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Gandhiji kept agitations in check: Mohan Bhagwat

RSS chief’s comment is construed as an oblique reference to anti-CAA protests.

Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday said that on occasions when Mahatma Gandhi’s experiments with protests and agitations went wrong, he used to “take responsibilty and make amends”, unlike in present times when no one stepped forward to do so.

In what is being seen as an oblique reference to protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the violence, Mr. Bhagwat said “people are beaten, get bullets and go to court but who comes forward and takes responsibility for such an agitation today?”

Mr. Bhagwat was speaking at the launch of book Gandhiji Ko Samajhney Ka Sahi Samay by former National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) chief J S Rajput at Gandhi Smriti in New Delhi.

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“Bapu ne jo prayog kiye aur agar prayog main gadbad hui toh unhoney uska praayashchit bhi kiya. Koi andolan agar bhatak gaya toh unhoney [Mahatma Gandhi] iska praayaschit bhi kiya. Andolan main agar koi gadbad ho jaaye, kuch kaanoon vyavastha ka bhaya ho gaya ho toh uska prayashchit lene waala koi hai? Toh kabhi kuch lathicharge hota hai, golibari hoti hai ya jo pakde jaatey hain unko bhugatna padta hai, jo karaaney waaley hain who ya toh jeet te hain ya haar te hain [In Mahatma Gandhi’s experiments with agitations, if something went wrong, he made amends for it. Nowadays if such a thing happens, if a law and order situation is created, people face lathi charges or bullets, they suffer but those behind it only claim victory or defeat].

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Mr. Bhagwat said Mahatma Gandhi never shied from claiming his Hindu identity and was a “kattar (committed) Sanatani Hindu” all his life. “Gandhiji at times said that is a hardcore sanatani Hindu, and since he was one, he did not distinguish between different ways to worship God. Therefore, he stuck to his faith and advocated respect for other faiths as well”.

Mr. Bhagwat stated that 20 years ago he used to say that the India of Gandhi’s dreams was yet to be formed but expressed “full faith in the youth of today to realise the dream of Gandhi’s India.” Development and its conception should be humanitarian and calculated to benefit the last man in the line. “Gandhiji always looked at India from an Indian perspective”. There was much similarity in the Mahatma’s views and that of RSS founder K.B. Hedgewar, he added.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 10:51:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/gandhiji-kept-agitations-in-check/article30844969.ece

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