New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) Invoking subtle Hindutva, RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat took the names of Hanuman, Shivaji and RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar in the same breath, during a book launch in Delhi on Tuesday.
While much of his speech was on projecting a liberal face of the RSS, Bhagwat stressed on the importance of dissent, even within the RSS.
“Hamare yahan matbhed ho sakta hai, manved nahi” (We can have differences in RSS, not acrimonious differences), said Bhagwat, after launching “The RSS: Roadmap for 21st century”, a new book by Sunil Ambekar, head of ABVP, the students wing of the saffron outfit.
Putting the focus on the liberal face of the Sangh, he said, its not necessary that everyone within the RSS have to have a similar view on a single issue. In fact, he said dissent within BJP is normal. But he said, RSS doesn’t believe in debates but reaching a consensus.
Tuesday’s speech of Bhagwat is in sync with RSS’s effort off late to demystify itself. “RSS doesnt believe in banning books, whatever it may say about us. Even if we don’t agree with the view, RSS never asks for a ban.”
Heaping praise on Ambekar, the author and a senior RSS functionary, Bhagwat called the book an honest effort to tell the world about the saffron outfit that has often been vilified in the foreign press.
Interestingly, just days before Bhagwat invited around 70 foreign journalists in Delhi to answer queries about the organisation he heads. The move came after the RSS received bad press where it has been called “militant outfit”, following a visit to its Nagpur headquarters by German Ambassador Walter J. Linder.
On Tuesday, Bhagwat invited people to visit RSS and remove their “false notion” about the Sangh. “Come to Sangh, stay here for 2-2.5 years and remove your false notions about the Sangh,” requested he.
But in spite of portraying such a liberal face of the Sangh, it’s a fact that this book by Ambekar has questioned live-in relationships. Ambekar’s book has also raised questions about the fate of children born out of wedlock. Interestingly, some days earlier Bhagwat released an RSS-linked survey by DRISHTI which found that women in live-in relationships are not as happy as their married counterparts.
The event was attended by top ministers of the Modi government – Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani, Social Justice Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, among others.