Communalism

Photo Feature: When I Hear the Word Culture, I Reach for My Gun…

Rss 5

This swayamsevak has a gun to promote Hindutva and Akhand Bharat but the RSS’s map behind him shows only a portion of Jammu and Kashmir as lying within India. The rest is shown as part of Pakistani and Chinese territory. Credit: Shome Basu

Ghaziabad:  Vijaya Dashami is the day the organisation comes out in force, with its volunteers across the country marching up and down armed with lathis, sharp swords and – shockingly – even revolvers.

Men from all walks of life and ages, including boys, take part in these processions. They dress up in khaki shorts, white shirts, black caps with khaki socks and black leather shoes, a sartorial style borrowed from the colonial-era constabulary.

Built around the premise that the Hindus of India must unite, the RSS questions the Indianness of  the country’s Muslims and Christians since their religions are not of ‘Bharatiya origin’.

The RSS was founded on Vijaya Dashami in 1926, celebrated symbolically as the day Ravana was killed by Rama, according to Hindu mythology. On this day every year, swayamsevaks pay their respects to the RSS’s founders KB Hedgewar and MS Golwalkar and take great pride in brandishing their weapons as a sign of the organisation’s potency.

At Indirapuram in Ghaziabad, the swayamsevaks marched noisily through several neighbourhoods, and were greeted at places by supporters with flower petals.

The march over, swayamsevaks regroup at a park. Credit: Shome Basu

The march over, swayamsevaks regroup at a park. Credit: Shome Basu

The demonstration of strength over, they returned to the park where they had first gathered. A pistol was unholstered and fired several times in the air. The RSS volunteers did not want that scene photographed. I managed to take a shot anyway.

At the end of the evening, the pistol is taken out of its holster and fired in the air near the portrait of Ram. Credit: Shome Basu

At the end of the evening, the pistol is taken out of its holster and fired in the air near the portrait of Ram. Credit: Shome Basu

  • Manithan

    Release the video proof of what was being said in the headline. Or is that something you made up?

    Do you think those old men with pot paunch can run after killing someone? Are they fit enough to make an army paralleling Islamic fighters?

    Almost all political leaders brandish swords.. Kalari, a fight method, involves fighting with swords.. does that mean they are out there to kill someone?

    Bring a solid proof that RSS is spreading intolerance and we are ready to accept it. FYI, I do not support RSS. I still believe it is not demonic as you guys portray. Prove that my belief is wrong.

    • Srinivas D

      What solid proof do you require? Please read the statements and comments of these intolerant leaders. If still do not see that, then peace in India will be disrupted

      • Manithan

        Nobody said they will kill minorities. Atleast that is what appears in newspapers or newschannels. Give me links, so that I can read and understand. Telling ppl to go to Pakistan is pan-Indian talk irrespective of political or religious links. Hindus even say fellow hindus to go to Pakistan, if they support Pak players. I had seen it even 15 years ago during Indo-Pak matches.