Before starting to answer this question, I would like to make it clear that I am not a member of the RSS as of now and never have been either.
Now, first of all let us define the terminology that has been used in the question.
What does RSS mean: The literal meaning of the acronym RSS is Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh that means the National Selfservice Organization. You see, the stark difference between the meaning of the original words in Hindi and the meaning after it is translated to English. The meaning of RSS in English itself includes the word national within it. So, if we try to understand what the philosophy, ideology, and motto of the organization would be based on the literal meaning of its name, we would come to the simple conclusion that it must be an organization of people who would be trying to devote their precious time and efforts towards activities of service towards the nation. Mind you, here, the nation means India, i.e. Bharat mata in the wording of a RSS member. For more information about RSS, you can visit their website Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh .
Who can be called a nationalist: Without looking at any dictionary or encyclopedia, if I understand the meaning of the word nation, i.e. a nation state that came into being during the last few centuries, exactly around the 15th centuries, means a landmass ruled by an entity called government that has a well defined boundary, language, constitution etc. Now, someone who irrespective of living within the boundaries of that nation, thinks for the betterment of that nation, in terms of what he or she considers to be good in his own view, may be considered to be nationalist.
So, after having defined or understood both the terms on which your question is based, we can come to the conclusion that the RSS thinks that it works for the nation and so, calls itself a nationalist organization. Now, your definition of what is good for the nation may be different from what the RSS thinks is good for the nation, but it doesn’t give you the right to call them anti-national. If you do so, well, they may called you an anti-national as well, because you may not fit into their definition of what kind of behaviour, activity, ideology etc. is considered nationalistic and what is considered anti-national.
Now how to find out in real if they are nationalists or anti-national
Well, as Rajiv Malhotra of the Home – Breaking India book fame says, ours was a culture of Poorva Paksha and Uttar Paksha. One had the right to do Uttar Paksha only if he had done a thorough Poorva Paksha of that person or ideology. So, if you really want to know if the RSS is an anti-national organization or not, you need to understand the philosophy and ideology of the RSS in the same way as a RSS pracharak does, so that, you can argue in favor or against it in the same way or as good as a RSS pracharak does.
Now, the ball is in your court. Are you ready to do a Poorva Paksha on the RSS?
Who is behind this question?
How can someone think that the RSS is an anti-national organization? It must be the thought of either a congress man who prides on his pseudo secular ideology or an AAP supporter who prides on the backtracking of all allegations made by their supreme leader. These people should stop blindly following their leaders or party. Learn to take anything at its true value rather than taking it at its face value. If you start doing that, the nation will be full of people who think and act for its betterment.
Since this question that earlier read “Why is the RSS considered anti-national”, has been reworded as “Why is RSS considered antinational even though nationalist people like Godse have RSS barckground?”,, I am writing an update to my answer as well.
If a fringe element goes out of the ideology of the organization to which he is associated, can the whole organization be accused of following the same ideology?
Well, I had to ask this question, since, it is a matter of public knowledge that Nathuram Godse, who at one time was a RSS worker, had murdered Mahatma Gandhi. It is also known that the RSS doesn’t advocate violence, so, it is a well established fact that, Nathuram Godse had long digressed from the core ideology of the RSS. Now, since he was associated with the RSS at one point of time, and he murdered Mahatma Gandhi, can we accuse the RSS of following the same ideology as him. Are you kidding, or should I say have you become the scion of the Nehru Gandhi family, you know who.
Let me give you an example. Let us assume you have a few brothers in your family. One of your brothers becomes directionless and commits a heinous crime that I would not even like to spell here. Would you consider your whole family to be of the same mindset? I believe if you are a sane person, you would not. You would even hate it if some other people who are not part of your family, consider your family to be like your brother. Your family would most certainly must not have anything to do with the crime committed by your brother. So, similar can be the case for the RSS too.
I will again like to bring to your notice that, please do not get sucked into the propagandist machinery of the congress, the left parties, and the corrupt media that has sold its soul to the family that considers itself the ruler of India. Wake up and see the evil designs these people have in their minds to break India and divide the Indian people.
This article was also published on Quora.