Whether the RSS is to be equated to SIMI or not, I'll leave others to figure out and make pronouncements on. It doesn't interest me much, really.
I do know a couple of things. One, in my experience, folks who feel the need to tell the world that they are "patriotic" usually don't quite believe it themselves. And two, it's in the reactions to pronouncements that you can usually find revealing nuggets.
Consider one reaction to Rahul Gandhi's pronouncement, taken at random: Rahul Gandhi should have known better. Nearing halfway through this otherwise innocuous editorial, there's this sentence:
It was the RSS that sent in its cadre to salvage the bodies of victims after two planes collided mid-air a short distance from Delhi: All the dead were Muslims.
I don't know when the defenders of the RSS will realize -- if they care, that is -- that it is exactly this kind of line that people like me find so disillusioning.
Because how do they know for certain that all the victims were Muslims? If they found out, why did they find out? There is something profoundly repugnant about going through a list of dead passengers, or digging through the clothes on a mutilated body, to find a name and then tick off that it is a Muslim name.
And why make this assertion anyway -- does the RSS expect applause because it chose to salvage bodies that turned out to be Muslim? I mean, I'm appreciative of what the RSS did after that crash not because the dead were Muslims, but purely because it was hard, stomach-turning work that still had to be done. It doesn't become more stellar (or less) because these were Muslims who died.
The truth is, that line is the revealing nugget in this essay. It says all I need to know about the thinking of whoever wrote it. And to me at any rate, it's not particularly edifying.