LETTERS FOR A NATION FROM JAWAHARLAL
From a letter dated 7 December 1947:
We have a great deal of evidence to show that the R.S.S. is an organisation which is in the nature of a private army and which is definitely proceeding on the strictest Nazi lines, even following the technique of organisation. It is not our desire to interfere with civil liberties. But training in arms of large numbers of persons with the obvious intention of using them is not something that can be encouraged. The fact that the R.S.S. is definitely and deliberately against the present central and provincial governments need not be considered enough for any action to be taken against them and any legitimate propaganda might certainly be allowed. But their activity more and more goes beyond these limits and it is desirable for provincial governments to keep a watchful eye and to take such action as they may deem necessary.
The R.S.S. has played an important part in recent developments and evidence has been collected to implicate it in certain very horrible happenings. It is openly stated by their leaders that the R.S.S. is not a political body but there can be no doubt that their policy and programme are political, intensely communal and based on violent activities. They have to be kept in check and we must not be misled by their pious professions which are completely at variance with their policy.
From a letter dated 6 December 1948
We have received numerous warnings about the activities of the R.S.S. and their intention to start satyagraha in the near future, possibly at the time of the Congress session in Jaipur when many of our Ministers and others will be away from their headquarters. For the R.S.S. to talk of satyagraha is rather a contradiction in terms, because the R.S.S. is about as far removed from the spirit of satyagraha as any organisation can be. The R.S.S. has been essentially a secret organisation with a public facade, having no rules of membership, no registers, no accounts, although large sums are collected. They do not believe in peaceful methods or in satyagraha. What they say in public is entirely opposed to what they do in private. Every provincial government has had plenty of experience of their activities. One does not mind or, at any rate, one accepts an opponent. But it is distressing that any organisation consisting of large numbers of young men, should be so utterly little minded and lacking in not only vision but in commonsense or common understanding. The R.S.S. is typical in this respect of the type of organisation that grew up in various parts of Europe in support of fascism.
From a letter dated 4 June 1949
Communalism and the R.S.S. movement are products of this and exhibit an amazing narrowness in outlook, even from the opportunist point of view. Communism certainly attracts idealists as well as opportunists. But the way it functions is devoid completely of any moral standard or even any thought for India’s good. It thinks in other terms. Yet because there is an element of idealism in it. it draws earnest young men and women. Those who are impelled by a faith in a cause can seldom be crushed by superior force. They can only be defeated by higher idealism as well as vision and a capacity to work for the cause that represents these objectives.
- JAWAHARLAL NEHRU