RSS Declared Unlawful: GOI communique of February 4, 1948

RSS Declared Unlawful: Text of Government communique dated February 4, 1948

In their resolution of February 4, 1948, the Government of India declared their determination to root out the forces of hatred and violence that are at work in our country and imperil the freedom of the Nation and darken her fair name. in pursuane of this policy the Government of India have decided to declare unlawful the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the Chief Commissioner’s provinces. Similar action is also being taken in the Governor’s provinces.

As democratic governments the Government of India and the provincial governments have always been anxious to allow reasonable scope for genuine political, social and economic activities to all parties and organisations including those whose policies and purpses differ from, or even run counter to their own, subject to the consideration that such activities sghould not transgress certain commonly recognised limits of propriety and law. The professed aims and objects of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are to promte the physical, intellectual and moral well-being of the Hindus and also to foster feelings of brotherhood, love and service amongst them. Government themselves are most anxious to improve the general material and intellectual well-being of all sections of the people and have got schemes on hand which are designed to carry out these objects, particularly the provision of physical training and education in military matters to the youth of the country. Government have, however, noticed with regret that in practice members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have not adhered to their professed ideals.

Undesirable and even dangerous activities have been carried out by members of the Sangh. It has been found that in several parts of the country individual members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have indulged in acts of violence involving arson, robbery, dacoity, and murder and have collected illicit arms and ammunitions. They have been found circulating leaflets exhorting people to resort to terrorist methods, to collect firearms, to create disaffection against the government and and suborn the police and military. These activities have been carried out under the cloak of secrecy, and the government have considered from time to time how far these activities rendered it incumbent upon them to deal wth the Sangh in its corporate capacity. The last ocassion when the government defined this attitude was when the Premiers and Home Ministers of provinces met in Delhi towards the end of November. (NB: See AICC resolution on Private Armies, dtd November 15, 1947).

It was then unanimously agreed that the stage when the Sangh should be dealt with as an association had not yet arrived and that individuals should contiinue to be dealt with sternly as hitherto. The objectionable and harmful activities of the Sangh have, however, continued unabated and the cult of violence sponsored and inspired by the activities of the Sangh has claimed many victims. The latest and most precious to fall was Gandhiji himself.

In these circumstances it is the bounden duty of the government to take effective measures to curb this re-appearance of violence in a virulent form and as a first step to this end, they have decided to declare the Sangh as an unlawful association. Government have no doubt that in taking this measure they have the support of all law-abiding citizens, of all those who have the welfare of the country at heart.

(Souce: D R Goyal: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Delhi, 1979; 201-202)

NB: AICC Resolution on Private Armies; dtd November 16, 1947

“The All India Congress Committee has noted with regret that there is a growing desire on the part of some organizations to build up private armies. Any such development is dangerous for the safety of the State and for the growth of corporate life in the nation. The State alone should have its defence forces or police or home guards. The activities of the Muslim National Guards, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Akali Volunteers and such other organizations represent an endeavour to bring into being private armies, (and) must be regarded as a menace to the hard-won freedom of the country.. (Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, online; vol 97, p 480).

Also see: The Savarkarist syntax (Anil Nauriya)

(The Hindu – September 18, 2004 | Opinion – Leader Page Articles URL: )

Extracts: “…The killer aspect of Savarkarism is noted by Sardar Patel. In his February 27, 1948 letter to Nehru, Patel held the fanatical wing of the Hindu Mahasabha under Savarkar responsible for assassinating Gandhi. The same trigger-happiness was evident in the Gujarat carnage (2002) and its aftermath. Whether a murder may be treated as a crime seems to depend, for Savarkarism, upon the self-perceived religious community interests of the killer..”

“…After Gandhi’s murder there was an implicit compact on the basis of which politics was conducted. This was that while the Government would not be vindictive, there would be no glorification of the politics of assassination promoted by Savarkarism. Even the Hindu-specific parties, realising a political, whilst denying a legal, responsibility for the enormity, refrained for several decades from publicly eulogising Savarkar although they did not abandon their Hindu Rashtra objectives. The approver’s evidence was politically reprobatory, whatever tortuous course the law took..”

“… The Savarkar debate has furnished insights into the changes in the Congress, the BJP and within the media in the last few decades. Even within Maharashtra, the pre-independence Congress, which included the Socialist tradition, had strongly resisted Savarkarism. The battle was joined soon after the Savarkarite faction took control of the Hindu Mahasabha in 1937-38. The May Day march in 1938 was attacked by the Mahasabha in Pune.

The socialist leader N.G. Goray wrote: “Who attacked the May Day procession? Who assaulted men like Senapati Bapat and [Gajanan] Kanitkar? Who tore up the National Flag? The Hindu Mahasabhaites and the Hedgewar Boys did all this…. They have been taught to hate the Muslims in general as Public Enemy Number 1, to hate the Congress and its flag which is pro-Muslim, to hate socialists and communists who are anti-Hinduism…. They have their own flag, `the Bhagwa’, the symbol of Maratha Supremacy. And their leader is called `Rashtra Dhureen’, i.e Fuehrer!” (Congress Socialist, May 14, 1938)..”




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