RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Tuesday that even socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan, popularly known as JP, was impressed by the functioning of the Sangh.
“Jayaprakashji once visited an RSS camp in New Delhi. On seeing RSS workers having food dressed in their traditional uniform, he asked how all this was managed. He was surprised and impressed when he came to know that everything was managed by the cadre,” said Bhagwat.
The RSS chief was addressing a gathering on the premises of Madhav Sevashram that is run by the RSS for the needy.
Shortly after Bhagwat’s address, president of the All-India Muslim Women Personal Law Board Shaista Amber chanted ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. “I don’t know about others but I feel there is nothing wrong in singing ‘Vande Mataram’ or chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai,” said Amber, adding that the RSS chief had also accepted her invite to visit a unique mosque established by her in the state capital.
Interestingly, BSP chief Mayawati, who recently criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party for being remote-controlled by the RSS, is listed among the donors at the Sevaashram.
RSS is considered the ideological mentor of the BJP which is aiming to wrest power from the ruling Samajwadi Party in the 2017 UP polls. Bhagwat’s mention of JP was interpreted as an attempt to showcase the apolitical nature of Sangh and highlight the fact that it had admirers in all political parties.
The mention of Jayaprakash Narayan by Bhagwat came nearly three years after BJP patriarch LK Advani had said at a party camp in Chitrakoot that Samajwadi Party ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia had great respect for BJP’s philosophy of nationalism.
Days before that Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had praised Advani saying that the BJP veteran (Advani) always spoke the “truth”.
Bhagwat’s call for a need to inculcate patriotism among the youths and to chant salutations to the motherland had stoked a controversy.
The All India Ittehad-Ul-Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi had on Monday hit out at the Samajwadi Party for banning his rallies while allowing RSS activities. With Owaisi also present in the state capital, the RSS chief had on Monday advised the cadre against forcing anyone to chant the hail India slogan. “The feeling to chant salutation for the motherland should come from within,” he said.
However, at a separate function in the state capital, Owaisi supporters were seen shouting ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Jai Hindustan’.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Sunil Bharala said that Owaisi’s supporters chanted ‘Jai Hind’ under pressure. “Owaisi seems to be having a change of heart. The pro-India slogans that he raised are enough to indicate that he was under public pressure to prove his patriotism,” Bharala said.