August 01, 2005

Political class and mullahs and maulvis are responsible for separatism -- Ram Madhav

'Shakhas are not confused about Advani'
(Interview with Ram Madhav)
Author: Deepak K Upreti

Publication: Deccan Herald

Date: July 30, 2005

Ram Madhav, the RSS spokesman, can be outspoken if he chooses to. The
39-year engineering graduate from Andhra sits in his office amidst the
spartan surroundings of Kesavpuram in Khandewalan which was the hub of
activites earlier this month when BJP President L K Advani rushed there
to soothe the ruffled feathers of the RSS bigwigs in the wake of the
Jinnah controversy.

In an interview with Deccan Herald, Madhav, a bachelor and full-time
Pracharak for the RSS, spoke in detail about the RSS' aims, achievements
and its controversial relationship with the minorities, particularly the

Q.: What is the RSS aiming to achieve?

A.: The basis of the RSS ideology is that culture forms the basis of any
nation. Today scholars all over the world agree with this fact.

We consider that the Hindu culture of this land forms the basic identity
of this nation.

Q.: Who are the scholars you are referring to?

A.: I am talking about Samuel Huntington and Francis Fukuyama. They are
talking about cultural roots of the nation.

Q.: Muslims have some fears about the RSS kind of assimilation...

A.: Definitely, assimilation is there, some people get assimilated.
Parsis for example are today one with the society, Jews also came and
got assimilated. The Muslims and the Christians came from outside but
those who got converted from Hindu society decided to stay away.
Mohammadali Carim Bhai Chagla (M C Chagla ) the first Education Minister
of India and Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, He was present in
the first Mumbai session of the BJP in 1980. Chagla says in his
autobiography Roses in December that "I am Muslim by religion, Indian by
nationality and Hindu by culture."

Christians in Kerala initiate their children by Akshra Abhyasam which in
fact is a Saraswati puja where a child writes one or two letters ..this
is part of their culture.

Q.: What about Muslims? Are they part of the culture you are referring

A.: Yes, of course...But they explicitly tell them idol worshipers that
they are kafirs. They are being told they are different. And then the
political class exploited them, preventing more Chaglas from come up.
They politicians encouraged separatism which led to creation of

In the past RSS Chief K S Sudarshan had commented on Indianisation of
Muslims and Christians, kicking up a lot of controversy with some in
these communities who viewed it as a threat to their identity.

In India Muslims have more than 70 sects - Shias, Sunnis, Ahmadiyas,
Dawoodi Bohras and so on. There is no other country in the Muslim world
where all these sects are present and live happily. In India they are
living happily... Ahmadiyas are persecuted in Pakistan.

The political class and mullahs and maulvis are responsible for
separatism through madrasa education. If educated Muslims take
leadership of the community, things would change. After all Hindu
religious leaders have denounced sati, child marriage and other
retrograde practices and stressed on reform. Why can't the same be done
by the Muslim leaders?

Q.: When did you meet Muslim leaders last and what was the response?

A.: A couple of months ago at Jaipur. Sudarshanji was there. They were
Muslim leaders of Rajasthan. We held similar discussions with Christian
leaders at Bangalore in December. They understand our viewpoint but then
there is the mullah and maulvi leadership and interference by the
political class...

Q.: Including the BJP?

A.: I do not want to name any political party. But Indian Muslims and
Indian Christians have to think about the appeal by the RSS
Sarsanghachalak. In Russia, Muslims have Russian names, speak the
Russian language and follow Russian practices and yet they are Muslims.

Q.: Do you hope that the change envisaged by the RSS would come about?

A.: Yes, provided Muslim society brings in new change in their belief
systems. for example, do they still consider idol worshipping as an act
of kafirs? Do they believe in the concept of jihad?

Q.: Should they accept the Ram temple?

A.: Definitely. It is not a religious question. Ram is a symbol of
nationhood. Gandhiji spoke of Ram Rajya but by this he did not mean a
Hindu state.

Q.: In the backdrop of the controversy surrounding BJP President L K
Advani would there be fundamental changes in terms of policies? There
has been a lot of misgivings and confusion even in the RSS ranks about
the direction the BJP is moving to?

A.: There is no confusion in our shakhas. We have a system where the
message of the RSS is taken to the last of the swayamsevaks... no
confusion there.

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