Nathuram Godse row: Now, Hindu Mahasabha calls RSS 'the biggest traitor'

Ashok Sharma, national vice-president of Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM), on Wednesday slammed RSS leaders for criticising the ABHM for commemorating Godse and observing Sunday as Balidan Divas in his honour,

FP Staff November 18, 2015 15:46:40 IST
Nathuram Godse row: Now, Hindu Mahasabha calls RSS 'the biggest traitor'

Three days after the Hindu Mahasabha stirred up a storm by honouring Nathuram Godse on his death anniversary, there are no signs of it subsiding any time soon. Ashok Sharma, national vice-president of the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM), on Wednesday slammed RSS leaders for criticising the ABHM for commemorating Godse, and observing Sunday as Balidan Divas in his honour, reports The Times Of India.

Sharma called RSS ‘the biggest traitor’, and said that the organisation has been disloyal to Hindus and the country as a whole, according to The Times Of India. He asserted that the RSS is power hungry and even the BJP is not loyal to the Hindu cause anymore and the party's anti-Muslim stand has now simply become a tool to garner votes.

Nathuram Godse row Now Hindu Mahasabha calls RSS the biggest traitor

Nathuram Godse. IBNLIVE

Sharma’s volley was a response to statements made by RSS leader MS Vaidya on Sunday, who said that glorifying Godse “is wrong”. He added that ideological battles have “no place for bloodshed.”

"Some people say it will bring pride to Hindutva. No. It will bring a bad name to Hindutva," he said in an apparent reference to Hindu Mahasabha's programme, which included a book release and the launch of a website that purports to tell the truth about Godse.

"I can even say, Hindutva has suffered due to the assassination of Gandhi," he said.

Vaidya’s remarks have once again highlighted the differences in the ideologies of the two organisations.

The RSS, founded by KB Hedgewar and later led by MS Golwalkar, has built a name for itself as a social organisation that works at the grassroots level. It is currently headquartered in Nagpur.

The Hindu Mahasabha, currently headquartered in New Delhi, has been more political, ever since the days of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

While explaining the differences in ideologies, an op-ed in The Hindu reports refers to the book The Brotherhood in Saffron, The RSS and The Hindu Revivalism, in which the authors, it says, explain that Savarkar wanted to turn the Mahasabha into a political party that was capable of opposing the Congress. However, Hedgewar wanted to keep the RSS away from active politics and focus on “cultural work”. Both Hedgewar and Golwalkar had no interest in using the RSS to take on the Congress .

The relations between the two parties got so bad that in 1943, Savarkar’s office wrote a letter to SL Mishra addressing the problem of RSS workers actually “preaching” against the Hindu Mahasabha, and said that it would be best if the Sabhaites “better leave the Sangh… and start their own Hindu Sabha volunteer corps,” reports The Hindu op-ed.

When Gandhi launched the Quit India movement, the RSS chose not to get involved and focused on its cultural activities instead, reports The Hindu. On the other hand, Savarkar called for the youth to militarise themselves, boycott the Quit India movement and urged Indians who are members of the British Army to stick to their posts instead. But it was the murder of Mahatma Gandhi that proved to be the end of their relationship.

Godse and his fellow conspirators in the murder of Gandhi were members of the Hindu Mahasabha and the party’s involvement in the assassination turned public opinion against them. It also led to the government cracking down on both the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS.

The Economic Weekly reports that the RSS was banned in February 1948, post the assassination and reports of their alleged involvement in the Partition riots. Golwalkar made several attempts to have the ban lifted and finally succeeded in July 1949.

By that time, relations between the two organisations was beyond repair.

With inputs from PTI

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