Mohan Bhagwat, RSS Sarasanghachalak

By Sandeep Balakrishna, Bangalore, January 8, 2013

Everybody has the right to criticize the RSS but such criticism must be rooted in truth, honesty, and a thorough knowledge of what it stands for. But then we have a media that’s incurably allergic to such concepts. Whatever be the ideological or intellectual failures of the RSS, they are patriots of the highest order and their record of national service is both unparalleled and unbeatable anywhere in the world. And I say this as an outsider.

Mohan Bhagwat, RSS Sarasanghachalak

My dictum that the Indian English media is a whore with none of the ethics of a whore has been proven correct again. And so the latest proof of its venal whoredom happens to be a barefaced lie, a shameless hoax, which in the pre-Internet era would’ve gone unnoticed. Perchance that it was noticed, its exposure would’ve been buried by everybody starting with the gatekeepers all the way up to the CEO of the brothel. And this piece would’ve never been written.

That the media crossed all limits was proved by Radiagate. But when you abandon shame just once, you only want to better your previous record. I suppose it’s like drug addiction but I really don’t know. You need to ask Barkha Dutt, et al. The latest entrant into this Media Hall of Shame happens to be Asian News International (ANI), whose doctored and heavily editorialized reportage of RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat’s speech at Indore on 6 January 2013 was portrayed as the actual view of the Sarasanghachalak. In other words: lying.

Of course, predictable consequences followed. The English media spontaneously erupted in simultaneousmultiple orgasms nationwide. Here’s a sample from the uber spinmeister NDTV, which spun an already-twisted report (by ANI) as follows:

‘Women meant to do household chores’: another shocker from RSS chief…right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat has done it again…

But what did Mohan Bhagwat actually say? Thanks to Newslaundry for the loose translation (the original Hindi transcript is here):

[Mohan Bhagwat] was commenting on the Western model of modernity. And in that context, he was articulating his view of their view. Get it? He said in the “modern” interpretation of marriage (not his), women are bound by contract to serve their husbands. He also said that husbands were bound to look after their wives. Much like women are supposed to look after household chores and keep their husbands satisfied, men are expected to provide for their wives and look after them, as per the modern version of the marriage contract. And if either the wife or husband didn’t manage to do so, the dissatisfied party breaks the contract and contracts a second or third, as per the modern version of the marriage contract. Get it?

Notice how it was reported. And how quickly it went viral in the media. Notice also how RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav’s defence of Mohan Bhagwat was carefully buried under layers of paragraphs by these news-twisters. Typical. Spit and run journalism thrives on this to survive. Moreover, since the RSS chief is himself directly involved, it’s the Golden Chance for journalists and reporters to inject more poison into the already toxic reporting.

However, what they didn’t bargain for is the avalanche of outrage that steamrolled against them on Twitter and elsewhere online. For once, these RSS-blood-baying news hounds were forced to lick their wounds. Even the normally giggly, dumb high-school girl like Old Monk Boy’s wife was forced to apologize.

CNN-IBN’s Sagarika Ghose tweets an apology.

That the English media vampires hate the RSS because of their Maculayite background is just a partial explanation. The truthful explanation is the fact that they are people with no integrity. You present them with mountains of evidence to the contrary, yet they chose to willfully ignore it. Their hatred of the RSS is not irrational. It is depraved. And like all hatred, it is rooted in fear.

The depravity begins with how they have historically characterized the RSS, again, taking a leaf out of Nehru’s book. The fact that the media has consistently ignored the exemplary social work that RSS has done since its inception is a measure of the media’s intentionally blinkered vision. It’s as if the RSS exists only to foment violence and make the ultra-pampered minorities shiver in their shoes. It’s as if the RSS is just waiting for tomorrow to declare India as a dreaded Hindu Rashtra complete with doomsday visions of unchecked tyranny and violent repression. But this kind of branding has indeed served the media well. The mention of RSS evokes derisive ridicule and laughter in large pockets of urban India today. And this ridicule isn’t based even on a cursory study of the RSS’ stellar contribution throughout its existence. The naked lie accepted as gospel truth, is actually handed down second hand by third-rate writers with a spurious agenda to push.

Yet, what is the actual record of the RSS?

Name a natural calamity. Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis…RSS workers reach the affected spot first and dive right in to help the victims. They care nothing for their own comfort, eating little and sleeping even less. They ask nothing in return unlike the Christian missionary vultures whose ugly soul-trading was on full display during the 2004 Tsunami that hit India. Yet what does the media report? Nothing. They simply bury the story of the work done by the RSS. What does that show? That the media is aware of the good work but chooses only to report some statements made by the RSS that are perceived to be regressive or inflammatory. If this doesn’t show a lack of integrity, what else does?

