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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Mohan Bhagwat says govts should return temple property to devotees, seeks population policy

Calls for population policy that can last 50 yrs, curbs on drug trade

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur |
Updated: October 16, 2021 12:46:10 am
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat touched on a range of issues in his Vijaya Dashami address on Friday. (Twitter/RSS)

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat Friday called upon governments to return all temple property under their control to “Hindu society” and repeated the organisation’s demand for a population policy to tackle what it claims is a “demographic imbalance”.

Addressing RSS volunteers at the annual Vijaya Dashami programme in Nagpur, Bhagwat said most Hindu temples in south India are controlled by the government. “Many temples in India are also run by trusts. In both cases, we find instances of good and bad management,” he said.

“It is necessary and only reasonable that the operating rights of Hindu temples be handed over to the Hindu devotees and the wealth of the Hindu temples is utilised for the worship of the deities and the welfare of the Hindu community only,” he demanded.

“The injustices such as the exclusive appropriation of Hindu religious sites for decades and centuries, handing over of the operations to the non devotees/irreligious, unethical heretics despite the state being ‘secular’ must be expunged,” said Bhagwat.

Bhagwat did not speak about the Lakhimpur Kheri incident where a motorcade allegedly led by a Union Minister’s son mowed down four farmers. He said, without mentioning any particular issue, “Different kinds of topsy-turvy (ulte-sidhe) incidents happen in a vast country like ours. But we should adopt a language that will unite the people and not divide them.”

The RSS chief reiterated the demand for a population policy to correct the “growing demographic imbalance caused by differential population growth rates”.

He called for a population policy that could be used for the next 50 years. “We will have to be sure of the needs of the population then and the requirements of the young population necessary to take care of the older ones. But along with the balance of population, we will also have to take care of the growing demographic imbalance being observed over the last few years,” Bhagwat said.

Reminding the government of the RSS resolution of 2015 in this regard, Bhagwat said: “In the present circumstances, news of persecution of native Hindus, growing criminalisation and a mounting pressure on them to escape their areas where an imbalanced population growth have surfaced. The violence that broke out following the elections of West Bengal and the pitiable condition of the Hindu people there can also be attributed to the appeasement of barbarous elements by the government and population imbalance.”

“Therefore, a policy that is applicable to all groups in the same fashion is imperative. ‘Infiltrators’ must be deprived of citizenship,” Bhagwat said.

The RSS chief also claimed the people of Jammu and Kashmir have begun reaping the benefits of the repeal of Article 370. “But extremists have started targeted violence to disturb peace and lower the public morale. Government must efficiently deal with them,” Bhagwat said.

He, however, emphasised: “Efforts must be made to win the hearts of the people.”

Without explicitly referring to the Aryan Khan case, Bhagwat called for strict curbs on the drug trade. “We know to which countries the money from the drug trade can be traced. We must deal with it firmly.”

The RSS chief also expressed concern on the contents on streaming platforms, saying: “Nobody has any control on it. Our children are watching it.”

Referring to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Bhagwat said: “Their predisposition — passionate fanaticism, tyranny and terrorism in the name of Islam — is sufficient to make everyone apprehensive of the Taliban. But now China, Pakistan and Turkey have coalesced in an unholy coalition with the Taliban. Our military preparedness on the borders needs to be alert and sound on all ends and at all times.”

Bhagwat called for a balanced approach towards all schools of medicine. “We must evolve a health system which would envisage appropriate use of different systems of medicines wherever needed.”

The RSS chief also called for integrating “Bharatiya view” in formulations of economic and health policies. “Our distinct economic vision is evolved out of age-old national experiences of life and incorporating objects of economic pursuits thought about globally, wherein the source of bliss is said to be located within human consciousness. Material things are not the source of boundless bliss. Nor is bliss limited to physical pleasure. Our economic paradigm emphasises control over consumption. The human being is a mere trustee of the material resources, not the possessor. It does not focus on maximizing the benefits of specific groups – only capitalists or only merchants or producers or labourers. Erecting an economic development model based on this vision, consolidating our learnings that are valuable from across the world, and combining it with our current national context is the need of the hour,” Bhagwat said.

The RSS chief referred to the contents on the OTT platforms, saying, “nobody has any control on it. Our children are watching it.”
Bhagwat specifically called for enhancing the cyber security regimen in the country.

Bhagwat called for an egalitarian society without any caste discrimination. “Our societal consciousness is still skewed with caste-based sentiments. As of today, the intellectual landscape of the country is far outnumbered by those who are acting contrary to the ones building bridges to promote dialogue and intimacy among people,” Bhagwat observed.

“There is a concerted effort to create ill will about one’s own country in the minds of people by deriding everything that is Bharatiya. Hence our young generation must be made aware of our glorious past. This attack is on at both micro and macro levels. There is a fear that if Bharat marches ahead on path of development, there position will be threatened,” he said.

Referring to the recent armed skirmishes between Assam and Meghalaya police, Bhagwat said, “at times we behave as if we don’t belong to the same country. Opposition amongst political parties is understood but we also see opposition between government between different states. We are a federal structure under constitution. The system is federal, people are not. But this is not reflected in the conduct of the people occupying power. So who would lead the society. So the society will have to secure itself from such things. We must remain awakened about the forces of anarchy.

Bhagwat stressed use of own language wherever possible. “There is no opposition to English. It must be used wherever necessary. But we must also use our langauges wherever we can. Why shouldn’t we do our signatures in our own language,” Bhagwat asked.

Bhagwat said that India has led the fightback against corona and the RSS has kept teams of 5-6 people ready in every village to fight the possible third wave of the disease.

He stressed on getting rid of single use plastic and increasing green cover in the country.

RSS chief sees Ram Temple link to sporting achievements

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat sought to connect the recent success of Indian athletes in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to the sense of elation (utsaha) sparked by the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. “The sense of self is appearing to be on the rise in the country. Recently, it was seen when volunteers went about collecting donations for Ram temple. The society, irrespective of caste and geographical area, cooperated. That was due to once sentiment — that we have brought back something which belonged to us and we need to make it stand. All of them were not those praying to Ram, but all of them contributed and all of them were elated. That elation and confidence is also finding expression,” Bhagwat said, and went on to discuss the Olympics and Paralympics success in the same vein.

Counting the number of medals in both events, Bhagwat asked: “Where has the enthusiasm behind this success come from? Clearly, they have now developed a sense of doing something for the country.”

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