New Delhi: In a major policy announcement aimed at ideological assimilation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Wednesday that some of the views expressed in the organisation’s second Sarsanghchalak MS Golwalkar’s controversial book ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ “are not eternal”.
“Things are said due to circumstances and in a particular context. Wo shashwat nahin hein (They are not eternal),” Bhagwat said replying to a question about apprehensions among religious minorities regarding RSS’s views on non-Hindus living in India.
“We have published a book titled ‘Vision and Mission: Guruji’, which contain his eternal thoughts. We have removed all those thoughts that may have emerged in certain circumstances and included those that are eternal,” Bhagwat said on the last day of the three-day public outreach function at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan.
Published in 1966, Golwalkar’s ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ among other things, attempts to define the concept of nationality with regards to the idea of India as a nation and people dwelling in its territorial boundaries, including Muslims and Christians.
According to a 2006 report in The Times of India, his other book, ‘We and Our Nationhood Defined’, published in 1939 was already disowned by the RSS as it “neither represented the views of the Guruji (Golwalkar) nor the RSS”. A booklet released in 2006 in Nagpur claimed that Golwalkar had “revealed that book carried not his own views but abridged version of Savarkar’s Rashtra Mimansa”.
Expanding on the question of ‘Bunch of Thoughts’, Bhagwat said on Wednesday, “RSS is not a closed organization. With time our thoughts and its articulation also changes.”
“If you consider RSS a closed organization and have certain doubts due to what is written in ‘Bunch of Thoughts’, I invite you to come and see our work,” the RSS chief added.
Interestingly, during the first two days of his three-day lecture programme, Bhagwat did not mention Golwalkar even once. On the other hand, he made extensive references to the life and times of its founder KB Hedgewar.
Golwarkar, the second RSS chief who led the organization for 33 years till his death in 1973, is popularly referred to as Guruji in Sangh literature. He is ranked high up in the RSS pantheon.
Cultural nationalism as propounded by the Sangh for many years has had its genesis in Golwalkar’s concept of Indian nation defined by five unities — geographical, racial, religious, cultural and linguistic.