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RSS didn’t kill Mahatma Gandhi: Senior Sangh leader

india Updated: Dec 06, 2016 16:43 IST
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi (L) with Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi at a function in New Delhi on Sunday. (PTI file photo)

The RSS has accused the Congress of appropriating Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy for their political advantage and lashed out at the party for pinning the blame for his assassination on the Sangh.

In an interview to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s mouthpiece ‘Organiser’, its general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi has tried to forge a connection between Gandhi and the RSS, pointing out how they had similar views on issues such as swadeshi, cow protection and spirituality.

Roiled by the allegations linking the Sangh to Gandhi’s assassination, Joshi has hit out at the Congress in the interview published in a special edition of the magazine released by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Joshi downplayed the friction between the Sangh and Gandhi and said though there could have been “disagreement” with his political thoughts, but there were no “differences” on issues pertaining to the nation, society and Indian philosophy.

“…But people who wanted to weaken this emerging force (of RSS), got the opportunity with Gandhiji’s assassination and they put the allegation on Sangh. For them, RSS was a political threat to their future and therefore, it had to be eliminated at any cost,” Joshi has been quoted as saying.

While the Congress accuses the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideological mentor of holding views contrary to what Gandhi stood for, Joshi retaliated by charging the main opposition party with cashing in on Gandhi’s name.

“He had also said that the forum (Congress) that was created with the objective of attaining independence from the British rule is not needed now. But the people with certain political orientation knew that their future is connected with this name. They did not listen to Gandhiji.”

The RSS has dragged Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to court in a defamation suit after he allegedly claimed at a political rally that the RSS had killed Gandhi. Over the years, the RSS has maintained that it had severed ties with the Hindu Mahasabha and Nathuram Godse, who was hanged for Gandhi’s assassination.

Joshi has reiterated this stand in the interview.

“…this allegation has repeatedly been made. Till date, all such efforts have failed. Whoever made such allegations had to withdraw it after a reaction. We are confident that no one can defeat us using this issue on legal or any other parameters. We have come forward honestly. There is no way one can prove this falsehood that Sangh was behind the Gandhi assassination.”

Second-in-command in the Sangh, Joshi has also refuted allegations that the RSS did not participate in the struggle for freedom.