Mohan Bhagwat: Showcased RSS’ Abilityby OPINIONEXPRESS.IN September 21, 2018 0 comments
Showcasing RSS’ ability to dynamically respond to the changing contexts and circumstances has been showcased perfectly by Mohan Bhagwat.
Though long-time Sangh watchers were quick to point out that Dr Mohan Bhagwat, in his three-day engagement with a wide audience in the heart of Lutyens Delhi earlier this week, did not say anything which the RSS has not been saying for a while now, the fact remains that both as a riposte to those who have demonised the Sangh and as a message of moderation to the simpatico, his outreach has succeeded in what it set out to do. Which, of course, was, in essence, to lay out the RSS’ position on various issues given the default position of its critics, including some very eminent ones, that anything revanchist that occurs in the country has if not the Sangh’s direct involvement then at least its imprint given that the suspected perpetrators in many of these cases are alleged to be inspired by an ethos the RSS is accused of promoting.
It is in this context that the various statements on a host of issues made by the RSS Sarsanghchalak Bhagwat need to be seen. For example, he effectively took the wind out of the sails of those who have laid the blame on the spike in lynching incidents, especially of suspected cow smugglers, by unequivocally deploring cow vigilantism. In fact, he went a step further by suggesting that those with real devotion for the cow and her progeny should first start keeping cows at home or in their localities and take care of them rather then letting them roam the streets. He did, as he would and as have the dozens of Congress and other non-BJP Governments in various States, point out that the Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution call for the protection of the cow and her progeny and that is a stand the Sangh supports. His hailing of inter-caste marriages, acceptance of quotas as envisaged in the Constitution till such time those for whom reservations have been provided feel they don’t a further leg up, demand for the construction a grand Ram Janmabhoomi Temple at the earliest, emphasis on the fact that the a uniform civil code was not just about Hindus and Muslims but other communities and all citizens of India and the generally inclusive note of his comment on all three days of his lectures while sticking to the RSS core principles, was masterfully done. But the most significant sign that the Sangh is nothing if not an adaptive organisation came from his approach to and comment on some of the more controversial aspects of the RSS’ second and longest-serving head MS ‘Guruji’ Golwalkar Bunch of Thoughts including references to Muslims as the enemy (shatru). Bhagwat made a distinction between Golwalkar’s statements (such as the one on Muslims) which were made in “particular circumstances that prevailed at the time in and in certain specific contexts” which have been excluded from the latest edition of the book and the “enduring thoughts” his writings represented which would stand the test of time. In this distancing of the Sangh from those aspects of the views of even its heroes while retaining an adherence to the principles of the ideological position they propounded, Bhagwat’s speeches exhibited a level of sophistication the Congress and Communist parties in particular would do well to emulate. Of course, for the RSS the challenge remains to mainstream this approach within. And that will not be an easy task given the lumpen takeover of political discourse across the spectrum in India including in the party the Sangh remains closest to.
Writer and Courtesy: The Pioneer