Disarray in Sangh Parivar

Ex-RSS chief Sudarshan eulogises Jinnah commitment


Arun Shourie: My ties with the party have not been snapped

While the political arm — the BJP — is already reeling under repeated mutinies, the  mother organisation — the RSS — seems to be on the crossroads with former RSS chief S Sudarshan on Tuesday asserting that Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah was committed to an undivided India. The shocker from Sudarshan, who paved the way for Mohan Bhagwat on March 21 this year, has raised eyebrows within the Nagpur outfit, let alone the BJP.

On being asked if he regarded Jinnah as secular, the former RSS head said in Nagpur: “Jinnah had many facets. He was once associated with Lokmanya Tilak and was totally committed to an undivided India.

“When Gandhiji started the Khilafat movement, Jinnah had opposed it, saying that if the Caliph iFormer RSS chief S Sudarshann Turkey had been dethroned, what had India got to do with that. At that time, nobody listened to him, which saddened him. So he quit the Congress and left for England. After returning in 1927, the Britons brainwashed him and prompted him to put forth the demand for a separate state of Pakistan for Muslims.”

Sudarshan said had Gandhiji been adamant, Partition would not have taken place. “But he was not for it because Nehru was his weakness.”

On whether the Sangh had taken a tough stand during his leadership when L K Advani made the “Jinnah is secular” comment, Sudarshan said he had given clarifications on the matter. Asked if he was satisfied with the clarification, he answered in the affirmative.

Misinterpretation

RSS leader Ram Madhav on Tuesday said the former RSS chief’s views were misinterpreted and what Sudarshan had meant was that at one point of time, Jinnah had supported an undivided India.

Madhav said Sudarshan had also spoken about how Jinnah had been one of the main causes of Partition.

Meanwhile, shaken by Shourie’s description of BJP president Rajnath Singh as “Alice in Blunderland” and the blistering public criticism of its “rudderless functioning”, the party on Tuesday asked Shourie to explain his conduct.

After contemplating an immediate suspension of Shourie, the party sought to revise its views and thought it fit to wait until Shourie submitted his written explanation.

Shourie on Tuesday night said he would give a clarification, and that his ties with the party had not snapped. “If there is any ambiguity and the party president and others have asked for clarification, I will clarify. There is no problem,” Shourie told reporters. The BJP Parliamentary Board is likely to meet this week  to decide on Shourie’s fate, according to sources.

In a no-holds-barred attack on the party president and senior leader L K Advani, Shourie on Monday demanded the sacking of the entire top rung of the party. “They behave like Humpty-Dumpty. The BJP, under their charge, has become a ‘kati patang,’” he said and called for handing over the reins of the party to regional satraps.

RSS view

Meanwhile, Rajnath Singh on Tuesday met Bhagwat to discuss the issue. The Sangh has not completely rejected Shourie’s criticism and has in fact expressed its agreement with some of his bold propositions.

RSS national executive member Ram Madhav said it was for the BJP to take control of the situation. Asked about the RSS’s role in the BJP, he said “some of our friends  are there” and that they would look after the best interest of the organisation.

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