As per traditional Hindu scripture, Kashmir is the abode of the Goddess of knowledge (Sarasvati). RSS believes that Kashmir had a Hindu origin and does not recognize its gradual Islamisation after 13t
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) through its political wing Bharatiya Janta Party, under the patronage of Prime Minister Narindra Modi, has launched an aggressive election campaign in Jammu & Kashmir, making a frantic effort to form a government in Jammu and Kashmir to implement its age old agenda of converting this Muslim majority state into a Hindu state.
As per traditional Hindu scripture, Kashmir is the abode of the Goddess of knowledge (Sarasvati). RSS believes that Kashmir had a Hindu origin and does not recognize its gradual Islamisation after 13th century AD. The basic idea behind the formation of the RSS at Nagpur in 1925 by its founder Dr. Hedgewar was to unite the fragmented Hindu society, which according to him, had to suffer for about 800 years due to imperial imposition of Islam on the Hindus and their Vedic culture.
The RSS in its efforts to awaken the people against the distorted ‘Hindu history’ of this sub-continent known as Bharat Khand of Jamboo Dweep and revive its glorious traditions have been working day and night for the last 90 years with full dedication.
The Kashmir issue has therefore been its first regiment in its ideological battle right from the day of the state’s accession to India on October 26, 1947. RSS made its agenda very clear in one of its papers titled “Importance of Kashmir” published on 6th Nov 1947, where it disclosed its plan for dealing with the Muslims in Kashmir. I quote, “Kashmir has a vast space for the expansion of population. If industrialized, it can absorb crores of people from India, of course. Thus, can a majority of the populace be converted into minority.………….. Above all Kashmir has a historic importance too.
Not a thousand years, back it was a seat of Hindu culture and learning. At every step in Kashmir there lie our worship and sacred place………… That distant past had to be recreated erasing the history in between which is dear to all Kashmiris.”
Thus with its full conviction that ‘Hindutva is the soul of this country and it is absolute truth’ (Late Balasaheb Deoras, former chief of RSS ), the RSS has been awakening the people against the onslaught of ‘Islamic imperialism’ on the centuries old glorious past of Hindu Kashmir.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been the main challenger to Kashmiri Muslims, who in the name of preserving the ‘Kashmiri identity’ are fighting for the “Independence/Autonomy/Self Rule” of this most sensitive and strategic state on border.
Considering the accession of Kashmir to India as complete and final, the RSS maintains that its history, geography and culture have made it an inseparable part of India and as such any claim of Pakistan or the separatist elements in the valley must be defeated by any means. The RSS ‘Shakas’ started coming up in Jammu in 1940 and a branch of (RSS) was started under the leadership of a most important Hindu leader in Jammu, Pt. Prem Nath Dogra, a retired civilian and an elected member of the Maharaja’s Praja Sabha, who was appointed the first ‘Sangh Chalak’ of RSS in Jammu in 1942.
As an enlightened and keen observer of the political scene he was quick to realize the implications of the Sheikh Abdullah’s ‘Quit Kashmir’ movement for the future of Jammu. Jammu, there before, had no effective political party until ‘Praja Parished’ came into existence in 1947 under his leadership. The people of Jammu welcomed it enthusiastically.
‘Praja Parished’ soon became a force to reckon with in Jammu region and it was committed to full integration of the whole state with the rest of India. The actual role of the RSS in Kashmir started in 1953, when it actively supported the ‘Satyagraha’ agitation launched by Praja Parishad against the special status of Kashmir under Article 370 of the constitution. The main plank of the party was, Abolition of special status of Jammu and Kashmir with its complete integration with India, having only one Prime Minister, one Flag and one constitution viz .
“EK VIDHAN, EK NISHAN AND EK PRADHAN”. The Praja Parishad, which fought against the special status of J & K (Article 370 of the Indian Constitution), later merged with ‘Bharatiya Jana Sangh’ the parent organization of Bharatiya Janta Party.
Ever since the Prime Minister Narindra Modi, while addressing “Lalkar Rally” in Jammu on Dec 1, 2013, remaining committed for abrogation of Article 370 and calling for a debate with all stakeholders, the RSS cadres were activated with a plan to capture the power in Jammu & Kashmir by launching a campaign under the operation “Mission 44+”.
To accomplish the mission it is reported, that BJP has brought thousands of RSS workers and at least 24 UP leaders with RSS back ground to J & K, who are skilled in poll management and are presently actively coordinating with different sections of society.
RSS is banking heavily on consolidation of Hindu votes in Jammu region by polarising the election on religious lines and on the expected fractured mandate between Kashmir centric regional parties National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party in Kashmir, so as to make their mission 44+ a success.
If this proposition succeeds, Kashmir not only will get disempowered but it will also prove disastrous for this Muslim majority state, as the BJP’s manifesto promises abrogation of Article 370 and state subject laws, granting of citizenship rights to three lac Hindu migrants from Pakistan, creating a separate homeland for Kashmiri Pandiths and also increasing the number of Assembly Constituencies in Jammu region through “Delimitation Commission”.
However Political analysts following the developments in the state say, that the BJP will definitely improve its tally in the state election but RSS’s “Mission +44” may remain a dream as the people of Kashmir with their known political wisdom may throw a big surprise this time by demonstrating “Mission unity” and voting wisely.
We may agree or disagree but for the RSS, Kashmir is closely linked with its ‘second war of Independence’. With its full conviction that ‘the history of Kashmir is the history of Hinduism’ the RSS is determined to continue its battle against the fulfillment of political aspirations of people of Kashmir, be it Azadi, Autonomy or Self rule.
(Ab Qayoom Khan (IFS) Rtd. is Member All India Muslim Majlis – e- Mushawarat. Feedback firstname.lastname@example.org)