Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat sought to clear the doubts related to his earlier statement on reservation by strongly defending the quota system and advocating its continuance so long as inequality remained in the society. He was delivering the first ‘Balasaheb Devras Memorial Lecture’ on Samajik Samarasta i.e. social harmony organised by Nagpur Nagarik Sahakari Bank, a multi-State scheduled cooperative bank of Nagpur, to commemorate the birth centenary of the third Sarsanghachalak at Vasantao Deshpande Hall on December 17. Chairman of the Bank Sanjay Bhende presided over the function attended by luminaries from RSS circle including MG Vaidya, Dr Shankarrao Tattvavadi, Shrikrishna Motlag, Maharashtra Cooperative Minister Chandrakant Dada Patil, MLA Dr Milind Mane and others.
“Reservations should continue as long as social discrimination and injustice remain and go only when those being discriminated against give a green signal for its departure,” Shri Bhagwat said. Clearing the doubts over his earlier statement which was “not read and understood in proper perspective and in totality”, he said “the RSS has always been in favour of the reservations”. The Sangh felt that reservations were necessary to bring the neglected sections of the society at par; he added exhorting all to shun the feelings of superiority and inferiority.
Discrimination is still there in our society, he said stating that earlier this was accepted as part of the societal behaviour, but now it cannot be tolerated any longer. “Some sections of the society frown at the very idea of extending reservations. But should not we think that they have suffered the injustice and inhuman assault for over thousands of years, can we not suffer for even hundred years”, he asked.
Explaining the concept of social harmony and integrity he said no religion, sect, social reformer or saint supported the discrimination amongst the humans. Equality has been the essence at the origin of every sect, which was later divided into castes and sub sects by us. The discrimination also was born out of the behaviour of the people. In the name of tradition this discrimination should not be allowed to continue further. “The feelings of those who suffered for thousands of years will have to be understood. Some sections of the society tolerated this injustice and discrimination for a thousand years. Now we also should learn to understand and tolerate for some years and bring about the desired change by our own behaviour,” he stressed. Citing an anecdote from the life of late Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya where he was helped by accompanying swayamsevaks in coming out of a ditch, Shri Bhagwat said, “the society makes progress when the one below raises himself up and the one above bows down to help him. This is samarasata or harmony”, he explained. Stating that truth, knowledge, love and compassion were the four pillars of Dharma, he said no religious preacher professed any kind of discrimination.
Quoting the late Bala Saheb Deoras who had said decades ago in Pune “If untouchability is not wrong, nothing is wrong and that it should go lock, stock and barrel”, Dr Bhagwat said we have to ask ourselves if we really have the sensitivity for samarasta. Mixing with all sections of the society is natural but cannot be the sole measure of this sensitivity. Dining together is fine but are we ready for inter-caste marriages? We have to support them also, he added.
A compilation on Balasaheb Deoras edited by Dr Shrirang Godbole was released by Shri Bhagwat on the occasion. –Virag Pachpore