Following controversies over “ghar wapsi” campaign and statements on increasing Muslim population by its affiliates, RSS on Sunday sounded a conciliatory tone, with its chief Mohan Bhagwat saying that people might belong to different castes and religions, but their ideologies and values as well as “ancestors” were the same.
Bhagwat said “ancestors” for him meant those people who have sacrificed their lives for the country. He also asserted that RSS does not teach to “fight”, but trains people in self-defence and skills to protect others.
Addressing Rashtra Raksha Sangam, a gathering of RSS workers, here, Bhagwat said certain forces want to divide people on different lines, but RSS believes that entire country is a single entity despite diversity in language, caste, sub-caste and place of living.
The RSS chief said: “People may belong to different castes, religions or regions, but ideologies and values of all Indians are the same. They all have the same ancestors — those who have laid down their lives for the country.”
Invoking socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia, he said, “Lohia too said that lord Ram connected north and south, Krishna connected east and west and Shiva is present in every particle of the country.”
The mention of Lohia by Bhagwat in his speech was significant because Samajwadi Party claims Lohia to be its ideologue and different wings of RSS, including BJP and VHP, have been accusing the SP government of Muslim appeasement and being responsible for communal riots in UP.
Bhagwat also appealed swayamsevaks to unite Hindus and make them free from fear. “These views have been expressed in various speeches so far at different forums but only these speeches will not work any more. You will have to develop a habit to unite Hindus and shakhas are a medium to do that by creating such swayemsevaks who can unite Hindus. In shakhas, we never ask caste and religion of people,” he said.
Over rising incidents of crime against women, the RSS chief said: “Not just education but how a man treats a woman reflects his character and that every woman must treated with respect.” Around 11,000 swayamsevaks attended the Sangam, organised at the Railways ground in Kanpur.