Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat performed ‘shastra puja’ at the annual Vijayadashami event in Nagpur. He addressed the swayamsevaks and talked about the Lok Sabha elections, scrapping of Article 370 and lynchings.
Celebrated on the tenth day of the Navratri festival, Dussehra or Vijayadashami marks the end of Navratri, Durga Puja and also the triumph of good over evil. The day is celebrated in different ways throughout the country. Follow Dussehra 2019 Live Updates here
Here is the full text of his speech:
Respected chief guest, invited guests who specially came here to witness this function, venerable seers, Mananeeya Sanghchalaks, all Mananeeya Adhikaris of the Sangh, mothers, sisters, eminent citizens and beloved Swayamsevak brothers.
The year preceding this Vijayadasami was very special as the 550th Prakash Varsh of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The programmes planned in this connection will continue for some time till their scheduled time-period ends. In the meanwhile, Dattopant Ji Thengadi’s birth centenary year will also start from November 10. However, some important events that had taken place in the past year have made it more memorable to us.
The Lok Sabha election results were declared in the month of May. These elections attracted the attention of the whole world. The timely and systematic conduct of the elections in Bharat, a country of continental proportion brimming with diversity, was the prime cause of attraction for the world. Similarly, was the change in 2014 a mere result of a negative political wave born out of the disenchantment against the previous government, or the people had made up their mind to go in a specific direction: was to be seen in the elections of 2019. The world took note of that also. The people have expressed their firm opinion: democracy is not a new unfamiliar thing that has been imported from outside but it has been ingrained in the national psyche as a result of centuries of tradition and collective experiences and enlightenment gained during the post-independence period; and as a result, the society has resolved to remain in and take forward democracy successfully. This fact came to the attention of all. The society by electing the new government with an increased number of seats has endorsed its past performance and expressed a lot of expectations for the future.
The move of the re-elected regime to nullify Article 370 has once again proved that it has the courage to fulfil those expectations and respect people’s sentiments and wishes in the interest of the country. Removal of Article-370 has been already in the thought of the ruling party. But this time by skilfully garnering the support of other parties in both houses, with strong logic and plea in consonance with public sentiment the work was accomplished, for which the members of the ruling party, including the Prime Minister and Home Minister, and other political parties who upheld the public sentiments in Parliament deserve congratulations. This effort will come to fruition only when justice denied under the influence of Article 370 is restored, injustices occurred are brought to an end. It will happen when our Kashmiri Pandits who were unjustly driven away are brought back and rehabilitated and allowed to remain secure, fearless, patriotic and Hindu. Many a right of residents of Kashmir which were denied to them so far will be restored, and false fears instilled in the minds of brothers of the Valley that there is a threat to their property and jobs due to the nullification of Article 370, will be removed and having done away with those fears, they will be able to perform their duties towards the country’s development with brotherly affinity and concord with the people of the rest of Bharat.
In the month of September, our scientists, with their talent, had caught the attention and earned the praise and sympathy of the scientific community of the entire world when they landed Chandrayaan’s “Vikram” on the hitherto unexplored region, the South Pole of the Moon. Although the mission did not attain full success as expected, achieving so much in the first attempt itself is a feat not accomplished so far by the entire world. Due to this daring mission of our scientists, the world’s admiration for our country’s intellectual genius and scientific prowess and commitment to realise the goals through hard work has increased. The matured intellect and action of the people, an awakened sense of pride in the country and firm commitment of the government along with experience of our scientific expertise— all these pleasant feelings have made the last year memorable forever.
However, this is not the time either to revel in the given pleasant circumstances or become lazy and let down our guard and loose our interest, become inactive, indulge in luxury and selfishness, leaving everything to the government. Our ultimate goal – making Bharat glorious and prosperous – towards which we have started our journey is still far off. The forces, seeking to create hurdles in the path and block the way, have not yet stopped their machination. There are some crises before us, which needed to be overcome. There are some questions, which need to be answered by us. And, there are some problems for which we need to find solutions to tackle them.
As far as crises are concerned, there are always circumstances where there are problems in the life of an individual or the world. Some crises are visible.
