Raipur: Terming the nationalism professed by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as “extreme” and an “aberration”, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel stated that it did not go with the ethos of India where only Gandhian nationalism would remain in the end.
“In Gandhian nationalism, respect for dissent is all important. But the RSS-BJP idea of nationalism is to brand dissenters as anti-nationalists,” the chief minister said.
“There are many countries which have homogenous societies such as one religion. But India’s unity in diversity has been its strength and it will remain as its strength. Ours is a nation where many great leaders taught people to respect each other and honour dissent,” he said.
Reacting to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement that ‘lynching’ word is alien to Bharat and it is being used to defame India, the chief minister said the RSS chief must clarify whether the nationalism propelled by his organisation and its associates is truly Indian or it is akin that of Germany or Italy and whether it is influenced by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Meanwhile, at the Gandhi Vichar Padyatra, which culminated on Thursday, the chief minister raised concern about the growing negativity in society.
He added that the Chhattisgarh government was following the path of Gram Swaraj, as shown by Mahatma Gandhi.
The yatra was planned as part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. The celebrations are also being viewed as an attempt by the Congress government to reclaim the icon’s legacy.
The yatra across the state comes soon after the launched of several programmes unveiled on October 2 by the chief minister aimed at promotion of Swadeshi, freeing the state from malnutrition and provision of universal healthcare.