Mohan Bhagwat’s comments regarding the common DNA of Hindus and Muslims (and suggestions that the common heritage is enough for differences to melt away) are not the first time such comments have been made by the RSS chief. The virtual rolling of the eyes and even mocking that followed the latest statements are more of a testament to how much the average Hindu has awoken to the true plight of Hindus in India. The RSS risks losing credibility as the ground underneath has shifted considerably, and further tectonic shifts are on the horizon.
No sane Hindu can question the RSS’ contributions including its often quiet groundwork to help the needy, stem the tide of conversions in tribal areas, and fill in for a lack of state capacity in critical areas such as education and health. The RSS’ pan-India impact is second to none. The organization has also worked tirelessly towards the cause of Hindu unity and has complimented the BJP’s electoral and political achievements.
Having said that, the consistent references to the shared ancestry of Muslims and Hindus point to a Gandhian flaw in thinking. The history of man makes it clear that merely sharing DNA doesn’t mean sharing a common vision for a nation. Innumerable wars have been fought by people who share the same language, religion, and ethnicity. India’s history and even present-day circumstances make it clear that sharing the same DNA does not result in a common people.
The existence and state policy of Pakistan is a clear example, even though we share the same DNA as our neighbour. The RSS is painfully aware of this fact, yet continues to bend backwards to ideological opponents, without expecting anything in return. The latter is where Mohan Bhagwat missed an opportunity. He continues to err in only calling out the supposed ‘extremism’ among Hindutva groups which only serves in giving ammunition to the likes of Owaisi (on a side note, it is a dark comedy that Owaisi talks about secularism with a straight face while leading a party for India’s Muslims). Owaisi pounced on Mohan Bhagwat’s statement to place all extremism and communal issues in the country on the doorstep of the RSS, BJP and the Sangh.
Mohan Bhagwat is well within his rights to condemn supposed incidents of mob lynching by ‘Hindutva’ groups but if we all are indeed the same people, what about asking something of the other side? What about asking our Muslim brethren to:
- Blot out the usage of the word ‘kafir’ which is hate speech against Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and other dharmics
- Acknowledge the true history of temple destruction and subsequent raising of Islamic monuments for the simple purpose of subjugating Hindus
- Shun bigoted Mughals such as Aurangzeb and ask for the Muslim community to lend voice to renaming locations and relocating tombs to build museums that Document the atrocities committed by such rulers
- Join hands in getting a national ban on cow slaughter. No Muslim is required to eat beef, and extending support to such a cause will gain innumerable goodwill with Hindus
- Agitate for a Uniform Civil Code so that we all are seen as equal under the law
- Put a stop to daily outwardly and inconveniencing habits such as road namaz and loudspeaker azan, neither of which are within the Koran
- Cease conversions for the sake of marriage and instead, register such interfaith marriages under the Special Marriages Act or the Hindu Marriage Act
The above are just a small sample. While the RSS is a much-respected institution and speaks with significant authority, it risks alienating the common Hindu who has awakened to the lie of ‘secularism’ where demands are only made of the majority while treating the fundamentalists within the Muslim community with kid gloves. It is only a matter of time before such Hindu voices take form into more organized demands and end up sidelining the Sangh.