Just deserts for Rahul Gandhi

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is in a spot—and rightly so. Unquestioningly accepting the authenticity of the age-old Leftist-Congress canard that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was responsible for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, he vomited the lie in a public meeting. It is time for comeuppance.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it clear that either he expresses regret for his scurrilous remarks or faces a defamation trial. “Why did you make a sweeping statement against the RSS branding everyone associated with the organization in the same brush,” the apex court asked him. “You can’t make wholesale denunciation of an organization.”

At a 2014 election rally in Thane, Rahul Gandhi allegedly said: “RSS people killed Gandhiji and today their people [BJP] talk of him… They opposed Sardar Patel and Gandhiji.” RSS activist Rajesh Kunte filed a case, which resulted in a magistrate’s court initiating proceedings against Rahul sought relief from the high court but railed. Now that the Supreme Court has also refused to quash the case against him, he is left with only two options: apologize/express regret over his statement or face trial.

The Congress has ruled out any apology or regret. “On a suggestion of Shri Rahul Gandhi expressing regret or apology, the question does not arise. Such a suggestion has been made in the past and not accepted by Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi is a mature politician with intimate knowledge of historical facts. Congress party and Mr. Gandhi will defend these remarks at appropriate forum,” Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.

Perhaps this is bravado; perhaps, when the heat of the moment subsides, the grand old party would look for an amicable solution. After all, in the National Herald case, too, Rahul and his mother Sonia had talked brave but later had to seek bail. Whichever course they may opt for, the occasion provides an opportunity to scrutinize the facts of the Gandhi murder and find out if there is a grain of truth in what Rahul said.

Eight persons were prosecuted including Nathuram Godse and his brother Gopal, Narayan Apte, Madanlal Pahwa, and Vinayak Damodardas Savarkar. It may be recalled that Savarkar was the preeminent Hindutva ideologue; indeed he coined the term ‘Hindutva.’ All conspirators were the votaries of Hindutva and members of the Hindu Mahasabha, the most prominent Hindu organization at that time, more important than the RSS at that point of time. It is also true that Godse was Savarkar’s dedicated disciple. Equally indisputable is the fact that the RSS was banned in the wake of the Gandhi assassination by none other than the Hindutva icon, Vallabhbhai Patel. So, was the RSS got Gandhi knocked off?

Well, the Jeevanlal Commission found otherwise. It did accuse “RSS and militant Hindu Mahasabha leaders” of creating “conditions… conducive to strong anti-Gandhi activities including a kind of encouragement to those who thought that Mahatma Gandhi’s removal will bring about a millennium of Hindu Raj.” But it did not find the RSS’ direct involvement in the Gandhi assassination.

Therefore, the worst thing that can be said about the RSS in the context of the Gandhi assassination is the organization that shared the beliefs of the murderers. By that logic, every Muslim can be accused of September 11, the attack on our Parliament, 26/11, Bombay blasts, the massacres in France, etc. Similarly, Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury should be blamed for the murders carried out by the Naxalites in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, for the CPM leaders and the Naxalites share the same Marxist ideology.

Further, there is a world of difference between the culpability of an organization and that of its members. A bank employee gets involved in a financial impropriety or scam; this doesn’t make the promoters of the bank are crooks.

In a nutshell, Rahul’s discomfiture should be a lesson for all who unquestioningly take the Left’s mendacity and fairy tales as gospel truth.