Partition : Hindu Radicalism - Part I

Exact Match
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Jinnah | Direct Action | Hindu Radicalism | Cabinet Mission | The Agony 

The Hindu Mahasabha made a sharp turn in the radical Hindu direction under V.D. Savarkar's leadership. The RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) had been from the very beginning organized on radical lines; it now began to branch out beyond Maharashtra.

Year after year, V.D. Savarkar warned Hindus of the dangers of being dominated by Muslims. He said in I937 that Muslims 'want to brand the forehead of Hindudom and other non-Muslim sections in Hindustan with a stamp of self humiliation and Muslim domination' and 'to reduce the Hindus to the position of helots in their own lands.' In 1938, he said that 'we Hindus are (already) reduced to be veritable helots throughout our land.'

It was, however, the RSS which became the chief ideologue and propagator of extreme radical Hinduism. The head of the RSS, M.S. Golwalkar, codified the RSS doctrines in his booklet, We. In 1939, he declared that if the minority demands were accepted, 'Hindu National life runs the risk of being shattered.' Above all, the RSS attacked Muslims and the Congress leaders. Golwalkar attacked the nationalists for 'hugging to our bosom our most inveterate enemies (Muslims) and thus endangering our very existence.'

Condemning the nationalists for spreading the view by which Hindus 'began to class ourselves with our old invaders and foes under the outlandish name - Indian,' he wrote: 'We have allowed ourselves to be duped into believing our foes to be our friends . . . That is the real danger of the day, our self forgetfulness, our believing our old and bitter enemies to be our friends.'To Muslims and other religious minorities, Golwalkar gave the following advice: 'The non-Hindu peoples in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no ideas but those of glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., they must not only give up their attitude of intolerance and ungratefulness towards this land and its age long traditions but must also cultivate the positive attitude of love and devotion instead - in one word, they must cease to be foreigners, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinate to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment - not even citizen's rights.' Going further, he wrote; 'We Hindus are at war at once with the Muslims on the one hand and British on the other.'

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