The RSS planned to kill Indian democracy even before Independence

11 August 2022
A 1945 police report shows the RSS’s secret desire to capture political power.
ILLUSTRATION BY SUKRUTI ANAH STANELEY; IMAGES COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, COURTESY NEHRU MEMORIAL MUSEUM LIBRARY
A 1945 police report shows the RSS’s secret desire to capture political power.
ILLUSTRATION BY SUKRUTI ANAH STANELEY; IMAGES COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, COURTESY NEHRU MEMORIAL MUSEUM LIBRARY

On 9 September 1945, just after the run up for India’s independence began, top functionaries of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh sat down at their Nagpur headquarters and discussed a plan to kill the impending democracy. A police report that documented details of this meeting, which I accessed recently, adds further weight to the considerable existing evidence about the Sangh’s ruthless political motives.

The deliberations at the meeting were written by hand in a question-answer format in a notebook, which was part of a large number of documents seized from the RSS headquarters in the aftermath of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s assassination on 30 January 1948. The police report on the notebook remained buried in the archives all these years.

The meeting was thought to have been meant to convey the RSS plan from the top leadership to prominent organisers and teachers, who would then—by virtue of being in regular touch with swayamsevaks—carry the message down the line. The details show the Sangh’s secret desire even in 1945 to capture political power, thus subverting the Indian nationalists’ efforts to develop the country on the lines of an electoral democracy.

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    Dhirendra K Jha is a contributing writer at The Caravan.

    Keywords: Caravan Columns RSS
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