Some come to the fore later. As long as our body, mind and intellect remain alert, healthy and responsive, the possibility of successfully tackling the crises will also increase. Fortunately, the security capability of our country, preparedness of our armed forces, security policy of our government and the situation of our expertise in international politics– in all these aspects the situation has developed to such a level that we remain alert and confident. The security alertness along our land and maritime borders is better now. However the number of guards and checkposts on land borders, and surveillance along the maritime border, especially on islands, have to be increased. The terrorist violence has declined in the country. The number of terrorists surrendering is also on the rise.
Still, for a human being, there is always a fear of a possible crisis from within as well. The agents that cause many a trouble reside in the body. If the body’s immunity comes down their impact becomes visible, otherwise, there won’t be any hassle.
We all know that, in the past few years, there has been a transformation in the direction of the thought process of Bharat. There are many people in the world and in Bharat as well, who do not want this. A developed Bharat creates fear in the minds of vested interests: such forces will also not want Bharat to be strong and vibrant. Unfortunately, the prevailing state of social unity, equality and harmony in Bharat is not up to the desired level. These forces are seen to be taking advantage of the situation. Diversities of caste, creed, language and region are being used to separate one from another; turning them to differences; widening the fault-lines already existing in the society; imposing fabricated identities on manufactured separations, thereby creating diverse and conflicting streams in the national mainstream – such efforts are underway. It is essential to be alert in identifying these plots and counter them on intellectual and social planes. Even well-meaning policies, decision or statements coming from persons in the government or administration are used by misinterpretation or distortion, to benefit their nefarious designs by these forces. Alertness is a constant necessity. While all these activities are underway, there is an overt or covert effort to create disaffection towards the civil discipline and law of the land. This has to be countered at all levels.
Nowadays, there have been reports that members of a community in our society have been attacked by another community, making them victims of social violence. Such incidents have not been one-sided. There are reports of incidents happening from both sides and allegations and counter-allegations. It has also come to light that some incidents have been deliberately fabricated while some others have been published in a distorted manner. However, it must be accepted that these tendencies of violence have somehow or the other crossed the limits of the law and order and wreaked havoc by eroding the mutual relations in the society. Neither this tendency is the tradition of our country nor does it fit in the spirit of the Constitution. Howsoever deep the difference of opinion be, howsoever provocative actions might have taken place, still, we should act by remaining within the limits of Constitution, handing over such cases to the police and reposing faith in the judicial system of the country. This is the duty of the citizens of a free nation. The Sangh has never supported the people who were involved in such incidents and it stands against each and every such incident. Swayamsevaks are working in this direction so that such incidents do not take place. But by branding such incidents by the words like ‘lynching’, denoting the traditions which were alien to Bharat and belong elsewhere, efforts are underway to defame our country and the entire Hindu society and create fear among the so-called minority communities. We have to understand that such a conspiracy is also being hatched.
Everyone should keep away from talking in provocative language or indulging in provocative acts. The so-called leaders—who in the name of advocating the interests of a specific community create clash in between the two communities of our society and have made an industry out of their pursuits for selfaggrandisement—should not be patronised. Adequate laws exist in the country to curb such incidents. They must be honestly and strictly implemented.
Different sections of the society should strive to increase goodwill, dialogues and cooperation among themselves. In today’s context, it is absolutely important to work for the goodwill, harmony and cooperation among all sections of society and follow the discipline by keeping ourselves within the limits of Constitution while expressing our ideas or working for the protection of our interests. The Sangh Swayamsevaks have been taking efforts to enhance this type of dialogues and cooperation. Even then, decisions on some matters are required to be taken by the courts. Whatever be the decision, it is the duty of responsible citizens that they should not hurt the mutual goodwill through words or deeds. It is not the responsibility of any one community; it is the responsibility of all. Each one should follow it and start with oneself.
Slowing down of the world economy has left its impacts everywhere. Many countries including Bharat have to suffer the resultant of the ongoing global trade war between the US and China. The government has taken many initiatives to tide over the situation in the last one-and-a-half months. This gives a definite indication of the government’s sensitivity towards people’s interests and its prompt and proactive attitude. We will definitely come out of this cycle of so called recession. The personalities leading our economy are competent enough.
To strengthen the economy, the government is compelled to take steps such as allowing Foreign Direct Investment and disinvestment of industries. However, while implementing many government schemes and welfare policies at the lower level, more alacrity and efficiency and avoiding unnecessary stringency can set many matters right.
Forgetting the Swadeshi consciousness, while seeking answers to the pressures of the situation, will also lead to loss. Dattopant Thengadi considered ‘Swadeshi’ as an expression of patriotism in day-to-day life. Acharya Vinoba Bhave described it as self-reliance (Swaavalamban) and non-violence (Ahimsa). As per any yardstick, those who have got the capacity to be self-reliant and provide employment for all in the country, keeping themselves secured, can only build and expand the international trade relations and offer a secure and healthy future for the entire humanity. Considering our economic scenario, even if we have to choose any circuitous route, we must overcome the compulsions once and for all by setting a destination and direction based on our own strength.
However, to minimise the impact of other immediate crises and the ups and downs of the world economy on our financial system, we need to go to the basics and ponder. We have to formulate our own economic vision keeping in mind our requirements, profile and condition of our people and our resources and potential to realise our national aspirations. The prevailing world economic thought is unable to answer many questions. Its standards are also incomplete in many ways; this fact has come before several economists of the world. In that situation, we have to take steps to formulate our own economic vision, policy and system that instil in us capacity to create more and more employment with least consumption of energy that is beneficial for the environment, make us self-reliant in every respect, and create and expand trade relations with the world on the basis of our strength and terms.
We are lagging behind in thinking about this ‘Swa’ even decades after attaining Independence, the root cause behind this is the education system, which was contrived during the period of slavery to keep us slaves, and the same is being continued even after attaining freedom. So we have to give a shape to our educational framework also in tune with Bharatiya vision. Evidently, when we study about the countries, which topped in the field of education in the world, we find that the reason of their academic excellence is the attention they have given to the Swa-centred education. We need a relevant, logical, truthful, dutiful education system, based on an approach on the basis of love towards the whole universe and compassionate outlook towards all living beings, which gives comprehensive knowledge and pride about our language (Swa Bhasha), our attire (Swa Bhoosha), and our culture (Swa Sanskriti). We feel the need for a radical transformation from curriculum to teachers’ training. This cannot be achieved through mere structural changes.
Along with the absence of these components in education, degradation of culture and unethical and immoral behaviour in the society are the reasons behind the two major issues in social life. In a country where women were revered as mothers (matruvadparadareshu), where big wars were waged to protect the selfrespect of women that became subject of the great epics Ramayan and Mahabharat, where martyrdoms like jouhar took place to safeguard the chastity, there the spate of incidents which are happening today indicates that our mothers and sisters are not safe and secure both in family and society; this is matter of shame for all us.
We have to make our mothers enlightened, self-reliant, and capable of selfprotection. The sanctity and decency of our culture is to be instilled in the men’s approach towards women.
We all know, right from childhood this training starts in the family atmosphere. Sheer absence of this is seen in today’s nuclear families. Another frightening symptom of this is the growing level of drug addiction in the new generation. There was a time when even the youth of a culturally rich nation like China were made drug addicts by foreign powers, rendering them soulless. The prevention of the devastating consequences of this social evil will be a very difficult task unless our families cultivate a strong mentality to abstain from temptation of durgs, incline towards moral life, and keep away from getting allured; thus, avoid these dangers. In this regard, it is imperative that all guardians including the Sangh Swayamsevaks remain alert and active.
Rampant financial and character corruption, which is being experienced in the society, primarily emanates from this cultural degradation. From time to time, in order to control this, laws are being made and examples are set by severely punishing the corrupt persons. Though healthy and clean corrective measures are taken at the top level, the corrupt practices continue to take place at the low level.
And, at times, apparently making use of these controlling measures, corruption is growing. In the perplexity of following the stringent laws, honest persons suffer and get entangled in difficulties, and those shameless and defiant who disregard law and morality flourish by circumventing the system. This is not just government’s responsibility. The greed to amass more without deserving, without any or less effort, has crept into our minds in the form of a perversion, is the root cause of corruption. In the social atmosphere, transforming the situation through awakening and setting examples of ideal conduct in households, is an inevitable responsibility for health and order of this country.
