RSS Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat shared his views and thoughts on various national issues in an exclusive interview with Janmabhoomi (Malayalam Daily ) during the 3-day RSS National Executive Meet known as ‘Akhila Bharatiya Karyakarini Mandal (ABKM) Baitak’, recently held in Kochi from October 25 to 27 2013.Full text of the interview below :
Q. There is a Hindu feel of expression everywhere in the country, but most of them are on the basis of temporary issues only. How can we differentiate Hindu feel and Hindutva. Also how do we distinguish a nationalist Hindu from someone who has a tag of the Hindu religion, like a communist Hindu?
A. See the transformation of society according to the times is a real sign of awakening that has not yet happened. Normally in society, even an individual awakens, he is not conscious that he is awake. All he experiences are a few disturbances. Then he feels “I am in those disturbances.”
That is the second stage. Then he gets up wondering, “Who am I, what should I do today, what did I do yesterday, what will I do tomorrow?” Such similar vein of thinking begins. Then he gets up and starts working. That is full awakening.
So the present Hindu society is conscious that there are disturbances- disturbances in day to day life. Then they would have to realize, not because of the disturbances, but even otherwise, that we exist as Hindus.
We are Hindus and we have to take care of all these issues. Then as Hindus what we are, what we were, and what we want to be. That consciousness will flush in. Therefore agitations, issues, injustice, response to that are going on.
Actually Hindus have to be aware of a few things: what their tradition is, their rule, their values and culture, and at present whether they match up to that thinking, how they can present themselves I the modern world and make themselves presentable, what will be of tomorrow, etc. This is the path, though it is not full awakening. However, one can be assured that awakening has just started.
And therefore Hindus now can react and assert too. This forms real awakening. But Hindus will have to make their own social transformation. So when Hindus stand as one society without any discrimination-by nature, Hindu society is diverse. But diversity will not be considered as being different or separate. It only means that society will respond as one, and take care of its own well being, of every single member. This mounts to real awakening. This bound to come tomorrow, it has just stared. The complete awakening is yet to come.
Q. Here in Kerala people says we are Hindus. But political mentality is for communist politics. Their attitude towards a certain issue may be pro Hindu. But politically they are not. Shall we read this too as a sign of Hindutva?
A. That is what I have been saying: this is only partial awakening. That is why this mind of “all right, I am a Hindu but I am a communist” exists. What is wrong in that? The harm is not being a communist, harm is in not understanding what is first and what is second. It is a question of identity. What is our identity? We are in this country. I am a communist. I want to eradicate all these extortions and everything evil from society. That is perfectly fine. But from what society? From which country?
We are Hindus and ours is Hindu Rashtra, this is Hindustan. Thought must be given to everything based on Hindu values. There are many ideologies in the world. Even if I take some ideology from outsiders, I will adopt it to ‘Hinduness’. Not that I will adopt my ‘Hinduness’ to that ideology. That full awakening is yet to come. When the society is awakening fully it will eradicate all social evils. It will get rid of all differences and will stand as one. It will manage its vast diversity in such a way that there will be emotional oneness. It will be reflected socially as well as politically. And all ideologue and ideologies will have to follow the suit.
We are Hindus and we want to stand as Hindus. We have to contribute to the world as Hindus. What ideology we have adopted is not the question. We are Hindus. That has to come.
So once that assertion comes everything will be set right. For this political awakening, political assertion is necessary. That will come gradually. It is not there yet, but the path is right. Now everybody in Kerala is aware that we are Hindus. And as Hindus we are facing certain problems. And we have to face those problems on the basis of Hindu values, and on the basis that we are all Hindus.
We may use any ideology to achieve this goal. But we will think that we are Hindus and as Hindus we have to solve these problems, we have our internal social problems, we will solve them. All these political problems we will solve as Hindus. So it is the Hindu that comes first and the other that comes second. That has to come. And it has started.
Q. Does Sangh believe that anti national forces are getting weakened though their desperate efforts to unleash terror in society is active in a big way? If so what is the role of nationalistic forces like Sangh?
A. Our Hindu society was hailed by Swami Vivekananda as an eternal society. Why, because we stand on the basis of certain solid principles on which the universe functions. Actually we don’t have a mode of basic worship, or modes of economic policy as principle.
This is because everything is subject to changes according to persons and times. They are not eternal. However Dharma is eternal. We have to live and for that we have to let live. We see all these diversities. But there underlies the unity. Realizing that unity bequeaths unending bliss, these are the very facts on the basis of which life thrives.
