The Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) has come half the way to the match itself to the changed socio-cultural context in India. It has realised that ‘Indianisation’ is different from ‘Hinduisation’. The RSS chief K.S. Sudharshan, has asked Muslims and Christians of this country to ‘Indianise’ themselves. “It is only when you integrate with the culture of the land you live in, you can have sense of belonging”. He has even gone to the extent of advising Indian Christians to severe links with Western Church. In a hurry to embrace Indian Muslims also he remarked that they “had blood of Rama and Krishna in their veins”. How many Indian Muslims and Christians can digest these comments?
Sudharshan might be right in his spirit but not in his approach. On one way he was asking them to retain their religious faith with them in ‘Indianising’ themselves and on the other, he was asking them to worship Hindu Gods, Rama and Krishna.
If RSS really relinquishes its religious image and drapes itself in culturally secular image after 75 years of its inception, it can do more to the nation them ever before. Though Sudharshan’s invitation to minorities is laudable, it suffers from two flaws:
Firstly, Indian culture is not monolithic. Ours is the rainbow of cultures. Neither the Mughals nor Aryans did bring all these cultures. When foreign invasions to this soil, and inflicted their culture, we assimilated them. Sudharshan should come open that he believes in plurality of culture before asking any one adopt Indian culture.
Secondly, while opposing conversions, RSS is asking Muslims to worship Hindu Gods. How this can be done, if conversion is not accepted?
If Sudharshan feels religious minorities do not have ‘sense belonging’ to India, the ‘religious majority’ is responsible for their non- attachment to a larger extent. As long as the proclaimed and self-proclaimed organisations of Majority religion do not repent for demolishing religious shrines like Babri Masjid and killing religious preachers like Father Staines of minorities, they can not inspire true Nationalism among them.
First published on October, 2000 in Vaartha.com