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Saturday, October 27, 2001

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Re-interpret your scriptures, Sudershan tells minorities

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, OCT. 26. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief, Mr. K. S. Sudershan, today asked both Muslims and Christians to ``re- interpret'' their scriptures and change their leadership which had remained in the hands of ``conflict-mongers''. The history of Islam and Christianity was ``soaked in blood'' and this was because their leaders had opted for the ``path of conflict,'' instead of paying attention to those verses in their scriptures which preached tolerance and goodwill.

The RSS `sarsanghchalak' was delivering his important Dussehra day address at Nagpur, viewed by lakhs of `swayamsevaks' as the annual message spelling out the policies and attitudes of the RSS - parent organisation of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal and a host of others. A synopsis of Mr. Sudershan's address was distributed here through e-mail by the Indraprastha Viswa Samvad Kendra, official publicity wing of the RSS.

Mr. Sudershan asked Muslims and Christians to ``snatch the initiative from the fundamentalists in their communities'' and ``re-interpret'' their scriptures in keeping with the modern world.

Touching upon many issues, Mr. Sudershan said India should build efficient nuclear weaponry and wage its own war against terrorism on its own strength, and defended the Government's moves to change school textbooks.

The communists had ``surreptitiously infiltrated into academic institutions'' over the years and ``purged history textbooks'' of all aspects which would have aroused patriotism and self-esteem.

Defends ``saffronisation'' of education

Defending the ``saffronisation'' of education, he said the communists and other left-leaning academics had distorted history, ridiculed Subhash Chandra Bose and criticised Mahatma Gandhi. He lauded the National Council for Educational Research and Training's efforts towards revising textbooks.

The RSS which has for many years taken a stand against India signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty suddenly seemed to think this would do no harm as ``CTBT is no hindrance to conducting sub-critical tests'' or ``building efficient nuclear weaponry.'' Mr. Sudershan's suggestion was that India should develop missiles with a striking range of 5,000 to 12,000 km to be fully prepared for defence against Pakistan and China. The first should be declared a rogue state and the second, he said, was ``expansionist.''

He refrained from attacking the Vajpayee Government for backing out from `swadeshi economics' (unlike in the past), restricting himself to suggesting that India should not imitate the Western development model but build one of its own. Of course, there was the criticism of world bodies like the IMF, which he alleged had spelt ruination wherever it had forced its solutions on Third World countries.

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