Dear Shri Kamal Haasan,
Growing up, I was a fan of your acting and your films, “Ek Duje Ke Liye”, “Saagar”, and “Sadma” etc. Those were good years and you were still focussed on your main talent – acting. This focus was to our (your audiences) benefit. We enjoyed your superb performances. Thank you so much Sir.
In recent times you joined electoral politics and I got a glimpse of the real person you are. In your films, you were always the actor who impressed me with his value systems. But alas, these value systems were the demand of a scripted story. Real life is unfolding without a script…
Your utterances today, during your campaign speech at Aravakurichi in Karur district of Tamil Nadu, where you claimed to be (in spirit) the great grandson of Gandhiji were not surprising. Here you went on to say that Nathuram Godse was the first Hindu terrorist.
Before I share with you my own view, I do wish for you to know that unlike you, the man whose great grandson you claim to be in spirit, Gandhiji did have a relationship with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – a fact that is less known, because it is inconvenient and so for the most part it is ignored:
1. The RSS always stood for Akhand Bhaarat, and so did Gandhiji – absolute congruence there.
2. Gandhiji was not involved in the decision to partition India. He had famously said – partition over my dead body. But after partition had been decided and was done – Gandhiji stood for his principle of “Satyagraha – insistence for the truth”. It was this fearless adherence to this principle that got him to insist that Rs. 55 crores be remitted by the Govt. of India to Govt. of Pakistan.
3. Gandhiji’s use of simple means such as the “charkha” and “non-violent civil disobedience” were admired by the RSS because these means increased public support for our freedom struggle. Dr K. B. Hedgewar, the founder of the RSS, was an active participant in the non-cooperation movement of 1921 and the civil disobedience movement of 1930. For his involvement, he served two rigorous prison sentences. Do you know this?
4. To understand Gandhiji, you have to understand the roots of his life. He was rooted in Sanatana Dharma and the Bhagawat Geeta. There is no ambiguity in this assertion. The proof of this can be found in Gandhiji’s insistence on “satyagraha or insistence for the truth”; “cow protection”; “abolition of untouchability; gram swaraj; swadeshi etc. His affinity for the eternal Hindu thought is there for all to read and see.
5. It was in 1934, when Gandhiji was in Wardha, that he attended a camp of the RSS. During this he was moved to learn that the camp included swayamsevaks from the Scheduled Castes and that there was complete absence of untouchability.
6. Many years later, after independence when Gandhiji was staying in what was then called Bhangi colony (sweepers colony), a RSS morning shakha used to be conducted opposite his place of stay. One day while addressing more than 500 swayamsevaks, he said the following – “I visited the RSS camp years ago at Wardha. At that time the founder Shri Hedgewar was alive. I was impressed by their rigorous discipline, the complete absence of untouchability and simplicity. Since then the Sangh has grown. I have always believed that any organization which is inspired by the ideal of service and self-sacrifice, is bound to grow in strength.”
7. From January 2015 to April 2016, I walked with my teacher Sri M, from Kanyakumari to Srinagar (zig-zag), almost 7500 km. During this long arduous padyatra, I was extremely fortunate to experience first-hand the silent, unadvertised but fundamental work that RSS and its pracharaks do across the villages and towns of Bhaarat. Just look at the work they are doing right now in Odhisha in the aftermath of the cyclone.
8. Commenting about the relationship between Gandhiji and the RSS without considering these facts is a disservice to the truth.
9. In my view, RSS is one of the few organisations who continues to do its main work “on the ground” and “among the people”. I have witnessed their work. And I can say that it is the committed, hardworking and humble RSS pracharak whose efforts go a long way in keeping Gandhiji’s ideals alive even in this day and age.
May I suggest that you please try to study the work of the RSS – live among them, move with them and then decide on what colour of bias you wish to have. A true great grandson of Gandhiji would have the courage to do so. Try it Sir. Do study their work before you talk about Gandhiji – which I guess you do, only when you need the votes.
Their work in the fields of rural development, afforestation, recharging our water bodies, organic farming, cow conservation and protection, social equality and harmony, imparting education in one’s own language and swadeshi economy and lifestyle are fundamental to our nation’s future.
Now coming to Nathuram Godse. He assassinated Gandhiji and so he can be and should be termed an assassin. A terrorist is never alone. A terrorist has a support network. A terrorist subscribes to an ideology, where they try by using force of death to eliminate every thought, every spirit, and every ideology that isn’t theirs. Nathuram Godse was a bitter man who could not silence Gandhiji’s spirit and so he silenced his body.
In calling Nathuram Godse the first Hindu terrorist, you have played to the gallery. I understand your dire need for votes; for media attention; for a controversy to bring national attention to you. I understand all that. But I wonder if you realize that today you sacrificed “TRUTH”. Your statement is proof to me that you have little or no comprehension of our “spiritual heritage” – Santana dharma – the life breath of Bhaarat mata. I have yet not met a Hindu, who has tried to eliminate by force of death, every thought, every spirit, and every ideology that isn’t Hindu.
And I am not surprised that Congress (I) has agreed to your assertion 1000%. But this was expected from a group of people who have destroyed everything that Gandhiji stood for. They are a family of dynasts who have lived by entitlements of birth. They misuse their surname which happens to be Gandhi – they don’t belong to Gandhiji’s family. I hope you know that?
Today, I am an anguished fan – but thank you for showing us your true nature.
With my regards and pranams,
Yours very sincerely,
Bangalore, May 13th, 2019.