RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat today echoed the government’s stance on peace talks with the ULFA, stressing that the country’s sovereignty and unity are non-negotiable.
“The sovereignty, unity and security of the country cannot be negotiated with. Talks are held under peaceful conditions and not by fighting. So the discussions have to be within this parameter,” Bhagwat told reporters here.
On various ethnic and insurgent groups demanding autonomy or separate states by balkanising Assam, he said, “The country is one and it is only for administrative convenience that states were made.”
To queries on steps by the RSS to stop the alleged largescale conversion activities of Christian missionaries in the northeast, he said, “Conversion is either by lure or force. Earlier, there was no resistance from the people. But now people are alert and we are creating awareness about it.
“As progress brings about awareness, the RSS, besides the government, is helping the development activities of the country. If people are alert, they cannot be converted and lose their cultural identity.”
The RSS chief said Hindutva was also a way forward for stopping conversion as it awakened awareness in society.
India has evolved a unique social system having a distinct view of life with values in society. On this basis, Hindutva is for unity in diversity, people of different cultures to live together, smaller identities live harmoniously as a part of a larger identity. This is Indian culture,” Bhagwat said.
On reports about missionaries indulging in child trafficking in the northeast, Bhagwat said poverty was being exploited and this had to be stopped through strict measures.
Discounting Shiv Sena’s claim that Mumbai was for Marathi manoos only, the RSS chief said, “Mumbai is for all Indians. People of all languages, communities, tribes are children of India...Nobody can prevent Indians from moving to any part of the country in search of employment.”
On the unabated illegal migration of Bangladeshis into Assam, he said “The Supreme Court and the Foreigners Act are clear on who is a foreigner. The infiltrators are a danger to our economy and culture.”
He said the government has not taken the issue seriously. “Its first job is to protect the sovereignty, unity and security of the country. Vote considerations weigh heavy on taking measures against infiltrators. Problem delayed is solution delayed as it has a negative impact on security.”
Asked if the RSS made distinctions between Hindu and Muslim Bangladeshi infiltrators, Bhagwat said, “Under the Foreigners Act, all coming voluntarily, irrespective of religion, are foreigners. Those thrown out from there are refugees and are to be treated accordingly as per law.”
The RSS had begun a public awareness campaign on the foreigners issue as it was the only way within the democratic limits, he said.
On Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi taking a broadside at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin, Bhagwat said, “RSS keeps away from politics. Hindutva teaches tolerance and acceptance.”