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Panellists feel that it should look at lacunae in performance of the BJP government and not spare it on account of ideological accord

The three-day RSS event “Future of Bharat: An RSS Perspective” will have dignitaries from all sectors, including politics, sports and film, though top leaders from the opposition are likely to skip the event where Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat will present the Sangh views.

Interestingly, the RSS decided not to call Congress chief Rahul Gandhi though senior leader Digvijaya Singh has been invited. APN’s popular show, Mudda, discussed the issue of whether or not RSS is playing politics through this event.

Anchorperson Anant Tyagi posed questions to Congress’ Ajay Arora, BJP’s Ashok Thakur, RSS’ Ashok Sinha and Manobhav Tripathi, SP’s Manoj Yadav and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Sinha said: “This is for the first time an event of such a large scale is being held by the RSS. The aim is to study how we can move forward.”

Anant asked why foreign dignitaries have been called, Sinha said: “Swadeshi does not mean not opening up to or reckoning with global thinking.”

Thakur said: “The Sangh works for the people. They want to have dialogue with all parties, so there are no if’s and but’s on this.” Anant told Thakur to talk of the political impact. Thakur said: “Bharat is the main focus.”

Tripathi said: “I am in agreement with Sinha’s views.”

Arora said: “It’s definitely a political move by the RSS. RSS is the ‘father’ of BJP.  Not calling Rahul will make no difference to the Congress, but exposes the RSS’ convoluted thinking, as first it did say it would call the Congress chief. RSS is playing a political game, which is why they have invited Digvijaya Singh.”

Arora said: “Prices of petrol and diesel are going up daily, women are not feeling secure. Why doesn’t the RSS haul up BJP for its misgovernance?”

Tripathi said: “But the PM himself is saying that he will find a solution to the spiralling prices. What more can we do?”

Thakur said: “The symposium is only to discuss the future of the country. It’s an intellectual event, there’s nothing political about it.”

Yadv said: “RSS should be assessing the BJP to discuss which way we are going ahead.”

Sinha said:”The event is to evolve the best line of thinking for the future.”

Raju said: “Sangh is doing a lot of social work; their schools for adivasi kids and so on are commendable. However, their definition of Hindutva offers only a single perspective, and it is this that is troubling. Though they are changing with the times, but as an organisation, in the times of lynching, etc, RSS needs to be careful of what it’s promoting in direct or indirect ways.”

Arora said: “RSS is not a broad based social platform. It is too tied up with a single party. Why can’t the RSS leaders expose the government’s failings? It is definitely a political platform.”

Thakur said: “RSS had called Pranab Mukherjee sometime back. Sangh leaders want to have ongoing dialogue for development.”

Arora asked:”What’s RSS’s opinion on FDI?”

Raju said: “As an organisation, RSS should be looking at BJP policies objectively, though that is also the job of the opposition.”

—Niti Singh Bhandari

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