flag’ of the RSS symbolizes not only divisionism but is also synonymous with Hinduism and Hindutva that militate against the plural reality of India.”
Read the full article: The RSS and the tricolour