A new perspective of the RSS about Muslims in India?

By Vinod Kumar Shukla- 07 May 2020


A reiteration comes from the top echelons of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) when one of its most powerful joint general secretaries Dattatreya Hosabale affirmed that the entire Muslim community cannot be held responsible for spreading coronavirus pandemic. A similar statement was made last week by RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Rao Bhagwat.


What does that mean? Is it dilution in the Hindutva stand of the RSS? Not exactly! There is a need to understand this with the global expansion of the organization. The RSS is no more only working in the Vanwasi (tribal) areas but has been working in the Muslim dominated areas for quite some time and any sweeping and irresponsible comment will harm its cause that wants to inculcate among Muslims that the cultural root of every Muslim is in India and not in Saudi Arabia. To make them understand this is not only a time-taking process but also a tedious and cumbersome exercise.


Muslim Rashtriya Manch is working mostly in the urban areas with a few exceptions however other affiliate organizations and the RSS directly working in the Muslim dominated areas like Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and even in Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir with the help of its student organization ABVP and other affiliates outfits.


The stand taken by the RSS on Muslims is also an attempt to nullify propaganda against the organizations in the foreign countries where the RSS has its extensive work to tell people about Hindutva not only among Indians but among others as well. The RSS has a proper organizational set up in roughly 50 countries.


Apparently, the government too must have intervened to tell the RSS leaders that the entire government efforts to fight against COVID-19 will go waste if this narrative is allowed to be built that atrocity is unleashed against Muslims in India. So it is an attempt to offset with the same argument that the way some people tried to create a false Islamophobia narrative for the irresponsible behavior of a section of the community similarly the other minuscule community too behaved irresponsibly to create Hinduphobia which is just a myth and propaganda. And none should be allowed to make any such narrative to gain currency. Indian society is innately built in such a way that there is no space for hatred, this is what RSS apparently wants to put forth.


The RSS has not only been working at the grassroots among Muslims but it has been interacting with its leaders and groups that influence Muslim masses. Minority affairs minister M A Naqvi had organized a meeting in which Muslim Ulma and RSS senior functionary were present when CAA protests were at peak. Some more such meetings had happened in various parts of the country.


The RSS chief had at least three-four meetings with Jamiat Ulama e Hind which an orthodox Sunni and Deobandi Islamic organization having its headquarters in New Delhi. A claim has also been made that they are in talks with the RSS to take Bhagwat to Deoband that has the second-best Islamic institution in the world Darul Uloom, Deoband after the Al-Azahar University in Cairo in Egypt.


The RSS has largely been credited with managing the situation post Ram Temple verdict and triple talaq issue. This is endorsed by the fact when Dattatreya Hosabale says Muslims in India and their welfare are well-taken care by the government and society.

(By Vinod Kumar Shukla)

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