The volunteers of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS), who protested outside the offices of the "Headlines Today" TV channel on July 16,2010, did not bring credit to the organisation. They were protesting against a programme telecast by the channel the previous day regarding the alleged role of some elements associated with the RSS in connection with acts of reprisal terrorism against Muslims and their places of worship. Individual members of the Hindu community have been arrested in connection with these attacks on some sections of the Muslim community and their places of worship.
2. The case is still under investigation. While the evidence available so far, as reported in the media, points towards the involvement of some members of the Hindu community suspected to be sympathetic to the RSS ideology and even some cadres of the RSS, it does not show the involvement of the RSS as an organisation in any of these incidents. Allegations of saffron terrorism or RSS-inspired terrorism are uncalled for.
3. At the same time, it is necessary for the RSS to take note of these allegations, do an in-house enquiry, weed out anyone suspected of complicity with the arrested elements and keep the public informed of the action taken by it. The RSS has thousands of dedicated cadres and sympathisers in India as well as abroad, who are doing very good work for the preservation of the Hindu religion in its homeland, where it is constantly under attack from different directions in the name of so-called secularism. The dedicated followers of the RSS in India and abroad have been in the forefront of those contributing to the welfare of the tribals in the Maoist-affected areas in Central India. When other Hindu organisations hesitate to go into the insecure tribal areas, the brave and dedicated cadres of the RSS have been going unmindful of threats to their security and helping the tribals.
4. They have also been in the forefront of those countering often foreign-funded attempts to convert large numbers of Hindus by taking advantage of feelings of anger in the deprived sections of the Hindu community in an attempt to reduce the number of Hindus in their homeland. They have also been highlighting the threatened changes in the demographic composition of sensitive areas of the country, particularly in the North-East, due to large-scale illegal immigration.
5. The Hindu religion needs a dedicated, articulate and boldly active organisation like the RSS to preserve its primacy in its homeland. It would be unfortunate if the continued capability of the RSS to serve the cause of the Hindu religion were to be affected by the alleged involvement of some persons associated with it in acts of anti-Muslim terrorism and in undemocratic and violent ways of protest as one saw outside the offices of Headlines Today.
6. Such instances will provide a handle to those in India and abroad, who are trying to project the RSS as a Hindu extremist organisation in order to weaken its service in the cause of the Hindus.
7. This may kindly be read in continuation of my article of June 18,2010, titled "Anti-Muslim Reprisal Terrorism----An Update" available at -http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers39%5Cpaper3866.html
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: email@example.com )