Decoding the RSS
Its Tradition and Politics
Edited by Vinutha Mallya
Translated by Deepak Borgave
Introduction by Shamsul Islam
The RSS can’t stand this book. When it was first published in Marathi, RSS cadres made a public bonfire of it in Pune.
Raosaheb Kasbe presents an incisive critique of M.S. Golwalkar’s Bunch of Thoughts, the main ideological treatise of the RSS. Kasbe traces the historical roots of cultural nationalism as outlined by Golwalkar, and exposes its authoritarianism. His study of the functioning of the RSS reveals its communal blueprint, its anti-modern views and anti-democratic objectives.
Kasbe challenges the RSS on its own turf — its interpretation of Hinduism. Through a rigorous critique of Golwalkar’s text and careful analysis of ancient texts, Kasbe shows how the RSS version of Hinduism is unapologetically casteist and deeply patriarchal.
Four decades and seven editions after its first publication, Kasbe’s zestful polemic is finally available for the first time in English, with an Introduction by scholar and activist Shamsul Islam.
[Published in 1978] the book focussed on the various contradictory stands of the organization and tried to expose its problematic stand on many issues.
Parvin Sultana, The Book Review
The book lacks . . . the stigma of western elitism that the Sangh Parivar invariably mobilises to discredit criticism against it. No less importantly, Mr Kasbe, a political scientist and scholar of Ambedkar and Dalit movements, challenges the organisation's ideology not from the standpoint of western liberalism – another bone of Parivar contention – but within the framework of Hinduism and India's cultural history.
C.P. Bhambhri, Business Standard