Bhagwat also asserted that the Sangh doesn’t seek domination and was indifferent to who comes to power.
New Delhi: In a first-of-its-kind outreach exercise by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), its supremo Mohan Bhagwat on Monday explained why the Sangh was established and its real motive, which was to nurture “swaymsevaks (volunteers) in every village of the country who work for the betterment of society and nation-building by taking along everyone”. Describing the Sangh as the “most democratic organisation”, where even a volunteer can seek a reply from the sarsanghchalak (supremo), and tried to clarify issues over which the Sangh has often been attacked by the political opponents of Sangh Parivar affiliate and current ruling party BJP. While asserting that India was a “land of diversity — of languages, religions, eating habits and cultures, the diversity has a comman message which is to respect each other”. Mr Bhagwat also asserted that the Sangh doesn’t seek domination and was indifferent to who comes to power.
While the RSS claimed Mr Bhagwat himself explaining what the Sangh was about and its core values was the way to get people to know about the real Sangh, others saw it as an attempt by it to counter the Opposition’s accusations against it, including its alleged interference in the Central government, at a time when the Lok Sabha polls are just around the corner.
Trying to dissociate the Sangh from the Centre and the ruling party, Mr Bhagwat said: “Who will be in power, what policy the country will accept ... is something to be decided by society and the people. There are mechanisms in place for that... We are not concerned about that, what we are concerned about is the conduct of society.”
These comments assume significance as it is believed the RSS had played a key role in the victory of the Narendra Modi-led BJP in 2014 and is widely expected to play an important role in next year’s Lok Sabha polls as well.
While the RSS had indicated it would invite intellectuals from various fields and also representatives of various political outfits, the only political figures from outside saffron circles who were present on the first day of the three-day conclave were former Samajwadi leader Amar Singh and former BJD leader Baijayant “Jay” Panda. A large number of BJP leaders and Union ministers were of course present, along with some celebrities from Bollywood and other spheres.
On the inaugural day of the conclave, titled “Bhavishya Ka Bharat — An RSS Perspective”, Mr Bhagwat said the Sangh had emerged as a force that was “incomparable” and as the force grows it gets publicity, which is a reason why some feel threatened and launch propaganda against it. Describing the founding father of the Sangh, Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, as a “janamjaat deshbhakt”, Mr Bhagwat tried to counter the Opposition’s claims that the Sangh had made no contribution to the freedom struggle. Mr Bhagwat gave a glimpse into the life of the first sarsanghchalak and how he played a key role in the freedom movement.
Explaining the term “Hindu rashtra”, on which the Sangh Parivar often faces flak, Mr Bhagwat said “Hindustan” is a land of Hindus, as the basic principle of all traditions and faiths originating in the country and those adapted by it, are the same which is called “Hinduness” or “Hindutva”, that binds each and every one. He said this was the reason why Hedgewar had said the RSS will be an organisation to unite the Hindus of the country. While talking about the freedom movement, Mr Bhagwat also praised the Congress and said that in the “form of the Congress, a big freedom movement had started in the country, which gave many great personalities”.
Mr Bhagwat said while the “bhagwadhwaz” (saffron flag adopted by it) is like a “guru” (teacher), the tricolour denotes the country, and also elucidated the importance of the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, the women’s wing of the parivar, and how women play a key role in the Sangh Parivar’s nation-building programme.
While explaining the decision-making process in the Sangh, Mr Bhagwat said that people often believe the RSS is a dictatorial organisation and that one man decides everything, but decisions are taken by consensus.
“People often believe that the RSS is a dictatorial organisation and one man decides everything... If you want to see the most open organisation, then you should come to the Sangh. There is no restriction. A RSS worker conducts himself in line with values given to him by the organisation,” said Mr Bhagwat.
He also said that people often tell them that the Sangh is “becoming faceless”, but the Sangh wants to be faceless so that “we don’t become arrogant. If tomorrow pictures of Mohan Bhagwat start getting published in the newspapers, it will be a matter of concern for Mohan Bhagwat”.
Mr Bhagwat also declared: “We do not want the RSS’ domination, rather we believe if history writes that something good happened in the country because of the Sangh’s domination, then it will be a big defeat for us. What we want is that the country should rise due to the efforts of the common man and its history and present is decided by him.”