Sir: According to an editorial in the Daily Times published on June 21, 2018, India is constitutionally a secular country. Its constitution states that India is a `sovereign socialist secular democratic republic’ and it forbids the discrimination of people on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. However, the ruthless actions of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organization make a joke of this ideology.RSS are a very influential group in India, especially in their politics, and many believe that the current ruling party in the nation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is its political wing. If that is the case then they control over 20 states across the country and have power over their policies. A sign of their growing prestige was evident when even former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, a member of the BJP’s fierce rivals, the National Congress Party, visited a religious event organized by the RSS in order to benefit from their growing popularity. The ‘Hindu’ or Sindhu as they were once also known, were the people inhabiting the Indus valley area and beyond. This was the territory known as Hindustan. But, the communalistic Hindus insist on calling almost the whole of the sub-continent this name, which literally translates to ‘the land of the Hindus’. Some go even further, and insist that the suffix ‘-stan’ does not originate from Hindu culture, and as such should be shunned in favor of the name ‘Bharatvarsha’. Unlike their other name, this word originated from Bharata Chakravartin or Emperor Bharata, an ancient Hindu king. Many of the right wing outfits in India today prefer this name, like the RSS’ communalist organization Sangh Parivar, who use it to emphasize the Vedic roots of the country, and its ‘true’ citizens.Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his book Hindutva, in which he first coined the term itself, defined it as the belief that ‘Hindus are a nation (Rashtra), bound by a common culture (Sanskriti), a common history, a common language, a common country and a common religion (Hindu Dharma)’. The Hindutva ideology is the core belief of every RSS member, and each new recruit has to take an oath to dedicate their lives for the progress of this philosophy, as well as the spread of the name Bharatvarsh. The RSS has a huge following in India, but they have been involved in several controversial events over the years as well. It was an RSS member that assassinated one of India’s most influential leaders during partition, Mahatma Gandhi, and it caused the government to ban the organization indefinitely. However, in order to appease the state, as well as to continue their operations, the group decided to drop the words ‘Hindu Rashtra’ or the Hindu Land, from their official manifesto. This very small action did the job and the party was reinstated.The ruling BJP’s symbiotic relationship with RSS becomes completely obvious once you study the Babri Masjid incident in detail. They were the ones who handed in the initial petition to the Supreme Court to hand over the ‘undisputed’ land to its trustees, and away from the Muslims who controlled it earlier. Even though the trustees, known as the Nyas or Vishwa Hindu Parishad, only owned one acre of land on the Babri estate, yet they were granted the power to take over the rest as well. The RSS also quite publically supported Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP leader, Narendra Modi’s 11- phase Hindu Pride Parade in July 2002. These connections are in no way a coincidence and it is time that we see through this smokescreen of constitutional secularism, and see India for what it truly is. TALAT SHAHEENRawalpindiPublished in Daily Times, June 22nd 2018.