RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat urged the government to go for Swadeshi by embracing “a new model of development” and also came out strongly against caste discrimination in Hindu society.
In his annual Dussehra speech to mark the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh’s founding day, Bhagwat patted Prime Minister Narendra Modi government saying it was “moving in the right direction” since taking office in May.
“It is necessary that policies of the government should take the nation towards self reliance and encourage entrepreneurship among the people,” he said in an hour-long speech in Hindi near the RSS headquarters.
“But it is equally important for the people to encourage consumption of Swadeshi products.
“Our tendency of buying daily need goods, even buying foreign made statues of our gods and goddesses, simply because they are cheaper in price, needs to be abandoned,” he said.
“We must remember that self reliance should be a necessary component of national prosperity and security.”
Bhagwat praised the Modi government, saying it had given hopes “about (the) emergence of (a new) Bharat” and that there were signs that people’s desire for better life would reflect in Modi’s governance.
“In a very short period, some policy initiatives taken by the central government in national interest (vis-a-vis) economy, national security, international relations and many other areas have raised good hopes.
“The government should now ensure that these policies maintain their momentum in a determined and well organised manner.”
He asked people to give the government time to solve various problems confronting the country. “Nobody has a magic wand by which all problems of many years will disappear.”
He voiced concern over “jihadi activities” in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the infiltration of Bangladeshis into West Bengal and Assam as well as the activities of Maoists.
The RSS chief said there was an urgent need to end social discrimination “in our society in a bigger and faster way”.
He asked people “to remove habits, misbeliefs, traditions and practices which encourage discrimination”.
“We will have to drive out even the smallest of the remnants of our caste-based, regional and linguistic egos which breed such prejudices.”
Without referring to minorities, Bhagwat told people to remember that “each member of my great Hindu society and each son and daughter of Mother Bharat is my own brother and sister”.
And in an obvious reference to the caste prejudices rampant among Hindus, he added: “We must ensure that each of our Hindu temple, cremation ground and community water source must remain open to all Hindus.”
Bhagwat underlined that Hindu society accepts all pluralities.
“Bharat of our vision is one which accepts all pluralities of the universe and is capable of presenting itself as an example of integration.”
The RSS chief asked Indians to help achieve the goal of making India a Vishwa Guru or world leader.
According to him, “old, single-minded materialistic, consumerist, self-centred ideology” and the selfishness of the West was to blame for “terror and fundamentalism in the form of ISIS”.
This vicious cycle of terror must be uprooted, he said.
Bhagwat said the forces of globalization wished to expand their empires in the name of establishing peace and forced other countries to remain weak “in the name of non-proliferation of weapons”.
In New Delhi, Modi praised Bhagwat for raising “very relevant” issues related to social reform in his speech.
“Mohan Bhagwatji talked about important national issues in his speech. The issues of social reform he raised are very relevant today,” Modi said in a tweet.
The prime minister added: “On the Sthapana Divas (founding day) of RSS, I extend my good wishes to all Swayamsevaks.”