Their (Christians') activities are not merely irreligious, they are also anti-national.... So long as the Christians here indulge in such activities and consider themselves as agents of the international movement for the spread of Christianity, and refuse to offer their first loyalty to the land of their birth..., they will remain here as hostiles (sic) and will have to be treated as such.
- M.S. Golwalkar in Bunch of Thoughts
What was a piece of polemical indulgence on Sangh ideological honcho Golwalkar's part is the RSS' gospel today. When he had spelt it out, in an atmosphere thick with the Nehruvian gung-ho, his views were largely ignored. But when the fifth RSS chief, K.S. Sudarshan, expounded, at the 75th anniversary meet at Agra last fortnight, on the need for "swadeshikaran" (indigenisation) of the Church and "Indianisation of Islam" it, predictably enough, stirred a hornet's nest.
Sudarshan's suggestion to both Christians and Muslims to "Indianise" their respective faiths was roundly criticised. But it was not read with his rather loaded definition of non-violence. Addressing the mahashivir, Sudarshan called upon the swayamsevaks to possess the "power of violence" if they wanted to be truly non-violent. "If we don't have himsa ki shakti (power of violence), we can't be non-violent. If we have violent power and we don't use it, then it's non-violence".
This accent on violence within a non-violent framework has sent jitters, particularly through the Christians, who take the RSS' statements seriously. Says All India United Christian Forum leader John Dayal: "I take the RSS seriously for two reasons. First, these statements come from a political group which controls the political party which controls the government. Secondly, it's got to do with the RSS' dubious track record-hate...