The first ever visit of Shri Mohan Bhagwat to Chennai on August 15 and 16 after assuming the responsibility of Sarsanghachalak was marked by an enthusiastic reception given by Chennai citizens, an in-depth interaction with the elite class of the city and a Sadbhavana meeting with prominent figures of various Hindu communities. Shri Bhagwat also attended the Independence Day celebration at Vivekananda Educational Society.
A reception committee was formed to welcome Shri Bhagwat under the chairmanship of former Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court Shri Kumar Rajaratnam. On August 16, a grand Public Reception was held at Sri Ramachandra Medical University Ground, Thiruvanmiyur. Justice (retd.) Shri Rajaratnam presented a bronze Nataraj idol as a memento to the Sarsanghachalak on behalf of the citizens of Chennai. In his speech, he said we require a constant vigil to protect ourselves and suggested compulsory military training to young generation.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Bhagwat said he was overwhelmed by the public reception accorded by Citizens of Chennai. “The RSS does not work for RSS’s sake. It works to create a mighty, prosperous and homogenous Hindu nation-Bharat. This is necessary for world peace and prosperity. Swayamsevaks have formed various organisations to carry on more than 1,50,000 service activities in the society. All such organisations are independent and autonomous. It is the swayamsewak who always and anywhere belongs to the RSS. Sangh out of its own wish is apolitical but definitely national and will have a say whenever necessary. RSS is famous but not well understood. The Sangh can be correctly understood only by participation in its activities and direct experience,” he said appealing to the gathering to join the Sangh and work for the nation.
At the commencement of his three-day tour, on August 15, Shri Bhagwat was the chief guest at Independence Day celebration at GK Shetty Vivekananda Vidyalaya Junior College, Ambattur, and hoisted the National Flag. On Sri Lankan Tamil issue, he stressed the necessity of rehabilitation and end of discrimination to Tamils in the island nation. “All displaced Tamils have to be rehabilitated. They should be given full relief materials,” he said.
As a follow up of the sadhbhavana meetings held during Shri Guruji birth centenary celebrations, a sadhbhavana meet was organised on August 16 in which representatives from 25 communities participated. Some of the participants expressed their genuine grievances of social isolation, untold insults faced by their communities. They were of the opinion that these factors are responsible for families getting converted to either Christianity or Islam. They also said that there are still individuals and families, which are firmly rooted in Hindu way of life, but cautioned that unless some concrete efforts are taken by Sangh and like-minded organisations it would be very difficult for them to resist the tremendous pressure of conversion. Shri Bhagwat appealed to them to remain united and also establish contacts with the families already converted so that they can be taken back to our fold. He assured that the local Sangh workers of respective areas would strive for removal of social isolation and see to it that the self-respect and honour of all communities are protected. Sri K Suryanarayana Rao, senior Pracharak and Sri R Vanniyarajan, Keshtra Sanghachalak, also addressed the community leaders.