Here’s a Rational and Definitive Explanation as to Why the Patriotism of Hindus Needs To Be Suspected Not of Muslims

Dheeraj DeeKay
8 min readJul 29, 2022


Every day when a Muslim person walks out of their home they come across or by the time they get back to their home in the evening, they invariably would have interacted with close to five or seven non-Muslims. This has been happening for generations and continues to happen even today with most Muslims, and to the most extent even without their own explicit knowledge. But in contrast, how many Hindus interact with Muslims on a daily basis? In fact, many Hindus end up knowing zero Muslim persons in the entirety of their life. Try to think of yourself, randomly ask elders at your home, how many Muslims have they interacted with and know personally. So Muslims interact with non-Muslims, especially Hindus on a daily basis while Hindus by and large do not. One mingles and the other does not. In fact, Hindus have gone out of their way to move Muslims away from spaces they previously existed in and where there was a chance for Hindus to encounter and interact with Muslims. Hindus have evicted and moved Muslims away from spaces thereby reducing or completely nullifying even the bare-minimum possibility of interaction with them. Secularism in India, unlike what’s practised in France, is tolerance and respect for all faiths. In schools, offices and almost every sphere of their life they participate in Hindu festivals that are celebrated there, they wish you on your festivals, they adjust their businesses to accommodate your religious beliefs, and they go out of their way to make you and your practice of faith possible without any hassle. There are Muslim poets who have written songs praising lord Krishna, Muslim qawwals who sing Hindu bhajans and a lot more. Clearly, Muslims (compared to Hindus) come out as more secular or better practitioners of secularism in India. If secularism is at the heart of Indian identity and the core ideal of the Indian republic then Muslims come out as its strongest practitioners and custodians.

Let’s travel back into the past for a moment. Few decades, to the time when the British were leaving the Indian subcontinent.

India and Pakistan both became independent dominions on the 14–15 of August 1947. While doing so, portions of the Punjab Province and Bengal Presidency of British India (which included present-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) were divided through an imaginary line, now famously referred to as Radcliffe Line, after its architect, Cyril Radcliffe, who, as the joint chairman of the two boundary commissions for the two provinces, received the responsibility to equitably divide 175,000 square miles (450,000 km-squared) of territory with 88 million people. The demarcation line was published on 17 August 1947 upon the Partition of British India.

The regions affected by the extended Partition of India: green regions were all part of Pakistan by 1948, and orange part of India. The darker-shaded regions represent the Punjab and Bengal provinces partitioned by the Radcliffe Line. The grey areas represent some of the key princely states that were eventually integrated into India or Pakistan, but others which initially became independent are not shown. Courtesy: Wikipedia

At this point during the partition, the Muslims of India had to make a choice. They had two options to choose from. Two new nations, both ready to accept them as their citizens, required them to decide their fate regarding their domicile. They could either stay in India which had declared itself as a non-religious nation-state where all religions were accepted and respected, where anyone could practice the faith of their choosing and the state had pledged itself to respect faiths and people of all kinds; or they could choose Pakistan which had declared itself as an Islamic state, the faith of Muslims. So they could either choose to live in an Islamic state or a secular India. And Muslims of India chose India. They chose to be secular over Islamic subjects. Indian Hindus on the other hand never had any such offering. They never had to make any choice. They didn’t have anything to choose from. So retrospectively if you have to think, Muslims chose India, they became citizens of India by choice and they did so despite there being a state of their own faith inviting them to come and settle. In other words, Muslims of India rejected a theocratic state, and Muslims of India rejected a nation-state based on religion, their own religion. They wanted or at least they chose to stay with Hindus and other citizens of India. They chose diversity over narrow-mindedness. What does this mean? This means Muslims have already pledged allegiance to the Indian state, they have already spoken about their choice and so their patriotism, if you think of it, is not under speculation, suspicion or in question. But in comparison, Hindus of India never really asserted their allegiance to secular India, they never made it clear that they wanted to stay in a secular state and not a religious one, they never discarded a state of their own faith, Hindus never rejected a Hindu state. You might say, Hindus never had to make that decision, they were never offered such a choice. And you are right, they never were offered such a proposal. And I’m not saying we have to question the commitment of Hindus towards the Indian republic. We should not. But if it ever comes to that, if we ever come to a point where we have to doubt someone’s commitment to the nation vis-a-vis their faith then it isn’t Muslims who are to be questioned or seen through a lens of suspicion but Hindus. It is Hindus whose allegiance and commitment to the ideals and spirit of the Indian republic are under suspicion not that of Muslims. Muslims made the choice, when there was an opportunity they spoke their intentions, they rejected a religious state (of their own faith) and thus they are in the clear. The rest of us are not so much in there, not definitively.

“My passport is Pakistani and my roots are Indian. And in between is a border, built with blood and pain. People are claiming their identity based on an idea some old Englishmen had when they were fleeing the country.”

