Opposing the Bharatiya Janata Party does not amount to opposing Hindus, RSS general secretary Suresh ‘Bhaiyyaji’ Joshi said on Sunday in remarks quite untypical of the ideological parent of the BJP.
“We should not consider opposition to BJP as opposition to Hindus. It is a political fight that will continue. That should not be linked with Hindus… Your question says that Hindus are becoming enemy of Hindu community, meaning BJP. Hindu community does not mean BJP,” he said.
Joshi was asked the question ‘why Hindus are becoming the enemy of their own community?’ at a lecture on ‘Vishwaguru Bharat’ Dona Paula near here.
Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) general secretary in Goa: Hindu community does not mean Bharatiya Janata Party, and opposing BJP does not amount to opposing Hindus. Political fight will continue but it should not be linked to Hindus. pic.twitter.com/XBal0PM9zF
— ANI (@ANI) February 9, 2020
The RSS leader’s remarks come amid vociferous protests against the ruling BJP over the Citizenship Amendment Act, criticized by activists and the opposition as discriminatory towards Muslims. Despite a polarizing and star-studded campaign around the burning issue in Delhi, exit polls have predicted a loss for the BJP in assembly elections.
“A Hindu fights against a fellow (Hindu) because they forget the religion. Even Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj faced opposition from his own family… Where there is confusion and self-centered behaviour, there is opposition,” he said.
“Some claim that Vivekananda’s Hindutva is good and not that of Vinayak Savarkar. What is the basis for such claims?” he said.
Joshi said that Communist rulers in West Bengal claim that they are against Hindus, but when it comes to heading Durga Puja mandals, they are always in the forefront. “Similar is the situation in Kerala, where Communists want to be president of temple committee,” he added.
Joshi advised that Hindus should rise above politics. Responding to a question, Joshi said that the people from all communities are welcome to join the Sangh.
He said that those who believe in the ideology of the Sangh can join and they would be given “respectable position, but not a separate position”.
“Sangh has given position to everyone. Whoever wants to come to Sangh they are welcome. We never stopped non-Hindus from joining Sangh. It is true that we have focused on Hindus. But if someone from Christian community or a Muslim agrees with Sangh’s ideology, they can also join it,” Joshi added.
“After joining the Sangh, if they are reluctant to say ‘Bharat mata ki jai’, then we will say that you don’t consider ‘Bharat’ as your mother, so you don’t deserve to be here,” he said.
In states like Uttar Pradesh, many Muslims have joined the RSS, he said, adding, “If any non-Hindu joins the Sangh, they will get a position as much as any Hindu gets. They won’t get a separate position. Whoever joins will get a respectable position, but not a separate position,” he said.
Responding to another question, Joshi said that government servants are not barred from joining the RSS, although they are barred from becoming part of political movements.
“Unfortunately, in our country, if you speak about the country’s welfare and possible threats, it is considered as a political thinking. When I live in the country, don’t I have a right to speak about the country?” he asked.
Joshi said that there is no example of any government servant losing his job for joining the RSS, but there are ample examples wherein they were harassed for being part of the organisation.
In reply to another query, Joshi said that Hindus cannot be considered as communal as the religion does not believe in single religious book or single God.
“Let them define the word communal. Communal has become a bad word these days. We believe that Hindu can never be communal in the country,” he said.
“It is wrong to consider Hindus as communal or those who work for Hindu religion. We don’t believe in singular religious book (granth), singular God…We have to ask them what is the definition of communal,” he said.