A fog of mystery surrounds the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sanghâor RSSâthe largest cadre-based organisation in the world. Veteran journalist and author of the bestseller Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times, Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay lays bare its fascinating, unique and perhaps startling world. He also chronicles the personal and political journeys of the most important men (and a woman) of the Hindu Right-wing, digging up little-known but revealing facts about them.
KESHAV BALIRAM HEDGEWAR: The founder of the RSS, and its first sarsanghchalak, was called âCocaineâ as a young revolutionary, and transported subversive literature and arms for a group back home in Nagpur.
VINAYAK DAMODAR SAVARKAR: This leading light of the Hindu Right had once invited the vegetarian Mahatma Gandhi to dinner and told him that unless one consumed animal protein, one would not be able to challenge the might of the British.
MADHAV SADASHIV GOLWALKAR aka âGURUJIâ: The iconic âhermit-ideologueâ, whose appointment as sarsanghchalak was challenged by many in the RSS, had once warned a protesting colleague, âI will throw him out of (the) RSS like a stone in rice...â
SYAMA PRASAD MOOKERJEE: A brilliant academic-statesman who became part of Nehruâs Cabinet, Mookerjee had several differences with the prime minister. He once asked Nehru: âAre Kashmiris Indians first and Kashmiris next, or are they Kashmiris first and Indian next, or are they Kashmiris first, second and third, and not Indians at all?â
BALASAHEB DEORAS: This towering pracharak had a strong dislike for religious rituals, and referred to himself as a âCommunistâ within the RSSââit is highly debatable if he believed in God, or if in any way needed Him.â
DEENDAYAL UPADHYAYA: The man who propounded the âphilosophyâ of Integral Humanism was opposed to the partition of India and recommended that, âIf we want unity, we must adopt the yardstick of Indian nationalism, which is Hindu nationalism, and Indian culture, which is Hindu culture.â
These and other leaders, including Vijaya Raje Scindia, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Ashok Singhal and Bal Thackeray, are all reckoned with in The RSS: Icons of the Indian Right. Through individual stories of the organisationâs tallest leaders, a bigger picture emerges: in spite of a three-time ban on the RSS in a multicultural and secular Indiaâand despite the RSSâs insistence that it has no truck with electoral politicsâthe group is, and will be, the hand that rocks the BJPâs cradle.
- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Tranquebar (10 April 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9387894916
- ISBN-13: 978-9387894914
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
About the Author
Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay began his career in journalism in the early 1980s and is best known for his reportage on the rise of Hindu organisations and their politics. He writes columns for several newspapers and web portals, and is also a well-known face on Indian television news channels as a political commentator.
His other books include the best-selling Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times and Sikhs: The Untold Agony of 1984. An unabashed college drop-out, Nilanjan lives with his family on the edge of the Indian capital.