Millennium Post

RSS’s new found importance

The four day conclave of RSS leaders in Bhopal last week was significant from many respects. The media was not allowed in the meeting and the senior leaders were told not to talk to press anything about the discussions so that the participants could present their views and also their differences with the approach of the Modi government. However, this time RSS had to organise a press conference addressed by Mohan Vaidya since a lot of speculative stories came in the newspapers and the RSS leadership looked a bit rattled.

It was apparent that the RSS felt empowered at its new found importance and the leaders gave the impression that they would set the agenda for the nation building which the Narendra Modi government would be compelled to implement. At the same time, it seemed that the leaders were not united on the approach and there were conflicting views on the pace of implementation of the agenda.

After Vaidya made some introductory remarks clarifying the RSS position about the issues raised in the media, journalists started asking questions urging Vaidya to explain RSS stand about some important matters including Sangh stand on FDI, government failure to control prices etc. Vaidya declined to answer the questions asked. But when journalists persisted on this, Vaidya nearly lost his temper and walked out. During his initial remarks, Vaidya informed that the Sangh meet mainly discussed three issues. They were Hindutva, social harmony and development.

As is known the main objective of the RSS is to make India a Hindu Rashtra. The Sangh broadly considered strategy to realise this ideal during the five year rule of Modi government. Addressing the Sangh conclave, Bhagwat made a strong plea for the unity of Hindus. He expressed the view that if Hindus remain united no power on the earth can do any harm to them.

As per sources, Bhagwat said the country’s security had greater danger from inside than outside. He called upon the RSS volunteers to dedicate themselves for eradication of untouchability and strengthening of nationalism. He emphasised that Hindu and Hindustan could only be strengthened if people overcame the caste biases and discrimination based on caste. Describing greed and corruption as the two biggest problems India faces, Bhagwat said that looking at the government all the time for development was not the right attitude and people should take initiative themselves for their own development. Without naming Narendra Modi and the BJP led government at the Centre, Bhagwat said the people expected the new leadership to do better. He said the RSS would continue to pursue its mission in coordination with the central government. Bhagwat said identity of India and Hindutva must be strengthened throughout the world and now is the most opportune time to do it.

In the absence of authentic briefing, newspapers depended on their own sources. For example one local news paper reported that some participants were critical of the HRD Minister Smriti Irani. An important functionary demanded that Arun Shorie should be inducted in the Central Ministry and may be assigned HRD ministry. They pointed out that Irani does not have the capability and experience to handle a sensitive ministry like HRD. A demand was also made that prompt action should be initiated to review the cases of those who are in jail on the charge of their involvement in so called acts of Hindu terrorism. A number of Sangh stalwarts expressed their anger over the defiance by the government of the RSS policy regarding FDI. It may be recalled that the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, an affiliate of the RSS, has been opposing the policy of FDI. A newspaper also reported that some Sangh leaders questioned the undue importance being given to Dinanath Batra.

During the discussion Bhagwat blamed left and Nehruvian historians for distorting history of India. He
pleaded that this harm should be undone. Bhopal conclave was also attended by extremists like Pravin Togadia. A known rival of Narendra Modi, Togadia speaking in somewhat strong language asked the central government to fulfil the promises made during the election campaign. In this context, he listed the promises made about Ram Mandir, Article 370 and Uniform Civil Code. He said that any step for the normalisation of relations with Pakistan should be preceded with the surrender of Saeed, the main culprit of Mumbai holocaust. It is learnt that Togadia was advised to use dignified language while expressing his views on various issues.

The Sangh leadership also expressed concern over the decline of intellectual standard of Sangh volunteers. They were advised to read books written by Hedgewar, Deendayal Upadhyay and Ambedkar. Significantly books by second Sarsanghchalak, M S Golwalkar (guru ji) were not included in the list. Before the commencement of the Bhopal conclave it was speculated that Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan may attend the session but none of them came. Rumour was doing round that Shivraj Singh Chauhan expressed desire to attend the meeting but his request was not entertained. IPA
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