Temples, Taliban, Bitcoin, OTT: Key takeaways from RSS chief’s Vijayadashami speech

Mohan Bhagwat on Friday delivered his annual Vijayadashami speech at the organisation’s headquarters in Nagpur

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat | PTI File Photo.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday (October 15) delivered his annual Vijayadashami speech at the organisation’s headquarters in Nagpur.

In his address to swayamsevaks, the RSS’ sixth sarsanghchalak touched on a range of issues, from population control to civilian killings in Jammu and Kashmir, from streaming services to Bitcoin to drugs.

Bhagwat also said only “Sanatan Hindu culture”, with its ability to “accept all”, can save the world from radicalism and intolerance.

Here are the key takeaways from his speech: 

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On Population Control

“There should be a population control policy. We have deliberated on this. Experts recommended that there should be two children in one family and the government accepted this. But I feel that we should rethink the policy. 56-57 per cent of the people in the country are youths. They will become old after 30 years. How many of them can we feed and how many working people do we need? We need to think about both these aspects.”

On Population ‘Imbalance’

Bhagwat reiterated the 2015 resolution of RSS Akhil Bhartiya Karyakari Mandal, which talked about rising population of Muslims and Christians. It cited the census, which said the population of those who follow religions of “Bhartiya origin” had come down from 88 per cent in 1952 to 83.8 per cent in 2011. The Muslim population, on the other hand, had grown from 9.8 per cent to 14.23 per cent during the same period, the resolution said. “[In border states] the populations of people following indigenous religions have come down to 67 per cent from 81.3 per cent from 2001 to 2011. In just one decade, the Christian population has grown by 13 per cent. In Manipur, the population of religions of Bhartiya origin has come down to 50 per cent from more than 80 per cent. The unnatural growth of Christian population indicates at targeted action by some vested interest groups,” read the RSS resolution, which was released as part of the written text.

On ‘Sanatan Hindu Culture’

“Sanatan Hindu culture and its magnanimous Hindu society has the ability to accept all… it alone can be the saviour of the world from the catastrophic grip of radicalism, intolerance, terrorism, conflict, animosity and exploitation.”

On Taliban

Bhagwat said the Taliban “claim to having change but indications are that they are the same of old”. 

“The country needs to have a cautious approach toward the new regime in Afghanistan.

“Their predisposition to passionate fanaticism, tyranny and terrorism in name of Islam is sufficient to make everyone apprehensive. Now, China, Pakistan and Turkey have coalesced in an unholy collation with the Taliban.”

On Temples

The RSS chief said temples are being given to heretics. “In south India, temples are being controlled by the government. In rest of the country it’s a mixed system where temples are run by both government and trusts. The temples should be handed over to the Hindu devotees and the wealth utilised for worship of the deity and welfare of the Hindu community.”

“The wealth of Hindu temples is used for non-Hindus – who have no faith in the Hindu gods. Even Hindus need it, but it is not used for them.”

On Streaming Services

Bhagwat said there is “no control” on what children watch on mobile phones. “What kind of things are being shown on OTT platforms? During the coronavirus period, even the children got access to mobiles and there is no control over what they watch. Similarly, there is no control on what is to be shown on OTT platforms.

“At present unregulated broadcast of varied material on OTT platforms are open for everyone’s indiscriminate consumption. In the backdrop of the pandemic online education was to be introduced. School-going children are hooked on mobile phones as a rule. In the absence of prudence and a regulatory framework, it will become difficult to predict in which way and to what extent will this emerging phenomenon of contact with fair and unfair means sweep our society.”

On Drugs

Bhagwat also spoke about drug use. “Narcotics are smuggled in the country and its consumption habit is increasing. How to stop it, we don’t know. People from high class to the last man are dangerously engulfed in this habit. We all know money from this drug business is used for anti-national activities and nations bordering India promote it.”

On Bitcoins

“No country has control over Bitcoin. A competition is coming up. Clandestine, uncontrolled currency like Bitcoin has the potential to destabilise the economy of all countries and pose a serious challenge.”

On Jammu and Kashmir

“After [reading down of Article 370], the fear of them [terrorists] has vanished. Since they [the terrorists] use fear to achieve their means, it is important for them to bring back that fear [in the minds of people]. This is why they resort to targeted killings to demoralise, as they would do before. Their objective is to again instil fear,” Bhagwat said, referring to the recent killings of Sikhs and Hindus in the Valley.

On Swadheenta and Swatantrata

“When comparing and contrasting the present scenario with this ideal of independent Bharat, one realises that our journey from swadheenta (independence/self-rule) to swatantrata (self-model of governance) is as yet far from complete. There are elements in the world for whom Bharat’s progress and its rise to a respected position are detrimental to their vested interests.”

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