Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said the Sangh was not the BJPs HR manager,and that the party should manage its affairs by itself.
At an Idea Exchange organised by Loksatta,the Marathi daily of The Indian Express Group,Bhagwat expressed his views on a wide range of issues including Anna Hazares agitation,opening up membership of the RSS to women,social trends like live-in relationships,swadeshi and economic reforms,Hindu terror,and whether a Dalit could ever rise to become head of the Sangh.
Asked about the differences between Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his rival in the party Sanjay Joshi,and the role the RSS played in mediating between them,Bhagwat said:
RSS is not the HR manager of BJP. They should manage their own affairs. They are an independent organisation. We are connected in our thinking. Modi and Joshi are both long-time swayamsevaks. People have spoken to them and issues have been resolved.
On allegations that Hazares anti-corruption agitation was backed organisationally by the RSS,Bhagwat said: Anna Hazare has a standing of his own. He is not a swayamsevak. Why should we take credit for his work? We support the fight against corruption in any format. It is their effort and planning.
The RSS chief said recent evidence of Hindu radicals being involved in terrorist attacks notwithstanding,Hindu and terrorism cannot be juxtaposed.
Hinduism has always promoted the middle path,never extremism. Allegations have been made against certain individuals,but not yet proven. The role of investigators is also questionable. Let the charges be proven.
Asked about his stand on economic reforms and FDI in the light of the RSSs preference for swadeshi products,Bhagwat said: All countries aim to be independent and self-reliant. We are assembling goods,not manufacturing them. Our strengths should define our goals. China and Russia have become superpowers on their own. We must chart a path in which there is least impact on environment,and employment opportunities are created in India. We should not just be consumers,but producers as well.
Despite being closed to women and never having had a chief from the backward classes,the Sangh was open to change,Bhagwat said.
Asked if the RSS could ever have a Dalit chief,Bhagwat said,Why not?
He also said that the Sanghs cadre for women could merge with the RSS if there was general agreement in the organisation. Both fronts have to agree on coming together, Bhagwat said.