Vijayadashami speech by Poojaniya Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat is considered yearly guidance to the RSS cadre and like-minded people. The magical spell of this year’s speech magnificently shows a roadmap for a transformed Bharat. Mohanji has reminded us that the whole world is looking at Bharat and we have to show the way. Our nation has a greater global role to play. Bharat has an answer based on a vision to the crisis-ridden world. The rise of Bharat has always been for the welfare of the world. Our inherent swa-adharit (self-based) glorious role can restore the balance of the world contributing to a happy and peaceful life for all the nations.
G20 was a great success and world nations understood the potential of this ancient nation. Our inherent culture of confluence was accepted and the final declaration was passed unanimously. It was acclaimed all over the world as a great achievement. In his speech, Mohanji appreciated that the guiding principle of the global family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, translated as ‘one earth, one family, one future’) is incorporated into the philosophy of the entire world. He also pointed out the transformation of the economic-centric idea of G20 into the human-centric idea. This is a wonderful message conveyed by Bharat to the comity of nations. He also enumerated recent achievements like our players winning 107 medals in the recent Asian Games, the Chandrayaan mission, and Vikram Lander touching the South Pole of the Moon for the first time. The country is getting ready for another triumph – the opening up of a magnificent temple of Bhagwan Sri Ram at Ayodhya on January 22, 2024. Generations after generations have considered Sri Ram as the epitome of Dharma or the Bharatiya value system.
DIVISIVE FORCES ARE ACTIVE
Mohanji has given, in unequivocal terms, a strong warning against the divisive forces working in Bharat and at the global level. At the global level, vices, crimes, breaking families, individualism, ego, fanaticism, arrogance, religious sectarianism, etc., spread hatred, conflict, and violence. They take the shape of terrorism, exploitation, or totalitarianism. Ukraine war or the war in Gaza are its results. He was critical about the western world which searches for comfort but is unable to find solutions to their problems.
The violent tradition of foreign countries is infiltrating our country in various ways. The selfish, discriminatory, and deceitful forces try to create sectarian interest, mutual distrust, hatred, and social disintegration. He borrowed the explanation from Chanakya’s idea of mantra viplav. It will destroy not only the king but the people as well. If 140 crore people in our country think of rights only, conflict will be the result. About their style of campaign, Mohanji cautions: “Misdeeds of an individual are extrapolated and portrayed as misdeeds of the entire community, and then the war of words ensues, followed by provocative invocations and calls to action… A small incident gets exaggerated and publicised.” We have to be careful not to fall into the social imbalance they will create. Their aims are different from what they appear to be. We have to save ourselves from the ‘maya’ of such asurik forces. Mohanji has exhorted the people of Bharat to “leave aside discord and strife and violence (Fitna, Fasad, and Kitan) and pursue reconciliation, security and peace (Sulah, Salamati and Aman).
A victim mindset is an offshoot of the spread of conflict. People have to shed their sense of victimhood, he says. It also gives the sense that only ‘myself’ has to improve, not the society; and first correct our issues, thereafter go for unity. This is not the correct way. All should progress together with mutual trust.
THREAT OF CULTURAL MARXISM
Dr Mohan Bhagawat, in unambiguous terms, exposed the Leftists: “These destructive, all-devouring forces call themselves cultural Marxists or Woke, or the awakened ones. But they have forgotten Marx since the 1920s. They are opposed to all orderliness and morality, beneficence, culture, dignity, and restraint in the world… Their modus operandi involves taking control of the media and academia and plunging education, culture, politics, and social environment into confusion, chaos, and corruption. Such an environment enables the creation of a vicious cycle of fear, confusion, and hatred.” They oppose everything good in the world to bring society into their hands. They use media and academia as the main tools to spread destruction. It is important that the asurik forces should not become powerful.
