RSS Has One Message for Both Friends and Foes: Debate, Don’t Abuse

New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swaymsewak Sangh (RSS) has called for a “healthy discussion and debate on issues concerning the society” in an apparent message to camp followers and adversaries to reduce the decibel level of exchanges.

“It is perfectly fine to hold on to one’s ideological position and views. But this should not degenerate to trading abuses (gali galoj nahin hona chahiye),” RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale told reporters in Bhopal.

The RSS is holding its annual national executive meeting in the Madhya Pradesh capital where top Sangh brass would be deliberating over the next three days.

“In a good democratic society, healthy discussions should take place. There should be a dialogue between people who think about the society,” Hosabale added.

This line of initiating a healthy discussion across ideological divide flows from RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s interaction with foreign diplomats in Delhi last month where he disapproved of trolls and aggressive behavior on the net which tantamounts to “hitting below the belt”.

The RSS top leadership in the last one month has also held discussions with ‘opinion makers’ across the country. Twenty such meetings have been attended by the Sangh top brass in state capitals after Mohan Bhagwat’s Vijayadashmi speech which is seen as a sort of ‘policy direction’.

In one such meeting organised last week in Delhi, Mohan Bhagwat himself interacted with opinion makers from various fields and sought feedback.

The RSS has, since the BJP’s emphatic victory in 2014 general elections, fiercely competed for mindspace with Left liberals. Its attempt at discourse domination has been met with dogged resistance from the ideological adversaries — from award-wapasi to the JNU Student Union protest.

The statement by RSS joint general secretary Hosabale is being seen as an attempt to stem the unhealthy dialogue across the ideological divide.

On being asked to elaborate on the subject, Hosabale added he does not need to name such people. “We are of the view that discussion should be constructive.”

Referring to the violent clashes with ideological adversaries in Kerala and parts of the country, Hosabale said, “Our opponents resorting to physical violence indicates that they have lost the ideological battle against us”.

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