100 percent voting must for healthier democracy: Dr Mohan Bhagwat
Nagpur, October 13: In a strong and fervent appeal to the people, especially to the young and enthusiastic new voters, to fulfill their responsibility in a democratic polity to bring about the desired change in the country that would rid India of multi-faceted problems, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohanrao Bhagwat called for hundred per cent voting on the basis of issues, policies and character of the contestants. “Our 100 per cent voting will make democracy healthier”, he said.
Dr Bhagwat was delivering his annual Vijayadashami address at the Reshambag ground at an impressive function organize to commemorate 88th foundation day of the RSS. Noted historian, scholar, former Rajya Sabha Member Dr Lokesh Chandra, RSS Sarkaryawah Suresh alias Bhayyaji Joshi, Vidarbha Prant Sah-Sanghchalak Ram Harkare, Nagpur Mahanagar Sanghchalak Dr Dilip Gupta and his deputy Laxmanrao Pardikar shared the dais on the occasion.
In his nearly an hour-long address the RSS Chief said that when those who were responsible to ensure the security and progress of the nation lack the necessary competence to face up to the task and even their very intentions became questionable, the society has to come forward and take up the daunting task with dedication and valor to surmount these challenges and save the democratic polity.
He said that the conditions prevalent in the nation have a direct bearing on the life of the entire population. The common masses elect their leaders and rulers. Therefore, it was quite natural for ordinary people to discuss the given situation, but they should do so for finding out a solution to the problems and not to get scared of it, he added.
Pinning his hopes on the youths, the RSS Chief said that a major segment of our population comprised of youths “who are full of vigor, conviction, and expectations and pure at heart to make any genuine and united efforts fruitful”.
Pointing to the ensuing elections the RSS Chief exhorted the people to perform their temporary but immediate responsibility by participating in the ensuing elections. “Elections, in a democracy may be a matter of politics for the contesting candidates and their parties, but for common citizens it is an opportunity to perform our mandatory democratic duty”, he said. These elections give an opportunity to the common citizens to elect their representatives and they must discharge this duty as responsible voters, he said, adding that to perform this duty we must ensure that our names are included in the voters’ lists.
The RSS Chief also alerted the masses against falling prey to any form of deceptive propaganda or stratagem. The masses should guard themselves against being carried away by cheap emotions or narrow-minded considerations. “Our voting should be based purely on issues, to the parties who follow policies that serve our national interests and to the capable candidates who have integrity. Giving up complacency, we have to actively cooperate with all efforts that are being made in this direction, as well as the electoral process and the concerned individuals,” Dr Bhagwat said.
“But our duty does not end just by voting and transferring the responsibility to the elected persons”, the RSS Chief warned, emphasizing the importance of augmenting ‘our physical, mental and intellectual strength’ as part of our daily routine. Invoking Swami Vivekananda, Dr Bhagwat exhorted the masses to “transcend all narrow personal limitations and to heartily worship God in the form of our Rashtra, dedicating everything to it”. He appealed to the nation to make a solemn resolve to make efforts for the benefit of the society, humanitarianism and service of the neglected and exploited masses. “Let us also make a commitment to wisely participate in all activities for the good of society and work with others without any selfish motive”, the RSS Chief said.
The Sarsanghchalak also appealed to the people to their duties and responsibility within the scope and limit of the law of the land by starting it with the self and setting a perfect example in such matters for others to follow.
Underlining the importance of family as the basic unit of social transformation Dr Bhagwat lambasted at the government efforts to undermine this very basic unit by destroying the very foundation of our society. Describing the family as microcosmic form of the society, Dr Bhagwat said that whatever reforms we aim at should begin with bringing about the required changes in the behavior and climate in our own family and not to undermine it.
Dr Bhagwat said that we have to ensure that women in our family are socially enlightened and active. In matters like conservation of water, electricity and other means of energy, environmental security, swadeshi habit, and treating those who come into contact with our family for various reasons with love, affection, respect and equity, etc. our family should be a perfect example. Everyone in the family should be free of feeling of high and low of birth, bad manners, and super-position; and free of any discrimination in the name of caste, religion, political ideology, language, province, and their thoughts, acts and behavior should be harmonious and egoless. Remaining sensitive to and actively sharing the happiness and sorrow of neighbors, our family should be an exemplar in social behavior.
The provision to impart this culture to the new generation is available in our family system. And with this realization, our family system is being studied and to some extent emulated all over the world. However, without understanding the significance of this system, attempts are made to turn the inter-personal relationships within the family into some sort of financial dealings, by bringing in unnecessary laws. Even if this is done with some good intentions, it is amply clear that neither any thought has been given nor any study made to assess the importance of our family system from the point of view of social security and social enterprise.
