NEW DELHI, Dec 12: The head of India’s rightwing Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS, National Volunteers Corps) has warned that a nuclear war with Pakistan could become inevitable if peaceful means fail to rein in terrorism and voiced the chilling prospect of a Third World War breaking out, which he feels may cleanse the world of evil.

Mr K.S. Sudarshan, the powerful supreme leader of the RSS who may wield even greater clout in the next government, said in an interview widely distributed on the email on Thursday, and verified as authentic by senior RSS officials on Friday, that the Mumbai terror attacks were only part of a bigger plan to destroy India. “They want India to be broken into pieces but Indian people have always won.

“We are tolerant, but a very brave society. We were defeated and enslaved only when we were disunited.”

However, in remarks that could leave global diplomacy grappling with chilling possibilities, Mr Sudarshan added that while he wanted India to probe all other means to resolve the terror issue with Pakistan it should be prepared for war, which could easily turn into a nuclear war.

Freelance journalist Chetan Upadhyaya asked Mr Sudarshan if India should go for a full-fledged war with Pakistan. He replied: “If there is no other way left. Whenever the demons (Aasuri powers) start dominating this planet, there is no way other than the war. Tell me if there is any other way out. But war should be the last resort. Before that Bharat should consider other options.”

He was asked if such a war would not escalate into a nuclear conflict. “Yes, I know it will not stop there. It will be nuclear war and a large number of people will perish.

“In fact, not me alone but many people around the world have expressed their apprehension that this terrorism may ultimately result in a Third World War. And this will be a nuclear war in which many of us are going to be finished. But according to me, as of now, it is very necessary to defeat the demons and there is no other way.

“And let me say with confidence that after this destruction, a new world will emerge, which will be very good, free from evil and terrorism.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government has said it was opposed to war as a solution to deal with the current standoff with Pakistan. Mr Sudarshan said: “The government should do what the public says.

“The people are highly agitated. The people came in open protest against the attacks and this was a never-before phenomenon. And in this moment of crisis, whatever the people and the government decide, we are with them.”

He clarified, however, that there was no question of opposing the government over its handling of terrorism. India had asked Pakistan to hand over 20 most wanted criminals and “they are making excuses and refusing to hand over the culprits… this way, they are jeopardising the whole path of reconciliation.”

Mr Sudarshan criticised the BJP, the political arm of the RSS, for infighting among its leaders. “Like any other party, BJP is also the victim of this to a certain extent. But it is the result of the political system that we have adopted. Some people think that system is not to blame; it is the men who are running the system who are at fault. But this is only a partial truth.”

There was news, during the last Lok Sabha elections, that in view of the bad performance by BJP, the RSS was open to the idea of supporting some new party. Was the idea still alive?

“I would not like to comment on it. We are a social and cultural organisation and BJP is a political organisation. Swayamsevaks (volunteers), who are eligible for voting, would vote according to their own conscience. RSS does not direct them.”



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