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Published On: Mon, Aug 19th, 2019

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat wants ‘dialogue’ on reservations

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FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2018 file photo, Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a hardline Hindu group that created the Bharatiya Janata Party as its political arm, addresses a public rally in Gauhati, India. India's ruling party and the main opposition are both supporting a protest to keep females of menstruating age from entering one of the world's largest Hindu pilgrimage sites, in what some political observers say is a bid to shore up votes ahead of next year's general election. Bhagwat has sided with the protesters, saying the “faith of millions of devotees was not taken into account,” during a Hindu festival in New Delhi on Thursday, Oct. 18, referring to a Supreme Court ruling that opened the temple up to women of all ages for the first time in centuries. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath, File)

NEW DELHI : There should be conversation in harmonious atmosphere between those in favour of reservation and those against it, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Sunday.Bhagwat said he had spoken on reservation earlier as well, but it created a lot of noise and the whole discussion diverted from the actual issue. Those who favour reservation should speak keeping in mind the interests of those who are against it, and similarly those who oppose it should do the vice-versa, he said. Mohan Bhagwat’s words had caused a similar flap in 2015, just before the Bihar election, when he called for a review of the reservation policy. At the height of the Bihar poll campaign, the BJP was said to have suffered the brunt of its mentor’s views. Months later, Mr Bhagwat tweeted that reservation “is needed” as long as social discrimination remains.










He said that discussion on reservation results in sharp actions and reactions every time whereas there is a need for harmony in the different sections of the society on this approach. Bhagwat was speaking in the concluding session of Gyan Utsav which was on the competitive exams.
Earlier, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief had advocated for review of the reservation policy, drawing sharp reactions from many parties and caste groups.
Bhagwat said that the RSS, the BJP and the party-led government were three different entities and one cannot be held responsible for actions of another.
Dismissing talk of the RSS influencing the government’s agenda, Mr Bhagwat also clarified that the Sangh, the BJP and the party-led government at the centre were “three separate entities” and one cannot be held responsible for the actions of the other. “Since there are Sangh workers in BJP and this government, they will listen to the RSS, but it is not mandatory for them to agree with us. They can disagree as well,” he said.
Talking about the perception of Sangh’s influence over the Narendra Modi dispensation, Bhagwat said, “Since there are Sangh workers in BJP and this government, they will listen to RSS, but it is not mandatory for them to agree with us. They can disagree as well.”

Since the BJP is in government, it has to look at the bigger picture and can disagree with the RSS point of view, he said, adding that once a party comes to power, for it the government and national interest become priority.
Gyan Utsav was organised by the RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) here.
Meanwhile, Reacting to Mr Bhagwat’s comments on reservation, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted that the anti-Dalit, backward face of the RSS-BJP had been exposed. “The conspiracy to end reservations for the poor and change the constitution has been uncovered,” the Congress leader said in his tweets flagging the RSS headline in newspapers.

“A needless controversy is being created over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s address at a programme in Delhi. He merely stressed on the importance of addressing issues in society through mutual talks in harmony and called for considering a sensitive issue like reservation in a similar manner,” RSS said in a statement.
(With Agency Inputs ).





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