RSS must now heed its own chief’s advice
Mohan Bhagwat is right. Don’t demonise a community for the mistakes of a fewUpdated: Apr 27, 2020 18:39 IST
On Sunday, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief, Mohan Bhagwat, in a video address, said that the transgressions of a few should not lead to targeting an entire community. This suggests that he had in mind the Tablighi Jamaat controversy, in which the deplorable actions of some followers of the sect, contributed greatly to the disease spreading across India. The organisers of the mass gathering were rightfully criticised.
But it went beyond that when the incident was used to somehow blame the entire Muslim community for the spread of the disease in India. On social media, trolls carried out a relentless campaign against Muslims, even suggesting this was some form of jihad. There have been physical assaults in places; Muslim vendors were isolated and drummed out of business; Muslim volunteers have been set upon and prevented from carrying out relief work; and there have been reports of segregation on the basis of faith in even hospital admissions.
Mr Bhagwat enjoys vast authority not just in the RSS but a wide range of Hindu organisations. Many who have been behind this targeting of Muslims plead allegiance to these outfits and derive inspiration from them. This is what makes his intervention important. He must now ensure that his advice is enforced in letter and spirit on the ground by his cadres. They must not spread falsehoods and encourage violence against any community. Muslims and other minorities are an integral part of the socio-economic fabric and the recovery process post-Covid requires the nation to pull together as one. Mr
Mr Bhagwat, through his remarks, seems to suggest this and his organisation will be doing a signal service to the country if it is seen to be implementing his advice.