Bhagwat calls for more vigilance along borders

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat during a seminar in Jammu. File photo   | Photo Credit: -

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday stressed the need for the country to remain militarily vigilant at all times against the backdrop of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. It was imperative to shore up security along the country’s borders and the country needed to be careful and “prepared for all possibilities”, he stated.

“We know what their [The Taliban’s] past character is. Sometimes they say they have changed; at other times they say they are still the same…this is clear signal for us [India] to be very careful. And while the Taliban may have changed, has Pakistan changed? Has China changed its intentions towards India? Even considering the possibility of a change in heart, and of dialogues meant to resolve issues, we still need to be prepared and remain ever vigilant,” he said.

The RSS Sarsanghchalak’s remarks, made during his annual Vijayadashami speech at the Sangh headquarters in Nagpur, comes ahead of India’s participation in the Moscow talks on Afghanistan to be held on October 20, which is to see the participation of Taliban representatives as well.

Mr. Bhagwat cautioned against the support extended by countries like Russia, Pakistan and China to the Taliban. He underscored the need to strengthen the country’s borders and coasts and ramping up the cybersecurity infrastructure.

‘Integrate emotionally’

He contended that while the people of Jammu and Kashmir were reaping the benefits of the scrapping of Article 370, there was a pressing need for Kashmir’s public to be “emotionally integrated” with the rest of the country.

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“After Article 370 was done away with, the fear or terrorists had been banished form people’s minds…however, terrorists have again begun ‘targeted killings’ of citizens, especially those in among the Hindu community, in a bid to destroy their morale and re-establish the reign of terror in the Valley. The administration needs to expedite its efforts for finishing off terrorist activities,” he noted.

Expressing concern over increasing usage of narcotics among all sections of Indian society, he observed that the money generated from drugs coming in from neighbouring countries were being used for terrorist activities aimed at destabilising India.

“Drug money is being used to disturb India’s peace by creating anarchy in Indian society…from the high classes to the lower sections, one sees more and more people daily acquiring these bad habits,” he remarked. It was the responsibility and duty of parents and families to inculcate the right values in their children to avoid problems like drug addiction.

Misuse of technology

Mr. Bhagwat also expressed his worries about the alarming misuse of technology, particularly over-the-top (OTT) platforms. They were broadcasting indecent images that had a real potential to destroy the new generation. Clandestine, unregulated currency like Bitcoin could destabilise world economy and create serious problems, he pointed out.

As population imbalance could create a major challenge in the near future, he called for a rethink on the country’s population policy and its soaring population.

“Today, youth constitute around 56-57% of the country’s population. The question is, how to provide for them after 30 years when this demographic grows old…while reimagining the country’s development, the predicament of population comes to the fore. So, the population policy should be considered again and it should be implemented efficiently over the next 50 years,” he asserted.

Sanatan Hindu culture

Pointing to the magnanimity of the Sanatan Hindu culture, he stressed that the Hindu society had shown the world that it had the ability to accept all faiths and religions and could act as a beacon to save the globe from the grip of radicalism, intolerance, terrorism and animosity.

“India’s cultural tradition, which was unique in the world, had always been one of acceptance of all communities and castes…the RSS activist has been reared up in these values. We don’t want a culture that widens the divide, but the one that binds the nation together and promotes love. We don’t need a language which heightens societal differences but one that binds all faiths and communities together and the RSS is working towards it… There should be informal intercourse between all religions when it comes to celebrations of festivals and anniversaries. This is the surest guarantee of the endurance of our Independence and self-rule,” he explained.

At the same time, he pointed to injustices to the Hindu community like the exclusive appropriation of Hindu religious sites for decades despite the State being ‘secular’ must be stopped. “It is only reasonable that the operating rights of Hindu temples be handed over to the Hindu devotees and the wealth of the Hindu temples be utilized for the worship of the deities and the welfare of the Hindu community.”

The Hindu way of life did not require anyone to forsake their religion or way of worship. The nation’s remarkable diversity had caused it to absorb all religions and faiths in the past. “We have taken in Jews and Parsis who came as asylum seekers. Though Islam and Christianity came with invaders, all that is history now… We have no relation with those invaders. Muslims who have sacrificed their lives for the country are our ideals.” After 75 years of Independence, the country’s journey from self-rule to self-governance was far from complete.

‘Remain united’

Mr. Bhagwat exhorted all Indians to remain united. Since Independence, differences within people had only exacerbated on the basis of religion, caste, region and language.

“The scars of Partition have still not healed. But it teaches us that the differences due to which that tragedy occurred must not occur again. There are elements in the world who are not favourably disposed to India’s progress and do not wish the country to take rise to its position of a world power. They criticize India, its history, its tradition, its institutions and try to create a feeling of self-loathing among Indians. One must watch out against such elements,” he added.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 10:45:43 AM |

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