The Telegraph
Friday , October 5 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

RSS welcomes minorities

Ranchi, Oct. 4: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or RSS, isn’t a political organisation, but its followers, or swayamsevaks, are present among various political formations, including the Congress.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who answered a series of questions put to him at a jam-packed event at a community hall at CMPDI at Kanke Road today, however, made it clear that the organisation did not need the shelter of a political party to carry out the task of nation building.

“Scores of swayamsevaks are career politicians today, with many having used the organisation as a launch pad to enter mainstream electoral politics. There are swayamsevaks in all political parties, even in the Congress, though I would not like to name them. It is, however, true that there are more swayamsevaks in the BJP than in other political parties,” Bhagwat told a rapt audience.

Founded in 1925 as a social and intellectual movement, the RSS wasn’t a political party with links to the BJP.

The goals of the Sangh, Bhagwat said, included building of character and imparting of values. The organisation’s influence came from its network of members in tens of thousands of Indian villages where the RSS ran 130,000 public service projects in health care, education, rural development and disaster relief.

Is the RSS a Hindu organisation?

Bhagwat conceded that the organisation was a “true” Hindu organisation that encompassed all those dwelling on the Indo-Iranian geographical plate that included Hindus, Muslims, Christians, forward castes, backward castes, scheduled tribes and others.

“The DNA of the people inhabiting the Indo-Iranian plate has remained unchanged in the last 40,000 years. RSS makes no distinction on the God that different people worship or the methods of their worship,” he added.

Shahnawaz Quereshi, Dr Alam and Shakeel Akhtar asked the RSS chief if his organisation would welcome Muslims and other minorities into its fold. “Come and see for yourself. Vested groups and politicians have been using the RSS to instill fear in the minds of minorities to make political gains. Do not believe in hearsay. You can join the RSS and leave if you do not like the outfit,” he explained.