He may have spoken on a wide range of issues, from preserving ecology to jihad, but RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s Vijayadashami speech on Friday had a clear subtext. He picked for special mention four states — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and West Bengal — where the BJP is trying hard to make electoral gains.
Bhagwat cautioned that the lives of local Hindu communities, law and order situation and the national security were under “serious threat” in states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam, all ruled by non-BJP parties.
Bhagwat said the Bharat of the RSS’s vision was “one which accepts all pluralities of the universe and is capable of presenting itself as an example of integration”. And then came the caveat: “This is the Bharat that we have to build… a strong Bharat which will be a natural assurance of safety and security to every such person who claims links with its land, ancestors and culture.”
Defending the RSS chief’s view, BJP general secretary P Murlidhar Rao said Bhagwat did not mean that only those who have a link with this land, ancestors and culture were safe here. “When he said Bharat and its culture, he did not mean that it was the RSS definition of Bharat or culture. In fact, he spoke at length about plurality,” Rao said.
The speech, a link of the summary of which was tweeted by Prime Minister Modi, also echoed almost all the emotional electoral issues which the BJP used during the campaign for the Lok Sabha, namely, a ban on cow slaughter, jihadis in the south and illegal immigration of Bangladeshis to the eastern states.
The RSS chief accused the governments in Kerala and Tamil Nadu of failing to check the “serious upsurge in jihadi activities”. “No effective policy imperatives, efforts are visible in curbing such activities. No visible reduction in smuggling of rare earth minerals from the southern coast has come to notice,” he said.
By blaming ruling parties — Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and the Congress in Assam— he endorsed the BJP’s point of view, adding, “Near surrender before these fanatic elements and appeasement policy adopted by the ruling parties in these states, have put the life of local Hindu communities, the law and order situation as well as the national security under serious threat in the region.”
On Naxalism, Bhagwat and NDA take different lines
Raipur: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s stand on the Maoist problem seems to be at odds with that of the NDA government. While Union Minister Rajnath Singh has favoured a “tough stand” against Maoists, Bhagwat, during his Dussehra address on Friday, said “lack of development and exploitation of the poor is helping the Naxals”.
This view is similar to that taken by some UPA ministers. Underlining the socio-economic aspect of the crisis, Bhagwat said “the social situations causing exploitation of poor and lack of development finally help the Naxals in recruiting poor youths as their cannon fodder”.