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THE RISE OF RSS AND BJP The emergence of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) marked a significant shift in Indian politics. Founded in 1925, the RSS, with its ideology rooted in Hindu nationalism, gradually gained influence over the decades. Under the leadership of prominent figures such as K.B. Hedgewar and M.S. Golwalkar, the RSS expanded its reach through grassroots organizing and ideological dissemination. In the late 20th century, the BJP emerged as the political arm of the RSS, championing its core principles of Hindutva and cultural nationalism. Led by charismatic leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani, the BJP capitalized on growing Hindu sentiments and garnered electoral success, eventually ascending to power at the national level. The rise of the RSS and BJP reshaped India's political landscape, ushering in an era of right-wing dominance and challenging the secular ideals that had long defined the country's identity. Their ascendancy sparked debates about religious tolerance, minority rights, and the separation of religion and state, shaping the trajectory of Indian democracy for years to come. THE IDEOLOGY OF RSS AND BJP The ideologies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are deeply intertwined, reflecting a commitment to Hindutva, cultural nationalism, and social conservatism. Understanding these ideologies requires examining the historical context, key principles, and policy objectives of both organizations. THE BIRTH OF RSS AND ITS AIM The RSS, founded in 1925 by K.B. Hedgewar, initially focused on promoting Hindu unity and cultural revival in response to perceived threats from British colonialism and religious conversions. Its ideology, shaped by thinkers like M.S. Golwalkar, emphasizes the primacy of Hindu identity as the unifying force of Indian society. The RSS sees Hindutva not merely as a religious identity but as a cultural and nationalistic ethos that encompasses all aspects of Indian life. Central to the RSS ideology is the concept of "Hindu Rashtra," or Hindu nationhood, which envisions India as a land where Hindu culture and values are paramount. This vision includes efforts to promote Hindu pride, cultural heritage, and social cohesion, often through grassroots organizing, educational initiatives, and community service projects. The BJP, established in 1980 as the political arm of the RSS, shares many of the same ideological principles but operates within the realm of electoral politics. The party's founding members, including Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani, sought to translate the RSS's cultural nationalism into a political agenda that could appeal to a broader electorate. At the core of the BJP's ideology is a commitment to Hindutva as the guiding principle of Indian nationalism. The party advocates for policies that promote Hindu interests and cultural values while also seeking to maintain a secular façade to appeal to a diverse electorate. This dual approach has enabled the BJP to consolidate support among Hindu voters while also reaching out to other communities through development-oriented initiatives and inclusive rhetoric. BJP AND ITS POLICIES FOR INDIA One of the BJP's key policy objectives is the protection and promotion of Hindu interests, which manifests in various ways, including support for the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, efforts to implement a Uniform Civil Code, and the abolition of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. These initiatives align with the RSS's vision of a Hindu Rashtra and have been central to the BJP's electoral appeal. In addition to its focus on Hindutva, the BJP espouses a pro-market economic agenda and a strong stance on national security and defense. These policy positions reflect the party's broader commitment to promoting economic growth, strengthening national unity, and projecting India as a global power. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BJP AND RSS While the RSS and BJP share a common ideological framework, they also exhibit differences in their approaches and priorities. The RSS operates as a cultural and social organization, focusing on grassroots activism, ideological dissemination, and character-building among its members. In contrast, the BJP operates within the realm of electoral politics, seeking to translate its ideological principles into concrete policy outcomes through governance and legislative action. Despite these differences, the RSS and BJP maintain a symbiotic relationship, with the RSS providing ideological guidance and organizational support to the BJP, while the BJP serves as the political vehicle for advancing the RSS's agenda. This close alignment has enabled both organizations to wield considerable influence in Indian politics, shaping policies and narratives that reflect their vision of a culturally and politically unified India. THE CRITICISM OF BJP AND ITS SUPPORTERS. However, the ideologies of the RSS and BJP have also been subject to criticism and controversy. Critics argue that their emphasis on Hindutva and cultural nationalism marginalizes religious minorities and undermines India's secular and pluralistic traditions. They also raise concerns about the erosion of democratic principles and civil liberties under their rule. In response, supporters of the RSS and BJP contend that their ideologies are essential for preserving India's cultural heritage and national identity in the face of external threats and internal challenges. They argue that initiatives promoting Hindu pride and cultural revival are necessary for fostering social cohesion and national unity. SOME THE SUCCESSFUL DECISIONS OF BJP 1.Abolition of Article 370: The BJP government's decision to revoke Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which granted special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir, was a significant move aimed at integrating the region more closely with the rest of India. 2. Implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST): The introduction of GST, a comprehensive indirect tax reform, by the BJP government aimed to streamline the taxation system, promote ease of doing business, and create a unified national market. 3. Demonetization: The bold decision to demonetize high-denomination currency notes in 2016, aimed at curbing black money, corruption, and counterfeit currency, had far-reaching implications for India's economy and financial landscape. 4. Swachh Bharat Mission: The BJP-led government's initiative to achieve universal sanitation coverage and make India clean through the Swachh Bharat Mission has been one of the largest cleanliness drives in the world, with significant impacts on public health and sanitation infrastructure. 5. Ayushman Bharat: The launch of Ayushman Bharat, the world's largest government-funded healthcare scheme, aimed to provide health insurance coverage to over 500 million vulnerable Indians, addressing the issue of healthcare accessibility and affordablility. 6. Make in India: The Make in India initiative, launched to promote domestic manufacturing and attract foreign investment, aimed to boost economic growth, job creation, and transform India into a global manufacturing hub. 7. Jan Dhan Yojana: The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, aimed at financial inclusion, providing banking services to the unbanked population, promoting savings, and facilitating direct benefit transfers, has had a significant impact on financial empowerment and poverty alleviation. 8. Infrastructure Development: The BJP government's focus on infrastructure development, including initiatives like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, and Smart Cities Mission, aimed to modernize and improve India's transportation networks, ports, and urban infrastructure. 9. Digital India: The Digital India campaign, aimed at harnessing technology to transform governance, enhance digital infrastructure, and promote digital literacy, has played a crucial role in advancing India's digital economy and e-governance initiatives. 10. National Education Policy: The recent introduction of the National Education Policy aimed at revamping the country's education system, promoting holistic development, skill-building, and research innovation to meet the needs of the 21st century. Today, the RSS and BJP continue to wield considerable influence, shaping policies and narratives that reflect their vision of a culturally and politically unified India. Their rise remains a subject of scrutiny and analysis, with supporters lauding their efforts to promote Hindu pride and critics raising concerns about the erosion of secular values and democratic principles.

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