Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sena Versus RSS

During the past 25 years, not a single serious conflict has been witnessed between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena, except for some small differences over seat sharing. As far as the BJP's ideological ancestor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is concerned, there has never been any conflict between it and Shiv Sena.
Whatever the fact be, in the eyes of a common Indian, the Shiv Sena's image for the past three decades has been that of a RSS family organization. In this situation, the Shiv Sena leadership suddenly issuing a stern statement against RSS one fine day is surprising.

Insecure Condition of North Indians
Speaking about the insecure condition of north Indians in Maharashtra, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat did not name Shiv Sena directly, but did accuse it indirectly saying that people of all communities, castes, sub-castes, regions, and tribes are sons of mother India, and they have the right to go to any part of the country to earn their livelihood.
The RSS has always been giving priority to national identity above caste and regional identity, but when its political representative BJP formed coalition with the Asom Gana Parishad in Assam, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, Telugu Desham Party in Andhra Pradesh, both Dravid parties in Tamil Nadu one after the other, and Gorkhaland and other fiercely regional parties in other regions, we never heard RSS raising any objection to the same.

Slogan of Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan
The RSS family, which raised the slogan of Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan 40 years ago, kept on working smoothly without bothering extensively about Hindi language and Hind-speaking people. Sections that made opposition to Hindi and Hindi-speaking people as their political weapon figured in the list of friends of BJP, the political arm of this family, but it never had to suffer any loss as a result of it. Not even once did the RSS leadership stop it from doing so, nor warned it of the dangers ahead of moving in that direction.
It would, perhaps, not be proper to include Shiv Sena in such forces because despite openly opposing Gujaratis, Keralites, and Muslims, it never directly targeted Hindi-speaking people until some time ago. The credit for turning its edge toward them goes to Raj Thakarey and his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, but now that the politics of competition between the two forces in that direction has begun, it would not be easy for any one of them to retract its stand. This is the first instance when the RSS cannot do with the "heads I win, tail you lose" kind of strategy.
To be firm on its stand of protecting Hindi and Hindu interests, for the first time, it may have to really lose something. Will the RSS family show the courage of breaking away from its oldest and most trusted ally to maintain its original identity?

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