Old RSS: Anti-Gandhi, Anti-Tagore. New BJP: Corrupt, Violent, and Dangerous.

RSS Kolkata

This is what I have seen in my long, personal association, and study, of India’s Hindu chauvinist forces. RSS — the mentor, umbrella organization. BJP — its political wing now in the seat of power. ABVP, VHP, etc. — other powerful RSS outfits.

Pratik Ghosh translated the following from my Bengali article I posted in Facebook.

I have always found RSS, BJP and ABVP supporters to be of lower aptitude. Not much to talk home about their knowledge, thinking ability or analytical skills. They can be aptly called headstrong.

Like, my father used to say, they were not just anti-Gandhi but also anti-Tagore. My father despite having a golden opportunity refused to meet Rabindranath Tagore in Benaras. Now he regrets. What can be done regretting now – it is too late. At his young age, my father was just like that. In the fifties he moved to Kolkata and started reading Tagore.

But his Tagore was confined to Shivaji Utsab (Celebrating Shivaji – a Maratha icon), Bandi Vir (An Imprisoned Hero – a Sikh guru) and songs from the poet’s Devotion and Patriotic bouquets. Like the way hardliner Muslims from Bangladesh and Pakistan abuse Tagore without reading his works. They haven’t read Tagore’s Wife’s Letter, The Laboratory, The Crisis of the Civilization, or The Petrified Place. They have not heard his speeches, read his essays, letters, or his missive from Russia. They know a tiny sliver, a fragmented Tagore. And with that utterly limited knowledge they judge the Master Poet.

Yet during my intense association of some sixteen years with RSS-Jan Sangh-BJP-ABVP I always noticed that despite not being very clever, they were genuine human beings. I saw my father Jitendranath. How selflessly he spent his entire life with the Sangh family! In return he asked for nothing. Had he asked, he could have gotten a lot. Since 1939 he had been with national RSS/BJP leaders like Advani and Vajpayee. He too was jailed at the aftermath of assassination of Gandhi [when a Hindu zealot Nathuram Godse killed Gandhi, and the organization was banned]. Subsequently, being on the Congress blacklist he couldn’t get a proper job and spent his life in poverty.

I have written about these in my Bengali memoir, “Ghoti-kahini”. I have seen with amazement how for years the RSS proselytizers worked half fed from their third floor office at 26 Bidhan Sarani. They were racists, anti-Islam, anti-Christian. They depicted a laughable history of India. They knew hardly anything about the world history. They were awfully anti-socialism. Yet, they were nice guys. Like affectionate elder brothers. Even after I left RSS, I could never forget these men.

But now I see with the smell of power, BJP is filled with evil degraded men. Blood in their eyes. Poison at their tongues. Killing machines at their hands. I feel sad seeing them because they haven’t seen people like my father. They haven’t seen how to sacrifice life at the altar of idealism.

I have also seen at the other end how for the sake of idealism the followers of Communist Party of India (Marxist) or Marxism sacrificing their lives. I remember how my CPIM following in-laws’ family didn’t get on with my father. There was never any political discussions between them but there was a mutual respect. The Bengali characteristic of respect, civility, modesty and love is no longer found among the BJP supporters in Bengal. A few good ones keep shut for the fear of the obscene mayhem the rest can unleash upon them. They don’t have the backbones to withstand it.

I have been in politics for long. Politics of getting thrashed on the road. Politics of putting my own life at risk. I have done that in India. In the U.S. as well. Those who know me, know it. Those who don’t, can check it out on my Wikipedia page. The perpetrators of these atrocities are that foolish that they don’t even realize that they are only revealing their true self to the society. People with brains know that civility, gentleness are humane quality. Possessors of a sub-human brain have no understanding of that. Ironically, those without a brain, don’t realize that they don’t have brains because they need brains to understand it.

Anyway, there is no place for communal violence and slander in Bengal. Not for the Hindus. Not for the Muslims. Neither for CPIM, nor for the Trinamool Congress, now in power of West Bengal. And I shall carry on with my mission. My mission of making people think differently. To teach how to think. I am trying to steer away people from the brainwashing by the media. Steering my students in the US, people in India, in Bengal.

I have always been by the side of the oppressed. By the side of women, men, and children. I will always write against injustice, dishonesty, corruption and thuggery. I will protest — BJP or whoever the perpetrators might be.

Violence, intimidation, coercion or dirty abuses cannot bottle me up.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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gandhi-indian-express

From: Indian Express.

My Fifteen Years with Hindu Fanatic RSS

PB RSS book cover

This is a personal confession that might shock some of you, those who have known me for my many years of progressive, pro-equality activism.

I spent a very precious fifteen years of my life with Hindu militant RSS, and also their now-famous political wing BJP and student organization ABVP. As you know, BJP is now the powerful ruling party in India, and they support Trump. I left RSS and BJP before I moved from India as an international student to America.

When I came out, I was a rising star: top RSS leaders in India personally knew me, and put me in charge of West Bengal state of ABVP. They also sent me to New Delhi to attend the first-ever conference of Janata Party, a conglomerate of anti-Indira Gandhi opposition. I was also deeply involved with the grassroots peoples’ movement led by Jay Prakash Narayan, a movement that successfully unseated mighty Indira Gandhi and her Congress Party for the first time in Indian history.

Fifteen precious years of my life — I spent with a militant, male chauvinist, anti-Muslim, anti-Christian, anti-socialism, anti-union, feudal Hindu supremacist organization that is strikingly similar in its social, economic and political doctrine with Christian or Islamic fanatic groups across the world. An organization that at one point eulogized Hitler and Nazis. An organization that masterminded — directly or indirectly — many Hindu-Muslim violence, and was once implicated in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

Godse killed Gandhi

I deeply mourn those lost fifteen years. In fact, it was more than fifteen years. I joined them when I was only a six-year-old boy, and quit them once and for all, when I was doing my M.Sc. in the University of Calcutta. My old Calcutta friends know how passionately I had worked for the Hindu militants.

God! I was thick and thin, with religious and race bigotry!

Slowly but surely, I realized that I must write about them. In 1998, my book called In the Belly of the Beast: Hindu Supremacist RSS and BJP of India — An Insider’s Story was published from Ajanta Books International Delhi. It was somewhat of an autobiography: I talked about my long, personal, and deep association with those groups. I talked about my hundreds of peers, leaders, and friends. I wrote about my countless activities.

In the book, I highlighted the similarities across the fanatic, fundamentalist, and supremacist groups from various parts of the world. I also showed the hypocrisy of RSS and its offshoot organizations such as BJP, ABVP and Viswa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council), when it comes to preaching Hinduism and and its peace, and practicing hate and violence.

The book also has my translation of an article written by my father Jitendra Nath Banerjee, who has been a lifelong activist with RSS. He is a highly respected man among their circles, for his uprightness, honesty, and personal sacrifice for his ideology.

I respect my father’s lifelong sacrifice for his cause. But I do not support the cause.

I will post excerpts from my book here slowly. Hope you have time to read.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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Related blog I posted before on this subject. — A Candid Confession.
Modi at RSS prayer
India’s prime minister Modi at RSS prayer.