How RSS is expanding its agenda in Tamilnadu through legal battle?

How RSS is expanding its agenda in Tamilnadu through legal battle?

By Arpan from Chennai

RSS rallies held in Tamil Nadu at three places with tight security on 6 Nov 2022. It is unprecedented and shows how extreme rightwing agenda of RSS gearing up in Tamilnadu where a rich history of Dravidian ideology has been prevalent in leadership of EV Ramasami Periyar.

The recent ongoing attempt by Rashtriya Sayansevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological forefather of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to make multiple rallies at multiple locations across the state of Tamilnadu in a single day, has created popular discontent as well as a political and legal struggle by the progressive forces.

The current legal and political struggle between the RSS on one hand and left-progressive-secular-democratic forces on the other can be traced back to events of more than a month.

In the last week of September RSS asked permission from the state government to conduct rallies and marches in more than 50 places across Tamilnadu on October 2, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

The elected state government in Tamilnadu is run by DMK and its allies from Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA). Considering the history of the organization the police permission was denied by the state government.

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Strong resistance from all quarters

Against this RSS went to the high court. The court asked the state government to reconsider its decision.

Once the RSS came to the court the issue came much more prominent in the public domain. Considering the ideology of the RSS and how the RSS rallies have been instigators of communal riots in the past, Dalit led party VCK and the left parties wanted to arrange a human chain event on the same day to promote the message of communal harmony.

The government denied permission for both the RSS events and the human chain events citing the law and order situation and the possibility of the political unrest that might be created due to the clash of ideologically opposed groups.

Then the RSS went to the court again and told that the state government is violating the court order. At this juncture, the court tried to be a mediator between RSS and the state government to come to some resolution.

The court asked if the RSS can organize their event on some other day and asked the state government if it can allow the RSS events on that proposed day with reasonable restrictions.

RSS proposed November 6 as the alternate date. The state government then allowed permission for more than 40 places out of 50+ places with the restriction that no open-air event will be allowed and it can happen only in closed places like auditoriums.

The RSS wasn’t happy with this and they planned to go to the supreme court against this.

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Photo Credit: The Hindu

VCK on the forefront

One more important aspect must be mentioned here. VCK wanted to legally intervene in this matter and they appealed to the court with the demand that the issue should not be viewed as merely criminal law and order issue between the RSS and the state government.

But their appeal was turned down by the high court and as far as the information we have, they are also planning to move to the supreme court.

In a more recent development, permission has been given for conducting the RSS march on November 6, cutting across the three districts of Cuddalore, Perambalur, and Kalakuruchi.

VCK responded quickly to this. They wanted to expose the RSS’s true ideology to the broader masses. They wanted to let people know that by its very core RSS’s ideology is derived from Manusmriti and against the constitutional values of secularism.

They started distributing copies of Manusmriti at public places like bus-stand, in Chennai and other areas. They want people to know Manusmriti for what it is and how it is fundamentally against the secularism and democratic rights of the people.

The growth of RSS with the direct and indirect support from the central government using various mechanisms and the inclination of the judiciary to be softer on RSS poses a serious threat to the toiling masses.

In the past Tamilnadu has been one of the key centers of resistance against the BJP-RSS and the entire Hindutva ecosystem.

While a large section of the masses and left-progressive-secular-democratic forces of different types continue to strongly oppose the communal agenda of RSS, the challenges in front of them are tremendous.

Due to structural pressure by the center on the state government, it is likely that the state government will be bound to buckle down more.

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Photo Credit: The Hindu

Task of working class

In particular to the working class movement and other oppressed masses, the increase of communal polarization in the society will weaken the movements for their social, economic, and political emancipation.

We are passing through a time when unemployment rates are at an all-time high, skyrocketing prices of essential commodities are ruining the lives of the poor people and the new labour codes are going to strip away from the working class even the remaining social and economic securities earned through decades of struggle.

While the time is tough and the challenges are severe not everything is lost. We have seen in the recent past how the historic farmers’ struggle has forced even this massively powerful central government and the powerful corporates to a setback.

Apart from winning the economic demand of repealing the three farm laws, the movement was able to heal the communal tensions in western UP and Haryana to a large extent.

It’s the conscious united struggle of the working class, peasantry, poor and oppressed people on people-centric issues cutting across the artificial religion and caste barriers created to weaken them, which can effectively counter any communal ploy.

In his writings, the great freedom fighter Bhagat Singh has explained how communalism can be countered through increased class consciousness.

The question is not whether a new wave of militant working-class movement will form. It’s already forming in a limited capacity. The question is whether it will expand in its scale and capacity, and win overcoming all the challenges ahead of it.

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