The country is moving forward, after battling centuries of crises. We could see the amritkaal in the unstoppable progress of the nation
It is a sigh of relief that Manipur is now on the path to peace, he said. The Maiteyis and Kukis have been living together peacefully for many years. Then how did discord and hatred suddenly erupt in Manipur? He raised several questions. Who benefits by dividing them? What is the role of extremists from across the border? By whom an attempt was made to give a communal tinge? Who has the vested interest in trying to drag the RSS into the issue? Which foreign powers may be interested? What is the role of the geopolitics of Southeast Asia? When people on both sides of the conflict are seeking peace, who are the forces that are attempting to trigger hatred and violence? He appreciated and said, we are proud of the RSS swayamsevaks who worked in Manipur to take care of people, risking their lives. He also mentioned that the Home Minister was stationed there for three days and Ministers also went there.
UPHOLD SANATAN VALUES
In times of challenges to Sanatan Dharma, Mohanji strongly asserts the importance of Sanatan Dharma in the transformation of the nation. He proposes “a new path to peace and prosperity, based on its own Sanatan (eternal) values and Sanskars.” Sanatan values have to be inculcated in everyone, beginning with the family. For that, we have a long tradition of great personalities who were the embodiment of Sanatan Dharma even during turbulent times. They are our ideals. Along with other well-known great men, he mentions the name of Sri Ramalingam Vallalar from Tamil Nadu. He highlights four eternal values of Dharma tattva – truth (satya), compassion (karuna), penance (tapas), and purity (suchitva), to be inculcated in life. He also highlights the importance of family values. He says, “It is vital that family members continue to hold cordial dialogue (Nitya mangal samvad) every day and maintain a love-filled relationship while displaying dignified and cultured behaviour and sensitivity. They should stay united and continue to serve the society.”
MANTRA OF ONENESS (EKTA)
Unity is a strong tool not only for national integration but for accelerating the total transformation also. He says, “A nation prospers only when the society stays united and vigilant and makes selfless efforts.” Many in other countries believe that language, religion, residency, common business interest, central power, etc., bind the people together in unity. But unity on such self-interests is not sustainable. Bharat is so diverse, still for centuries we were moving united. Our forefathers experienced directly the unity all around. As per our worldview, individual, family, society, janpad, nation and the world are together, not separate. Our all-inclusive culture and way of life transcend the differences of worship, tradition, language, region, caste, etc.
For a solution to the problem of conflict, a climate of trust and harmony is a prerequisite. He says, “If we change our behaviour by embracing the vision of belongingness, then solutions to the problems will automatically emerge.” He reminded the role of media: “The media should be used to propagate truth and harmony in the society.” He said, “In turbulence also keep the mind cool. Then oneness will come.” The world says we have to learn harmony from India.
On unity and cultural continuity, he highlighted two speeches by Dr Ambedkar and directive principles in our Constitution. Mohanji asked everyone to repeatedly read the speeches of Dr Ambedkar. The Sarsanghchalak’s reference reminds us of the long relation Dr Ambedkar had with the RSS, which Sraddheya Dattopant Thengadiji elaborates in his book on Dr Ambedkar.
Our nation’s message on the tradition of social equality has to be conveyed to the world. Bhagavad Gita says (5.18), the criterion of a really knowledgeable person is the vision of equality – Panditah sama-darshinah. It makes our approach all-inclusive or all-embracing, which is the basis of unity. He declared in uncompromising terms, “Discrimination that might still exist with regard to accessing temple, water, or crematorium, must end.”
Mohanji appreciated the song sung by the Chief Guest of the program, famous singer Shankar Mahadevan: Ham rahein ya na rahein, Bharat ye rehna chahiye. A strong national spirit is required to bind people together in unity. Hence, he points out three essential elements viz., devotion to the motherland, pride in forefathers, and common culture. They are required for all citizens of Bharat irrespective of religion, language, region, sect, caste, sub-caste, etc. It will bring different communities together. He respectfully remembered the great personalities of the freedom struggle.
We need to strengthen our reliance on Swa, or selfhood, through Swadeshi. Society has to adopt it. Even in music, we have our Swa, as hinted by Shankar Mahadevan.
