One of his key lessons after more than a year in government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, is that the higher echelons of the government can be cleansed of corruption but for that to happen, what was needed was time, public awareness and support from the RSS.
Speaking on the concluding session of the three-day RSS samanway baithak (co-ordination meeting) Modi, sources said, referred to the recent economic crisis and said that while many countries would face problems, for India this could be an opportunity given the distinctive characteristics of its economy and people.
Sources said that Modi spoke for 15 minutes just before RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat who spoke for nearly 45 minutes. In his speech, Modi also cited the example of those who have given up their LPG subsidy to argue that this shows the maturity of the public. And that if the government properly communicates its message, it will strike a chord.
Bhagwat, elaborating on the expansion of RSS and its affiliates, said that the future belonged to the Sangh Parivar. “Bhawishya hamara hai,” he said.
“We will win if we are united, but we will lose if we fight with each other.” The meeting, sources said, featured 14 sessions each chaired by senior RSS leaders. Union ministers sat in the audience and responded only if there were queries related to their departments. For example, Home Minister Rajnath Singh was asked by a delegate from the North-East about the recent land boundary pact with Bangladesh.
According to sources, the delegate claimed that Hindus from parts of Bangladesh were being given citizenship in India while Muslims on the Indian side were not going to Bangladesh. Rajnath is said to have replied: “While making long-term agreements with neighbouring countries in the national interest, we need to look at the larger picture and be ready to give up certain things.”
On the other hand, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley faced questions from Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) delegates about FDI (foreign direct investment) in the defence sector. He is said to have explained that FDI would help produce defence equipment in India and provide jobs to the young.
Sources said that HRD Minister Smriti Irani told delegates that the New Education Policy is being finalised and they must send their suggestions, “If you feel there is any one who can help us in framing this policy, please tell me,” she said.