The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hindutva ‘battle’ in Sangh crystal ball

New Delhi, Dec. 30: Even the RSS has been forced to keep up with the times. For the first time ever, its Hindi mouthpiece, Panchajanya, has brought out a year-ender that will take stock of the events of 2002 in all major spheres: politics, sports, art and literature, entertainment, science and technology et al.

The issue, which will hit the stands tomorrow, has used the Gregorian calendar as the benchmark instead of the Vikran Samvad (Hindu calendar), although Sangh sources were defensive about the churning in the parivar. Panchajanya editor Tarun Vijay refused to react, saying, “First read the issue, then we will talk.”

Saying that “we are always keeping with the times”, RSS sources went on to underplay the timing of the special edition. “We don’t celebrate New Year but neither do we object to others celebrating the event. In any case, it is useful to review the last 12 months and this is a good occasion. Nothing more should be read into it.”

To labour the point, RSS sources said the issue carried signed pieces by RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan and Vishwa Hindu Parishad working president Ashok Singhal, which reinforced the parivar’s views on Hindutva and “pseudo-secularism”.

For instance, Sudarshan’s piece — “Naya: Is Mahabharat main Hindutva ki vijay hogee” (New: In the Mahabharat to follow Hindutva will triumph) — claimed that the Gujarat poll outcome had forced all political parties to review their policies and quoted a senior non-BJP MP (not from the CPM) as telling him it was high time his party reflected on whether it should concentrate on getting the 85 per cent Hindu votes or the 15 per cent minorities’ votes.

“In this country, how long is it possible for any party to disregard the hopes of sentiments of 85 per cent of the population'” the RSS chief asked.

Asserting that India was on the brink of a “Kurukshetra war”, Sudarshan said the battlelines were drawn between those who supported Hindutva and those who opposed it. “The Mahabharat was fought 5,000 years ago and it marked the victory of dharma over adharma. Its impact was felt all over the country but the Kurukshetra battlefield on which we stand today spans the universe,” he said.

According to Sudarshan, the starting point for the new Mahabharat was December 6, 1992 (the day the Babri mosque was demolished) and there was no looking back since then. “But the opposition to Hindutva has also grown in direct proportion. We are going through a round of allegations and counter-allegations,” he said, adding that the “battle” was being waged on several fronts — education, economic, administration and politics.

The RSS chief, however, rejected the concept of a communal divide along majority-minority lines. “After all, the Christians and Muslims living here have not come from outside. They were born and brought up here. How can those who were born here be considered minorities' The English definition of minorities is flawed. Maybe the Muslims living in Britain may be minorities because most of them migrated from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh,” he argued.

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