Let’s think of this patriotism question from a different angle. Move away from the subject and topic for a while. Can you do that? Try to take yourself as far away from what we are going to discuss further and try to see it from a non-participatory glance.

Newslaundry recently did an extensive three-part podcast series on RSS. They spoke with historians and scores of other people close to RSS and those critical of it and also traced the history of the organization taking us through a journey of what would be hundred years in three years from now. They spoke about things that have changed over the course of history and a few points which have remained unchanged, one, in particular, feels like is the core of what RSS is all about. All that you can find in their podcast is linked above. I have only picked facts from there and not individual opinions. And the fact is, it is a huge organization.

RSS has over 60,000 daily shakhas — Shakha in Sanskrit means a branch. So, every shakha is a branch of the organization. These shakhas are spread across the length and breadth of India, in every single state and every major city/town. Most RSS shakhas meet daily morning for about 1.5 to 2 hours. Shakhas typically start with the hoisting of the Bhagwa Dhwaj, the saffron flag. The assembled swayamsevaks salute the flag, and then they do physical warm-up exercises, Surya namaskar and other yoga. At the end of the shakha, the swayamsevaks assemble in front of the flag, do the daily prayer (Namaste Sada Vatsale prayer in Bharat; outside Bharat, the prayer is Sarva Mangala Maangalyaam), salute the flag again and then disperse — It has more than 17,000 weekly meetings, 8000 regular meetings for their active members, and those are the numbers as per March 2019. RSS estimates that it has over 60 lac active members which do not include those associated with more than 40 affiliated organizations like VHP, Bajrang Dal, ABVP, etc.

Now just think how pervasive and ever-present this organization is in people’s lives. And this entire organization, this behemoth whose branches and reach are spread everywhere from the government to private offices (the largest labour union in India is affiliated to RSS), to schools and just everywhere, is entirely supported by volunteers. These are not salaried or paid members. Everyone works for it because they believe in its ideology or its mission. Just think of how profound that is. And many remain unmarried so as to serve this organization with full sincerity and dedication. Think of Ram Madhav for instance who served as National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party, a party in power in India and is also a member of the National Executive body of RSS. He is one of the many unmarried soldiers of RSS. Ram Madhav talks about why he is unmarried in the context of RSS in the Newslaundry podcast. Think of his and others’ dedication. And don’t forget, Mr Modi himself was at one point RSS pracharak (propagandist). Although he is married he never lived with his wife. He, in his own words, has spent most of his life in the work and service of RSS away from his home before starting himself on his journey in politics.

So you get the point.

RSS is spread everywhere. Too many people believe and believe so strongly in the ideology of this organization, its work and what it stands for. And who are these people? These are Hindus. Yes, RSS has some non-Hindu members including Muslims but those numbers are insignificant and pale in comparison and only exist to browbeat its detractors. Anyways, to continue, RSS had a tumultuous history. And one of the key points in their history is the murder of Bapu Gandhi by one of their man. This led the Home Minister of India, Sardar Patel to ban the RSS and its activities. This ban was lifted by Sardar Patel himself years later. But the lifting of the ban hinged on certain conditions laid out by Patel on RSS. And this is where the soup of the matter rests. Whenever critics of RSS point out how Sardar Patel — who BJP and RSS in recent years have tried to appropriate for their own benefit since RSS does not have an actual history of participating in the freedom movement, this is their trump card to associate itself with freedom movement by appropriating a hero who fought in that struggle; Congress’s disregard to Patel’s imagery post-independence only makes their propaganda play out easier and effortless — banned the RSS, they hit back saying it was by mistake since it was Patel himself who lifted the ban (which is true) but they do not talk about conditions Patel imposed on RSS before he moved to lift the ban. Patel demanded that RSS accept the Indian constitution and tricolour which were opposed and rejected by RSS and other Hindu groups. So if today RSS hoists tricolour, they do so or started to do so only under duress. They did not accept the tricolour or constitution out of good heart or because they believed in them but were compelled to do so by Sardar Patel. And they bowed and accepted so to preserve their organization. In fact, post-Patel they stopped hoisting tricolour only to re-hoist the same after 52 years, fairly recently.

So here we have one of the largest volunteer-driven organizations of Hindus which is ever present in their lives never accepting the tricolour or the Indian constitution and whose members have permeated all spheres of Indian life from politics to private organizations to labour unions to universities to everywhere. Compare that with NRC/CAA rallies by Muslims where they held tricolours, portraits of Ambedkar and Gandhi, of the Indian constitution, chanted slogans and took constitutional pledges affirming their faith in the Indian constitution. Who is more patriot or simply patriot among the two? By default if you would have to bet and if you were completely rational and not driven by your personal biases, who would you bet as a patriot and whose patriotism would you question? It’s not so hard to answer or is it?

Now, do you get my point???



Dheeraj DeeKay

I Listen. I Speak. I Write. I Do. And That’s Why I Am. Storyteller at large! Oh yeah, also a Programmer, Full Stack Developer when at desk.