But perhaps the greatest strength of the RSS is its staggering number of voluntary workers orkaryakartas. These are people who give up everything in life to serve the nation. They go where the RSS orders them to go and undertake any task, however arduous. And thousands of these karyakartas are qualified, intelligent and competent enough to earn six figure salaries had they not opted to serve India. Yet they go out to remote locations, to places where people desperately need help or to serve the nation in numerous other ways. They train and educate other people’s children by willingly forgoing the opportunity to start their own families. They put even their lives at risk in places like the violently Stalinist Kannur, Kerala. Indeed, I’ve even stopped reading news that reports the death of yet another Swayamsevak in that morbid State. Yet they are undeterred, and tirelessly lead such a near-ascetic life of national service propelled by the only hope that their efforts will bear fruit some day in the form of an India that had once led the world in high culture, refinement, arts, philosophy, and material riches.

It is this commitment that has earned it the goodwill and a firm place in the hearts of millions of Hindus (and thousands of non-Hindus) worldwide. A goodwill that has sustained and remained in tact over seven decades and continues to grow. It is this goodwill that unleashed the torrent of rage on social media yesterday against ANI and likeminded media charlatans. It is this goodwill that has made the RSS the largest network of its kind in the world. Name just one other voluntary organization in the world which has this awe-inspiring network of people dedicated only to serve a nation. Just one. What’s more, the kind of harassment meted out by the Dynasty to RSS at regular intervals, the kind of atrocities perpetrated against RSS workers by various Congress and Communist Governments would have broken the back of a lesser organization. The Emergency was truly the darkest period in the life of the RSS. An organization with even 1/10th of the RSS in terms of size, network, and influence in any other country would’ve reacted very differently. Yet how did the RSS respond? Its then Sarasanghachalak instructed thekaryakartas to forgive Indira Gandhi and the Congress party because “after all, they are one of our own. They are fellow Indians.”

And yet, what kind of sick minds find humour in vulgar descriptions of the effects of wearing “khaki shorts? The same Newslaundry that chided ANI & co for motivated reportage of Mohan Bhagwat’s speech also says this:

Bhagwat – whose main sin appears to be that he wears khaki bermudas despite the effect the vision might have on unsuspecting viewers

How would the reporter feel if I wrote something similar about the panties his/her mother or sister wear? Would he/she write the same thing about his father’s bermudas or whatever other shorts? Oh! I’ll write that in all good humour, of course. But knowing this breed, they’d say “ah! I knew you’d say this kind of stuff about my mother and sister.” This kind of response is the direct outcome of shamelessness becoming the norm. But I digress.

But yet, what kind of moral and mental pollution prompts the media sleazebags to depict nuns and fathers and brothers as saints—the actual parasites on the ground who prey on unsuspecting non-Christian souls and lead to civil wars—while they portray the genuine and selfless workers who serve the nation as dreaded goons?

One answer to all these questions is just one word: fear. The media fears the RSS. Here’s a vast organization made entirely of voluntary workers intent only on serving the country that has stood its ground amidst severe adversities and which takes the most strident criticism in its stride. Here’s an organization which has sustained for more than seven decades and despite best efforts, hasn’t budged or accepted defeat much less been broken. Courts have consistently taken its side. Every effort to tarnish its reputation has failed. All these are eminently plausible reasons for someone to fear its moral strength.

But look at the record of the lives, behaviour and character of the selfsame media men and women who’ve demonized RSS both through force and fraud. There’s nothing but filth there. From putting out doctored news reports, from making crass accusations, from indulging in vulgar jokes, there’s no depths of depravity the media has plumbed where the RSS is concerned. Even if we overlook this, what’s the kind of ethics and professionalism the media has displayed? Radiagate? Openly campaigning for the Congress party? Land grabbing? Paid news? Killing stories? Calling for the “sudden removal” of Narendra Modi?  What is the wager that these guys can’t lead the lifestyle of Mohan Bhagwat for even half a day? And yet they occupy some kind of a self-righteous moral high ground and criticize the RSS and Bhagwat. What world do they live in? More importantly, what bizarre nightmare are we living in, to tolerate this all-round sickness?

Everybody has the right to criticize the RSS but such criticism must be rooted in truth, honesty, and a thorough knowledge of what it stands for. But then we have a media that’s incurably allergic to such concepts. Whatever be the ideological or intellectual failures of the RSS, they are patriots of the highest order and their record of national service is both unparalleled and unbeatable anywhere in the world. And I say this as an outsider.

No wonder the media is full of people like the likes of Old Monk Boy who can’t sleep without alcohol.



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