RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat reached Vadodara Sunday morning to attend a puja at a Ganesh pandal. Bhagwat, who also celebrated his birthday on Sunday, in his address said that September 11 is a significant date in the human history and it gives a “lesson for direction” to humanity.
He turned 66 on Sunday.
Flanked by BJP leaders who are rarely seen attending events together, Bhagwat performed the puja at the Ganesh pandal of Shrimant Siddhivinayak Public Trust in Dandia Bazar area. As the day marked his birthday, women belonging to the organisation as well as Radhikaraje Gaekwad of the erstwhile royal family performed aarti for Bhagwat.
The event saw a rare gathering of all five BJP MLAs from Vadodara — Saurabh Patel, Yogesh Patel, Rajendra Trivedi, Jitendra Sukhadia and Manisha Vakil — at the venue along with MP Ranjan Bhatt and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and others.
In his address, Bhagwat did not make any political statement, but with references to Lord Ganesha drove his point across to the “warring” leaders who shared the space at the event.
Bhagwat, overwhelmed by the celebration of his birthday in the traditional Maharashtrian style, spoke of September 11 as being a day of “great importance” for giving a “direction” to humanity.
He said, “It is not a significant day because I am born this day. Many people are born on the same day. But September 11 is known for two important incidents. It was the date on which Swami Vivekanand delivered his Chicago speech at Parliament of World’s Religions in 1893, and US’ twin-tower were destroyed (in 2001). While Swamiji spoke of Hinduism at the Chicago Parliament and took the religion to an international pedestal with his example, the destruction of the twin-tower showed us the other side of religious extremism. So, in every sense September 11 is a day that shows the world a new way of religion and how it can also destroy. It is in our hands which direction we want to take.”
Bhagwat also sent across a tacit message to the BJP leaders in attendance about being “united”. In the recent past, following the exclusion of MLA Saurabh Patel from the state cabinet, some party leaders in Vadodara had put up hoardings celebrating his ouster.