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Bhima-Koregaon Violence: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat Asks Indians to Shun Caste Bias and Unite for 'Motherland', Cites Annadurai Example

Two days after caste-based violence in Maharashtra, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said Indians should be free from barriers of ‘ours vs theirs’.

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Updated:January 5, 2018, 1:40 PM IST
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Bhima-Koregaon Violence: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat Asks Indians to Shun Caste Bias and Unite for 'Motherland', Cites Annadurai Example
File photo of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. (PTI)
Ujjain: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has called upon Indians to foster social harmony and banish discord in society, saying India is more than “just a piece of land”. During his speech, Bhagwat also invoked DMK founder CN Annadurai and the change in his position following India’s 1962 war with China.

Addressing a gathering after unveiling a 16-feet statue of ‘Bharat Mata’, Bhagwat said there should be no ego among Indians. “While worshipping the 'motherland', we have to consider the entire society as ours. We should be free from barriers of 'ours versus theirs' and 'big versus small'. Where there are cordial ties, there is no ego."

Bhagwat's remarks came two days after violence erupted in Maharashtra during the anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district. Simmering caste tensions came to the fore, triggering protests by Dalits.

"India is not just a piece of land. There are people who say it is just a piece of land and keep doing something. Such people are neither our brothers and sisters nor the off-springs of 'Bharat Mata'," the RSS chief said. "We should rid ourselves of discrimination and treat all equally," he said.

Bhagwat said DMK founder CN Annadurai once considered Tamil Nadu as a "separate country", which had "nothing to do" with India. However, when China attacked India in 1962, Annadurai changed his stand and opined that when the country is in danger, to advocate separatism would be to give way to the foreigner, he said.

"Who taught this to Annadurai? It is the soil of India which has sowed seed of patriotism in every citizen," Bhagwat said.

Touching upon the RSS concept of Akhand Bharat, he said, "We should always worship the undivided image of Mother India."

Bhagwat said the Indian ethos is rooted in the idea of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (the world is one family). "We consider the world as one family. We find God in ourselves and everywhere. Indian ideology is based on this concept," the RSS leader maintained.

Violence erupted in Pune district when Dalit groups were celebrating the bicentenary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in which the forces of the British East India Company defeated the Peshwa's army. Right-wing groups have been blamed for the clashes which left one person dead.

Dalit leaders commemorate the British victory as it is believed that soldiers from the Mahar (Dalit) community were part of the East India Company's forces. The Peshwas were Brahmins, and the victory is seen as a symbol of Dalit assertiveness.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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