On February 19, the Ministry of Culture in the Modi regime, tweeted from its official handle: “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.” It is true that Modi and his Cabinet and party are guided by RSS founding father Golwalkar’s ideas alone. But those ideas are neither scholarly nor inspiring – they are Hindu-supremacist, bigoted, fascist, casteist, patriarchal, and openly opposed to democracy and the Constitution. Golwalkar was among those arrested for the assassination of Gandhi, and acquitted only because some witnesses recanted. There is, on record, evidence that he instigated his followers with the idea of assassinating Gandhi.

But there is no need to take our word for any of this. It is best to know Golwalkar in his own words – from his two works, We, or Our Nationhood Defined (1939); and Bunch of Thoughts (1966).

Admiration and Emulation of Nazi Germany’s Purge of Jews

“German race pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Races—the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.” - We, or Our Nationhood Defined (Bharat Publications, Nagpur, 1939)

Note: Golwalkar wrote Hindu-sthan, by which he meant Hindu (supremacist) Nation, which is distinct from Hindustan, which is derived from the Persian name “Hindu”, which meant the Sindhu/Indus river. Hindustan thus means “land beyond the Sindhu/Indus river”. The Latin name “India” is also derived from the same Persian name.

Treating Muslims, Christians As Non-Citizens

“The foreign races in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment -not even citizen's rights.” - We, or Our Nationhood Defined (Bharat Publications, Nagpur, 1939)  

In 2006, the RSS claimed to disown We, with former RSS spokesperson M G Vaidya saying, “We is not the RSS’ Bible as everyone would like to believe. If it was the Bible then every Sangh worker would have read it and it could have been found in every house. But it is not the case. The book that is central to us is Golwalkar's Bunch of Thoughts since it consists of his views after he became sarsanghchalak on June 21, 1940.” (Akshay Mukul, Times of India, March 2006) The RSS did this to try and shake off the embarrassment of Golwalkar’s openly Nazi views. But Bunch of Thoughts (henceforth BoT) expresses, in fact expounds and elaborates, the same ideas as We.  We asked minorities to “merge in the Hindu race”; BoT asked minorities to “merge themselves in the common national stream”, which BoT defined as "Hindu".

Hindu=National; Any Non-Hindu Identity= Divisive, Communal

Modi is fond of repeating in his speeches that Hindus can never be terrorist, and that is an affront to suggest that any Hindu has ever committed an act of terrorism. This implies that from Godse to Pragya Thakur to Gauri Lankesh’s assassin, Hindus who commit politically-motivated assassinations or bombings of unarmed civilians are not terrorists, since such violence is always to be considered patriotic to the Hindu Nation.

This notion is actually derived directly from Golwalkar who elaborated on it in BoT.   

“The Hindu in Bharat is national, can never be termed “communal”.”

“Communal” in Golwalkar’s usage is equivalent to what his followers today brand as “Tukde Tukde Gang” or those who seek to “break up or divide India”. Who, then, was communal (i.e divisive), according to Golwalkar? The answers may surprise some.

Muslims and Christians, of course, were by definition communal, but so were all non-Hindus: “The non-Hindu groups arraying themselves against the Hindu people - in whose life-stream the Bharatiya nation finds its true expression - are in a way communal.” Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Part II.X  

Sikhs and Buddhists: “There are communalists in Hindu Society itself, who originally came into existence in the form of creeds as a manifestation of the many- sided Hindu genius, but who later on forgot the source of their inspiration and creation and began to consider themselves as being different from Hindu samaj and dharma, and who on that premise demand separate and exclusive political and economic privileges, and to achieve those demands proclaim themselves to be different form Hindu Society and take to various agitations. Neo-Buddhists and Sikhs are of this type.” - (ibid)

Tamil, Assamese, Manipuri, Naga etc: The third form of communalism is of groups like Dravida Kazhagam and Davidra Munnetra Kazhagam who, on the fallacious assumptions of racial distinctness, claim separation, and who to achieve their ends spread hatred, enmity and violence against the rest of society. (ibid)

SC/ST/OBC groups fighting for reservation and other rights: “The fourth type (of communalists) consists of those who rouse controversies in the name of "touchability" and "untouchability", "Brahmin" and "non-Brahmin" and fan hatred, enmity, selfishness, and demands for special privileges.” (ibid) He called SC/ST/OBC movements “separatist”: “Separatist consciousness breeding jealousy and conflict is being fostered in sections of our people by naming them Harijans, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and so on and by parading the gift of special concessions to them in a bid to make them all their slaves with the lure of money.” (ibid)

Linguistic minorities and language-based identities and movements: “There is the fifth type, the communalism of linguistic groups, who indulge in spreading aversion, rivalry and hatred against other linguistic neighbours. The term "linguistic minorities" is born out of this tendency.” (ibid)

Assertion of distinct regional culture or statehood: “The sixth type of communalism is one of narrow provincial feelings and of adopting unhealthy attitudes towards people from other provinces. South and North, Punjabi and non-Punjabi, Marathi, versus Kannada, Gujarati versus Marathi, Bengal-Bihar-Orissa difference are of this type.”  (ibid)

Political Movements To Assert the Above Identities or Interests: “There is the seventh type of communalism which aggravates differences of caste, creed, language, etc., and fans mutual hatred to achieve electoral ends. This is the most dangerous type rampant all over the country, of which many political parties, including the party in power, are guilty. So long as this - the political type of communalism exists, it is well-nigh impossible to eradicate any other form of communalism.”  (ibid)

