In veiled remarks on the communalisation of COVID-19 after its spread across the country was blamed on a gathering of the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi during the lockdown, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat Sunday said it is “not right” to fault and “keep distance” from an entire community because of the actions of some “out of fear and anger”.
In a special boudhik (intelligentsia) discourse, streamed live on Facebook, Bhagwat said the needy must be helped with a feeling of “brotherhood” during the coronavirus crisis irrespective of “provocative acts” by a section of people who have attacked and misbehaved with government officials.
“There will always be some people like that… Some may have acted out of fear of being quarantined, some may have acted out of anger thinking the (lockdown) rules were meant to target them. But to apply this to an entire community and keep distance from it is not right. You must help all with goodwill because all 130 crore people are your own,” he said.
“Those who resort to provocative acts generate anger and this anger generates irrational reactions. We should not hold their acts against the entire community. There are people waiting to divide the country. While we must be aware of such people, we must not hold anger or enmity against all,” Bhagwat said, adding that “leaders should convey the right message to communities”.
The RSS chief also called for re-calibrating developmental priorities and policies, saying the clear message of the pandemic is adoption of swadeshi and environment-friendly traditional wisdom.
He also spoke on the lynching of sadhus in Palghar, Maharashtra: “Let’s keep the war of words aside. Is it good to take the law into our hands? What should the police do? Fear and anger are not expected but are natural. But we have to work constructively and with courage to take the nation forward.”
He called for resumption of activities like education, industries and markets with due precautions. “We have to maintain the discipline of social distancing and observe all precautions prescribed for containment of the disease,” he said.
“We have to think about the working class. Jobs must remain. We will have to function with limited resources. Self-reliance is the message (of the pandemic). We will have to re-construct sciences and technologies as per the needs of the times (yuganukul). We will have to take that path of development which matches the traditional,” he said.
Calling for adopting “swadeshi with quality”, Bhagwat said, “We must buy things produced in the country. We shouldn’t remain dependent on foreign countries.”
Referring to rivers and the air becoming clean during the lockdown, Bhagwat said, “Some activities have come to a standstill. We must check if we can make do without them. We will have to try and lead a life based on environment-friendly activities.”