The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat has said Hindutva is applicable to all the 1.3 billion people of the country and added that the term was “distorted” by appending a ritualistic connotation to it.
Bhagwat touched upon various issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Citizenship (Amendment) Act, and abrogation of Article 370. He also gave a good report card to the Narendra Modi government.
“Many noteworthy incidents took place between the last Vijayadashami and now. With due observance of parliamentary procedure Article 370 was abrogated well before the Vijayadashami 2019. After Diwali, on November 9, 2019, the Honourable Supreme Court passed an unambiguous, verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi case, thereby making a historical judgment,” Bhagwat said in his Dussehra speech from Nagpur.
On Hindu and Hindutva, he explained, “The word ‘Hindu’ features in almost every statement of Sangh, yet it is being discussed here because several related terms have gained popularity in the recent past. ‘Swadeshi’ is one such word which is oft-discussed nowadays. The ‘Swa’ or ‘self’ here refers to the same Hindutva.”
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“When Sangh says Hindusthan is Hindu Rashtra it does not have any political or power-centered concept in its mind. Hindutva is the essence of this Rashtra’s Swa (self-hood). We are plainly acknowledging the self-hood of the country as Hindu because all our socio-cultural practices are directed by its principles with their spirit percolating in the personal, familial, professional and social life of each one of us,” he said.
“To us, it is the word expressing our identity along with the continuity of its spirituality based traditions and its entire wealth of value system in the land of Bharat,” Bhagwat added.
Further, he stated, “Therefore, the Sangh believes it is the word applicable to all 1.3 billion people who call themselves the sons and daughters of Bharatvarsh, whose everyday life is striving towards an alignment with its moral and ethical code and who are proud of the heritage of their ancestors who successfully traversed the same spiritual landscape since time immemorial.”
On China, Bhagwat said it was “stunned” by India’s bravery and called for the nation to “rise” above it economically and strategically.
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“China’s role in the breakout of this pandemic may be disputable but its misuse of their riches by unleashing terror on the borders of Bharat and boisterous efforts to invade our territories are well-known to the whole world. Bharatiya defence forces, the government and the people remained unfazed and responded sharply to this attack.
“This example of a strong resolution, exercising self-respect and bravery has stunned China. Going further we must be watchful and remain firm. Even in the past, the world has time and again witnessed China’s expansionist attitude. Rising above China economically, strategically, in securing cooperative ties with our neighbours and at international relations is the only way to neutralise those demonic aspirations,” the RSS chief said.
Talking about CAA, Bhagwat said some had “misled” Muslims about the new law. “…those who wanted to oppose this new law misled our Muslim brothers by propagating a false notion that it was aimed at restricting the Muslim population. Opportunists took advantage of this delicate situation by unleashing organised violence and causing social unrest in the name of protests.”
He praised the government over the handling of the COVID crisis. “There are some reasons why we escaped corona debilitation that few countries could not. Our governing and administrative agencies promptly sprung up in action. They cautioned citizens, created emergency task forces and efficiently implemented control measures.”
Bhagwat also welcomed the Centre’s agriculture and labour reform bills, new education policy, and ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative.
“The newer policies should aim to make our farmer aware of modern agricultural science and also enable him to blend that knowledge with time-tested, contextually relevant traditional knowledge. The policies should be such that a farmer should be able to use these research findings and sell his produce without getting trapped, either in the profit aimed interpretations of those findings or sponsored research by the corporate sector or under the pressure of the market forces and middlemen, only then such a policy will be compatible with the Bharatiya view and be a truly Swadeshi agrarian policy,” he said.
“Along with the entire educational field, the Sangh has also welcomed it. ‘Vocal for local’ is a great start in the exploration of the possibilities of Swadeshi. But, for these initiatives to be successfully implemented the process will have to be watched and monitored keenly to the finish. Therefore given these wide-ranging perspectives we will have to imbibe this spirit of ‘swa’ or self, only then we can move forward in the right direction,” he added.
The backing of the RSS for the Modi government’s policies comes ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections.