Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday said his organisation had no opposition to the noted painter M.F. Husain living in India.
Replying to questions by journalists at the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club here, Mr. Bhagwat pointed out that the grant of Qatar citizenship to Mr. Husain was not connected to his complaint that he could not live in India. “Why should we oppose or welcome him? He is an Indian citizen. He can come any day. The decision to grant citizenship is that of the Qatar government,” he said. The RSS was not against artistic freedom, but like any other freedom it too had a limit, he said.
Asked about the eroticism in temple architecture, Mr. Bhagwat said those were products of an age dating back to more than 700 years based on the conditions prevailing at that time.
The RSS always maintained that artistic expression should not hurt the sentiments of any section of society, he said.
Mr. Bhagwat was not optimistic about the current India-Pakistan talks because of what he termed the strong anti-India mindset in Pakistan. “The task will never be fulfilled if the mindset does not change,” he said.
In regard to the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the RSS chief maintained that the issue was not religious, but concerned with values of life. “It is janmabhoomi. And where else can you construct a temple but at the birth place [of Ram],” he said.
The RSS was opposed to the Ranganath Mishra report on reservation for the Muslim community. The RSS was opposed to reservation on the basis of religion. “We oppose reservation for minority communities on the ground of social backwardness, but have no issues if concessions are given for economic backwardness,” he said.
About the formation of Telangana state, Mr. Bhagwat prescribed a four-point criteria of integration, internal security, administrative convenience and development for the formation of new States.
The problem of infiltration across the border was the outcome of vote-bank politics. Nothing had come out of the committee set up to study the problem. Mr. Bhagwat alleged that attempts were being made to create a bogey of Hindu terrorism by connecting the Pune blast to Malegaon.
No organisation connected with the RSS had been involved in such activities. Hindus were peace-loving people. But there were terror outfits in some other communities, he added.
The RSS chief was in the State to attend the “pranta sangkik” (state assembly) of his organisation.