18 September, 2020

A Mild Engagement

A half-baked reader that ignores Gujarat and concentrates only on internal organisation

A Mild Engagement
This book belongs to a series on critical issues in Indian politics, with 20 articles on the RSS and its fronts, including the youth wing, women’s wing, trade unions, and its federative and political organisations. The volume is less a ‘reader’ than a compendium of articles gleaned from published work, dating mainly from the mid to late 1990s. Older extracts are from Anderson and Damle’s Brotherhood in Saffron (1987), and Graham’s study of the Jan Sangh (1990). Only two articles, on the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (Boutron) and the RSS global network (Therwath), seem to have been written specifically for this volume and carry a contemporary flavour—the latter gives readers a brief introduction to the extensive financial support for the RSS from NRIs located in the western world. Even the editorial introduction takes scant notice of the ramifications of the 2002 Gujarat pogrom and the 2004 election. There is an article on ethics but it addresses Hindutva’s resonance with capitalism, rather than raise questions about private and public morality, ends and means or...


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