The RSS Chief exhorted the Swayamsevaks to take lead in establishing these values in the society. “The Swayamsevaks should be naturally there before the society as the role-model. Because it is with the aim of bringing the society to an active, harmonious and organized state the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been striving for the last 88 years”, he said.
Recalling Swami Vivekananda, whose 150th birth anniversary celebrations are coming to an end shortly, the RSS Chief said that the Swami had also envisaged the very same means to rejuvenate our nation. He made it clear to the society that only through the youths, who are ready to renounce everything for the service of the nation and become perfect examples themselves by attaining pure character, selfless mind and discrimination, with body as strong as a Vajra and an heart infused with indomitable enthusiasm and love, to consecrate our sacred Bharatmata on the throne of Vishva Guru, a World Teacher.
Referring to skyrocketing prices of the essential commodities; continuously falling value of the rupee in international market; and depleting foreign reserves, and growing current account deficit the RSS Chief lambasted the ruling dispensation for aping the western pattern of development blindly in our country. “Stagnating economic growth, steep rise in foreign debt in comparison to Gross Domestic Product, etc. bear ample testimony to the fact that we are taking our economy in the wrong direction. However, what is more surprising is the refusal of the government to change the course and its continuation with its rigid policies”, he pointed.
Bhagwat said, “in the field of production, policies are formulated in such a way to deny the ownership to domestic entrepreneurs and entrust means of production to foreign hands. Small-scale entrepreneurs, small-time industrialists, retail businessmen and others, who contribute the major portion of the national income, are pushed into a difficult situation by our own government, in which they are compelled to compete with foreign entrants on uneven terms. As a result, a big question mark hangs on the future prospects of the domestic entrepreneurs, the self-reliance of the nation, and entrepreneurship of the society”.
Referring to increasing migration from villages to cities in search of livelihood, the RSS Sarsanghchalak said that this has added to the problems of the cities and the villages as well. “Even after the exposure of the rampant corruption at the highest echelons of power, and the full play of public ire and resentment against it through the movements against corruption, the real culprits involved in such acts still roam about freely. And, instead of enacting stringent laws to curb such nefarious practices, the political leadership is bringing in laws that are intrinsically flawed and full of loop- holes”, he lamented.
Drawing a parallel between the wrong growth pattern followed with hubris imitating the foreign yard-stick, with an eye on votes and notes and neglecting our national traditions and the devastation brought in Uttarakhand by nature’s fury, Dr Bhagwat said that life-experience of thousands of years, environment, aspirations of our common people, their needs and priorities were criminally ignored which resulted in the retaliation of the nature in its full fury. “If only we develop an indigenous pattern of growth, based on our own genius and in sync with the present times, keeping in mind the positive and negative aspects of modern technology, current world economic systems and trends, we will be able to achieve a growth that, along with bringing its benefits even to the last man in the row, will make us self - reliant, create jobs, improve quality, and ensure equity, justice and freedom from exploitation. And we have to realize that turning our faces away from this reality would only do great harm to the health of our national life. Remaining firm in this belief we have to force the powers-that-be to take the whole system in the same direction”, the RSS Chief said.
Criticizing the trend of commercialization of education making it out of bounds for the common people, Dr Bhagwat came down heavily on attempts to further westernize education by inviting foreign universities in India. The education under the present policy was beyond the reach of the common people besides being incapable of fostering good qualities and culture. He decried the attempts to make education a market for international business that bring financial gains, and warned that the future of the nation would be bleak and it would land in a dark abyss. However, it appears that the orientation presently given to the educational sector is incapable of imparting the necessary wisdom to realize this danger. It must be kept in mind that one of the main reasons behind the growth in atrocities against women was lack of nourishment of cultural values, he said.
Bhagwat, referring to the security scenario along the borders of India, said that the threat to our national security still persisted with China continuing to test the waters by making frequent incursions into our borders; attempting to encircle India by enhancing its influence in our neighborhood, and dumping their products into our markets. Pakistan’s policy too, is based on hatred of India. Knowing this fully well, why are pursuing a weak and meek policy that encourages Pakistan’s misadventure is beyond anyone’s comprehension, the RSS Chief wondered. The statements made by those in responsible positions to dilute the seriousness of such developments, whenever correct information percolates from outside, raise the question of our sensitivity and alertness related to our border security, sovereignty, etc, and that becomes a matter of concern, he said and added that the neglect and suppression of patriotic people, and abetment and appeasement of separatist terrorist forces and infiltrators in the sensitive northeast for the sake of vote bank politics was continuing unabashed.
In view of the scenario created by these problems besetting our defense front, Dr Bhagwat opined that the government of India failed to establish cordial relations with neighboring countries and to take measures to promote the interests of the people of Indian origin in Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Myanmar and South-east Asia.
