Home >politics >policy >RSS’s message for Modi govt: Keep it simple

New Delhi: For the last three years, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has stood by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and also held out an identical prescription for governance.

A review of RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat’s annual speeches on Vijay Dashmi in the last three years reveals the Sangh, the ideological parent of BJP, has pressed for better execution of government programmes, installing a feedback mechanism at the grassroots level, protecting the interests of farmers and small and medium enterprises—most of whom fall in the unorganized sector—and ensuring social harmony.

Not only does this quell frequent speculation of disquiet within RSS towards the government by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it also demonstrates a convergence of views—the government too, at the risk of being accused of being pro-poor by some, has sought to put a lot of emphasis on social sector development preferring empowerment (intent to ensure universal access to electricity and cooking gas) to entitlement (a strategy pursued by the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance or UPA).

On Saturday, Bhagwat, repeated what he has said in the previous two years.

“The small, medium and micro business have to be strengthened because they give employment to many people...There should be a minimum support price for farmers so that they are able to look after their families. Agriculture is a big source of employment but small farmers are suffering because of reduction in prices, and vagaries of market and nature," Bhagwat said in his Dussehra speech on Saturday.

“The public procurement machinery for farm produce, other than for rice and wheat, needs improvement. Secondly, higher spending on rural housing and roads would lead to creation of more employment as well as assets. But it depends on the government’s approach to fiscal consolidation," said D.K. Joshi, chief economist at rating agency Crisil.

On Saturday, the RSS chief also reiterated the need for preserving social harmony and the importance of dialogue and eschewing of violence in the name of religion.

Two years ago, Bhagwat had spoken similarly. “It (bringing order through imposition of new laws) never happened this way and it will never happen this way. It can only be accomplished through a respectful dialogue with concerned entities. This dialogue and the efforts to enlighten the society through the dialogue needs to take place at all the levels, be it the government, administration, media or intellectuals in the society and it should continue before and after such changes." Listing the setting up of Mudra Bank, Jan Dhan Yojana, voluntary surrender of subsidies and the Swachh Bharat mission as good initiatives undertaken by NDA, Bhagwat has repeatedly made out a case for delivering on promises.

“It is essential to get credible data, both qualitative and quantitative, from the grassroots level to measure the efficacy of our developmental policies," Bhagwat said in 2015 and similar message was repeated in 2017.

“The support for NDA government is both strategic and situational and the RSS would not diverge greatly from the point of view of the government," said Jai Mrug, a Mumbai-based political analyst.

Gireesh Chandra Prasad and Anuja contributed to the story.

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