Updated: October 25, 2020 8:32:05 pm
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat Sunday said India would have to become more powerful than China to counter its challenge, and called for strengthening ties with neighboring countries.
Bhagwat was speaking at the RSS’s annual Vijayadashami rally — which this time was limited to an indoor event attended by 50 swayamsevaks (volunteers) due to COVID-19 guidelines — where he said the world was looking at China uncertainly over its role in the Covid-19 pandemic.
“China is mentioned in an uncertain (sandigdha) way in the discourse over corona pandemic. An arrogant and expansionist China encroached upon our territory. It is conducting itself similarly in the rest of the world. But Bharat’s reaction numbed, jolted them. Our soldiers gave them a brave reply and we all stood together as patriots. Due to this, other countries, too, have started scolding China. This has created a situation for it (China) that it hadn’t thought of. It’s not clear how it will now react. So, we will have to always remain awake and prepared,” Bhagwat said, adding, ” The only way to counter its sinister ambition is to become bigger than China in economic and strategic prowess, apart from internal security systems and diplomatic relations with our neighbours.” The RSS chief said India should quickly resolve all disputes with its neighbours, such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Carefully avoiding mention of the Hathras incident, Bhagwat virtually endorsed the “international conspiracy” theory of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Criticising Opposition parties and “tukde, tukde gang” for “trying to divide and weaken the Indian society by creating social strife”, Bhagwat said, “there are such powers in the world and their agents in India. They cite the diversity in India as divisions and incite strife.”
“If a one-off incident happens — it shouldn’t happen. Why should there be any incident of atrocity and discrimination? However, if a one-off incident does happen in such a big country, the administration should immediately catch the culprits and punish them as early as possible. But while reacting to it as a society, we must keep in mind that our reaction doesn’t affect national integration and is expressed within the limits of the Constitutional and legal framework,” Bhagwat said. He added, “but there are people in our country, who feign faith in Constitution and law but actually keep them at bay and are seen indulging in violence.”
Bhagwat also blamed “these people” for spreading misconceptions about the RSS idea of Hindutva. “We use the word Hindu for all 130 crore people of India. So all those, who consider this nation and its timeless cultural values as their own and respect its ancient tradition, are Hindus. So those trying to divide us start by criticising the word Hindu. They try to spread that we are not Hindus.”
On the CAA, which led to widespread protests in the country last year, Bhagwat said the law was not against any particular religious community, adding “some people misled our Muslim brothers” by claiming it was aimed at restricting their population.
Speaking on how migrants had been impacted by the pandemic, Bhagwat said, “Coronavirus has given rise to challenges of unemployment. Many lost jobs and labourers are now returning to cities. But the jobs may not be there. The challenge is to create employment opportunities in different places and to give training to those who replace those who have returned to their villages.”
The RSS chief also called Swadeshi a tool to achieve prosperity and strength. “Swadeshi isn’t just about production within the country by our own hands and with the economic gains remaining within the country. The thought behind such production should be our own (swa-adharit).”
Bhagwat lauded the new three farm laws passed by the Modi government without mentioning them, and expressed satisfaction that farmers will be able to sell their produce anywhere in the country. He also welcomed the New Education Policy of the Modi government.
With ENS inputs
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