Calling Sangh organizations to account: Hindu bodies directionless and wayward - II
by Radha Rajan on 02 Nov 2011 22 Comments

The Chennai RSS has wittingly or unwittingly emerged as the centre for intrigues and petty politics which have weakened Hindu society’s capacity to deal with the increasing aggression of the two dominant Abrahamic cults throughout the country, but especially in Tamil Nadu and the four southern states. The Chennai RSS stands out as the best example of Nagpur’s inability to stem the rot.

The decline of the Sangh in Tamil Nadu, which can be inferred from the growing strength of the Church and Islam in the state, and the simultaneous weakening of the VHP as a whole in the country, coincided with the creation of the Dharma Rakshana Samiti in 1999 and the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha in 2003 by Cult 1, with Swami Dayananda Saraswati as titular head.

Thinkers are now beginning to question the creation of the HDAS, and the agenda of Dharma Rakshana Samiti and its rapidly multiplying, dysfunctional subsidiaries – Youth for Dharma, Professionals for Dharma and Advocates for Dharma. Why is Dharma Rakshana Samiti now doing what should have been done by Vigil Public Opinion Forum, and if there is a continuing need for a Hindu nationalist opinion forum, why was Vigil allowed to be destroyed, and why did the Thinkers’ Meet wither away?

If this were not enough, the Chennai RSS presided benignly over the creation of a queer multi-religious entity called Global Foundation for Civilizational Harmony. It bears mention that the same group of individuals who draw their power and legitimacy from the Chennai RSS and Swami Dayananda Saraswati are at the heart of all these organizations which sprang up in quick succession from 1999.

Cults 1, 2, 3 and senior functionaries of the HDAS and DRS who constitute a small group comprising not more than ten individuals sitting at the head of multiple forums, have arrogated to themselves the exclusive right to speak for all Hindus on all issues Hindu.  

Just as the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha was conspicuous by its absence, silence and inaction in 2004 when Jayalalithaa arrested both mathathipathis of the Kanchi matham and nearly destroyed it, the Hindu Dharma Rakshana Samiti was conspicuous by its absence, silence and inaction both in 2005 when Jayalalithaa went on an asuric temple-demolition spree, and in 2010 when Karunanidhi went on the rampage demolishing hundreds of street temples.

To a pointed question from an anguished lady to the mover and shaker behind the DRS, about why DRS with ‘Dharma Rakshana’ in its name was nowhere to be seen at the time of crisis and why it failed to protect these temples; and why having witnessed their destruction, DRS did not stage a protest on the streets, go to the courts or at the very least issue a strongly-worded statement to the press, the gentleman, himself a freelance columnist and in-house legal expert, reportedly replied curtly that the Dharma Rakshana Samiti is not a trade union!

So what exactly do the DRS subsidiaries Youth for Dharma, Professionals for Dharma and Advocates for Dharma do? More to the point, what have they done so far?

And yet, the Chennai RSS sat through an entire evening in 2009, just before the Lok Sabha elections, when all the dramatis personae associated with the DRS, including Swami Dayananda Saraswati, organized a lavish public meeting to launch the Tamil translation of L.K. Advani’s book; there is deafening silence about what this has to do with Dharma Rakshana.

Dharma Rakshana Samiti also organized a day-long seminar on the Communal Violence Bill - something that was the domain of Vigil Public Opinion Forum. Having destroyed this hugely popular and powerful Forum with malice aforethought, leaving it to languish as some kind of backyard family enterprise, DRS, after getting into the business of launching inconsequential books, is now in the business of pretending to be Vigil.

Arun Jaitley has already spoken and written unsparingly about everything that is wrong with the Communal Violence Bill, while Sushma Swaraj declared that the Bill was so evil in intent that it would not even be permitted to enter Parliament. The issue is a non-starter and it is bewildering why DRS would organize a day-long seminar over it while a seminar to discuss the Supreme Court’s unacceptable intervention in the Sri Anantha Padmanabhaswami temple vaults issue, or the issue of foreign funds to Islam and the Church, the thorny issue of government control of temples, or the growing imbalance in the country’s religious demography, would have been truly Dharma Rakshana and would have better served the Hindu cause.

Several important functionaries of the VHP in Chennai believe the Dharma Rakshana Samiti and Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha were created only to neutralise the VHP’s Hindu Dharma sansad; they maintain that the Dharma Rakshana Samiti was created to counter the Tamil Nadu VHP’s Hindu Dharmartha Samiti, and Advocates for Dharma was created in competition with VHP’s Hindu Advocates Forum (note the Gandhian and typically Christian appropriation of previously existing symbols, names, customs and practices).

The first Hindu Dharma sansad was launched with celebration and great expectations in April 1984. What few know is that the Hindu Dharma sansad was a VHP creation (while the VHP itself was created by Pujya Swami Chinamayananda ji, Guru of Swami Dayananda Saraswati and Founder Sandipani Sadhanalaya, Mumbai, with the full backing of Guruji Golwalkar) and was launched at the Vigyan Bhavan for the express purpose of signalling the beginning of the Ramjanmabhumi movement.

