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RSS resolution steers clear of politics at Nagpur meet

A senior Sangh functionary said the move is an indication of convergence of ideas and energy between the Sangh and the BJP.

india Updated: Mar 13, 2018 07:17 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
RSS,Nagpur,Mohan Bhagwat
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the Sangh-Samagam in Varanasi.(PTI File Photo)

The only resolution that the RSS, the BJP’s ideological parent, passed at its three-day annual meeting that concluded in Nagpur in Maharashtra over the weekend, listed its concerns about the vanishing dialects and the need to preserve Indian languages. Passed on the same day when over 30,000 farmers from Nashik were marching for their rights, in the BJP-ruled state, the carefully worded resolution was largely apolitical and skipped controversial references.

Over the past years, the RSS’ highest decision making platform, the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, has raised issues with political undertones — violence against its cadres in West Bengal and Kerala or the social tension arising out of caste based discrimination. However, a year before the country goes to polls, the Sangh has chosen to focus on a cause that does not put it in an adversarial position with the government.

A senior Sangh functionary said the move is an indication of convergence of ideas and energy between the Sangh and the BJP. “There is an understanding that the BJP under Narendra Modi is designing a political landscape that draws from the ideology of the Sangh such as integral humanism and antodaya (serving the last man in the queue) to draft pro-people policies, so the ecosystem should be collaborative,” the functionary explained, asking not to be identified.

Though RSS-BJP ties are largely cordial currently, over the past four years, RSS affiliates working in the sectors of labour and economy have attacked the government for demonetisation, allowing foreign direct investment, and the continuing farm crisis. These issues were the centrepiece of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s annual Dussehra speech; but were not included in the resolution.

When the Sangh’s views on contemporary issues of farmer’s distress and bank scams were sought, Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi, re-elected to another three-year term, his fourth, during the conclave, responded by calling for the need to strengthen processes.

He said no government could remain insensitive to farmers’ woes. Commenting on the confrontation over economic policies, he said it was a sign of a healthy disagreement that is allowed within the structure.

“In a family, all brothers aren’t equal. They have different ideas, hobbies, etc., but there can be differences in opinion (matbhed) but there won’t be any fallout (manbhed),” Joshi said.

However, to ensure that RSS is not seen as ceding ground, a subtle message was delivered that the outfits will continue to press for their demands. Joshi said the government may have concerns about implementing certain measures, but that the RSS expects ideology-driven organisations to pursue their cause without any compromise.

Another senior RSS functionary said the government has largely accommodated the organisation’s demands; the BJP’s response to the call for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya is also favourable, this person added on condition of anonymity. “By allowing the government greater flexibility in policy making, the Sangh has opted for a mentor’s role, but will continue to monitor as well,” he said.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 07:17 IST