THAT elections are a political imperative for the RSS too is evident by the fact that the Ram temple which hit headlines Thursday did not find mention in the last four Vijayadashami speeches of the RSS chief. An analysis of past Vijayadashami speeches of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat reveals that the last time he raised the demand for a Ram temple in Ayodhya was in 2012, less than two years before 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The subject of voting, too, raised in Thursday’s speech last found mention in his 2013 Vijayadashmi speech, months ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.“…non-voting or using the provision of None of the Above (NOTA) goes in favour of the one who is most ineffective,” Bhagwat said today exhorting voters to choose the “available best” and advocating 100 per cent voting.
Such appeals of 100 per cent polling were made in his speech in 2013 when Bhagwat accused the UPA of discriminating against Hindus in thought, word and deed and appeasing minorities. Calling elections a democratic duty and focusing on 100 per cent polling, Bhagwat had said that young voters must ensure that their names figure in the voters’ list.
On Thursday, Bhagwat praised the Modi government on security and government schemes avoiding any reference to fuel price rise and the rupee’s fall. In 2013, he had slammed the UPA government on price rise and the depreciating rupee.
“Today we are in search of means to arrest the trend of fall in the value of rupee so as to tide over the imminent economic crisis; i.e. fiscal deficit, current account deficit and depleting foreign exchange reserve, and the resultant economic crisis have now become the hot topic of common discourse. Stagnating economic growth, steep rise in foreign debt in comparison to Gross Domestic Product, etc. bear ample testimony to the fact that we are taking our economy in the wrong direction,” Bhagwat had said in his 2013 speech.
In his first Vijayadashami speech after the Modi government came to power, Bhagwat said: “This year the environment is quite different and everyone can feel it.” He lauded the government on economy, national security and international relations and red-flagged illegal migration in West Bengal and Assam.
His second speech touched upon the voluntary surrender of cooking gas subsidy and skill initiatives of the government among others. Bhagwat also stressed on what he called the “need to rise above vote bank politics to formulate a holistic approach, equally applicable to all citizens, towards the population policy.”
In his third (2016) Vijayadashami speech, the RSS chief responded to public outcry over incidents of cow vigilantism. Bhagwat had said that genuine Gau-sevaks cannot be compared with undesirable elements who raked the issue or spread rumours to serve their narrow personal or political ends.
In his 2016 speech that followed the appointment of Mehbooba Mufti as CM of Jammu and Kashmir in alliance with BJP, Bhagwat had expressed an urgent need to promote, consolidate and establish nationalistic activities and to rehabilitate the “Hindu brethren who had migrated” and the Pandits who were forced out of the Valley.
In his Vijayadashami speech last year, Bhagwat had underlined India’s “strong and determined” stand in response to activities of Pakistan on the Western front and that of China on the Northern front. He had also said that any decision regarding the Rohingya should be taken keeping in mind that they are a threat to national security and integrity.