The RSS on Friday favoured engagement with Pakistan and other neigbours, saying they were “formed out of the same body (India)”, and endorsed the Narendra Modi government’s “direction, intent and commitment” in the past 14 months.
The BJP’s ideological mentor said there was a need to discuss how to improve relations with people related historically and geographically vis-à-vis India’s neigbours.
RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale shrugged off the acrimony between India and Pakistan, saying such things happen “in a family ... between brothers” and one should move on and work to improve relationships.
“In Bharat, Kauravas and Pandavas were brothers. Efforts have to be made for dharma sansthapana (to establish order),” he said in reply to how the two nations could maintain brotherly relations in the face of “provocations” by Pakistan.
The Sangh, which expressed concern about the changing “demographic profile” at the three-day RSS-BJP coordination meeting in Delhi, announced its decision to set up a committee to prepare a report on the recently released religion census, which will be discussed at its Ranchi meet in November.
Prime Minister Modi told leaders of the RSS and its affiliates on the concluding day of the event that it was because of the “sanskar” or ethics learnt from the Sangh that he could reach where he did.
He said his government has done a lot of work and exhorted the Sangh to convey the achievements to people across the country. “But a lot more has to be done. We are trying to reach out to the last man of our country and our efforts will finally show,” he was learnt to have said.
The RSS agreed. “Only 14 months have passed. There is more time and a lot more is to be done. Whatever has been done so far, the direction is right, dedication, commitment and achievements are good. We have to move forward. There cannot be 100% satisfaction for everyone,” RSS leader Hosabale said.
He dismissed the opposition’s criticism that the government was run through remote control by the Sangh, following presentations by senior ministers at the meeting.
The RSS said the meeting was not to review the performance of the Modi government. “We are not an illegal organisation. We are citizens of the country. We have every right to ask ministers, who are also swayamsevaks,” Hosabale said.
The clarification had little effect on the attack launched by the opposition, which had called the meeting an appraisal exercise of the Modi government by the Sangh.
“Modiji can see intolerant non-state actors controlling large territories evrywhr-but not the intolerant non-state actor ctrling him&hisGovt!” tweeted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is learnt to have expressed satisfaction over the functioning of the government and batted for regular meetings between the Sangh and its affiliates for better coordination.
The RSS advised the government to Indianise the education system, while delegates shared ideas on economic models that would help people in the countryside get better employment and medical facilities.
Hosabale said the RSS would wait for construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya in accordance with the government’s time-table since the issue was pending before the Supreme Court.