Mohan Bhagwat’s statement on Pandits was misconstrued: RSS  

The organisation says he was speaking in Marathi, and by ‘Pandit’ he had meant intellectuals

February 06, 2023 09:48 pm | Updated 09:48 pm IST - New Delhi

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat | File Photo

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat | File Photo | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat landed in a controversy with his remarks on Pandits, a common term used to refer to the Brahmin community, the RSS’ publicity chief Sunil Ambekar on Monday issued a clarification saying Mr. Bhagwat’s remarks have been misconstrued, and by ‘Pandits’ he had meant vidvaan (intellectuals).

A day before, Mr. Bhagwat, at an event to celebrate Guru Ravidas Jayanti in Mumbai, had said that all people were created equal, irrespective of name, ability, and honour, but “the Pandits had created caste, and what the Pandits said on the basis of the shastras [scripture] was a lie”.

The statement drew criticism from several political parties.

Issuing the clarification, Mr. Ambekar said, “He was speaking in Marathi and what he said should be understood in [the] right manner.” He clarified that Mr. Bhagwat had used the word ‘Pandit’ to mean vidvaan, or intellectuals, adding the RSS chief had actually meant that everyone deserved the same respect.

Attacking the RSS chief for his statement, Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav took to Twitter saying: “It should also be clarified what the ground reality regarding caste is.”

The SP’s national general secretary Swami Prasad Maurya dared the RSS chief to ask the Central government to “remove portions referring to caste from Ramcharitmanas”.

Congress leader and MP Digvijay Singh also questioned Mr. Bhagwat’s statement and asked if he would clarify which of our shastras are wrong.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.