Against the backdrop of protests against CAA and NRC, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday said that unlike Mahatma Gandhi, there was no one today who would atone if a movement went wrong. He said Gandhi’s ideas and methods were formulated according to the circumstances of his time and taking them literally would not be advisable.
He was speaking at the launch of a book on Gandhi by Jagmohan Rajput at Gandhi Smriti. The event, which began with Bhagwat bowing at the spot where Gandhi was shot dead by Nathuram Godse, was attended by Minister of State, External Affairs, V K Singh and BJP MP Satyapal Singh, among others.
“He (Gandhi) launched many experiments. If some went wrong, he did not conclude that the truth he had in his heart was not the truth. He said may be my way was wrong. If some of his movements went out of hand, he even atoned for his mistakes. If today a movement goes awry, disturbs law and order, is there anyone who would be ready for atonement?… ,” he said.
On Gandhi’s ideas and his books, Bhagwat said whatever great personalities say or do is according to circumstances. “If we try to take it literally, it will not remain relevant. Whatever Gandhiji said or did, even in his time, people had different views on it. Now if you go into that, you will get confused… we cannot carbon copy his deeds and ideas. Even Gandhiji would have stopped us. But the philosophy based on which Gandhiji formulated his ideas needs to be followed,” he said.
“Gandhi was never ashamed of being a Hindu. He used to say main kattar sanatani Hindu hun. Apni shraddha par pakke raho aur dusre dharmon ka samman karo (I am a staunch Sanatani. Stay true to your faith and respect other religions)” Bhagwat said.
He said that if India’s fate had to be changed, one would have to leave the path of popularity and inculcate discipline.
Responding to the criticism by a guest of present India not being one of Gandhi’s dreams, Bhagwat said it was changing fast and in 20 years, its colour would change completely. “Today when I roam around, I see it is not a situation of hopelessness. It hasn’t happened yet that’s true. But in Chemistry, there is titration. It changes colour somewhat only to revert to its original state. It feels as if it is not going to happen. But in time and with enough evidence, the colour will completely change forever.”
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