‘Be ready for all possibilities:’ RSS chief Bhagwat on Taliban talks
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwant listed all the perils India faces, and the ills plaguing the country in his customary Vijayadashami speech: Taliban, China, Pakistan, terrorism, drugs, OTT platforms, over-use of mobile phones, and cryptocurrency.
With New Delhi preparing to participate in talks with the Taliban, being hosted by Russia next week, Bhagwat has cautioned that even as it engages in talks, India must be “prepared for all possibilities”.
The RSS is the ideological fount of the BJP and the annual Vijayadashami speech of its sarsangchalak (delivered on Dusherra day) are closely followed by analysts and experts to understand issues that could become priorities for the government in the future. Friday’s speech by Bhagwat revolved around the theme of population control (and having a uniform and universal population policy), a long-standing demand of the Sangh that is now beginning to make an appearance in population laws in some BJP-ruled states, but it also focused on other current issues. That included the Taliban, and Kashmir.
Bhagwat advocated “accelerating” the process of “emotional integration” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country in the wake of targeted killings of minorities in the union territory. “Terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir have restarted the spate of targeted violence of national-minded people, especially Hindus to lower their morale and re-establish the reign of terror in the Valley. Efforts for curbing and finishing off the terrorist activities needs speeding up,” he said.
He also called for stepping up vigilance along borders from where intrusions and attacks have happened stealthily, along the sea routes and ramp up internal security. “Taliban may have changed, but has Pakistan changed? Has China changed its intent towards India? Considering the possibility of a change of heart, of dialogue solving issues, we still need to be prepared,” he said.
India has opted for a wait-and-watch policy and stressed that Afghanistan should not become a safe haven for terrorists. It has, however, announced that it will participate in the meeting being hosted by Russia involving Taliban next week. China, Pakistan and Iran will also attend the talks with the Taliban in Moscow.
The Sangh has been a votary of a strong muscular policy to deal with China and Pakistan.
The RSS chief also urged the government and society to together snuff out the menace of drugs. In the backdrop of the focus on drugs with the arrest of film star Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan after a raid on a rave where drugs were being consumed, Bhagwat said drugs are being sent into India from certain bordering countries with the money generated from their sales is being used for anti-national activities and destabilising the country.
He also expressed concern over the misuse of technology, particularly mobile and OTT platforms. “…. There is no regulation of the content being shown on OTT platforms, which could harm the country,” he said.
Notably, in February, the Centre notified Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021,. The guidelines are applicable on social media intermediaries such as Twitter and Facebook, and OTT platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime.