The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) made contradictory claims during legal proceedings in multiple government institutions and courts in the 1970s, writes lawyer and political commentator AG Noorani in his soon-to-be-released book RSS: A Menace To India. Relying on documents of legal proceedings initiated by Nagpur resident and RSS follower Dr. Manoharkant Dayalji Kamdar, Noorani says that the RSS claimed before the Charity Commissioner of Maharashtra that it was not a charitable trust but a political institution. It, however, told the Bombay High Court that it is “a charitable institution under Section 10(22) of the Income-Tax Act, 1961”.
Noorani told HuffPost India in an interview that the organisation’s contradictory claims are relevant even today because of the “deceit” involved. “They say one thing to the Charity Commissioner – that we are not a trust – and another thing to the tax authorities: that we are a trust,” he said. The constitutional expert also shares in the book an application filed by the RSS in a Nagpur court in which the organisation said, its policy could be changed in the future and it “could participate in even day to day political activity as a political party because policy is not a permanent or irrevocable thing.”
Some of Noorani’s revelations in the book, which has been published by Leftword Books, are also significant because the RSS has maintained for years that it is only a “cultural” organisation with no political ambitions. In fact, Article 4 (c) of the RSS’ written constitution clearly says, “The Sangh is aloof from politics and is devoted to social and cultural fields only.” RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s lecture series last year to reach out to its critics could not persuade anybody, added Noorani, as the RSS could not be anything but communal in its philosophy.…
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