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A swayamsevak Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, what complaint could the RSS have with the ruling BJP?

A swayamsevak Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, what complaint could the RSS have with the ruling BJP?


NOTNew reports and stories about the schism in relations between the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are not new, especially during the Lok Sabha polls. Such stories, mostly figments of the imagination, sometimes propagated with ulterior motives, appear baseless or are triggered by statements from the top leadership of one or the other organization. The current spate of such stories appears to emanate from a statement made by BJP president JP Nadda. In response to a question on the relationship between the BJP and the RSS, he reportedly said that the BJP as a party has grown and is capable of functioning independently, which is actually true.

At the beginning we were weak, we were a little weak, the need for RSS arose, today we are half grown, we are successful, that is BJP you're wronghe said The Indian Express in an interview…

Nowhere in his interview or speeches does JP Nadda suggest that the BJP does not need the RSS or that the RSS does not support the BJP. A swayamsevak of the RSS and a former senior functionary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Nadda only reiterated what the RSS top brass would have wished for the BJP to grow on its own strength.

The strength of the BJP lies not only in its core ideology which reflects the thought process of the RSS or its millions of members today. As a political party, its strength is also measured by the number of its members in Parliament and in the states it governs. India's long and turbulent political history, spanning seven decades, bears witness to the rise and fall of parties. The ideology and programs of a party must reflect the hopes, ambitions and aspirations of the people if it wishes to survive in the political arena and not become like the Congress and communist parties after losing the support of the masses .

The BJP rapidly expanded its mass base and managed to establish direct contact with all sections of society through its social engineering programs, which the RSS did through its branches for more than nine decades. Thus, the BJP and the RSS have a coordinated approach to achieve their respective goals without encroaching on each other's domains. The RSS draws its strength not from the BJP's parliamentary seats but from the number of MPs. branches and the steady and organic expansion of its influence.

Read also : The RSS-BJP separation is now official. It's been a long time in the Modi decade

RSS has nothing to complain about

One aspect of the BJP's expansion through the influx of defectors might be seen by a small but significant conservative section of the RSS as a dilution or departure from fundamental principles. Almost all of these new entrants enjoy strong support from vote banks due to their caste or their connection with key electoral constituencies. Their parties neither respected nor recognized these leaders. Their political future is in jeopardy if they do not get tickets to run and win, hence their migration. Most know they will not be close to the ideological core of their new destination, but risk change to gain political advantage.

Given the dynamic management mechanism of the RSS and live contacts with the BJP decision-makers, such apprehensions are conveyed for effective course correction if necessary. Both organizations listen to the ground and are aware of the strengths, weaknesses and micromanagement of defectors' electoral districts to increase electoral strike rates.

Modi's ability to micromanage elections, set political agendas and easily balance his responsibilities as a full-time politician and prime minister also results from his long RSS training and deep involvement in public life and politics. electoral politics.

The RSS has remained resolutely aloof from electoral politics, but not aloof from the political arena, not as a player but as an observer. After independence and the tragic partition followed by a ban (after the assassination of MP Gandhis, which was lifted unconditionally), attempts were made to persuade the RSS to merge with the Congress and strengthen it. In the RSS also, there was intense debate about playing a political role alongside socio-cultural activities. But RSS leaders took precedence over those who suggested competing political activity.

However, three years later, in 1951, the RSS lent its support to the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) founded by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. Three decades later, in 1980, when the then Janata Party split over the issue of dual membership, forcing the BJS group to withdraw and form the BJP, the RSS played a decisive role. Apart from these two instances, the only other time when RSS swayamsevaks were asked to ensure the defeat of the Indira Gandhi-led Congress party was the 1977 elections, during the infamous Emergency.

The RSS has always advocated for a strong government at the Centre, capable of successfully confronting internal and external challenges and ensuring the unity and integrity of the country. If he finds such a government in the BJP under the leadership of its swayamsevak Narendra Modi, he has no reason to complain or not extend support to the government and its leader.

Seshadri Chari is the former editor-in-chief of Organiser. He tweets @seshadrichari. Opinions are personal.

(Edited by Prashant)




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