From Our Correspondent
?Favourable atmosphere in the country shouldn'tsend us into a deep slumber. It should instead motivate us to further the pace of our activity. Atmosphere is favourable and conducive for us to move forward continuously and make our activity omnipresent and all-inclusive in a planned and sustained way. Let us seize this opportunity and influence the society with our activities, ideas and ideals at the earliest. Let us work hard to make our own life the vehicle of this holy activity and embodiment of values,? said the Sarkaryavah of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Mohan Bhagwat. He was presenting the annual report of 2003-2004 at the three-day Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS), which began at Keshav Vidyapeeth in Jaipur on March 12.
Shri Bhagwat said that the Sangh Swayamsevaks had been serving the society for the last 79 years?passing through happy and difficult phases of indifference, ridicule, opposition and admiration with equanimity and determination; not allowing differences even when there were differing views; united and maintaining utmost restraint and discretion in mind, language and deeds. ?Situation today underscores the significance and sustainability of such efforts only,? he emphasised.
Citing the achievements on the economic front and progress in the basic developmental infrastructure like roads, telecommunications, etc., he said that the benefits of development must reach the last man of the country. ?Economic policies should be such that the benefits flow to the last person and he experiences them. Real development indicators are not the figures we find in statistics but the lives of the people living in the lowest strata of the country. Only the Hindutva-inspired economic vision can fulfil these ambitions. Economic policies fired with the spirit of ?swa?, and an awakened, accommodative and vibrant society that understands the social and national needs, aspirations and objectives, can fulfil the efforts in this direction. It is these efforts that will make us competent in the international economic competition and demonstrate the Cancun-type strength and determination,? he said.
Calling upon the nation through the Pratinidhi Sabha, Shri Bhagwat emphasised the fact that the country had started yielding the fruits of the sustained efforts and the motivated society by the Sangh and all other well-meaning people in the country in their own methods and ways. ?We are marching towards a rejuvenated, vibrant, united and ennobled Bharat. In order to gain the strength to pursue this path, the very first pre-requisite will be an ever alert and united state of the society,? he said.
Speaking about the coming general elections for the 14th Lok Sabha, Shri Bhagwat said that as enlightened citizens, our Swayamsevaks would certainly act appropriately, keeping their responsibility and limits in mind. ?Political power is only an institution created by the society for its transformation. It is the society that is sovereign and supreme. The only way to make Bharat param vaibhav sampanna is through a society-oriented organisation of disciplined people of sterling character committed to the national cause of building a strong and homogenous society,? he said.
The Sarkaryavah further said that India'sstatus continued to grow in the international arena this year also. ?Economic indicators project progress on the economic front too. Pakistan is compelled to talk the language of dialogue. Bharat is emerging as a strong leader of the South-east Asian countries as well as underdeveloped Third World countries. Inflation is under control, prices of commodities are stable and there is a marked improvement in transport and communications. In the economic, political and even sports fields, a new enthusiasm imbued with a will for victory is found all over the country,? he added.
Referring to Ramjanmabhoomi movement, he said a massive movement for the reconstruction of Ram temple at Ayodhya had been going on since 1984. ?This year also we have witnessed efforts by anti-Hindu forces to obstruct the programmes planned at Ayodhya on October 17, 2003. Some people sitting at the portals of power have displayed their sadistic attitude of deliberately causing hurt to Hindu sentiments by creating hurdles in progress. They dare to do so because of lack of awakening in the Hindu society. It is this mindset that had resulted in slamming sedition charges against Dr Pravinbhai Togadia and his imprisonment in Ajmer. However, it is widely realised that this kind of political misdemeanour, inspired by the arrogance of power and an eye on vote banks, will further boost the Hindu awakening. The Prime Minister and his Deputy themselves have taken initiatives to identify, isolate and marginalise the anti-Hindu schemers and evil-minded forces, and publicly declared their commitment to build a grand Ram temple by creating a conducive atmosphere in the country,? he said.
Talking about the fatwa by the Islamic clergy of Deoband, which advised their co-religionists to ban cow slaughter during Id-ul-Zuha by calling it hurtful to Hindu sentiments and declaring that it had no religious sanction in Islam, as well as the conferences organised at 54 places by organisations like ?My Hindustan? and Bharatiya Muslim Parishad with the objective of mobilising nationalist opinion among Muslims and creating an atmosphere of goodwill, Shri Bhagwat said that these had sent a positive signal in the country. ?While the so-called minorities are exhibiting an example of wisdom like this, certain political parties that are after the vote-banks of these sections are hell bent on creating hurdles in the way of constitutional ban on cow slaughter. But manifestation of growing Hindu awakening on the political front will put an end to this dichotomy for ever. These forces should be made to meet the same fate that the treacherous minority-appeasing and Hindu-bashing parties met with in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh,? he said.
