The RSS cannot accept the pseudo secular propaganda that in Gujarat, the Chief Minister, Shri Narendra Modi did not control the riots after the Godhra killing of Hindus in the train bogie, in time. In fact, Modi was vindicated in the Assembly elections that followed. The fresh controversy on Gujarat has not in the least amused the Sangh. Organsier correspondent Pramod Kumar spoke to RSS spokesman, Shri Ram Madhav to understand the situation. Excerpts:
What do you feel about the recent statement of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Gujarat riots?
The Sangh is of the view that a detailed analysis should be done to understand the real reasons behind this poor performance. Everybody knows that after the incidents of Gujarat several elections were held and there were several states where the BJP had registered handsdown victory. There were states where it also lost the elections. We feel that holding Gujarat riots responsible for BJP'sdefeat is perhaps not going into the real reasons for poll debacle. Vajpayeeji has said that there would be a detailed discussion on it in the national executive. The Sarsanghchalak has also said that we cannot link Gujarat to the poll outcome. We stand by it.
Do you think Narendra Modi'scontinuation in office will reflect adversely on the Sangh Parivar?
Our view on Gujarat incidents is not subjective. We always maintained that linking Gujarat incidents to the poll debacle will send a wrong signal about the entire Hindu movement. In any case, we do believe that there are varied reasons for the present poll outcome. Our observation is limited to only this issue and it is not subjective to any individual.
It means there is no harm in continuation of Shri Modi?
Subjectively, who should continue or who should not is the botheration of the party. The RSS cannot have any say on that issue. But we definitely would like to make one point clear that any development in Gujarat should not send the message that the Gujarat incidents are responsible for this poll outcome. Any such message will send a very wrong signal about the entire Hindu movement in the country.
“We definitely would like to make one point clear that any development in Gujarat should not send the message that the Gujarat incidents or Gujarat government'sperformance are responsible for this poll outcome. Any such message will send a very wrong signal about the entire Hindu movement in the country.”
Has the Sangh individually taken up any analysis of the BJP defeat?
Naturally, we get some feedback about the factors that led to this kind of outcome. That will be conveyed to the party at an appropriate time. It is not necessary that we should discuss them publicly in the media.
The VHP, SJM and BMS have suddenly become critical of the BJP leadership. Is it a healthy sign?
They are all independent organisations. They have been in pubic life for long years, representing the nationalist ideology to which all of us belong. So, by raising issues on certain occasions they try to reflect the feelings and aspirations of the segments they represent. In that sense, if there is any criticism, the party should take it positively. Generally, we have a culture where we limit our right to criticising policies or programmes of the government. We generally try to avoid any personal criticism. We expect everybody in the Parivar to follow it.
Will there be any impact of BJP'sdefeat on the Sangh work?
The Sangh work has never been politics oriented or politics centric and much less government centric. Elections or no elections, governments or no government, the Sangh work will continue. The political developments will not have any impact on our work. In a democracy, governments come and go. It is a very natural process. Our work is essentially outside the political spectrum.
There is a move on the part of the UPA government to revert the change that the previous government had brought about in school curriculum. How do you see it?
It is unfortunate and it is vindictive. The changes that have been made in the curriculum during the NDA government were essentially to correct the distortions that had crept into the textbooks, which were spoiling the minds of young children. The corrected versions, which are being used in the curriculum now, should be upheld by the present government also. The HRD Ministry is bent upon undoing all the good work that has been done during the NDA regime. They are not ready to see the merits of the case. They are going about with a vindictive nature. I am sure that the intellectuals and academicians of the country would certainly resist the attitude. Going back to the old textbooks is like introducing the same old wrong things and history to our children again. So many good things that have been introduced were upheld even by the Supreme Court. Undoing them means doing great harm to the future generations. We hope the government will desist from such vindictive activities.