The Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: RSS boast that it could mobilise a militia is a sign of how violent India has become

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

The Big Story: Violent politics

On Sunday, the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Mohan Bhagwat, created a controversy by seeming to compare this organisation with the Indian Army. While the Indian Army would take six months to mobilise, the RSS, claimed Bhagwat, would take only three days.

This set of a storm, with Opposition politicians claiming that the statement insulted the Indian Army. In its defence, the RSS claimed that Bhagwat’s statement had been misinterpreted. The comparison was not with the Indian Army but other civilians. The point Bhagwat was trying to make, said the RSS’s communication team, was that while the, “Indian army would take six months to prepare the society whereas Sangh swayamsevaks can be trained in three days, as Swayamsevaks practise discipline regularly”.

For anyone concerned about the health of Indian democracy, this was cold comfort. The point was not whether the RSS would mobilise side-by-side with the Indian Army or as a part of it. It was why the RSS was thinking of mobilising at all. In a democracy, a cultural organisation, which is what the RSS claimed to be, does not make imaginary battle plans for its members. Waging war is strictly the job of the armed forces, which operate under the command of a democratically elected government.

While there is little danger of a local RSS branch marching off to the border, Bhagwat’s comment – as well as the clarification – is a pointer to the violence that has soaked through a strand of Indian politics. Rather than expressing horror at Bhagwat’s flight of fantasy, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party deployed two ministers to defend the RSS chief, underscoring yet again the intertwined nature of the two organisations.

Already, the belligerent rhetoric of the sort contained in Bhagwat’s speech is being reflected in action on the ground. Armed vigilante groups are now common across many parts of north and west India. They are not shy of advertising their acceptance of violence – their very names often carry words like “army”. This includes the Shiv Sena, Army of Shivaji, a party that has ruled Maharashtra, and the Hindu Yuva Vahini, Hindu Youth Army, founded by Adityanath, now chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. The Karni Sena, with silent support from both the BJP and the Congress, recently restorted to violence to protest against the release of the Hindi-language film, Padmavat, which they claimed insulted their Rajput caste.

Other members of the Sangh Parivar, the group of Hindutva organisations that orbit around the RSS, also have a documented predilection towards violent direct action. The Bajrang Dal, for instance, openly organises military-style arms training camps. Adding to this is the gangs of violent gau rakshaks who have spread terror among cattle traders and shut down entire supply lines.

The spread of violent far-right groups with a direct link to state power is a troubling sign for India. Indians don’t have to look far to see how destructive this kind of politican can be: the havoc wreaked by armed religious fundamentalists on Pakistan is an everyday reminder where this could lead.

The Big Scroll

RSS and the Army: Why are ministers defending Bhagwat’s remarks – and is that really a defence, asks Rohan Venkataramakrishnan.

Subscribe to “The Daily Fix” by either downloading Scroll’s Android app or opting for it to be delivered to your mailbox. For the rest of the day’s headlines do click here.

If you have any concerns about our coverage of particular issues, please write to the Readers’ Editor at


  • The jallikattu challenge: Any effort at securing animal welfare will have to be grounded in our own rights as human beings, argues Suhrith Parthasarathy in the Hindu.
  • The Indian judiciary should look at how a Pakistani courts dealt with lynching of Mashal Khan, writes Faizan Mustafa in the Indian Express.
  • The return of coal shortages points to systemic shortcomings in both demand and supply-side management, argues this edit in the Hindu Business Line.

Don’t Miss

Will Congress benefit in Karnataka from the Lingayat demand to be recognised as a distinct religion? Supriya Sharma reports.

“If the wider community identifies with Hindu practices, what explains the large attendance at last year’s public meetings where the demand for a separate religion was raised?

Conversations with political leaders from the Lingayat community who mobilised the crowds suggest that their motivations for the demand for a separate religion may lie beyond the realm of spiritual thought and social reform.

Basavaraj Horatti, a member of the legislative council from the Janata Dal (United), one of the most vocal supporters of the movement, said his involvement with the cause was sparked by an interaction in March last year with students of the Lingayat community. They complained of losing seats to students from other communities that had access to reservations.”

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Get ready for an 80-hour shopping marathon

Here are some tips that’ll help you take the lead.

Starting 16th July at 4:00pm, Flipkart will be hosting its Big Shopping Days sale over 3 days (till 19th July). This mega online shopping event is just what a sale should be, promising not just the best discounts but also buying options such as no cost EMIs, buyback guarantee and product exchanges. A shopping festival this big, packed with deals that you can’t get yourself to refuse, can get overwhelming. So don’t worry, we’re here to tell you why Big Shopping Days is the only sale you need, with these helpful hints and highlights.

Samsung Galaxy On Nxt (64 GB)

A host of entertainment options, latest security features and a 13 MP rear camera that has mastered light come packed in sleek metal unibody. The sale offers an almost 40% discount on the price. Moreover, there is a buyback guarantee which is part of the deal.

Original price: Rs. 17,900

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Samsung 32 inches HD Ready LED TV

Another blockbuster deal in the sale catalogue is this audio and visual delight. Apart from a discount of 41%, the deal promises no-cost EMIs up to 12 months.

Original price: Rs. 28,890

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Intel Core I3 equipped laptops

These laptops will make a thoughtful college send-off gift or any gift for that matter. Since the festive season is around the corner, you might want to make use of this sale to bring your A-game to family festivities.

Original price: Rs. 25,590

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 21,900


If you’ve been planning a mid-year wardrobe refresh, Flipkart’s got you covered. The Big Shopping Days offer 50% to 80% discount on men’s clothing. You can pick from a host of top brands including Adidas and Wrangler.

With more sale hours, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days sale ensures we can spend more time perusing and purchasing these deals. Apart from the above-mentioned products, you can expect up to 80% discount across categories including mobiles, appliances, electronics, fashion, beauty, home and furniture.

Features like blockbuster deals that are refreshed every 8 hours along with a price crash, rush hour deals from 4-6 PM on the starting day and first-time product discounts makes this a shopping experience that will have you exclaiming “Sale ho to aisi! (warna na ho)”

Set your reminders and mark your calendar, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days starts 16th July, 4 PM and end on 19th July. To participate in 80 hours of shopping madness, click here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Flipkart and not by the Scroll editorial team.