At an event in Delhi on Tuesday, RSS Sarsanghchalak talked about various issues like need to build a pro-India narrative and about issues facing the Hindu community. He also answered questions about internal issues of the community, including the issue of caste.
“These days I’m wary that anything I say will be misquoted, but I will say what Sangh has always believed in,” Mohan Bhagwat started when responding to a question that sought to know RSS take on caste based reservations.
Recently Mohan Bhagwat’s statement on increasing divorce rates was twisted by the mainstream media. While Bhagwat was trying to explain that the arrogance in the affluent people as leading cause of divorce, many twisted it to portray that he ‘blamed educated women’ for the same.
Back in September 2015 Mohan Bhagwat had issued a statement calling for a re-look at the existing reservation policy. This statement, even though asking for a re-look and not a ban, and made by someone who isn’t directly associated with the government, was blown out of proportions and was considered one of the key factors for which the BJP might have had to pay dearly in the Bihar assembly elections. This was also pointed out in a post analyzing the BJP’s defeat wherein it was pointed out how the RJD-JDU alliance was successful in conveying to Dalits that BJP was against reservations, and it ultimately cost BJP Dalit votes.
Sangh doesn’t believe in caste, but caste is a reality that we can’t ignore. “We believe that caste based reservations should continue till caste based discrimination is there,” the RSS chief said. “If anyone wants to debate how long reservations should continue, an apolitical group can be formed to discuss such ideas, but Sangh will work towards ending caste feud and caste differences among Hindus. Our agenda is to unite Hindus and not divide them by caste. We believe that reservations should not become reasons of Hindus attacking each other,” he added.
Recently, the RSS had come up with an action plan to smooth over caste fault lines. Top Sangh brass brainstormed upon ways to combat the growing unrest among Dalits and decided to reach out to the Dalits and stop the caste fault lines from widening. RSS during this process has also held meetings with Dalit representatives to drive home the point about Hindu unity.
Mohan Bhagwat was speaking at a gathering of columnists and writers in Delhi. Among other issues discussed at the event were the misconception of RSS being anti-Muslim or anti-Minorities and need to reach out to young urban audiences. He reiterated that RSS considers those Muslims who celebrate their cultural history, which is common with Hindus, as part of their family.