A report by Sri Prashanth Vaidyaraj
A talk on ‘Integral Thoughts’by Shri. Ram Madhava, general Secretary of the Bharateeya janata Party and organised by Manthana Bengaluru was held at RV College auditorium on Sunday, February 11th, 2018 on the occasion of Guruji Golwalkar’s birth anniversary. The event began with a soulful rendition of a Kannada patriotic song. Shri. Giridhar Upadhyaya, Convenor of Manthana introduced Shri. Ram Madhav to the audience. Later Shri. Ram Madhav addressed the gathering. Below is an excerpt of this talk on the occasion.
“On the occasion of the birth anniversary of PP Guruji MS Golwalkar, this talk is being organized today. As a member of RSS, which was spearheaded by Guruji for 3 decades, its my privilege to talk on this occasion.First, I wish to pay homage to our soldiers who lost lives in the dastardly terrorist attack in Jammu yesterday. Terrorism is a disease that we are facing today. We are in a war against Terror and prominent among them is the Jihadi/Islamic terrorism in various parts of the world. Civilization has to rise against this enemy of civilization. We should rise against this terrorism sponsored by Pakistan. We get cynical during such times. When we are in war, cynicism is not the answer but we should give strength. During difficult times, we end up criticizing our own people. In war, people on both sides are lost but cynicism is not the answer. We should stand with our forces and our own people of Jammu & Kashmir.
Today, we remember the great person who had led RSS for 3 decades. The RSS is not necessarily an organization in the conventional sense. It is actually a thought, an idea. An idea that is product of thousands of years of civilizational history of this land. The RSS is at the most a vehicle of that idea. Sometimes we mistake it to be an organization. Organizations have certain frameworks. RSS does not have a framework. Its the most open organization in the country. We mistake it with a ideology. Ideology is a closed set of thoughts. In that sense RSS does not subscribe to any particular ideology. Guruji himself had clarified regarding this.
After the 1st ban on RSS was lifted, an important discussion took place within the RSS. The discussion was whether the RSS should turn into a political organization to take its thoughts forward. Guruji then said, even if all of you wish to take the political route, I alone will continue to conduct a shakha. He had said earlier too, that if there is any better option to take our thoughts, then I would be the first one to adopt it. Hence RSS is a thought movement. Its neither a organization in the true sense or a ideology.
When someone had asked him for a book on RSS ideology, he answered that the Vedas, Upanishads, etc can be referred, meaning that RSS champions the civilizational thoughts. The thought that RSS champions is Indic. The Indic though is a thought that has evolved over a millenia, evolved thorough countless debates, discussions, among eminent saints and sages which has given an identity to the land and to the people of Bharat. This thought is a product of this land. Thoughts have emanated from different parts of the world through different eminences. Civilization anywhere in the world is a product of such thought process. Mohammad Iqbal in ‘Sara Jahan se Achacha’, has a stanza that says ‘Kuch baat hain ki hasti mitthi nahi hamari’. He was talking about our ancient thoughts. Ancient civilizations like Babylonia,Mesopotamia which gave thought leaders like Aristotle, Plato, had come up with various thoughts on nation and country. Democracy,nation states, etc are thoughts of civilization s like Rome. Those were ideas which came from city spaces. These civilizations have disappeared now. Our idea took birth in forests, a product of deep contemplation and thence this thought is the most inclusive and integral thought. Indic thought is the most integral thought which the mankind has ever developed. This thought has only one motto which those who were toiling to evolve it and develop this thought i.e their ‘bhadra ichcha’ or benign wish was ‘Ananda’/happiness.
The thought we are championing ultimately is not for conflict or supremacy. The RSS ideology is misrepresented as one meant for conflict or supremacy. No, the RSS thought is for ‘Ananda’/happiness. This thought rests of 4 important pillars. The first is the identity of this nation. This nation unlike the nations in the west is not a Geo-political entity. In the west, the nations have a very brief history and are not clear about their national identity. We were ruled by the British for more than 200 years. England, Scotland, Wales came together to form Great Britain. After a century, through force, they occupied Ireland and called themselves UK and Great Britain. Later Irish, largely Catholics, said we cannot live with you and half of Ireland seceded from UK, except north Ireland. 3 yrs ago, Scotland wanted to separate from UK. Even to this day they are not clear as to what United Kingdom is to be. They are not clear that what their nation is.
In the USA, during the 16th century the Anglo-Saxons were only 10% of the USA. In 1776, 13 states of America declared independence from Europe. It took 100 years to come up with a ‘Bill of Rights’ in 1892, which became the identity of America which was extended to various states. While various states joined, few had the right to secede whenever they want. Hawaii joined only 50-60 years ago.A nation created on the ‘Bill of Rights’ has many contradictions within. Samuel Huntington in 2003 wrote ‘Who Are We- Americas search for identity’. After a journey of 250 years the question that bothers American intellectuals is who are we? They are nascent thoughts. We assumed that we should learn from them. Surendranath Banerjee authored a book ‘India – A nation in the making’where he wrote, “thanks to British we are learning about what a nation is and we are a nation in the making”.
Our nationhood is a identity that has pervaded this land for millenia. That identity is not political nor historical. Identity which stands on historicity falls apart if the historicity is disproved. Whereas in Bharat, if we try to prove historicity of our god like Krishna, people might get offended. This is because what matters alone is that he is god and nothing else matters. It is not history that drives us.This thought is based on a value system, not geography or politics. Political system can be anything. Today we are in a democracy. Nehru was asked on the model of governance he would choose. He had said we will choose democracy as it is the 2nd best model of governance. When as which was the first, he said that first is yet to be invented. In contrast, Gandhiji said that he wanted a Rama Rajya, a participatory democracy. What we have today is representative democracy, a majoritarian democracy. Ram Rajya was a participatory democracy where everyone has a role to play. This civilization doesn’t die. Kings used to battle, empires used to collide. But life went on. Mahabharat happened but life went on. Here the driving force for civilizational is a value system not a political system.
Jackie Martien, was pained by the rise of ideologies like fascism and communism. He felt that such ideologies are inimical to human system. He suggested that we should have a Integral Humanistic approach. Both fascism and communism had little respect for human dignity. He suggested that there will be two parts one will be democracy and the other will be the Christian theology. When Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya inspired by Indic thought, he proposed that the basis will not be democracy or religion but the value system. That is the beauty of Indic thought.
This thought which forms the identity of this nation is most profound and yet most liberal. It is not rigid, not conservative or closed. We do not even ask people to believe in it. We are not believers but seekers. This thought wants man to become a seeker not believer. It is easy to become a believer as it is easy to believe in something. This thought allows you to question. Indic thought does not belong to the category which forbids non-belief. Our ancient discussions ended with ‘Neti Neti’, ‘neither this nor that’.Sister Nivedita says the secret of Sanatana thought and its eternity is that it is open ended. Any attempt to fix it in a framework is ‘Victorianization’ of Indic thought. It is the Semitic or western thought that is fixed in a framework. They say you are a man of character if you follow a framework. In India for the word ‘character’ we have two words, Charitra and Sheela. For both the English work is character. Chartira is based on contemporary societal norms fixed for a given time and age. Charitra is externally imposed. One follows or pretends to follow it. Of course we have to be ‘charitravaan’. But our culture says we have to go beyond that and we have to become ‘sheelavaan’. ‘Sheela’ comes from within oneself. Once Acharya Ramanuja was going into the temple after bath in Kavari. A low caste lady who was cleaning the steps was asked to step aside as the Acharya was coming. The lady said that her birth was not her choice and can neither give up her body as if she gave up her body which was deemed to be ‘polluted’in either water, fire of land, even they would become polluted. Acharya Ramunuja then realizes and declares that ‘there is no caste, there is no caste’. He had violated the charitra prevalent then but had listened to his inner thought, the ‘sheela’.
Our thought is integral and not seen in parts. We don’t see people as Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, etc. Instead our thought says we have to rise behind such multiple identities. Guruji in his interview to Geelani, an Iranian Scholar, had said that a Muslim is as good as a Hindu if he is following it in its proper spirit. In Kancheepuram, Muslim families had approached Paramacharaya to convert them back to Hindusim. Paramacharaya told them that if they are good Muslims, it is as good as being a Hindu. Hence various thoughts have lived together here.
Mohammanad Yunus, a diplomat who was close to Nehru was traveling to Spain. A gentleman asked Yunus what is the status of Muslims in Spain and in India. There was not a single Muslim in Spain due to 12th century crusades which cleared Spain of Muslimes. In India, we have our differences, our conflicts, but have lived together. People who cleared themselves of others thoughts today teach about secularism. Such thought is a Catholic thought. Today we talk about protection of women. Swami Vivekananda says we see women as Durga, Shakti and an embodiment of power. Instead of we protecting her, learn to respect her without any strings attached he had said. Mahatma Gandhi once had said that I consider our country as liberated when a women walks on the streets at midnight. Society’s thoughts have to change.We are a society that respected women as women.
Let me cite and incident from Mahabharata. The war was over. Bhisma was on bed of arrows. Yudhistir had been crowned the king. He goes to Bhishma to learn Raj Dharam from him. Draupadi who was close by laughs loudly. Yudhistir chides her saying Bhishma is on the death bed and you are laughing. Bhishma stops him and says that when Draupadi was being disrobed I was there in the hall and did not do anything. I did not perform my dharma then and how can I teach Raj Dharma to you, is the reason she is laughing. Indic thought is such a profound thought. RSS is a vehicle to transmitting this thought in the society. Is RSS alone in this? No. There are many doing this in their own way. This is not decided by his loyalty to a org. What matters more is do you respect this thought that has taken birth in this land. It is a universal thought for the entire mankind. German philosopher Nietzsche one fine day declared ‘god is dead, man is free’. Our thought says ‘ God is here, we are free’. Out thought says I am god/’Aham Brahmasmi’.
We today understand the profundities of this thought and we should become transmitters of this profound thought.”
Later Shri. Ram Madhav answered questions from the audience on various topics like immigration, minorities in the North-East, Swadeshi and propagating Indic thoughts to the new generation.The event concluded with the vote of thanks by Shri. Narahari, Sanghachalak of Jayanagar Vibhag, RSS.