Referring to the government policy of taking initiative for talks on one hand and acting sternly as and when required to crush terrorism by co-ordinating with neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and others, on the other hand, the Sarkaryavah said that the renewed efforts were being launched under new faces and labels by forces wanting to exploit the inequalities and differences prevailing in our society and widen the gulf and create ill-will. ?They assume attractive names like Bhopal Declaration, World Social Forum, etc. But if we carefully study their language, the amount of money, they spend and sources of that money; background and ideology of the invitee groups and individuals?they all smack of a sinister coalition of the Church, the anti-Hindu political groups and secessionist elements,? he said.
He said that the Kerala government had no doubt acceded to many of the demands of the Hindu society, which got awakened after the brutal murder of eight Hindu fishermen on the Marad beach. However, the main demand for a CBI probe into the machinations of anti-national forces behind these murders had not been agreed to, due to pressure of Muslim League on the state government.
He said that the migrant Kashmiri Hindus and the patriotic people of Jammu and Ladakh, who were threatened by the hanging sword of Rehabilitation Act, had also been waiting in vain for a solution to their problems. Their demand for re-organisation of the state has also remained under wraps only. Infiltration is continuing unabated in areas contiguous to Bangladesh border in Bihar, Bengal and the North-east. In Assam efforts are on to legitimise the status of these infiltrators using the loopholes in the laws. Bihar is in the grip of these forces, which are taking advantage of the under-development of the state and securing the protection of communalist and mafia gangs. Fear-struck people express concerns in hushed voices that the state is going the Kashmir way. Frank and forthright discussions should take place with Bangladesh government to put an end to this menace of infiltration. Sustained and determined efforts are expected on the part of the Central and state governments to push back the infiltrators across the borders and burst the anti-national communalist mafia modules operating in the border states, he said.
Speaking about the progress of Sangh work all over the country, the Sarkaryavah pointed out that in Sangh Shiksha Vargas, held after March 2003, a total 11,922 trainees under the age of 45-years category attended the first-year training in 40 vargas. A total 3,364 trainees attended 25 second-year vargas while the number of trainees at the third-year varga was 962. In the vargas for seniors, above 45 years age, total number of trainees in six vargas for the first year was 303, second year 146 and third-year 162. Selection of trainees for the third-year training programme for the seniors was done very meticulously. Till January 2004 there were 48, 329 Shakhas at 33,758 places; 8,197 weekly meeting places and 7,581 monthly meeting places. Compared to the figures of last year, we find a rise of 2,383 Shakhas at 1,683 places this year. There is also increase in the rate of growth of Shakhas as well as there is an improvement in their stability. There was considerable increase in the attendance in Prathamik Shiksha Vargas in states like Rajasthan and Dakshin Bihar. We need to strengthen our Shakhas by concentrating more on the Shakha techniques, building team of workers, weekly family contact, appointing patrons for Shakhas and holding training programmes for the cadres. It is also necessary to improve the calibre, ability, commitment and understanding of our Swayamsevaks. There is both the need and congenial atmosphere for the Sangh work, he said.
In this, context the Sarkaryavah mentioned about the mammoth route march and public function at Satna (Mahakoshal) on January 18, 2004, in which 12,309 Swayamsevaks took part in full uniform. Another 1,811 Swayamsevaks in Shakha dress, 40,707 citizens and 5,907 women also attended the public programme. Ten seminars were also organised on the occasion. About 7,500 families of the town, including the families from Dalit and Muslim colonies also supplied 42,000 food packets.
He also mentioned about other programmes of last year, such as the Sangh Samagam in Ranchi, Dharma Rakshak Samagam in Guna, Madhya Bharat, grand programmes known as Hindu Samajotsava, convened at 85 places in Karnataka, Virat Vanvasi Sangams of Chhota Nagpur and Dumka, Prakrati-2003, convened in Delhi, qualitative route march held in Nagpur and the workshop organised by Vishwa Samvada Kendra, Jabalpur, for upcoming journalists including Swayamsevaks with a view to imparting training in value-based journalism. He also mentioned the training programmes of homoeopathy at seven places and setting-up of a bio-farming training centre in Uttaranchal Pradesh. Grand programmes like family get-togethers of parents and relatives of Pracharaks of Pashchim Maharashtra in Pune, Karyakarta Shibir in Kerala, Tehsil Sammelans in Gujarat, commemoration of 125th birth anniversary of Sri Ma, and Baba Saheb Apte birth centenary also got mention in the report.
Earlier the Sarkaryavah paid glowing tributes to all persons of repute in every walk of life, who expired during the last year.