‘Restore justice denied; bring KPs home, Kashmiris along for success of 370 scrap’

TNN Bureau. Updated: 10/9/2019 9:32:21 AM Front Page

Bhagwat affirms RSS' Hindu Rashtra vision; questions use of term ‘lynching’

JAMMU: Lauding Centre for abrogating Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said that the decision will reach its conclusive end only when justice denied under the influence of Article 370 will be restored, and injustices occurred in past are brought to an end including rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits back in Valley and restoration of fundamental rights of many residents denied till now.
The RSS chief also sought removal of false fears instilled in the minds of ‘brothers of the Valley’ regarding threats to their property and jobs due to Article 370 scrap.
Bhagwat said that when Kashmiris will be able to perform their duties towards the country’s development with brotherly affinity and concord with the people of the rest of India, only then this effort will come to fruition.
Addressing the traditional Vijayadashmi function of the Sangh at Nagpur to celebrate the foundation day of RSS, Bhagwat also asserted that the RSS was firm on its vision of India as a "Hindu Rashtra" while denying that BJP’s ideological mentor was Islamophobic.
He also objected to the use of the word "lynching" to describe incidents of mob violence in India, saying that some incidents of violence were actually being raised to defame India, Hindu society and create fear among some communities, and maintaining that RSS members try to stop such incidents.
Kashmir found a significant space in RSS chief’s annual address on Tuesday as he hailed the Centre for the abrogation of Article 370.
He said that the move of the government to nullify the Article has once again proved that it has the courage to fulfill the expectations and respect people's sentiments and wishes in the interest of society.
“Removal of Article-370 has been already in the thought of the ruling party. But this time by skilfully garnering the support of other parties in both houses, with strong logic and plea in consonance with public sentiment the work was accomplished,” Bhagwat said.
For this the members of the ruling party, including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, and other political parties who upheld the public sentiments in Parliament deserve congratulations, he said.
But, he stressed, that there is more to be done on this front.
“This effort will come to fruition only when justice denied under the influence of Article 370 is restored, injustices occurred are brought to an end,” he said.
“It will happen when our Kashmiri Pandits who were unjustly driven away are brought back and rehabilitated and allowed to remain secure, fearless, patriotic and Hindu.
“It will happen when many a right of residents of Kashmir which were denied to them so far will too be restored.
“It will happen when false fears instilled in the minds of brothers of the Valley that there is a threat to their property and jobs due to the nullification of Article 370, will be removed and having done away with those fears, they will be able to perform their duties towards the country’s development with brotherly affinity and concord with the people of the rest of Bharat,” Bhagwat said.
Bhagwat said that the vision and proclamation of the Sangh regarding the identity of the nation is firm that "Bharat is a Hindu Rashtra".
"The vision and proclamation of the Sangh regarding the identity of the nation, social identity of all of us, and the identity of the country's nature, are clear, well-thought-of and firm that Bharat is Hindustan, Hindu Rashtra," Bhagwat said.
"Those who belong to Bharat, those who are descendants of Bharatiya ancestors, those who are working for the ultimate glory of nation and joining hands in enhancing peace, respecting and welcoming all diversities, all those Bharatiyas are Hindus," the RSS chief said adding that the Sangh has no objection if some people address the Bharatiya as "Indic".
"We have found through our experience that in the entire country and world-over, the content that we wish to express regarding our nation's civilization and culture is best expressed through the word 'Hindu'," he said.
"There is diversity in customs, mode of worship, food habits, lifestyle, state, language but our society is one. This feeling of affinity and inclusiveness is the consciousness of the nation. That is Hindutva. This is the base of Sangh (RSS) work."
Bhagwat strongly objected to use of lynching to describe incident of violence and said the word should not be used in the Indian context to defame the country.
"Lynching is not a word from Indian ethos, its origin is in a story in a separate religious text... Lynching itself is a western construct and one should not use it in the Indian context to defame the country."
The RSS members do not get involved and rather they try to stop it, the RSS chief said adding that the kind of harmony that should have been in the society is still not there.
He also said that the RSS is trying to thwart such violent incidents. Such incidents have had no tradition in the country, but there are efforts to portray them as so and by using terms like lynchings, they want to malign the country and the Hindu society.
He further added that certain elements of society are trying to divide the country. They want to create a fight between communities by dragging the Sangh's name in such incidents. Attempts are being made by vested interests to create distrust, fear and hostility among sections who have not yet come in contact with the Sangh.
Bhagwat added that even Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has learnt to blame the Sangh for everything.
Bhagwat said that diversity is an intrinsic strength of the nation. But the diversity of caste, creed, language and region are being used by vested interests to separate one from another, turning them into differences, imposing fabricated identities on manufactured separations.
He said that for the last nine decades, the RSS has been working for creating "ekatmata" (unity), "sadbhavana" (goodwill), "sadacharan" (good conduct) and "sadvyavahar" (good behaviour) in the society, and a clear vision and devotion towards the nation.
He said that whatever the difference of opinion, howsoever provocative actions might have taken place, society must act by remaining within the limits of the Constitution and repose faith in the police and the judicial system.
He denied the allegations that RSS and its associates are 'Islamophobic', calling it propaganda.
"It is true that Islam came to India through some invaders and there had been some battles. The memories of it have lingered longer in minds. But still, it does not mean unifying Hindus is part of opposition to Islam," he said.
About economy, Bhagwat said the talk of slowdown could be counter-productive as it can affect people's and businessmen's sentiment, leading to further decline in spending and economic activity.
Disinvestment, if necessary, should be carried out, he said.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a "faulty" parameter to judge economy, he opined, amid concerns about India's GDP growth.
"We will come out of this (slowdown) phase. The government is taking efforts. We need funds, for which government is encouraging FDI. Some major industries are being divested. When it (disinvestment) is necessary, there should not be any problem with it. It is a solution," Bhagwat said.
The RSS champions `Swadeshi' (policy of backing domestic products), but it did not mean breaking ties with the world, but achieving self-reliance, he contended.
Before his speech, Bhagwat performed 'shastra puja' (worship of weapons). HCL founder Shiv Nadar was the chief guest at the event. Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Gen V K Singh (retd) and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were among those present at the event.

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