November 28, 2023 3:29 am

What RSS chief Bhagwat has to say about Hindus’ 1,000-year ‘war’, Indian Muslims & LGBTQ rights

New Delhi: The “new-found aggression in Hindu society” is because “Hindu society has been at war for over 1,000 years” and it is “but natural for those at war to be aggressive”, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat has said. He added, “Sangh has offered its support to this cause, as have others. There are many who have spoken about it. And it is because of all these that the Hindu society has awakened.”

Clarifying that the “war is not against an enemy outside, but against an enemy within”, the sarsanghchalak said Muslims in India have “nothing to fear” but they must “abandon their boisterous rhetoric of supremacy”.

Bhagwat (72) made the remarks in an interview with the editors of the RSS-affiliated Hindi journal Panchjanya and the RSS-affiliated English weekly Organiser. In the interview, he articulated his opinions on Hindu society and culture, politics, a space for the LGBTQ community, and Sangh’s plans to increase the participation of women.

Claiming there is a war underway “to defend Hindu society, Hindu Dharma and Hindu culture”, the RSS chief said while foreign invaders are no longer here, “foreign influence and foreign conspiracies continue”.

Since this is a war, people are likely to get overzealous. Although this is not desirable, provocative statements will be uttered,” he said. 

Bhagwat, however, cautioned that staying perpetually at war will not do the Hindu society any good and that Hindus should change their language and discourse per the circumstances. “When we have acquired sufficient strength, we should be clear about our priorities for the future. Staying perpetually in fighting mode will do us no good,” he added.

Citing the example of Italian unification icon Giuseppe Garibaldi, Bhagwat said Garibaldi led his people into war but wanted others to lead once the fighting stopped.

“When they (Italians) had to choose a monarch, Garibaldi refused and said it should go to someone else. Of the three leaders who rose to prominence during Italy’s rise, it was Garibaldi who led on the battlefield. However, in the end, he distanced himself…Hindustan is a Hindu Rashtra. This prosperous and powerful Hindu society, Bharat, will reach the pinnacle of its glory and provide leadership to the world,” he said.

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