We go along with them, therefore nothing can finish us, or destroy us. Gradually all those who are destructible, they will get destroyed. Time takes care of that and the same time has come for others. See the world scenario: all forms of extremism are being rejected now. Even Muslims in India and in the world have started raising there voice against these instances of extremism. On the basis of their rules and guns there may be a temporary change. But that will never be long lasting, nor will it continue. Fear doesn’t last. Either fear finishes itself or one gets used to it. So fear will not last. Every aspect of terrorism will come to an end, it is perishable. But Hindu society is not perishable, because it stands on such values. Those values cannot be destroyed.
Q. Society is ready for a change globally, that is the message from even the streets. But the need of the hour is a true leader in those counties. Do you think lack of character is a global phenomenon?
A. No. There have been in the history of the world, characterless persons land as well as persons of exemplary character, always in every country. But people without character are 5%, and those with exemplary character 5%. 90% of the people, from time to time, due to considerations of their times and inclinations and who are not always guided by some thoughts but by some urgent need, may follow this 5% or that 5%.
So the loss of character is not a global phenomenon. You have to just create an atmosphere where people will follow the creed of character. People always behave according to a particular atmosphere. That depends up on how much active the exemplary characters are. They have to work, to create an atmosphere, and then every one will follow. Naturally human beings are inclined towards good not bad. That is why they are human beings. So, even a drunkard wills not advice his own son to indulge in alcoholism. He cannot free himself from that, but he will not advise his son to do it. Because he knows what is good and bad and he will be definitely on the side of good. That is the common man. According to need of the times leaders are thrown up from the society.
Efficient leaders are important. Leaders are always there. But who will follow the leaders- that atmosphere has to be created by others. Sometimes leaders themselves create that atmosphere. But generally others do it. In Maharashtra, during the struggle against the invasion of Arabs, Mughals and Patans, Shivaji Maharaj sprung up automatically from that society. But that society should also follow Shivaji Maharaj for the fruition of its dreams. For this, the atmosphere was created by the effort and struggle of 300 years, by various seers and saints. So talking about this atmosphere, there are good times and bad times. And every society should pass through such times. But thriving and conquering the times happens when society follows its values, tradition and identity and will be able to cross the situations.
Q. According to Sangh organizational structure there are 42 provinces in our country. Does Sangh believe in smaller states for functional convenience?
A. The Sangh system of organisation and that of the country is different. Sangh is an organisation and it expands within the country. It is natural for a growing organization to decentralize its system. That is why we are creating more and more provinces. State administering a country has to make some arrangements for good governance and development. So two considerations, governance and developments, are there when you have to create a state. But there should be precautions too: no compromise should be made regarding integrity and security of the country, when a new state is created. So these considerations, unity, security of the country, administration and progress should be given serious thought.
You may create 100 states, you may create one big state for the whole of Bharath, it doesn’t matter, because state is an arrangement which will come and go and is not a permanent thing. But country is one and remains permanent.
So Sangh says instead of having petty clashes for states leave it to the administration, they will decide. If we have a wish of owning a state, we will express it. Then the decision makers will decide. There is no question of agitations or political maneuvering. It is purely the question of the four things mentioned earlier. So the state should manage all these things, there should be no room for sectarian and cheep politics. Remember whether there are 100 states or one state, Bharath is a single nation. That is the basic. That is the Sangh view.
Q. First ever in the history of Vijayadasami speech you directly attacked the issue of religious discrimination against Hindus by constitutional authorities. Why such an extreme stand?
A. This is not the first time. Sangh is always against all discriminations. No discrimination is supported by Sangh. And therefore, voice against discriminations especially discrimination against Hindus. This is because Sangh is organizing the Hindu society, Sarsangachalaks have always been speaking on Vijayadasami dais about it. But this time it is different. This is the first time when discriminations are so obvious.
Our Home Minister says, “Protect the Muslim youth.” Why not say, protect everybody who is innocent. Prime minister says “minorities have first stake on the wealth of the country.”
These have never been said before. All these things are happening for the first time after independence. Before independence such things happened in the times of Muslim era and it culminated into the division of the country. At that time also our leaders spoke publicly. So these things are obvious. I was mentioning it. We are always against all discriminations.
Q-But this is first time you have been directly hitting constitutional authorities.
A. Because they are doing it. That is also first time. At least up till now they maintained some semblance of dealing with everyone equally. Now they have thrown away that pretence also. That is why.
