KOLKATA: Laying speculation to rest, RSS Sar-Sanghchalak Mohanrao Bhagwat said that his organization and Anna Hazare go back a long way. If Bhagwat is to be believed, it was the RSS that urged Anna to go in for a movement against corruption but the organization never took active part in it.
"If the RSS is asked by Anna to join the movement, we shall do so. But, no such request has come in as yet. However, we are not stopping RSS members from participating in Anna's movement. The links between Anna and the RSS go back a long way. It was the RSS that highlighted Anna's developmental programmes for villages. We even got Anna to help us in our village development programmes. It was during these interactions that the RSS suggested to him to go in for a movement against corruption. I was supposed to meet Anna in June but both of us got held up elsewhere," the RSS chief said during an informal interaction with journalists in Kolkata on Wednesday.
According to Bhagwat, the RSS also spoke to Baba Ramdev on starting a movement against corruption. "We can't force him to join hands with Anna but we did urge Baba Ramdev to be part of the movement. The RSS, as an organization, believes in creating better individuals who would lead corruption-free lives. This would finally give birth to a corruption-free nation. However, for the time being, any movement against corruption in the government is good," he said.
The RSS chief believes that India is on her way to becoming the 'country of his dreams' where there will be a clear divide between religion and politics. According to him, the internal security system - particularly the Maoists - will not pose any problem if the situation is handled properly.
"I am from the Maoist-affected Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra. I know for sure that the Maoists have no mass base. They have simply spread a network of terror. No change can take place in this manner. It is the poor people whose lives are getting grinded between the Maoists and the security forces. The Maoist problem can be sorted out in 2-3 years. I believe that the 'India of my dreams' will become a reality in 30 years. After all, awareness has gone up significantly and the younger generation is looking up to core values," Bhagwat said.
Hailing the loss of the CPM in West Bengal as the return of 'freedom' for the people, Bhagwat refused to comment on the activities of the new government in the state. He claimed that he was in Kolkata for better networking. He did not sound too happy with the Centre's directions to a filmmaker, not to depict pro-Tibet posters and the Tibetan flag in his film, so as not to hurt Chinese sentiments.
"What is wrong if a few Indian films depict such scenes? After all, a Chinese politician can come to India and ask a journalist to 'shut up' when asked about the wrong depiction of territory on a map. India should certainly have friendly relations with neighbours but should not them to dictate terms," Bhagwat said.