NEW DELHI: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s annual Vijaya Dashmi speech, which was telecast live on Doordarshan for the first time, got fulsome praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who tweeted a link of the speech even as he congratulated the RSS workers on the 89th foundation day of the Sangh.
“Bhagwatji talked about important national issues in his speech. The issues of social reform that he raised are very relevant,” the PM remarked.
However, the Opposition took exception. A controversy broke out over the state broadcaster’s live telecast of Bhagwat’s address from Nagpur, with the Congress and the Left parties slamming the “misuse” of Doordarshan. The BJP, though, defended it as a “news event’’.
In his address, Bhagwat advocated a complete ban on cow slaughter and meat export and urged people to stop buying Chinese goods.
He also said “jihadi” activities were increasing in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and alleged that illegal immigration from Bangladesh into West Bengal, Assam and Bihar will endanger the life of “Hindu society” there.
The RSS chief patted the Narendra Modi-led Government for initiat ives on national security, economy and international relations in a short period of four months.
While Congress spokesman Sandeep Dikshit termed the hour-long telecast as a “dangerous tradition as the RSS is not a completely neutral organisation”, adding, “it is a political decision of the government”, former Union Minister Salman Khurshid said, “We do not accept the record of the RSS as being above board in terms of our national aspirations.”
Condemning the live broadcast, the CPM said, “The RSS used the occasion propagate its Hindutva ideology. The national broadcaster has no business to telecast live the speech of the chief of an organisation like the RSS.”
The CPI also condemned the live transmission, with its National Secretary D Raja saying that the government, particularly the Union I&B Ministry, should give an explanation to the people for allowing DD to become the mouthpiece of the RSS.
He said it was “a disquieting and distressing trend that the country’s secular and democratic values were undermined by the government action”.
Defending the telecast, BJP’s Shaina N C said,” the RSS is only a nationalist organisation which believes in ‘India first’ and the country above the interest of any individual.”
“I am glad that this speech has been highlighted and people realise that if there is one cadre-based outfit in the country today that has genuinely contributed to patriotism and nation-building, it is the RSS,” she said.