Showing posts with label Hindu Mahasabha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hindu Mahasabha. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Are The Jana Sangh?


Shyam Prasad Mookerjee created the Jana Sangh, a modern Indian political party, in 1951.

Despite Mookerjee's previous affiliation with the Hindu Mahasabha, a Hindu nationalist group, the Jana Sangh's leadership was mostly derived from volunteers deployed by the Rashtriya Svayamsevak Sangh, a conservative Hindu organization (RSS).

By the mid-1950s, the Jana Sangh had evolved into the RSS's political wing, with RSS members occupying the majority of the party's key posts.

The Jana Sangh championed several populist Hindu concerns in its political platform, including a ban on cow slaughter and the prohibition of alcoholic drinks, but the party was also known for its sympathy for farmers, who were one of its most significant constituents.

The Jana Sangh reached its pinnacle in 1977, when it gained ninety-three seats in Parliament in general elections.

It was the biggest single party in the political alliance that toppled Indira Gandhi's Congress Party and brought the two-year martial rule to an end.

This victory was short-lived: the Janata government fell apart over the so-called dual-membership dispute, which stemmed from worries over Jana Sangh members also belonging to the RSS.

Other legislators regarded this as a conflict of interest, and they were also concerned about their government being guided by the RSS, which was seen as a Hindu chauvinist movement.

Outside legislators requested that Jana Sangh members cut all relations with the RSS, which the latter refused to do.

All efforts at compromise failed, and the Jana Sangh MPs and other remnants of the Janata government created the Bharatiya Janata Party when the Congress Party regained power in 1980.

Walter K. Andersen and Shridhar D. Damle's book The Brotherhood in Saffron was published in 1987, while Bruce Desmond Graham's book Hindu Nationalism in Indian Politics was published in 1990.


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Hinduism - What Is The Hindu Mahasabha?

Hindu religious and political organization founded in 1915 during the Kumbha Mela, a massive religious celebration.

The Hindu Mahasabha was founded to support Hindu objectives such as the need for a full prohibition on cow slaughter, the promotion of the Hindi language in DevaNagari script, and the elimination of caste prejudice.

The movement grew more explicitly political in the early 1920s, and by the early 1930s, it had embraced unapologetic Hindu nationalism, as shown by its leader, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

The dark underbelly of this Hindu nationalist crusade was a strong anti-Muslim sentiment, which was further exacerbated by worsening relations between the two populations in the years leading up to World War II.

Although the Hindu Mahasabha hoped for formal recognition from the British government and to be acknowledged as the Hindu community's only legal voice, these expectations were never achieved.

After failing to reach an agreement with the Indian National Congress Party, the British administration engaged them in discussions and dissolved ties with the Mahasabha after mending wounds with the Congress.

Following independence in 1947, the party's reputation was tarnished by its association with Nathuram Godse, Mohandas Gandhi's assassin.

It ran political candidates until the early 1960s, but it never developed any serious political clout.

Kenneth W. Jones, "Politicalized Hinduism: The Ideology and Program of the Hindu Mahasabha," in Robert D. Baird (ed. ), Religion in Modern India, 1998, for further details.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.