Thursday, June 12, 2014

The soft-spoken man speaks (yes he has a stick)

"We do not have any remote control....But it is our wish that the government sustains the momentum and meets people's aspirations" 

Mohan-bhau (elder brother in Marathi) is actually an accomplished artist who has a singer's voice, can play a number of instruments and is a hot number on the stage (Marathi theatre is very popular and powerful).

But that is not his main claim to fame. Mohan Madhukar Bhagwat is the head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (aka Hindu Brotherhood). Politically he is as deft as Madam Sonia and he belies the popular (Marxist) concept of a Hindutva-vadi as a fire-breathing dino. In short, the most foolish thing would be to under-estimate him and his people.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has for the first time publicly expressed his satisfaction over the 'change' in governance of the country. "We are confident that the new government will tread the chosen path. People thoughtfully elected it because they were desperate for change and are looking forward to better times," the Sarsanghachalak said on Thursday.

However, he refused to acknowledge any role in installing the new government at the Centre. "We do not have any remote control," he stressed. "People congratulated the RSS for bringing about this change, but let me tell you, all we did was to encourage voters to participate in election process. We do not believe in any control. But it is our wish that the government sustains the momentum and meets people's aspirations," said Bhagwat.

The RSS chief was addressing over 700 activists from across the country attending a three-week camp as part of the third-year RSS training required to work for the organization. "It is not necessary to get into khaki knickers and do the drill. Every citizen is welcome to join the Sangh endeavour to build a better society. For last 88 years this what the RSS has been doing. But our work of instilling discipline and values is often misunderstood," the RSS chief lamented.

He did not name Narendra Modi, or any political party, but likened the change in the country to Chhatrapati Shivaji's coronation. "Why do we celebrate Shivaji's coronation even after 440 years. It is because Shivaji exemplified good governance that thrived on confidence of people. I am sure the change we are seeing today is similar, and will meet with success it deserves," said Bhagwat.

In an oblique reference to the Congress failures, the RSS chief said soon after Independence there was an opportunity to channelize energies of the nation to desired goal but it was lost. "Instead of a bright dawn, we were led into dark times," he said, evoking a song penned by Marathi poet Suresh Bhat.





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