The RSS is an organization that the Indian communities in the diaspora must adopt and adapt. With a good knowledge of the RSS, its history, objectives and leadership, Indian communities in the diaspora will be better off. Many of the social and political crises that plague the Indo-Caribbean communities of Guyana, Trinidad and Suriname will recede to the background and a new era of hope and opportunities will be ushered if this RSS model is implemented.
A socio-cultural organization, the RSS was formed in 1925 in Nagpur, Maharastra, India. Its major aims are to organize Hindu society to protect and propagate its ancestral culture, to uphold the geographical integrity of the mother land, and the safety and security of Hindus, their homes and holy sites. An organization of volunteers, the RSS has no paid officers. In fact, the acronym RSS-Rastriya Swayaamsevak Sangh-is translated as National Volunteer Organization. Some, impressed with the commitment of the volunteers, branded the RSS as Ready for Selfless Service.
If there are unusual criticisms against the RSS it is not because the RSS is divisive or anti-people; it is because the RSS leaves no room for corruption and sets a high standard of service to the community and the nation that many of its critics find difficult to emulate.
The RSS is headed by a leader or Sarsanghchalak, a full-time volunteer who has worked himself up the ranks. The Sarsangchalak would have started from a child attending the daily shakha (branch) meeting engaging in the chanting of mantras, singing of patriotic songs, listening to stories from the epics to engaging in physical activities like yoga, karate and games. At the back of all of these activities is the aim to develop the individual body, mind and intellect and spirit to serve his motherland in a spirit of cooperation.
In 1947 when the Maharaja of Kashmir was vacillating on joining India or remaining independent, it was the intervention of M.S. Golwakar (1906-1973), the Sarsanghchalak, that convinced the Maharaja to join the State of India. When Pakistani soldiers, disguised as tribesmen with the tacit support of British army officers, invaded the Kashmir Valley, it was the RSS volunteers that cleared the snow on the runways that allowed the landing of Indian troops from Delhi.
When Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency in the 1970s, the members of the RSS spearheaded the struggles to restore democracy. The majority of people who were jailed and suffered police brutalities were RSS workers. This is the mettle of the volunteers of the RSS-men and women who are prepared to die struggling for social justice.
The RSS is a powerhouse of vistarak (part-time) and pracharak (full time) volunteers. Vistaraks and Pracharaks focus on building institutions to serve the needs of the people. Known as the Sangh Parivar, among those institutions are: Vishwa Hindu Parishad that focuses on religious afairs like the Rama Temple; Bharatiya Janata Party on politics; Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram on welfare programs among the tribal and other backward social groups; Bharatiya Kishan Sangh on trade union affairs; Bajrang Dal, a militant Hindu body, ready to defend the nation and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarti Parishad or student arm that work in the universities to manage student social and political affairs.
Shayama Prasad Mookerjee spearheaded work in politics. He was the founder of the Jana Sangh, the forerunner to Bharatiya Janata Party). Mookherjee was succeeded by individuals like Atal Behari Vajpayee, Krishna Lal Advani and now Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a volunteer. He worked as a pracharak and was active in student politics. Modi did not offer himself as a candidate for politics in Gujarat. It was Krishna Lal Advani that suggested his name to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for Chief Minister of Gujarat. Modi’s decision to run as Prime Minister would not be a personal one but an outcome after a joint deliberation by the senior RSS figures.
Despite the noble efforts of the RSS to serve the people of India, the enemies have labelled the organization fascist. No evidence of aggression against minorities are within its agenda. Its only sin is that it has pledged to make Hindus conscious and proud of their Hindu heritage. More so, it wants the Hindus to realize their strength in unity by bridging. all social and geographical divides.
With the BJP at the center of government, India is no longer open season for Christian and Muslim proselytizers. Under the guise of charity millions of dollars floods into the country to fuel conversion and terrorism. The Modi administration has banned many of these organizations and hence the protests on the streets.
The removal of barriers such as caste, class and gender have united the Hindu majority. The Congress policy of appeasing the minorities is something of the past. Triple talaq that encourages divorce of Muslim women by their husbands is no longer law. State funding for pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Mecca, once heavily subsidized by the State and temple funds, is now being removed. The special privileges given to Kashmiris through Article 379 have been removed. Kashmir is opened to all Indians for business, work, studies and residency. It is no longer a privileged Muslim-majority state within the Indian Union.
India is the last frontier for Christianity and Islam. Despite ruling the sub-continent for hundreds of years these foreigners failed to subdue the Hindus. Today the table has turned and the Muslim are struggling for survival not because they are right but because they have been the willing tools of foreign groups and nations to destabilize the country. They are now failing in their mission and the recent protests against the CAA were a last stand that is now being nullified and defeated.
Indo-Caribbean communities have to make good the RSS model for their future safety and security in this hostile Caribbean region. An organization like the RSS will stand as a bulwark against hostile forces and aid in protecting the democracy of the region which is now fighting for its survival in Guyana.