Updated: February 12, 2018 8:57:45 pm
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Monday issued a clarification after its chief Mohan Bhagwat made a controversial statement that his organisation is capable to raise a force for the country “in three days”, if the situation demanded. Saying that Bhagwat’s remarks were misinterpreted, Manmohan Vaidya of the Akhil Bharatiya Prachaar Pramukh, said, “Bhagwat ji said that if situation arises and the Constitution permits, the Indian Army would take six months to prepare the society whereas the Sangh swayamsevaks can be trained in 3 days, as Swayamsevaks practise discipline regularly.”
Vaidya added, “This was no way a comparison between the Indian Army and the Sangh swayamsevaks but it was a comparison between the general society and swayamsevaks. Both are to be trained by the Indian Army only.”
While addressing workers at the Zila school ground on the last day of his six-day visit of Muzaffarpur on Sunday, the RSS leader had said, “Ours is not a military organisation, but we have military discipline. And if the country requires it and the Constitution… then the Army would take six to seven months to get ready, our volunteers will take three days. This is our capability.”
“Sangh is neither a military nor a para military organisation, rather it is like a “parivarik sangathan” (family organisation) where discipline is practised like the Army,” he said, adding that workers are always happily ready to make supreme sacrifice for their country.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday slammed the RSS chief for his remarks and called it “an insult to every Indian”. “The RSS Chief’s speech is an insult to every Indian, because it disrespects those who have died for our nation. It is an insult to our flag because it insults every soldier who ever saluted it. Shame on you Mr Bhagwat, for disrespecting our martyrs and our Army,” Rahul tweeted.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan demanded an apology from the organisation and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must clarify his government’s stand on the statement.
CPI(M) also reiterated the Kerala chief minister’s reaction and demanded an apology.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh also lashed out at Bhagwat for his remarks on the Army. “Had anyone else from another party made the same remark, the BJP government would have sent him or her to Pakistan. The media would have sought death penalty for the person,” he tweeted.
In Agartala, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, who had served in the RSS, said Bhagwat might have made the comments to highlight the organisation’s “tatparta” (state of readiness). As an RSS volunteer, he said, he knows that the organisation has huge respect for the Army for its valour and sacrifice. “I don’t know what he (Mohan Bhagwat) exactly said. He would have said so to highlight the readiness of RSS volunteers. RSS volunteers are always willing to stand with the Army for the nation’s security,” Madhav said.
BJP chief Amit Shah said he had heard of them only through social media and would react after getting to know what he had exactly said.
With PTI inputs
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