Media have a major role in awakening the society and creating a conducive social atmosphere. Coming out of the commercial attitude of churning out mere spicy and sensational contents, if the media join in creating a constructive atmosphere, this endeavour will gain momentum. Just as the situation in our society underscores the need for us to wake up and think about making the atmosphere healthy, similarly the external environment of the entire world demands a broad initiative of the humanity. The policy initiative to make the environment healthy is a subject related to the process of ushering in appropriate and inclusive changes in the environmental policies of all nations. However, taking necessary steps towards bringing in minor changes in the day-to-day behaviour of common people is also effective in this direction. The Sangh Swayamsevaks are also doing many such works in this field. To make all their activities more systematic, an endeavour namely ‘Paryavaran Gatividhi’ has started as a social project.
For the last nine decades, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has been working for creating ekatmata (unity), sadbhavana (goodwill), sadacharan (good conduct) and sadvyavahar (good behaviour) in the society, and a clear vision and devotion towards the nation. It is quite evident that the service mentality and devotion of Swayamsevaks have created a trust all over the country. However, attempts are being made to create distrust, fear and hostility among sections who have not yet come in contact with the Sangh. The Sangh is organising the Hindu society: a relentless and misconstrued campaign is going on to extrapolate this to mean that it harbours hatred against those sections, especially Muslims and Christians, who do not call themselves Hindu. There is an orchestrated effort to malign the Hindu society and Hindutva through a number of baseless and slanderous allegations. Behind this nefarious design, there is a thought process, which is relentlessly working to keep our society divided and make use of it for its self-interests. This is so clear that only those who deliberately keep their eyes shut don’t grasp it.
The vision and proclamation of the Sangh regarding the identity of the nation, social identity of all of us, and the identity of the country’s nature, are clear, well-thought-of and firm that Bharat is Hindustan, Hindu Rashtra. In the view of the Sangh, the word Hindu is not confined to just those who call themselves Hindus. Those who belong to Bharat, those of who are descendants of Bharatiya ancestors, those who are working for the ultimate glory of the nation and joining hands in enhancing peace by mingling with each other and accepting, respecting and welcoming all diversities; all those Bharatiyas are Hindus. Whatever may be their mode of worship, language, food habits, lifestyle, and native place, those will not make any difference. Strong person and society are fearless. Such strong people, with unblemished character, will not frighten anyone. Only the weak people, due to fear born out of their feeling of insecurity, will try to frighten others.
The Sangh is making the whole Hindu society such strong, virtuous and benevolent that it will not fear or frighten anyone, but save the weak and the frightened. The confusing concept of the word Hindu, the imagination of confining this to the framework of religion has been distracting our intellect right from the time of the British. There is a section of society, which does not accept this word. They use the term Bharatiya for themselves. Some people address the civilisations based on the Bharatiya nature and culture as Indic in English. Those who use alternative words for themselves, out of fear or confusion, and negate the word Hindu, are also acceptable for the Sangh. Words may be different, ways and customs and mode of worship may be different, food habits and lifestyles may be different, nativity may be different, state and language may be different, but we are not considering those sections of society different from each other. Accepting all those as our own, the Sangh work goes on. This feeling of affinity and inclusiveness is the consciousness of the nation.
That is Hindutva. The sacred goal of fulfilling the relevant, all-round glory of our ancient nation and preserving as well as enhancing the Dharma Pran nature and culture, is at the core and destination of this affinity.
For the world, Bharat is an absolute necessity. Bharat has to stand on its own strong foundation of nature and culture. So with this clear concept about the nation and its pride in mind, it is necessary to make the feelings of goodwill, good conduct and harmony strong in the entire society. In all these endeavours, the Sangh Swayamsevaks have a significant role to play and will continue to do so. The Sangh Swayamsevaks are active in making the plans useful for this a success. Accepting the challenges of the times, each Swayamsevak has to work for this. However, this need of the hour will be fulfilled only when we do away with the mentality of leaving the responsibility of this task upon an individual or organisation and become a mute spectator. The task of achieving progress of a nation, finding solutions to the problems of society, seeking redemption of crises: all these cannot be outsourced. Someone or the other may take up the task of leading, from time to time, but it is impossible to attain the complete and eternal success unless the enlightened society with a clear vision, selfless and honest effort and impenetrable unity do not volunteer to intervene with strong force.
The Sangh is working to create Karyakartas who are able to build congenial atmosphere for this work. The activities carried out by these Karyakartas in the society and their impact have proved today that this is the right way to make us, our family, our country and our world happy.
This is the appeal to you all, taking into account the requirements of current period, we all should participate in this noble and sacred mission.
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