The RSS Chief criticized the government for planning to invite foreign investments in defence production instead of making our defence preparedness fool-proof and self-sufficient, building up our communication system up-to-date, effective increase in our defence forces, and uplifting their morale. He also pointed to a series of incidents that would adversely affect the morale of our security forces. With this meek policy the forces inimical to India were “emboldened to pose challenges to us, both within the country and on the borders through their misadventures, is amply clear from the havoc wrought both by Pakistan and China through repeated ingressions into our territory, and the incidents like attacking our military camps, as happened at Hiranagar in Jammu’, he said.
Internal security scenario
Stating that the internal security scenario was also worrisome, Bhagwat pointed to the unholy nexus between the forces propelled by foreign ideologies and receiving all sorts of help from abroad, and those believing in violence make a mockery of our constitution and legal system to destabilize India from within. The exploitation of common people and their terrible living condition provide the breeding conditions for such violent reactions; therefore, such problems should be addressed on a priority basis. The government and administration must become more responsive and transparent, he stressed. However, the government lacked the necessary will-power to change its lukewarm attitude even now, he added.
The RSS Chief referred to recent violent attacks on Hindus in Kishtwad in Jammu and Muzaffranagar in UP in course of his address to highlight the point that the people at the helm were more concerned about their vote banks than the welfare of the subjects. He also took strong exception to the utterances of Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdulla who reiterated while interacting with the visiting European delegation that the accession of his state with India was not full and final, but conditional.
Criticizing the plan to resettle remorseful militants in the Valley was quite strange, the RSS Chief said lamenting that the issues related to honorable rehabilitation of millions of Hindus of Kashmir Valley; complete re-establishment of displaced people for PoK were pending while the government was trying to push for the settlement of former militants and even bypassing the set norms for this purpose. “This is a conspiracy to increase the number of those who could be made the part of the plan to make demographic imbalance more acute. In Jammu region they want to start with Doda, Kisthwar, Poonch and Rajauri. This is a conspiracy to increase the numbers of those who could be made its part, including Bangladeshis and Rohingyas, and to reduce the number of patriotic people through threats and terrorists acts. The recent happenings in Kisthwar are only its part. Unfortunately, the politics played by the centre during the last decade has only strengthened the nerves of such people, he added.
Referring to the recent violence at Muzaffarnagar in UP the RSS Chief said that this was yet another example of crooked politics detrimental to the national interests being indulged in by the people at the helm of affairs. Blinded by craze for power, the national and patriotic forces were suppressed and unilateral and one-sided atrocities by lumpen elements of a particular religious community were not only ignored by encouraged and protected by them, he alleged. Even now, instead of facing the truth, efforts are made to shift the entire blame on the Hindu society and those who showed the courage to tell the truth, with the help of the section of the media. The communal, intolerant and terrorist forces behind all such atrocious acts, and the elements that hobnob with them and provide them strength, stand exposed through the gory incidents of manslaughter that took place from the mall at Nairobi to the church at Peshavar. But our politicians, blinded by their greed for power, are quite unable to see this truth, which is as bright as daylight, Dr Bhagwat said.
Referring to the recent missive of the Union Home Minister to state governments Dr Bhagwat said that those at the helm of affairs in the government, and have a solemn commitment to treat all citizens on an equal footing, were treating Hindus with discrimination in thoughts, words and deeds and blatantly appeasing and pampering the so called minorities. The way in which killings of Hindu leaders by the fundamentalist elements in Tamil Nadu were handled with total disdain and the disinterest shown in the investigation of the said cases, compel us to say that the orientation of the politics is not to unite and integrate the whole society.
The practice of heaping insults on the Hindu society continued shamelessly and because of this mindset, attempts were made to bring in a totally unlawful legislation under the name Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence bill - 2011. Provisions were made to accord reservation on communal basis. Now, the people who squandered tax-payers money on such partisan projects and corruption were eyeing the gold deposits at Hindu temples to fill the empty government coffers. The people wielding power at the centre, who view with contempt matters like the dignity of the citizens, environmental protection, security of maritime boundaries, preservation of natural valuable resources like thorium, livelihood of coastal population, etc., because of their craze for power, are hell-bent on going ahead with the Sethusamudram project, destroying the Ram Setu, throwing into the dustbin the recommendations of the very committee appointed by them, the RSS Chief concluded.
Chief Guest Dr Lokesh Chandra in his brief address cheered the RSS for championing the cause of national reconstruction. Describing Nagpur as the pivot of leadership he said that the movement of RSS would be successful as it spread the devotion towards motherland and faith in the prowess of the people.
Earlier, the swayamsevaks presented eye catching, impressive physical exercises and march-past to the martial tunes of the RSS band known as ‘Ghosh’ in Sangh parlance. Dr Dilip Gupta, Mahanagar Sanghchalak made the introductory remarks and proposed vote of thanks.