Report by Indian Express
Mumbai: Often called upon to mediate and resolve differences between senior BJP leaders, most recently between Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his bete noire Sanjay Joshi, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said that the organisation was not the “HR manager” for the party and that the BJP should manage its own affairs.
In an interaction with reporters during Idea Exchange organized by Loksatta, the Marathi daily of The Indian Express group, Bhagwat spoke on a range of issues including the Anna Hazare-led agitation against corruption and Hindu terrorism.
Asked about differences between Modi and Joshi and the role of RSS in mediating and influencing the stand, Bhagwat said: “RSS is not the HR manager of BJP. They should manage their own affairs. They are an independent organisation. We are connected in our thinking. Modi and Joshi are both long time swayamsevaks. People have spoken to them and issues have been resolved.”
Differences between Modi and Joshi came to a flash point earlier this year during the national executive meet in Mumbai when Modi refused to attend till Joshi was dealt with.
Bhagwat also set aside allegations made about the organisation’s support to Team Anna during its agitation over the last year.
“Anna Hazare has a standing of his own. He is not a swayamsevak. Why should we take credit for his work? We had passed the resolution against corruption and support fight against corruption in any format. It is their efforts and planning,” he said.
With recent terror attacks being attributed to Hindu groups, Bhagwat said that “Hindu and terrorism cannot be termed together”.
Hinduism has always promoted the middle path, never extremism. “Allegations have been made against individuals but not yet proven. Role of investigators is also questionable. Let the charges be proven,” he said.
Asked about the stand regarding economic reforms, FDI considering their preference for swadeshi products, Bhagwat said the organisation believed in self-reliance and models from across the world should be adopted.
“All countries aim to be independent and self-reliant. We are assembling and not manufacturing goods. Our strengths should define our goals. China and Russia have become super power on their own. It should be such that there is least impact on environment, create employment opportunities here. We should not just be consumers, but producers,” he said.
The organisation which has never opened its membership to women nor had a chief from the backward castes was open for both, he indicated.
Asked if the RSS would ever have a Dalit chief, Bhagwat countered with a “why not?” Bhagwat also said that there is a separate cadre for women and if they are willing to merge with the RSS, it could be possible.
“Both fronts have to agree on coming together.”