A day after taking over as RSS Sarkaryawah (general secretary) for a fourth consecutive term, Suresh Joshi told reporters that the RSS did not approve of damaging or pulling down statues, or attacking churches. Acts such as these were carried out by “anti-social elements”, Joshi told a press conference on Sunday.
“The RSS has always spoken out against such incidents,” Joshi said in response to a question on the pulling down of a statue of Lenin in Tripura soon after the BJP’s victory in the Assembly elections. “We had condemned when there were incidents of attack on churches too. On some occasions of confusion and conflict, anti-social elements become active, and do such acts,” he said. “The truth behind it (the toppling of Lenin’s statue) will soon come out,” Joshi added.
The 70-year-old RSS leader said it was “certain” that only a Ram Temple would be built in Ayodhya; however, a “process” would have to be followed.
“It’s a foregone conclusion (tay hai) that there can’t be anything else there except Ram Temple. But for anything to happen, a process has to be gone through. Currently, the Supreme Court is hearing the case about title ownership. It will be resolved soon,” he said.
Asked about the role of the RSS in the seemingly unstoppable march of the BJP across the country and, likewise, the role of the BJP in the growth of the RSS, Joshi said, “It is not that anyone comes or goes because of anyone else. If anyone comes, it is due to their own strength, and if there is defeat, it’s due to their own deficiencies. I won’t say that the BJP has gained due to the RSS. And the RSS had been growing even before 2014.
“It’s not important whether the Sangh parivar stands by the BJP to ensure its victory in (the Lok Sabha elections of) 2019,” Joshi said. “People at large should stand by the government.
Some good things are happening, which will benefit (the BJP),” he said, adding, “but let some things remain in the womb of future”.
Joshi claimed that more and more intellectuals and people with leadership qualities were getting associated with the RSS, “which shows that the acceptibility of the RSS has grown”. “The RSS has grown with a very large spread across the country in the past 92 years. But there are still some major deficiencies, which we have a plan to tackle in the coming years,” he said.
On other Parivar organisations such as the Bharatiya Majdoor Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and Swadeshi Jagran Manch speaking out against the BJP government, the RSS leader said, “All brothers aren’t equal. But each one has the freedom to express his opinion. There can be differences of opinion (matbhed), but there won’t be any differences in the mind (manbhed).”
Asked why the RSS’s Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS), which concluded in Nagpur on Sunday, had taken up no resolution on political issues, Joshi said, “Our resolutions are always as per our priorities, and not according to the situation that exists outside.”
The ABPS passed only one resolution — concerning the preservation of Indian dialects. “If you have to understand Bharat, you need to preserve Indian dialects and scripts,” Joshi said.
Responding to another question, the Sarkaryawah said the RSS did not “agree with the demand of the Lingayats that they should be treated as a separate religion. All sects born in India have the same common base.”
Farmers’ issues, Joshi said, should be handled with sensitivity; however, farmers, too, must change their way of thinking. “Change is needed to be brought about in the mindset of farmers. Agriculture should be approached with comprehensive (samagrata) thinking… There are some inadequacies in the system. They need to be removed.”