Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s Letter to Chief Ministers on RSS

Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s Letter to Chief Ministers on December 7, 1947 where he explains the phenomenan called Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) 

New Delhi

7 December, 1947

India'S Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru

 

My dear Prime Minister, * (Chief Ministers)

          Reports have reached me of big demonstrations organized by the R.S.S. in some provinces.  Often these demonstrations have been held in spite of prohibitory orders like Section 144.  Some provincial authorities have taken no action in this matter and apparently accepted this defiance of orders.  I do not wish to interfere with your discretion in this matter.  But I would like to draw your attention to the fact that this acquiescence in defiance is likely to have grave consequences.

2.       We have a great deal of evidence to show that the R.S.S. is an organization which is in the nature of a private army and which is definitely proceeding on the strictest Nazi lines, even following the technique of organisation.  It is not our desire to interfere with civil liberties.  But training in arms of large numbers of persons with the obvious intention of using them is not something that can be encouraged.  The fact that the R.S.S. is definitely and deliberately against the present central and provincial governments need not be considered enough for any action to be taken against them and any legitimate propaganda might certainly be allowed.  But their activity more and more goes beyond these limits and it is desirable for provincial governments to keep a watchful eye and to take such actions as they may deem necessary.

3.       Some provincial governments have taken against periodicals for promoting hatred between communities.  Probably the newspapers of the R.S.S. are more to blame in this matter than any other newspapers or periodicals outside Pakistan.  It is amazing how they carry on this communal propaganda in its extremist form.

4.       I have some knowledge of the way the Nazi Movement developed in Germany.  It attracted by its superficial trappings and strict discipline considerable number of lower middle class young men and women who are normally not too intelligent and for whom life appeared to offer little to attract them.  And so they drifted towards the Nazi party because its policy and programme, such as they were, were simple, negative and did not require an active effort of the mind.  The Nazi party brought Germany to ruin and I have little doubt that if these tendencies are allowed to spread and increase in India, they would do enormous injury to India.  No doubt India would survive.  But she would be grievously wounded and would take a long time to recover.

5.       Our young men, now full of vitality, find few outlets for this vitality and so they drift towards wrong channels.  This is a serious matter for the future of the country and we cannot look on silently while this is happening.  It is, of course, completely opposed to Congress policy in the past or in the present.  Unfortunately, a number of Congressmen, without thinking, are attracted to this development of fascist and Nazi modes of thought and practice.  I have ventured, therefore, to draw your attention to this for we will ignore it at our peril.

Yours sincerely,

Jawaharlal Nehru

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