Q. Corruption, terrorism, social and border security problems-which one you think is the bigger issue?
A. There is no bigger or smaller issue, especially, when society is week and endangered, it cannot afford to ignore any danger. So all these have equal importance. There is no bigger issue or lesser issue. You may say that I will first deal with this and then deal with that. But that is not due to the nature of the problem. That is due to your capacity to deal with them. Everything is important. Corruption is doing the same thing- it erodes our society. Terrorism and others problems are also causing the same destruction. So we have to deal with everything.
Q. Environmental fundamentalism is the new activity face of religious fanatics and some NGOs in the country. Do you think an international design behind this move?
A. All extremism is Adharma. Dharma is always a middle path- Madhyam marg. We want environment, no doubt. Do we refuse to develop? But if we want development, should we destroy environment? You have to take a middle path of protecting our environment. This alone brings in development. For that we have to reconsider paradigms.
The paradigm which the world is going through currently is not such, where we can avoid conflicts. And when there are conflicts, there are extremes. Theoretically no environmentalist is wrong. People are well aware that thriving of humans in this world depends on the condition of environment. Except in Bharath, all over the world, the consciousness was because of science. But now, they understand what plants do, what animals do, what insects do.
The same understanding, we in Bharath, had much before. It is only now that the rest of the world has come to know of it. But the paradigm they construct is such that the fittest will survive. They say there is always struggle. We say no, there is always coordination and co-operation. Our view is to make others survive. So extremism in support of either development or environment is wrong. Both these have to go together. Manage diversities, manage dwaitha- that is dharma. So you have to keep them balanced. Balance is Dharma.
The way in which we use land is the issue. Have we at all studied about how much of the population can be sustained by our land? How much agriculture we need, how much forest we need, how much industry we need? On the basis of our situation, this study must be made in depth. Strictly speaking, there should be 33 % of forest, but we have less. So forest preservation and forest propagation is necessary. At the same time we want industries, electricity. There lands where forests cannot be sustained. We can use those lands.
Guruji said, Bhilai steel plant was constructed on agriculture land. There was adjacent to a non farming land, which could easily have been used, which was not forest either. The vision must prevail, of both going together and how it can be done.
There are so many non conventional energy sources. We can use that. But we are not paying attention to that. We have got to construct everything on our paradigm because that is what sets an example for the future. World needs that. We have to create our own exemplar. Till we do that this problem will continue, because all over the world the same conflict is going on. But there is no answer. We can give the answer, if we go by our own values.
Q. Do you think the wrong policy on population control programmes affected the Demographic balance?
A. All measures regarding controlling population have to be wisely fixed. We are just aping someone. So now we cry about our population, but we must also note the fact that, in the forthcoming 20 years Bharath will be the nation of younger people. So population can be used as an asset. But what we have to do in our country, regarding our own policy, should all be fixed. That has not yet been done. Population is a need too. Now such measures should be discussed, decision must be taken which will apply to everybody. There will be no concession.
Secondly, imbalance will be there when you convert. When some one is converted, if the person in his/ her mind decides to change, it is understandable. But if you lure me, you threaten me, what is happening is different?
And there is migration from outside also. Illegal migration is there, infiltration is there. At times our government also says “We don’t know how many they are.”
What a thing to say! We have to keep our borders, manage our borders, and put good governance in place. Our country doesn’t mean just the land and the mass of people residing on it. The country also has its own identity. It is necessary to condition the population of the country to it; it should not be opposed to the country’s identity or destructive to the same. Every country follows this. On that basis we have to take all required measures. If we don’t take those measures, due to petty vote concerns in an inappropriate zeal to protect the so called secular image, it is disastrous. Do don’t do this! If this is ensured, everything will be under control.
Q. During the last 88 years of activities, which are the aspects where Sangh organizations have received more acceptances? And why?
A. We are growing. We are accepted all over the country and that acceptance is growing outside the country also. Now the atmosphere we have created can influence internal affairs of the country also. Now what ever we are saying the whole country is accepting it. There is no opposition, no real opposition. There is some political opposition, but they are not from heart, just mere lip oppositions. Those who oppose too know that they are wrong, but what RSS says is right.
Next thing is to create an atmosphere where every person will be bold enough to voice his thoughts. There will be no petty selfish constrains; there will be no tyranny of any institution. Whatever is proper and good for everyone, that alone should be expressed, that type of atmosphere must be created.
Q. Do you feel the thrust for changes globally is a good sign for the future?
A. The so called global change is concerned only with the exterior, not with the interior. Every change starts from within, from the heart. Therefore the efforts of global change must have its focus on changing the system, any system can be corrupted by individuals. So create the ‘man change man’ system and you will change the world. This is precisely the motto of Sangh works, and that is going on! Manushya nirman.