A day after his book "RSS, A Roadmap for The 21st Century" was launched by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, the outfit’s senior leader Sunil Ambekar says the motive is to reach to society.
In an exclusive interview to News18, Ambekar says the Sangh doesn’t subscribe to terminologies like minority or majority and Hindutva is about coexistence of multi-faiths.
Regarding the language row that has been raging across the country for sometime now, he says it's about making mother tongue the medium of instruction as studies have revealed its positive effect in the all-round development of children, while adding that the rift is politically motivated.
There have been books of the RSS by authors like Sridhar Damle, Walter K Andersen and Christopher Jefferlot. Somebody for the first time has written on the RSS from within the RSS. Why this change?
There are some books which have been written by RSS full-timers. HV Seshadriji (RSS: A Vision in Action) and Dattopant Bapurao Thengdiji have written books on the Sangh. We keep trying to reach (out to) society with our programmes and this book is a part of our outreach plan.
Since there is a rise in organisation there also comes a different set of challenges. What do you have to say about the challenges ahead?
The Sangh discusses about the upcoming challenges and issues of society in its highest decision-making bodies like Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) and Akhil Bhartiya Karyakari Mandal (ABKM). During the last ABPS, we had discussed the family system of India. I have also discussed this issue in my book.
The Sangh works for society but the BJP is seen as its political ally. How much has the BJP contributed in its growth since we have a BJP-led government at the Centre?
As I said, the RSS is an organic organisation – it has grown over a period of 90 years. It is not the result of any political event. The Sangh works on societal issues. It can be also said that the because of the positive atmosphere in society, the political change is happening.
What is the future of minorities or Muslims in India?
The Sangh doesn’t subscribe to terminologies like minority or majority. We believe that all the people born here have their ancestors here and have common roots. All kinds of faiths and worshipers live this country without fear for thousands of years.
Traditionally, if we see Sanatan parampara is about looking within, Hinduism came much later, whereas in this century, don’t you see Hinduism competing with Abrahaminic religions – one book, one prophet?
We do no not subscribe to ‘ism’ theory. We believe in coexistence so that there is no question of competing with anyone. Hindutva is about coexistence of multi-faiths. So, our Hindutva is very diverse and accommodative, it carries civilisational values of this earth.
What is the vision for NEP (National Education Policy)?
First thing is ‘Bharat ko Bharat ki shiksha milni chahiye’. It has to be a samagra shiksha, our idea is not that you should get one scheme for bread and butter. It is a one-sided effort which is why shiksha is not getting what it should be. Shiksha has a motive to shape a good human being with value and character and knowledge. We should know the country’s ancient and modern science. All subjects that became popular in other parts of the world should be studied. Students should take clues from their past and conduct an independent analysis for a ‘sundar bharat’.
There is lot of rift regarding language issue…
All languages are connected with each other. There is no rift. The essential point is that the medium of instruction should be the mother tongue. There was a rise of the English language in the colonial period and it became important. We don’t oppose any language, but the studies show that elementary education in mother tongue helps in all-round development of the child. It makes absorption of knowledge easier in the mother tongue. This will help in inclusive development of those who live in remote areas and don’t know English. Usually, the rift is politically motivated.
The Sangh’s critics say Hindutva is a political ideology and used for political purposes.
Hindutva is all about coexistence and accommodation, we are seeing it since thousands of years. Hindutva is about respecting each and every faith.