Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vinoba on Gandhi's Assassination and RSS

Vinoba said this about RSS in 1948, 15 March. This is edited and compiled by Gopal Krishna Gandhi (former Governor of  Bengal)

(Note: I dislike caste-based references and generalisations. However, read between the lies and try to look at the bigger picture. If you feel angry/sad at what happened in spite of feeling a bit targeted, the purpose of this essay would be served. Also, with Modi being touted as the next head of state, we have come full circle, and this essay couldn't have been more relevant than it is now.)

I wish to say something. I belong to the state where the RSS came into being. Here I am, having relinquished caste; but still I cannot forget that I belong to the caste of the man who committed this act. Kumarappaji ( Dr. J. C. Kumarappa) and Kripalaniji (J B) spoke forcefully two days ago against security arrangements; I sat quietly through. They spoke with sadness; I was silent with sadness. The sadness of a person who does not speak up is not made evident. The reason for my not speaking was that in addition to sadness I also felt shame. I have been living in Paunar (Dist Wardha, some 8  miles from Wardha city) for many year; there too four or five people have been arrested on suspicion of some kind of involvement with Bapu's assassination. There have been arrests in Wardha and in Nagpur, and further arrests are being made all over the place. This organization (RSS) has been spread far and wide and with great skill, and its roots have struck very deep. It is completely fascist in character. It has made particular usage of the Mhaharashtrian intellect, whether working in the Punjab or in Madras. In all the states its leaders and chief organizers have mostly been Maharashtrians, and mostly Brahmins; their Guruji too is a Maharashtrian Brahmin. The members of this organiztion do not take others into their confidence. Gandhiji's principle was that of truth; it seems to me that the principle of these people must be that of untruth. This untruth is an integral part of their technique and their philosophy.

I read an article or speech of their Guruji in a religious newspaper. It was written that ' Arjuna is the highest ideal of Hinduism; he had respect and love for his elders; he made obeisance to his elders, and murdered them. He who can commit such murder is "firm in judgement".' Those people are not less dedicated to the Gita than I am myself. They probably read the Gita with as much reverence every day as I feel towards it in my own heart. What they conclude from their reading of the Gita is that if a man can murder his respected elders he is 'firm in judgement'. ( in Hindi the word used was "Sthitapragya") Alas for the Gita, that it should be interpreted so. My point is that this group is not just a riotous mob indulging in insurrections and mayhem. It is a group of philosophers. They have a system of philosophical knowledge and they act decisively on the basis of it. they even have their own particular methodology for the interpretation of religious texts.

Maharashtra finds itself in a strange condition since Gandhiji's assassination. Everything here happens in an extreme way. The reaction of the --in the name of Gandhians--to Gandhiji's assassination has been as horrifying as the events of Punjab at the time when Pakistan was created. From Nagpur to Kolhapur there has been a horrific reaction. Saneguruji made an appeal to me to make a tour of Maharashtra. But what's the use of a tour of Maharashtra by someone who could not even keep Paunar in order, and failed to exert any influence over the of Wardha and Nagpur? So I kept quiet and di nothing.

The methodology of the RSS has always been antithetical to ours. When we were going to jail, their policy was to join the army or the police force. They would always be quick to turn up anywhere where there was any likelihood of Hindu-Muslim riots. The government of the day saw its own advantage in all this, and gave them encouragement; and now we are having to deal with the consequences.

The main responsibility of today's circumstances rests with me and with the people of Maharashtra. This organisation, the RSS, was born in Maharashtra. Only the people of Maharashtra can penetrate to its roots. So if you so tell me I will clarify my mind and work in my own way. I will not be committed to any committee. I will take help from all people of deep and firm convictions, other than those the RSS; I will take help from anyone who is dedicated to working by pure means alone. We have need of people who consider themselves human beings.


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