Bhagwat feels RSS can do the Army's job: Why Modi should take him seriously

"Sangh will prepare military personnel within three days which the Army would do in 6-7 months. This is our capability. Swayamsewak will be ready to take on the front if the country faces such a situation and Constitution permits to do so," the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh - A Cultural Organisation™ said to workers on a six day trip to Muzaffarpur (unfortunately not beamed live by Doordarshan like his Dussehra address to the nation).

Sangh is neither a military nor a paramilitary organisation, rather it is like a “parivarik sangathan” (family organisation) where discipline is practised like the Army, he said adding that workers are always happily ready to make supreme sacrifice for their country. If the country ever needs and the Constitution permits the Swayamsewaks will hold the fort, he further added.

The RSS Chief, Mohan Bhagwat has set the cow amongst the pigeons with his frank views once again. In the past, his views on what women should be, making more babies, and on bringing back people who were “looted by a thief” have attracted much attention from people (left-liberal sickulars) who are just not able to understand that he meant well. His revolutionary views on how the RSS can do the Army’s job a little better are also likely to be twisted by paid-media™. Instead of trying to utilise this great opportunity offered by the Sarsanghchalak, this deracinated cabal will only look at his views from a negative perspective. We need to ensure that our government does not listen to them (I know it doesn’t but one can’t be too careful with this gang). Here is why Bhagwat ji is right and how swayamsewaks of the RSS can serve the nation more efficiently than the army.

You can’t buy patriotism

Swayamsewaks are not in it for a salary or pension. Unlike army veterans who might sit on a dharna to demand ‘One Rank One Pension’, swayamsewaks will serve for free and will not add to India’s already high pension bill. The RSS can help the Indian govt wean the nation away from expensive hobbies like maintaining a large, modern army. This aspect itself is likely to find approving nods from our finance minister who has been trying his best to keep all government expenditures to a bare minimum. Why pay when you can get it for free!

A well considered offer

Mohan Bhagwat, is not a man given to speak on impulse. He is a man who is in control of his thoughts, views and actions (the epitome of a good swayamsewak). While to the rest of the world, his views on utilising the services of the RSS volunteers alongside the army may seem spontaneous, they are anything but. Careful watchers of the RSS would privately tell you that this offer is just one step in a long process which was set in motion when the RSS bosses in Nagpur decided that they would bid adieu to their iconic uniform of khaki knickers and start wearing full pants instead. Insiders are now willing to admit that the long pants were adopted since a large part of India’s border is in the cold mountains and pants are an operational necessity in such weather. The offer made by Bhagwat has to be viewed after piecing together these two seemingly disparate pieces of information to arrive at the correct conclusion.

Now you know why no new defence purchases have been made

Defence experts have been expressing their disappointment with how slowly the Modi government has moved on defence related acquisitions. They should now consider why that has been the case. The top echelons of the government probably chose to ignore defence acquisition knowing that requirements may change with the RSS likely to offer its services in India’s defence. The RSS swayamsewak’s preparation is rooted in traditional Indian knowledge (which everyone knows is way more advanced) while the army is trained using the same western methods which were bequeathed to us by the British. It is time we realised their superiority and announce it to the world. The swayamsewak with his lathi (bamboo stick) has different needs. Hence the slow pace of acquisitions. Instead of an assault rifle, we may need an assault lathi made of composite material.

More efficient clearly

As Bhagwat ji has clearly said that the RSS can be ready in three days while the army will take six-seven months to do the same. This is clearly a result of the higher levels of discipline inculcated in the swayamsewaks. The Indian army needs to incorporate The Sangh Way™ in NDA and IMA to better prepare Indian forces for future wars. The army can learn from RSS on how to minimise loss of lives during mobilisation, especially since 1,874 were killed or wounded in Operation Parakram after the terrorist attack on the Indian parliament in 2001. The RSS can help make this process more efficient.

An army that moves as fast as the RSS will is also going to shock and awe the enemies (Gotcha Pakistan! Those nukes won’t be of any use now.)

Modernisation with a vedic heart

India’s defence modernisation has suffered over many decades owing to India’s dependence on foreign technology. This has been the result of the powers-that-be turning a blind eye to our technological prowess as clearly displayed (to the RSS-trained eyes) in our ancient Vedas and Upanishads. The RSS under Bhagwat ji can help India develop the most modern weaponry (like missiles or the seventh generation fighter planes) which is all there in those Vedas and copied by western countries before they sell it back to us (imagine the chutzpah!).

Improving the army’s strategy and tactics

Mohan Bhagwat's intervention matters because finally we have someone of his stature raising doubts about the army’s capabilities, strategies and tactics which our civilian government has avoided asking. While defence ministers avoid raising uncomfortable questions to not ruffle any military feathers, the Sarsanghchalak has raised them and the civilian government can now remember that the army is an arm of the state and not vice versa. In his inimitable way, Bhagwat ji has reminded that in present day India, the RSS sits above the civilian government which sits above the military.

There are enough reasons to take Mohan Bhagwat’s views expressed in Muzaffarpur seriously and hopefully the cabinet committee on defence will sit and consider the next course of action to facilitate this move. The RSS has always loved fodder served to Gau Mata and it should be allowed to serve cannon fodder at the border.
Twitter: @bhayankur

This is a satirical take on RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's recent comments. The views expressed are personal

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel