Home / Politics / Policy /  RSS chief applauds Modi govt over Pakistan policy, surgical strikes

Mumbai: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday applauded the Narendra Modi-led government for “creating faith among people in the slow but steady progress the nation is making" and for “giving a befitting reply to nuisance-creating forces along the border".

“The current government is the one that works and not the one which is indifferent," Bhagwat said, addressing RSS volunteers on Vijaya Dashmi at the RSS headquarters in Nagpur.

The RSS is the ideologue of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and, consequently, has a close relationship with the party. An endorsement for the government augurs well for BJP as it guarantees RSS support in mobilization ahead of the crucial elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The RSS chief’s Vijaya Dashmi address is the most significant annual articulation of the RSS programme for the volunteers of this 90-year-old organization. Bhagwat mentioned that one of the reasons this year’s Vijaya Dashmi festival was significant for the RSS was that its members were donning a new uniform—deep brown trousers replacing the trademark khaki shorts.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union minister of transport and shipping Nitin Gadkari, in RSS uniform, were seated among the invitees.

Also read: The evolution of the RSS uniform

The RSS chief also hailed the cow-protection work that Gau Rakshaks are engaged in, describing a large majority of them as “good people". But he asked the Gau Rakshaks to work within the Constitutional framework, reminding them that there were “selfish tendencies" to exploit any “small incidence and violation" that occurred when cow protectors insisted on enforcement of anti-cow slaughter laws.

Bhagwat said it was not the current government, which had brought in the anti-cow slaughter laws, adding that several Indian states had these laws for decades. “Cow protection is also part of the directive principles of the Constitution," he said.

Talking about the new education policy that the HRD ministry has drafted, Bhagwat said the policy would have to be changed if it did not reflect the “motivation and aspirations" of sectoral experts and people who considered education as a means to achieve “emotional integration of all Indians and commitment to nationalism above all". “I have not seen the policy and I do not know if it has been drafted in consultation with the education experts. But it will have to be changed if it does not meet their motivation and aspirations for social change," Bhagwat said.

In an apparent reference to Pakistan without naming it, Bhagwat said there were “people and tendencies in the world which did not like the current government in India". “These people run their dukan (shops) on the basis of extremism, fundamentalism, and social divisions. They have some influence in India too and these tendencies do not like the current government in India," he said.

Bhagwat also asserted that the parts like Mirpur, Gilgit, and Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir belonged to India and said the time has come for translating this vision into action. The RSS chief lauded Modi government’s diplomatic success in completely isolating Pakistan.

Bhagwat profusely congratulated the Modi government over the surgical strikes but said India’s armed forces, society, and the government would now have to maintain a strict vigil to ensure that the “nuisance creators" don’t infiltrate through the borders.

“To protect our borders, we need coordination between the national government and the government in Jammu & Kashmir. This is not happening. The national government is firm and has resolve to win entire Kashmir for us but the government in Jammu & Kashmiri is lax," Bhagwat said.

Calling for social assimilation and emotional integration among Indians of all faiths, sects, communities, and castes, Bhagwat cautioned people against “tendencies within" which were exploiting the “social and caste divisions and discriminations" in the Indian society for their selfish ends. “It is true that our society still has some discrimination and divisions left. Incidences of discrimination and atrocities for reasons of caste or community are shameful and unbecoming of our society and culture. We must not allow the selfish tendencies among us to exploit these incidences," Bhagwat said.

He said these “selfish tendencies" are always active in India “not only against this government but all governments" and they wanted India to “always feel wretched about herself and her culture". “There are elements within our media too which sometimes create a big issue out of nothing and sometimes even manufacture incidences which have not happened at all. Their intention is to see that the government that rules India at any point of time should not be able to win the trust of her people," the RSS chief said.

Nagpur-based senior political commentator and RSS watcher Shyam Pandharipande said he did not find anything “statesman-like" in Bhagwat’s speech.

“There is little new in his address by way of giving a programme to RSS volunteers or guiding the society in these times of great social upheaval when caste and communal fault lines are widening," he said.

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