'Shed arrogance, practise modesty': What was the RSS chief aiming at with his address?

Mohan Bhagwat's advice comes at a time when other questions have been raised about the manner in which the BJP has been going about its business in recent times.
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat (Screengrab)

Is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) keen on the BJP course correcting after the latter was reduced to running a coalition government with a diminished mandate?

The question arose after what is being read by many as possible censure from the BJP's ideological mentor on Monday.

The RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat chose to politely offer advice that suggested the party needed to change the manner in which it has been going about its business in recent times.

In his first public address post the general elections, Bhagwat, while addressing the valedictory session of the Karyakarta Vikas Varg in Nagpur, criticised the use of falsehoods and "vituperative language" during the election campaign. He said that such electoral discourse violated the decency that parties are expected to observe.

"Your opponent is not an adversary, he only represents a counter viewpoint," the RSS chief said.

"Virodhi ki jagah prathipaksh kahna chahiya (Instead of rival call them the opposition)," Bhagwat stressed.

The opposition's opinions should also be considered, he stated.

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'Shakthi ke saath sheel'

There was more to come.

Bhagwat spoke of how a true sevak was never arrogant. Many people began to read between the lines about whom all this was aimed at.

"Jo vaastavik sevak hai, jisko vaastavik sevak kaha jaa sakta hai, woh maryada se chalta hai. Uss maryada ka paalan karke jo chalta hai, woh karm karta hai lekin karmon mein lipt nahi hota. Usme ahankar nahin aata ki maine kiya. Aur wohi sevak kehlane ka adhikari rehta hai (A true sevak maintains dignity. He follows the decorum while working. He does not have the arrogance to say 'I did this work'. Only that person can be called a true sevak)," the RSS chief was quoted as saying.

"Shakthi ke saath sheel sampan bano, sheel apne dharm aur sanskriti se aata hai. Jo satya ke baad ahimsa ko kahta hai. Sabke prathi sadbhavana kahta hai (Be blessed with strength and modesty, modesty comes from your religion and culture, which calls for non-violence after truth. It says have goodwill towards everyone)," he went on to observe.

This was beside his call to find a solution to the Manipur conflict on priority.

Interestingly, an Organiser editorial, again on June 10, titled 'Verdict 2024: Historic but Introspective' had written about the need to have a more inclusive agenda.

"There is a need for greater ground-level confidence-building measures among various castes and communities so that the vicious agenda of widening the faultlines does not succeed. BJP will have to educate and energise the party workers to counter this trend and make them stakeholders while implementing various social inclusion schemes," it had noted.

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Meanwhile, Ratan Sharda, a lifetime member of the RSS, in another article in the Organiser had questioned the "ill-advised" induction of people like Ajit Pawar into the NDA and also termed Mandate 2024 a "reality check for overconfident BJP karyakartas and many leaders...who were happily lost in their bubble".

There have also been questions from the RSS on the inclusion of tainted leaders in the party, moves that the opposition has been lampooning as the employing of the political washing machine.

The observations from the RSS and its magazine come just a day after Narendra Modi took over as PM after being named to the post first by NDA allies and then the BJP MPs.

The PM had met party veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, whom many had felt had been coldly sidelined during the earlier two tenures, before taking up his post for a third time.

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