Sovereignty, honour of nation important, says RSS on India boycotting OBOR | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Sovereignty, honour of nation important, says RSS on India boycotting OBOR

The RSS has been pushing the BJP to adopt an assertive China policy.

india Updated: May 14, 2017 22:38 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
According to sources, the Sangh conveyed to the government the need to respond to the Chinese “provocation” by tweaking the current level of economic commitment.
According to sources, the Sangh conveyed to the government the need to respond to the Chinese “provocation” by tweaking the current level of economic commitment.(File photo)

Narendra Modi government’s decision to boycott the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) forum and the terse message to Beijing that “no country can accept a project that ignores its core concern on sovereignty and territorial integrity” has been endorsed by the Bharatiya Janata Party mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

The government’s stance of challenging Beijing on OBOR and its continued support to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, is in line with the Sangh’s standpoint.

“Sovereignty and the honour of the nation are equally important; the government asserting this (by boycotting OBOR) is a good move,” a senior functionary of the Sangh told HT.

The RSS has been pushing the BJP to adopt an assertive China policy.

While it applauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to build bridges with the neighbour that went to war with India in 1962 and had several skirmishes with, it has recently begun advocating a shift in engagement with Beijing.

To begin with, it wants the Centre to stonewall China’s efforts to dictate terms on how India should engage with the Dalai Lama and rebuff any claims that it makes on Arunachal Pradesh.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as ‘South Tibet’ and in April announced renaming of six places in the North Eastern region; a move that drew a sharp reaction from the Sangh.

According to sources, the Sangh conveyed to the government the need to respond to the Chinese “provocation” by tweaking the current level of economic commitment. It pushed for boycotting Chinese goods and cutting down imports.

At a meeting of its highest decision making body, the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha in Coimbatore in March, it called for revisiting economic and diplomatic ties, especially in the wake of Beijing not supporting India’s move to impose a UN ban on Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar, blocking New Delhi’s bid to join the Nuclear Supplier’s Group and pursuing business interests through the CPEC.

The Sangh economic wing, the Swadesh Jagran Manch (SJM), has initiated a campaign to boycott Chinese goods and recently submitted a memorandum to Modi to enact a ‘Buy Bharatiya Act’ which would make it mandatory for government departments to purchase only goods produced in India.

“The trade deficit with China had reached $ 52.7 billion in 2015-16, which was 41% of our total trade deficit (130 billion dollars). Even after enjoying enormous advantage from huge Bhartiya (Indian) market, China has been consistently keeping the sense of enmity with India…” the SJM memorandum said.

In line with the Sangh’s new posture on relations with China, the Muslim wing of the RSS, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, last week passed a resolution demanding that India should get control of Kailash Mansarovar, a Hindu pilgrimage site, which is in Tibet.