The government should make all arrangements to allay the fear of a common Kashmiri, said Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday while interacting with nearly 80 foreign journalists from 30 countries in New Delhi. Bhagwat said that "every Indian is a Hindu" for the Hindu right-wing group.
The interaction was organised at Dr Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi's Janpath Road on Tuesday to clear any "misconceptions" foreign journalists may have about the organisation. Bhagwat also weighed in on topics like the National Register of Citizens, situation in Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370, the cases of mob lynchings, the on-going Ayodhya land dispute case and the economic situation in the country.
Founded in Nagpur on 27 September in 1925 by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, Sangh, according to Britannica, calls itself a "cultural" organisation and "advocates a Hindu nationalistic agenda under the banner of Hindutva, or 'Hindu-ness'. The Sangh is also the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre.
This meeting comes exactly a year after Bhagwat's three-day lecture series in September last year, in which the Indian media had participated but the international media was largely left out..
Addressing the media, Bhagwat commended the Centre for scrapping of Article 370, but at the same time urged the government to allay the fears of the Kashmiris. "Now Kashmiris will be integrated. Now, barriers will be removed. Earlier they were alienated. Whatever fears they have about losing land and jobs, should be allayed," he said.
On 5 August the Centre announced the scrapping Article 370 which gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and proposed bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories.
Referring to all the exclusions from the NRC, Bhagwat said, "It’s not about expelling people, it’s about marking people. We do support Citizenship Amendment Bill. No place for Hindus in the world except India," he said, adding, "We support reservation but execution should be proper."
Last month on 31 August, the office of the NRC state coordinator in Assam's Guwahati released a statement confirming that out of the 3,30,27,661 applicants, a total of 3,11,21,004 have been included in the citizenship registry, which leaves out over 19 lakh people from the final list.
The RSS chief also emphasised that the organisation supports integration, and said, "Homosexuality is a variation, should not be seen as an abnormality. They should be integrated into society".
Bhagwat, however, denied that anything such as lynching exists in the country. "No such concept. We condemn all forms of violence. Swayamsevaks (volunteers) try and stop such incidents," he said.
The RSS chief also added that if any Swayamsevak is found guilty, the organisation will disown that individual and proper implementation of the law will be followed.
Referring to the on-going Ayodhya land dispute case, he said, "Ram Mandir is not a matter to worship but a question of birthplace".
According to the RSS chief, there had been no paralysis in economy in the last 10 years. "The rest is a process. We are not experts," he said.
"We support UCC, but an effort should be made to create consensus. The idea should be to bring the nation together," he added.
The Sangh has often been accused of having political motives and presented as a paramilitary organisation. "RSS will never be a political organisation," Bhagwat said.
The decades-long growth of the Sangh and its growing influence can be assumed from the fact that the top constitutional posts in the country, including the Prime Minister of India, is held by an RSS swayamsevak.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Sep 24, 2019 19:30:00 IST