Rahul Roushan’s memoir: How a liberal Hindu became a proud Hindu


Chanchal Kumar

chanchal kumarThe entire intellectual development of Rahul Roushan, the author of the memoir Sanghi who never went to a Shakha, who is a Bihari bhumihar and presently, CEO of the BJP/RSS news portal 'OpIndia.com", can be summed up in the following sentences:

His father, an English literature teacher and a liberal Hindu, tried his best to shield the former (who is even named after Gautam Buddha's son as hinted by the writer himself) from the reality of the caste system and inculcate tolerance in him but fails. (Roushan 66) Rahul Roushan initially grows up with a love of the written word and has innate creativity, which brings him to the attention of less gifted but politically slier group of people from Delhi. He is steadily brainwashed into believing that Hinduism is the best religion to exist in the world and he should rid himself of the guilt and shame in being an oppressor. Why? Because there are bigger oppressors than him. Convinced by this infallible logic, Rahul works for his Brahmin masters and after being constantly egged on by them, pens this gem of a book. By the time he writes the final pages, voila! Rahul Roushan has become so radicalized he has literally turned homicidal.

First, he groups Indians into five categories: Hostile, Condescending, Indifferent, Supportive and Assertive. For the "Hostile" group he has the following to say:

 "Hostile: Those who are hostile towards it and openly talk about annihilating Hindutva or Hinduism—they are honest enough to not create a fake distinction between the two terms—such as the Periyarites, neo-Ambedkarites, Islamists or Evangelists. They simply want to eradicate this identity. They see Hinduism either as oppressive or a fundamentally inferior idea, and thus worthy of being eliminated." (302)

 Rahul Roushan is a family man and has a young daughter. To his credit, he appears to be intelligent and clear headed. He has also read enough of history and world politics. However, reading more supremacist literature than he can process (He quotes the RSS founder Dr K B Hedgewar to stress on the importance of Hindu vigilance and organization to protect "Hindustan") has affected the balance of his mental faculties. (303) He has been fed so much hate he has turned into the archetypal Hindu victim. It is natural that when a person who has hallucinations of being attacked by Muslims and Naxals without reason will grow paranoid. By his own admission,

 "I personally am almost paranoid about the future of Hindus. I think that the Hostile and Condescending groups together account for at least 30% of the Indian population; this can turn into a tipping point quite soon. Furthermore, as I have mentioned at one place in this book, I see eerie similarities between what's happening now and what had happened in the few decades leading to the Partition of India. I see history repeating itself unless Hindus wake up." (303)

 He repeats feeling paranoid in the paragraph next to this:

 "I feel that Hindus are nicely being fed and fattened for the ceremonial slaughter—that's how paranoid I am right now. Any attempt to wake them up and show them the civilizational dangers is ironically termed as 'attempts to distract from the real issues'." (303)

And a couple of times in the paragraph after it:

 "My paranoia may or may not be justified, but owing to that, I feel that Hindus need community leadership that can lucidly and logically explain the threats the community faces. It should be done quickly, before more people turn paranoid like me. I am not really happy being this way!" (303)

Mr Rahul Roushan should take care of his mental health and quit the company of Brahmins more experienced than him in politics and who are experts in the art of manipulation. He should begin with the list of people he mentions in the final "Acknowledgements" of his memoir. They have made him a threat to himself as well as those around him. Smriti Irani, who probably recognized the sacrificial lamb in his personality, writes a glorious foreword to the text. Other Brahmin-savarna celebs and personalities writing blurbs to his memoir include Amish Tripathi, Vivek Agnihotri, Anupam Kher, and others. All of the above named are known for their lack of remorse after spreading hatred against minorities and socially weak communities.

 It would be fruitful for Roushan's personal well-being if he begins to read literature on social justice. If Babasaheb Ambedkar continues to haunt him, maybe he should turn to Black resistance literature, and follow it with the works of respected intellectuals like Edward Said and Paulo Freire, to name a few. Also, Buddhism teaches rationality and equality between human beings, not vapid hate in the name of religion. He should consider researching the ideals preached by Buddha's Dhamma and quit Hinduism which sows irrational dislike and bigotry in the minds of its adherents. The decision about the path he wants to choose for himself and his young daughter is his to make.

 To conclude, Roushan should be thankful to Babasaheb for drafting the Hindu Code Bill. Had it not been for him, a safe future for his child wouldn't have been secured. If it were left to Brahmin priests, she wouldn't have had the privileges she now takes for granted in this country.


Works Cited

Roushan, Rahul. Sanghi who never went to a Shakha. Rupa Publications 2021.



Chanchal Kumar is from Jharkhand and currently lives in Delhi, India. His poems have previously appeared and awarded in The Sunflower Collective, Hamilton Stone Review, Welter Journal, Name and None, Young Poets Network, UK including others. Recently, his poems were translated to Bengali by Harakiri Journal. He is pursuing M.Phil at University of Delhi.

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