NEW DELHI: RSS today said its leader Bhayyaji Joshi had not asked for any change in the national flag or anthem when he spoke about 'Vande Mataram' denoting India's cultural identity and the saffron flag symbolising its ancient culture, saying he was only talking about the difference between the state power and the nation.
"Bhayyaji Joshi, Sarkaryavah of RSS was deliberating on the difference between Rajya (State power) and Rashtra (Nation)....Nowhere Shri Bhayyaji has asked for any change in national flag or anthem," RSS spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said.
Vaidya quoted Joshi as saying, "In 1947 Constituent Assembly had adopted the 'Tiranga' as our 'State flag' and was subsequently retained as that of the Republic of India. It is mandatory that every citizen of 'Bharat' should respect this symbol."
He said, Joshi had stated that "the saffron flag has been revered by the people of 'Bharat' since time immemorial as a symbol of our ancient culture. We revere both the 'Tiranga', which is our 'State flag', and the saffron flag, which is the symbol of our ancient culture."
"Similarly, while the 'Jana-Gana-Mana' described the idea of 'Rajya', 'Vande Mataram' denotes our cultural identity and our devotion to it. All of us should equally respect and adore both the National anthem and the National song."
The remarks by Joshi yesterday at the Deendayal Upadhyay Research Institute in Mumbai came days after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's comment that 'Vande Mataram' is the real national anthem.
During his address, RSS general secretary Joshi said, "Jana Gana Mana is today our national anthem. It has to be respected. There is no reason why it should evoke any other sentiment.
"But it is the national anthem as decided by the Constitution. If one considers the true meaning, then Vande Mataram is the national anthem," he said yesterday at the Deendayal Upadhyay Research Institute in Mumbai.
"However, the sentiments expressed in Vande Mataram denote the nation's character and style. This is the difference between the two songs. Both deserve respect," Joshi said.