The first Dharma sansad was attended by over 558 dharmagurus and dharmacharyas representing 76 panthas of Hindu dharma, including Bauddha, Jaina and Sikh panthas. The Dharma sansad was convened eleven times since 1984 and each time the numbers of sanyasis, dharmagurus and dharmacharyas attending it grew by the thousands. It was by far the most powerful body which organized all panthas and all sampradayas, all traditional mathathipathis and also dharmagurus from non-traditional mutts into a cohesive Hindu dharmic body.

The Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, however, has failed to grow in numbers; if anything fewer and fewer dharmacharyas are participating in the conventions. Significantly, because of the paucity in the numbers of religious leaders attending the HDAS convention (not more than 150), the organization has failed to bring about the kind of cohesion and unity of purpose which characterised the VHP Dharma sansad.

In its formative years, the VHP Dharma sansad was inward looking and applied itself only to issues concerning Hindus and Hindu dharma within the country; even the most conservative of traditional mutts like the Srivaishnava mutts in Tamil Nadu participated actively in the forum. The Dharma sansad took upon itself varied responsibilities with far-reaching benefits for Hindu unity and cohesion.


However, the Dharma sansad resolutely refused to have anything to do with inter-religious dialogue, the new weapon launched by the Vatican to disarm Hindus and other twits. The creation of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha in 2003 must be seen in this context. The writer has already dealt with the origin and purpose of inter-religious dialogue and the dangers posed by this cancer in great detail in April 2010.

The menace of inter-religious dialogues

According to Shri R. Narayanaswamy, a senior functionary of the VHP in Chennai, there was really no need for Nagpur and the Chennai RSS to go along with the idea to create the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha when the Dharma sansad was already doing sterling work in varied areas of concern to Hindu dharma and dharmi; unless, he added angrily, the idea was to diminish the enormous influence the VHP had gained by organizing Hindu religious leaders into the Dharma sansad, and to supplant it by the HDAS, thus seeking eventually to render the VHP inconsequential to Hindu interests.

It is the writer’s contention that the HDAS was created to do the one thing which the VHP refused to do – inter-religious dialogue, with Cults 1 and 3 and their operators setting themselves up as the HDAS Secretariat and some kind of expert committee of scholars to assist HDAS during Inter-religious dialogues and multi-religious international conferences.

In the eight years since its inception the HDAS has little to show for itself, except

§ A series of inter-faith dialogues undertaken by the Convener of the Acharya Sabha

Assigning an entire session in one bi-annual convention to discuss the first book authored by Cult 3, the American PIO, about anti-Hindu prejudices in American academe. No one asked why this august assembly of our traditional religious leaders must be concerned about a book that has nothing to do with Hindu concerns in the country

§ Endorsing as Convener HDAS a poorly researched and half-baked report on ‘caste’ (itself a misnomer for our varna, jaati and kula vyavastha) authored by a group of American PIOs calling themselves HAF; and

A host of grand resolutions passed at every convention.

These resolutions whose seeds are yet to be sown, forget bearing fruit, include creating a legal cell and setting in motion the process to get government out of temple administration. One intriguing resolution which gives the game away about the real purpose of the HDAS reads as follows -

It was brought to the notice of the Acharya Sabha, based on interactions with agencies inside and outside the country that the Sabha has come to be looked upon as a welcome apex voice on behalf of Hindus all over the world. It was therefore necessary for the Sabha to plan its policies and activities accordingly. Ageing leadership of the Heads of Mathas and Peethas should ensure continuity and smooth succession by young disciples well-rooted in our culture and heritage and also well educated and trained to face the modern world, engage in scholarly debates and to participate in international conferences.

Agencies inside and outside the country (which agencies?), welcome Apex Voice, Hindus all over the world, trained to face the modern world, scholarly debates, international conferences... The HDAS, it is obvious, was created to do what the VHP’s Dharma sansad refused to do – engage the non-Hindu world (in English!) in debates and participate in international conferences.

The HDAS was not about organizing religious leaders in a show of collective strength to deal with threats to Hindu dharma in this country; it was about Cults 1 and 3 projecting it to the Generic Church as Apex Voice of the Hindus of the world; thereby giving themselves a larger-than-life status.

It is important to remember that Gandhi was propelled to the top by Gokhale, but after Gokhale’s passing away, Gandhi remained at the top of the INC by convincing the British government that he alone had the power to move the people of India and convincing the people of India that he alone could handle the British government and the Muslim League.

Something similar is happening now with Cults 1, 3 and the HDAS. A successful impression has been created that this small group alone has the capacity to “engage with” Abrahamic (Jews and Christians, NOT Muslims) countries and their political and religious leaders. It suits the Abrahamic religionists to deal with this group which has probably given them an assurance that anything to which they commit in inter-religious and multi-religious conferences will be binding upon all Hindus.

It was a similar grand idea about his own powers that inspired former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to change the Tamil New Year from April to January! This provoked a judge in the Madras High Court to ask the state advocate-general if the Chief Minister’s decision to change the Tamil New year was binding only upon the Tamil people of Tamil Nadu, or also upon the Tamil people residing in other states in the country, or if indeed it was binding upon all Tamil peoples of the world!

