Shadow Armies: Fringe Organizations and Foot Soldiers of Hindutva (Book Review)


Dhirendra K Jha of the Scroll presents an analytical and in-depth analysis of how the fringe organizations of the RSS/BJP operate. His account is full of information and an account of how the organizations developed throughout India. It is a must read for all the freedom loving people of India as to how the idea of India is under threat. He traces the origin and functioning of Sanathan Sanstha, Bajarang Dal, Hindu Yuva Vahini, Abhinav Bharat, Sri Ram Sene, Hindu Aikya Vedi, Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, and Bhonsala Military School. The book also shows how various strategies are employed by the Hindutva organizations to consolidate people divided into castes and how that very caste system undermines the consolidation as every organization is led by the upper caste Hindus and the lower caste remain foot soldiers of Hindutva. The lower classes, prominently the backward castes have been lured into the Hindutva fold by creating “dangerous other” to further the consolidation of the power of India’s minority upper castes.

These organizations are not nationalists in their functioning and spirit. They use nationalism as the cloak to hide, but their sinister agenda is to destroy Indian nation state. Here is the excerpt from the transcript of the book (pp.148-149) of the Abhinav Bharat meeting:

Purohit: We will fight the Constitution will fight the nation; this constitution is not ours. ….The only way is to knock it down.

Dwivedi: On the first page of the constitution it is written that the People of India have adopted this constitution. How did this happen? On what basis could people adopt the constitution? Was there any referendum? No. Was there any debate on it? No. How was this written on behalf of people and who wrote it?

Purohit: Swami Ji, if this is so then we have to fight the constitution; we have to fight our independence.

Dwivedi: We have an ancient science of administration. Our Smritis are the constitutions of our society. At present, there are as many as 14 Smritis in this country. Collect them together..

Purohit: In this country, we want to have Hindu Dharma or Vedic Dharma based on the principles of Vedas.

Upadhyay: This constitution is not applicable to us, will not be accepted to us; another constitution will come into place; then Hindu Rashtra is established.

The transcript is self-revealing of the intentions of the RSS/BJP supported organizations. One of the conspirators with them, Sadhvi Pragya, is released on bail. Also please note that the discussants are all Brahmins. This is what the Brahmins in India want ultimately.

The most interesting chapter is on “Hindu Yuva Vahini” of Adityanath and it shows how the Thakurs have monopolized the Gorakhnath temple. The fringe organizations and its apex organization, RSS, are not cultural organizations but thoroughly political.

This book by Jha is compulsory for the contemporary students of India’s politics. It goes into local Hindu groups supported and backed by RSS from Kerala to Punjab, and eastern Gorakhpur to western Gujarat. The anti-national RSS/BJP is already gripping this country with its Brahmin-driven agenda. It is time to save the constitution and it is time to save beloved India from these anti-Indian and anti-national groups. It is irony that the most staunch opponent of the idea of democratic and secular India are now heading it and spearheading it in the direction that will be the downfall of democracy in India.

Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist

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