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OPINION | Taking the Perception Bull by its Horn, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat to Lay out 'Bharatiya' Paradigm to Unite Society

Bhagwat’s speech would be setting the agenda of a new national debate. And it would go way beyond the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. This is beginning of the battle of narratives between those who want to break India and those who want to take India to the next level.

Arun Anand |

Updated:September 14, 2018, 2:32 PM IST
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OPINION | Taking the Perception Bull by its Horn, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat to Lay out 'Bharatiya' Paradigm to Unite Society
File photo of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. (PTI)
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In an unprecedented event, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat will address a cross-section of people who have excelled in their fields of work but have had no past association with the Sangh.

The event will be held at Vigyan Bhavan from September 17 to September 19.

If one looks at the history of the RSS, one of the most talked about events within the organisation till now has been the third RSS Chief Balasaheb Deoras’ address at the famous ‘Vasant Vyakhyanmala’ (Lecture series) at Pune in 1974. The RSS ideologues and Swayamsevaks have time and again referred to this speech as spelling out the RSS’ vision.

Now almost four and a half decades later, the sixth RSS Chief would be spelling out the RSS’ vision on all the important national and social issues. In his 1974 speech, Deoras had given a clarion call to end all kind of social discrimination to unite the Hindu society. He laid the responsibility of ending the discrimination on the Hindu society itself.

Bhagwat, while giving an interview to weeklies ‘Organiser’ and ‘Panchjanya’ on the sidelines of the RSS Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha held at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, in 2017, was asked what new dimensions have been added to Sangh's work since the historical speech of Balasaheb Deoras?

Bhagwat had replied: “Naturally, many new dimensions were added with the beginning of work with the society. The churning started about what are the problems of these groups who are victims of social discrimination, what do they think and what are the remedies to bridge the huge gap that has emerged in the society. In the same process initiative of Samajik Samrasata Manch was started. Special efforts were made to establish contact with different social groups and bring them to RSS Shakha activity. Resultantly, the strength of Hindu organisation was added to the larger struggle for self-respect by various groups.”

The fact is that after Deoras’ speech, the RSS expanded its outreach massively to the marginalised sections of the society. Thousands of new social welfare projects were started by the RSS and run buy its volunteers. The result is that today more than 1.70 lakh social welfare projects are manned by RSS swayamsevaks. The focus of these projects has been to reach out to the socially and economically marginalised sections of the society in every nook and corner of the country.

It is clear from the past experience that Bhagwat’s speech at New Delhi will lay out a broad blue print of a ‘Bharatiya’ paradigm that should be well rooted in the local ecosystem and cultural context. The RSS would like this paradigm to become the guiding spirit of the nation and society.

The RSS has been working on a massive outreach programme since Deoras’ speech which became the beacon light for the organisation’s decision making apparatus. The focus was to work at the ground level and reach out to masses.

However, while doing this a new challenge came up. There has been a distinct attempt to divide the society and create fissures to break the nation and society from within. This what we may call the “Fourth Generation Warfare”. This theory propounded by military strategist William S Lind says the history of warfare in recent times has witnessed four generations. The last one is the most lethal as it intends to destroy a state from within unlike the first, second and third generations of warfare.

The RSS is the biggest stumbling block for those who have unleashed the ‘fourth generation warfare’ on India. In this kind of warfare, the battle of perception is the key element. Over the last couple of decades it became increasingly clear that in the ongoing perception battle, the RSS had been at the receiving end as the prime focus of the organisation was to work at the ground level. With re-emergence of the Ultra-Left and certain other divisive ideologies in the garb of liberalism, the RSS has decided that it is time to take the bull by its horns and win over the perception battle by laying out a clear blue print of its vision.

Seen in this context, Bhagwat’s speech would be setting the agenda of a new national debate. And it would go way beyond the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. This is beginning of the battle of narratives between those who want to break India and those who want to take India to the next level.

(The writer is CEO of Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra and author of ‘Know About RSS’. The views expressed are personal.)
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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