When the HDAS does inter-religious dialogue and claims that its voice is binding upon all Hindus,
it is important we know the origins of this menace.

§ The Second Vatican (War) Council had unveiled the church’s new war doctrine; and taking a cue smartly from the white state, the church made diplomacy a covert weapon of war. Nostra Aetate was the first official diplomatic policy enunciated by the white church, compelled as it was by the general revulsion triggered against the white church and white Christian state by slavery and Nazism which were explicitly violent chapters in Abrahamic history’s march towards Apocalypse.

§ It took the Vatican 25 years, until Redemptoris Missio, to delineate the policy of inter-religious dialogue, not because it had not worked out the content of this new diplomatic manoeuvre to the last detail, but only because the white church and the white state were preoccupied with plotting the violent death of Christianity’s twentieth century anti-Christ – the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc.

The Vatican desired to achieve two of its pet goals with this destruction - end of anti-Christian communism and bringing about ecumenical unity under the Catholic banner, which could be achieved only with the death of the Orthodox Church. The Slavic nations had to be forced to disintegrate and be thrown into chaos not only because they were the bastion of communism, but also because they were home to the Orthodox Church. Inter-religious dialogue could wait.

Flush with the victory of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, achieved through non-diplomatic means, Pope John Paul II took the monumental decision to put on the mask of the benign face of the Vatican and issued Redemptoris Missio.

The war doctrine Ad Gentes had been proclaimed in 1964. The doctrine would be elaborated upon and detailed only in 1990, but the war office had already been set up in 1988, two years well in advance of Redemptoris Missio. Just so idiot Hindus understand the nature of the enemy - the war office which would be responsible for implementing inter-religious dialogue had already taken position two years in advance of the unveiling of the policy by the Vatican. This is how wars are planned, plotted and conducted - in secrecy until the moment the war explodes in the face of the victim nation.

War Office for Inter-religious dialogue

§ As a special department of the Roman Curia, Pope Paul VI, in 1964 set up the Secretariat for Non-Christians, a body that would decide, regulate and monitor the Catholic Church’s relations with other religions; inter-religious dialogue was going to be the medium of this communication.

In 1988 however, Pope John Paul II transformed the innocuous secretariat into a full-fledged ministry and the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID) came into being. Working closely with the Protestant World Council of Churches, the PCID was mandated to promote study of other religions and also promote persons capable of dialogue. From 1988 onwards, the PCID would work closely with another important Vatican ministry, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

To emphasize that inter-religious dialogue did not mean the white church was stepping back from evangelization or that it was re-thinking its ultimate objective of converting the whole world to Christianity, the papal encyclical and the PCID commentary on Redemptoris Missio, which came forth a year later, make the intention behind inter-religious dialogue amply clear:

§ Inter-religious dialogue is a part of the Church's evangelizing mission. Understood as a method and means of mutual knowledge and enrichment, dialogue is not in opposition to the mission ad gentes; indeed, it has special links with that mission and is one of its expressions.

§ All of this has been given ample emphasis by the Council and the subsequent Magisterium, without detracting in any way from the fact that salvation comes from Christ and that dialogue does not dispense from evangelization.

§ In the light of the economy of salvation, the Church sees no conflict between proclaiming Christ and engaging in inter-religious dialogue. Instead, she feels the need to link the two in the context of her mission ad gentes.

I recently wrote to the bishops of Asia: "Although the Church gladly acknowledges whatever is true and holy in the religious traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam as a reflection of that truth which enlightens all people, this does not lessen her duty and resolve to proclaim without fail Jesus Christ who is 'the way, and the truth and the life’.

§ Indeed Christ himself "while expressly insisting on the need for faith and baptism, at the same time confirmed the need for the Church, into which people enter through Baptism as through a door." Dialogue should be conducted and implemented with the conviction that the Church is the ordinary means of salvation and that she alone possesses the fullness of the means of salvation. (Redemptoris Missio)

§ Within a year of Redemptoris Missio, the PCID, created specially as the Vatican government ministry in charge of inter-religious dialogue, issued, in May 1991, the defining commentary Dialogue and Proclamation. The commentary on Redemptoris Missio left no one in doubt if inter-religious dialogue with other religions cancelled evangelization and religious conversion of non-Christians.

§ It is 25 years since "Nostra Aetate", the declaration of the Second Vatican Council on the Church's relationship to other religions, was promulgated. The document stressed the importance of inter-religious dialogue. At the same time, it recalled that the Church is in duty bound to proclaim without fail Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, in whom all people find their fulfillment. (PCID, Dialogue and Proclamation, Rome 19, May) 1991)

There is a small group of individuals within the country and in America, enjoying close relations with Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who not only wish to engage in inter-faith dialogue, but want to do it on behalf of and in the name of all Hindu dharmagurus and dharmacharyas, and as representing all Hindus in the country and in the world. This they do with bogus arguments like ‘engaging with other religions’ and ‘keeping lines of communication open’, totally impervious or ignorant of the fact that for the Church, this is a new manoeuvre in the war against the pagans.

(To be continued …)

The author is Editor,

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