To the above, Golwalkar added feminism and assertion of women’s equality as another divisive tendency: “There is now a clamour for 'equality for women', 'emancipation from man's domination'! Reservation in positions of power is being claimed on basis of their sex, thus adding one more 'ism'-'sexism!'- to the array of casteism, communalism, linguism, etc.” (ibid)

India must be Hindu: Golwalkar in BoT was unequivocal about this. He wrote that even Hindus who embraced a secular identity rather than a singular Hindu identity were enemies: "Hindu society, whole and integrated, should forever be the single point of devotion for all of us. No other consideration whether of caste, sect, language, province or party should be allowed to come in the way of that single-minded devotion. Those who do not love Rama, i.e., the object of devotion, and who come as an obstacle must be considered as ten million times an enemy, though they may be extremely near and dear to us." -  Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Part II.X  

Opposed SC/ST/OBC Reservations

“We must cry a complete halt to forming groups based on caste, creed, etc., and demanding exclusive rights and privileges in services, financial aids, admission in educational institutions and all such other fields. To talk and think in terms of "minorities" and "communities" should be totally put an end to.” - Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Part II.X  

Hindi Or Sanskrit As Official Language of India

Golwalkar wanted Hindi or Sanskrit (never English) as the only "official language": “Until Sanskrit takes that place, we shall have to give priority to Sanskrit-based Hindi as "official language" based on the score of convenience. We must not allow ourselves to be swept off our feet by slogans like ‘Hindi imperialism’ or ‘domination of the North’." - Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Part II.X

Denied A Distinct Tamil Culture, Equated “Tamil” With “Hindu”

Golwalkar did not hold Tamil to be a distinct language and culture: “These days we are hearing much about Tamil. Some protagonists of Tamil claim that it is a distinct language altogether with a separate culture of its own. They disclaim faith in the Vedas, saying that Tirukkural is their distinct scripture. Tirukkural, like Mahabharata, is purely a Hindu text propounding great Hindu thoughts in a chaste Hindu language.” - Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Part II.X

Internal Threats: Minority Identities and Transformative Ideologies

Golwalkar considered minority faiths (Muslims and Christians) and revolutionary activists (Communists) to be "Internal Threats" in his Bunch of Thoughts.

Hindu-Muslim Unity = Treason

Golwalkar called "Hindu-Muslim unity", treason, and counted 1947, not as the day India achieved freedom from British rule, but as an imaginary “defeat of Hindus at the hands of Muslims”: "Those who declared 'No swaraj without Hindu- Muslim unity' have perpetrated the greatest treason on our society. The direct result was that Hindus were defeated at the hands of Muslim in 1947." Golwalkar,  Part II.XII

Mocked India’s Constitution As UnIndian

“Our Constitution too is just a cumbersome and heterogeneous piecing together of various articles from various Constitutions of Western countries. It has absolutely nothing, which can be called our own. Is there a single word of reference in its guiding principles as to what our national mission is and what our keynote in life is? No! Some lame principles form the United Nations Charter or from the Charter of the now defunct League of Nations and some features form the American and British Constitutions have been just brought together in a mere hotchpotch. Theodore Shay in his The Legacy of the Lokamanya says, "Strangely absent from the Preamble is reference to concepts like Swaraj, Dharmarajya and the integration of the purpose of the state with the purpose of life. In other words, there is no reflection of Indian precepts or political philosophy in the Indian Constitution."” - Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Part III.XIX

What did Golwalkar mean by “Indian precepts”? He meant the Manusmriti (which Ambedkar as a document of slavery of the oppressed castes and women). After the secular-democratic Constitution was adopted on Nov 26, 1949, the RSS English organ, Organiser, in an editorial on November 30, 1949, complained:

“But in our constitution there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing”.

Golwalkar Mocked The Tricolour Flag

“Three stripes therefore held a sort of fascination for our freedom fighters also. So, it was taken up by the Congress. Then it was interpreted as depicting the unity of the various communities-the saffron colour standing for the Hindu, the green for the Muslim and the white for all the other communities. Out of the non-Hindu communities the Muslim was specially named because in the minds of most of those eminent leaders the Muslim was dominant and without naming him they did not think that our nationality could be complete! When some persons pointed out that this smacked of a communal approach, a fresh, explanation was brought forward that he ‘saffron’ stood for sacrifice, the ‘white’ for purity and the ‘green’ for peace and so on. All these interpretations were discussed in the Congress Committees during those days. Who can say that this is a pure and healthy national outlook?” -  Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Part III.XIX

Opposed Federalism, States’ Rights, Panchayat Elections

“We are one country, one society, and one nation, with a community of life-values and secular aspirations and interests; and hence it is natural that the affairs of the nation are governed through a single state of the unitary type. The present federal system generates and feeds separatist feelings.” - Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Part II.XV

Likewise, Golwalkar wanted the Constitution amended to ensure that “elections to Panchayats shall be unanimous, or that there shall be no elections at all.” (ibid)

The Modi regime, by working towards achieving Golwalkar’s values, is seeking to undermine India as we know it. It is seeking to undo India’s Constitution, democracy, and the equal rights and status of all irrespective of caste, creed, faith, gender. It seeks to create a Nazi Manuvadi authoritarian rule instead. Golwalkar’s dream is India’s nightmare. We must know it, and fight it, will all our might.

Liberation Archive