Powerful Hindu Group That Spawned Modi Party Slams His Campaign

India’s influential Hindu right-wing group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which played a key role in shaping the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has criticized the election campaign for being divisive and overly reliant on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity. In a speech on Monday, RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat stated that the campaign lacked decorum and involved the spreading of lies to create tension between communities. Additionally, an RSS-affiliated magazine highlighted that the election results were a reality check for overconfident BJP workers who relied too heavily on Modi’s brand to secure votes. The RSS, as the ideological parent of the BJP, has been instrumental in the party’s election campaign, providing a significant number of volunteers to mobilize voters.
Criticism of the BJP from within the Hindu nationalist organizations has emerged following the party’s loss of majority in the recent parliamentary elections. The RSS, a key organization in the Hindu nationalist family, expressed its concerns through comments made by its leader Bhagwat and its mouthpiece. This criticism comes after tensions arose between the RSS and the BJP when the latter’s President dismissed the RSS’s significance in garnering support for the party.

During the election campaign, opposition groups accused Modi and other BJP leaders of employing anti-Muslim rhetoric and fear tactics to gain support. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh labeled Modi’s statements during the campaign as “hateful.”

Bhagwat, addressing RSS workers, stated that there is a moral boundary that should not be crossed when engaging in election campaigns, implying that this line was crossed by the BJP.
Bhagwat also urged for an end to the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur, a northeastern state, which has been persisting for over a year. Opposition groups have criticized the government for not taking sufficient measures to suppress the violence.

Bhagwat emphasized the importance of addressing the issue as a priority.

In a magazine affiliated with the RSS, called Organiser, an article criticized BJP workers for their failure to mobilize voters and for not utilizing the assistance of RSS volunteers in the field work, which is typically done during election campaigns.

The article stated, “Since they were content in their own bubble, basking in the glow of Modiji’s aura, they neglected to listen to the voices on the streets,” as expressed by an RSS member in the magazine.

In Maharashtra state, where the BJP-led alliance lost support in the elections, the RSS article accused the BJP of engaging in “unnecessary politicking and avoidable manipulations.” It further stated that “in one fell swoop, the BJP diminished its brand value.”
Later this year, Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital and the headquarters of the RSS, will hold state elections. Bhagwat emphasized the need for consensus building under the new administration, stating that society requires unity, but due to the presence of injustice, there is a divide among people, resulting in a lack of trust. Shruti Srivastava and Jeanette Rodrigues provided assistance in reporting this information.