On the developmental front, he urges that we have a distinct developmental path. He acknowledges, “successful experiments and innovations in the domain of agriculture, industry, and trade-related services, cooperatives and self-employment are taking place.” The government is doing a lot in the direction of atmanirbhar Bharat; the society also has to do such things. Swavalambi efforts for employment generation are in that direction. He says, “Practice of Swadeshi should start from home.”
In the context of the upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha in 2024, his guidance to voters is significant. Mohanji is of the view that changes in political culture are important in the transformative trajectory
West adopted an anti-natural lifestyle, individualism, and exploitation in their approach to nature. He points out that pollution, global warming, and imbalance in seasonal cycles result in natural disasters.
As a smaller edition, we also witness in our country a series of devastating natural disasters, more in the Himalayan region, from Himachal and Uttarakhand to Sikkim. He mentions the cause as “due to the development trajectories based on inadequate, excessively materialistic and consumerist vision”. He also reminds us that the Himalayan area has special geological, geo-strategic, and geo-political significance. Environmental protection is a part of human life in our culture, it has to be natural. Hence, he proposes the environmental duties of every citizen in saving water, removing plastics, increasing greenery in and around our homes, and avoiding wasteful expenditure.
One remarkable aspect of the Vijayadashami speech of Mohan Bhagwat ji is his thrust on the much-needed administrative reforms in the country. He points out, “However, in the field of administration, there is a greater need for a similar kind of awakening among the intellectuals who shape the direction and vision in various areas of human activities. It must be remembered that only a Swa-based’, time-appropriate (yugnukul) policy of the government, a prompt, consistent, and people-oriented work of the administration, and the cooperation and support of the society in thoughts, words, and actions, will bring about a meaningful transformation for Bharat.” Administrative machinery needs to be prepared for the total transformation.
Mohanji says for national glory, governance has to be welfare-oriented, and administration people-centric. The change is taking place slowly, he said, since an immediate turnaround is not possible. He also assured, “Swayamsevaks will continue to cooperate and contribute to whatever the government, administration, and the public-spirited members of the society are doing.”
RESPONSIBILITY OF VOTERS
In the context of the upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha in 2024, his guidance to voters is significant. Mohanji is of the view that changes in political culture are important in the transformative trajectory. It is unfortunate that politics based on hatred to create followers has become a hindrance to noble initiatives. Politicians harvesting votes by inflaming emotions are not desirable, it hurts the unity of the society. An example of “tool kits” that incite violence is before us.
To cast a vote is the duty of every citizen. Cast the vote keeping in mind the vital issues of unity, integrity, identity, and development of the country. Do not go after petty things. With a cool mind assess who is good and who is bad, since people have experience with all such persons. Our votes should go to the available best. Acting as a responsible voter is an important political role of every citizen.
For an empowered society, follow law and order, abide by the Constitution, and maintain discipline as an expression of patriotism, he said. The solution to violence and hooliganism is for a society to become an organised force protecting law and order and extending appropriate support to the government and the administration. Only a selfless mindset will work for social progress. He cites an example. It is a practice in our country even today that the shopkeeper after weighing grains, adds one fist full of grain to it. He thinks even by mistake I should not give less. This is our selfless culture.
TOWARDS A TRANSFORMED BHARAT
The country is moving forward, after battling centuries of crises. We could see the amritkal in the unstoppable progress of the nation. Our economy is in 5th position raised from the 10th, we use the digital era for the welfare of the poor and we have progressed in innovation, technology, agriculture, and space.
Still, we have our own problems, which are natural. We need not be afraid, try to find solutions, he exhorted. We need to start with small things and practice them regularly and consciously. We have to build a vibrant and strong Bharat. For that, he proposed five social initiatives or behavioural elements. Our vision will correct everything, not by a change in the system alone. Make our tradition relevant to current needs (samayanukul). We can accept good ideas from outside but not adopt them, instead adapt them to the country’s needs (desanukul). In the coming centenary year of the Sangh, swayamsevaks will have to endeavour to fulfil these goals. Their contributions are vital in transforming Bharat to the pinnacle of its glory.