RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday told a group of diplomats that his organisation would be bound by the Supreme Court verdict on the Ram Temple-Babri Masjid issue in Ayodhya. Bhagwat also said he had “good contact” with PM Narendra Modi and had “independent discussions” on a range of issues, according to sources present at the meeting.
The final hearing in the Supreme Court on the Ayodhya case is slated for December 5, a day before the 25th anniversary of the Babri masjid demolition. The RSS chief also said that his organisation does not support trolls on social media. According to a tweet by Prasar Bharati chief A Surya Prakash, Bhagwat said: “Trolling amounts to hitting below the belt. We don’t support those who display such aggressive nature”, and “We don’t support trolling & aggressive behavior on the net.”
Bhagwat was interacting with diplomats from over 50 countries, excluding Pakistan High Commission, organised by India Foundation. The seventh in a series of such sessions, it was attended by BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, one of its directors, and moderated by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.
According to a diplomat who attended the event, Bhagwat spoke for 20 minutes and then took questions. “When asked if he could see a resolution to the Ayodhya dispute by the next elections and whether he would consider it being a shared site, he replied that the Supreme Court would be ruling on the issue and the RSS would be bound by the order,” he told The Indian Express.
There were questions on the RSS’s role in the government and Bhagwat’s relation with the PM. “Sangh doesn’t run BJP; BJP doesn’t run Sangh. As Swayamsevaks, v consult n exchange notes bt independent in functioning-Bhagwatji to diplomats,” Surya Prakash tweeted.
According to a source who attended the meeting, Bhagwat maintained that the RSS stayed away from politics but the government could be influenced by it as many of the ministers were part of the Sangh. On his relationship with Modi, Bhagwat reportedly said he was an authority in his field and the PM in his. He said both had been in “good contact” and discussed a range of issues independently.
When asked what kind of changes he would like to bring in society, sources said, the RSS chief listed oneness of society, maintenance of composite culture, discipline, patriotism, eradication of social evils like dowry.
Asked about Hinduism, he reportedly said that Hinduness was different from Hinduism. “With time, we change. When someone says I am a Hindu it is not about religion or how one lives. It is about accepting others as they are. It is not about wearing this, eating this. That imposition is an ‘ism’. Hinduness is free from this ‘ism’. Hinduness is the ever changing quality of Hinduism,” he said according to tweets of those who attended the event.