Saturday, June 15, 2024

What’s Cooking Between the BJP and RSS?

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The relationship between the BJP and the RSS has long been considered the backbone of India’s right-wing political landscape. However, recent events and rumors on the ground suggest potential fissures within this alliance. They raise questions about the future trajectory of Hindutva politics in India. Let’s explore the emerging tensions and speculate on their implications.

RSS Chief’s Remarks on Decorum and Service

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RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat’s recent comments have sparked widespread speculation about underlying dissatisfaction with the BJP’s conduct. Addressing an RSS event in Nagpur, Bhagwat emphasized the importance of maintaining decorum and humility in public service. Although he did not mention PM Modi, his remarks were indirectly aimed at him.

The RSS Cheif seems to imply that the BJP’s aggressive political tactics do not align with the Sangh’s ideology.

Mohan Bhagwat says: “A true sevak maintains decorum while working… The one who maintains decorum does his work but remains unattached. There is no arrogance that I did this. Only such a person has the right to be called a sevak.”

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The news media and the right-wing Indian wonder why suddenly Bhagwat seems unsatisfied with the BJP and PM Modi. Moreover, Bhagwat also highlighted the ongoing unrest in Manipur, subtly questioning the central government’s handling of the situation. These statements can be interpreted as a signal from the RSS to the BJP, urging a return to more disciplined and principled politics – the RSS Way. The emphasis on decorum and humility contrasts sharply with the often combative and confrontational style of contemporary BJP politics.

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Allegations and Retractions: The Amit Malviya Controversy

Another controversy erupted between RSS and BJP. It involved the BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya and RSS worker Shantanu Sinha. These allegations and retraction may further highlight the strains within the Hindutva camp. RSS worker Shantanu Sinha wrote to BJP IT Cell Head Amit Malviya. His post, written in Bengali, speaks that BJP did not come to West bengal to seek favors of beautiful women in 5-star hotels. He goes on to remind the IT Cell Head that the ground cadre risked life and limb by supporting the BJP in TMC-ruled Bengal. And thus, the people sitting in Delhi should support the man on ground. 

However, the Fake-Fact-Checkers, INC, and TMC wrongly interpreted it as Malviya seeking sexual favors in Bengal.

The Congress’ ‘Gaali-Wali-Aunty’ and her IT Cell attempted to capitalize on this controversy. They made public allegations and asked for strict actions against the BJP leader. Moreover, they went for blood to demand Malviya’s removal from the post and party. They colored the entire BJP in red calling it a ‘Darindo ki Party’. Additionally, they questioned if the BJP is unable to treat women with respect.

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Amit Malviya responded with a 10 crore suit against Sinha. The RSS worker was given 72 hours to delete and apologize. Consequently, Shantanu Sinha deleted his posted and submitted an uncocnditional public apology. He claimed his post was a cautionary message, rather than an accusation. Unable to explain his synonym that used beautiful women and 5 star hotels, Sinha termed it as a caution agianst honey-traps. However, this incident not only embarrassed the BJP but also exposed the fragility of internal relations.

Thus, the episode spiraled into public mud-slinging culminating in lawsuits and retractions. But, it also showcases the growing perception that the BJP’s internal discipline is eroding. Hence, the right-wing is watching every conflict through the lens of power struggles within the party and its affiliate organizations.

Election Results and Political Whispers

The recent poor performance of the BJP in the Hindi heartland has whispers floating in the corridors of power. Traditionally this region is a stronghold influenced by the RSS presence. However, the unexpected loss of Lok Sabha seats has added to the speculation of discord. Observers noted that the BJP’s ground cadre, often mobilized by the RSS, seemed disengaged this election cycle. This disengagement might be an indication of deliberate internal sabotage or, at the very least, a lack of enthusiasm from the RSS ranks.

A seasoned journalist covering the election results presented stunning predictions during a live discussion on the same.

He suggested that if the BJP failed to secure a majority on its own, the RSS might push for a leadership change within the party. This prediction came true when the rumbles on the ground began about not picking Modi as PM. His assertions were rooted in the belief that the RSS, with its long-term ideological vision, might be willing to sacrifice immediate political power to maintain its influence and principles. The saying “we have the time while they have the clock” aptly captures RSS’s strategic patience.

PM Modi’s Cabinet Choices Counters The RSS Strategy?

After Seven Years of Modi and Shah, the RSS's Fall from Grace is Total and Complete
PC The Wire

PM Narendra Modi’s cabinet appointments have increasingly included leaders from non-RSS backgrounds. Example: S Jaishankar. This strategy appears to be an effort to diversify the party’s power base and reduce dependency on the RSS. Remember the statement by JP Nadda on RSS during the polling stages?! Thus, PM Modi seems to be deliberately assimilating members with varied ideological roots into the party. Yes, those very same Congress and AAP members who were welcomed with open arms by the BJP.

Therefore, some analysts draw a conclusion that PM Modi seems to be crafting a faction within the BJP that can operate independently of RSS control. This move might be aimed at ensuring stability and coherence within the party, especially if tensions with the RSS continue to rise. However, the Indian right-wing is confused; where do the children go if the parents (BJP and RSS) go through a messy divorce! 

The Future Of Right Wing Politics

RSS Meets BJP, Other Affiliates: What RSS Playing Coordinator and Not a Guide Means | OPINION
PC The Quint

The evolving dynamics between the BJP and the RSS have profound implications for the future of right-wing politics in India. Several scenarios could unfold:

  1. Reconciliation and Realignment: The BJP and RSS might resolve their differences and realign their strategies. This would benefit both in the upcoming state elections. However, it would likely involve concessions from both sides and a renewed focus on common ideological goals.
  2. Continued Tensions and Fragmentation: Persistent tensions could lead to a more fragmented right-wing movement. The BJP might continue to distance itself from the RSS. Thus, allowing AAP, TMC, or even INC to benefit by making underhand deals and alliances. Consequently, the right-wing Hindutva politics will fracture into two sections.
  3. Leadership Changes: The BJP might change its party head to subdue any concerns raised by the RSS. The Sangh might also push for a leadership change in the government to ensure that BJP remains its political wing! These would result in a more RSS-aligned leadership within the BJP or a complete upheaval in the BJP’s structure.
  4. Impact on Governance and Policy: These internal dynamics could also influence the BJP’s policy decisions and governance style. A more RSS-influenced BJP might prioritize different issues, such as cultural nationalism and social conservatism, over economic reforms and development.

A Critical Juncture for Hindutva Politics

The BJP-RSS relationship seems like a ship stuck on rough seas. And it is facing public scrutiny at this critical juncture. The way these tensions are managed will shape the future of Hindutva politics in India. For the BJP, navigating this relationship requires balancing ideological commitments with pragmatic governance. For the RSS, the challenge lies in maintaining its ideological purity while adapting to the changing political landscape.

In the aftermath of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the stakes for BJP and RSS are at an all-time high. A united BJP-RSS front could prove formidable, but unresolved tensions could weaken their electoral prospects. The coming months will be crucial in determining the trajectory of this relationship and its impact on Indian politics. Let’s wait and watch fellow nationalists on what comes out of the kitchen where BJP-RSS are cooking up a storm! 

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