“Our Hindu culture is all about balance. Capitalism and Communism OR absolute individualism and absolute Socialism, all have failed the world. The world needs a sense of balance and that can be provided by Bharat (India).” The RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat said in an interview. Listening to that interview one realizes that RSS philosophy is driven by grand ideals that are foundation of our ancient Hindu tradition that has withstood the test of time. One realizes that RSS viewpoint is a refreshing change from cacophonous reactionary viewpoint of those opposing RSS. Let’s summarize the views expressed by Dr Bhagwat during the interview.
On Ram Temple
Dr Bhagwat said that Ram Janmbhoomi Movement was over with the Supreme Court deciding in favor of temple construction and government declaring the trust for the construction. As per him RSS cannot be credited for initiating the Movement as it was initiated by Hindu Society much before RSS joined it formally. On the question of Movements for restoration of Kashi and Mathura temples Dr Bhagwat said that RSS does not start any movement. The agenda of RSS is to transform individuals with Samskaras and thus transform the society for better and not start any movement. He said, he cannot predict what Hindu Society wants in future for renovation of Kashi and Mathura. He said he can only confirm that RSS will not start any Movement on its own.
On Transformation of Society
On Ram Temple construction, Dr Bhagwat said that this temple is not about constructing a temple of traditional worship of Lord Rama. With this temple every individual of Bharat should make an Ayodhya in their own heart so that a great nation with all its glory can be rebuilt. Ram is the soul of Bharat. An ideal society where all are equal and that has no injustice can be created only when ideals of Rama are followed by every individual.
On the question of how today’s social evils can be fought: Dr Bhagwat explained that Hindu Society is not run by one book but various books that have been written and re-written multiple times at different points of time in history. These books were written based on the contemporary needs of the society. He stressed that for today’s needs of society, Hindu Saints should give a new code of conduct that will guide individuals.
He further said that there can be different way of worship and each has to be respected. Most Hindu scriptures like Ramayana do not detail out who and how to worship but they provided the guidance on how to conduct oneself. They elaborated duties of individual and teach how to run society on common aspects while still respecting differences in way of worship. As per him even first 4 chapters (Preamble, Civil Duties, Fundamental Rights and Directive principles) of constitution provide similar guidance.
On Role of Bharat in today’s world
Bharat does not believe in overpowering others, Dr Bhagwat said. Bharat have never believed in capturing other nation’s borders or wealth. He said that Bharat doesn’t want to become a superpower in that sense of the word. Bharat will use power to protect weak, use its knowledge to improve knowledge of the world and will use its wealth in helping poor. Most countries are worried about their own survival. Every country wants to race ahead of others. Even the talks of global market etc. have been only self-serving for nations. Bharat does not want to enter into such self-serving competition. That is the reason the world is again looking towards Bharat. They are adopting vegetarianism and Yoga. This is just a start and more people will be attracted towards Bharat’s culture.
Since capitalism, individualism, socialism and communism have all failed, the world needs third option. This third option will come from Bharat. While western cultures stress on individual comfort, Indian culture provides a sense of balance. In our culture desire of individual comfort needs to be controlled for everyone to be happy and content. For this control individual need discipline which can be provided by Hindu culture which stresses on self-realization more than self-comfort.
On Atma-nirbhar (Self-reliant) Bharat
As per Dr Bhagwat, as a first step we need to know our own strengths and weaknesses. We should know and be proud of our strength and work towards eliminating our weaknesses. Assessing its strengths, Bharat will need to decide in what direction it should progress. Once we are in right direction and take pride in our own strengths, we will have self-confidence to create self-reliance. It is important that youth of Bharat need to have confidence and be ready to take risks and not just look for safe corporate or government jobs. Dr Bhagwat said that our youth has the capabilities to become entrepreneurs and make Bharat Self-Reliant. He also said that we should encourage our youth to dream big. When our youth has big dreams, they will work to realize these dreams.
On religions other than Indic religions
We don’t need to force this idea on Muslims or Christians that they are part of this culture because it is an undisputed truth that they are part of the culture. He further said that many customs of Muslims and Christians are unique in Bharat and are originated from Indian culture, e.g. worshipping tombs of great scholars and saints. The voices in favor of this truth have to come from within the Muslim and Christian societies. Dr Bhagwat said that all individuals, irrespective of religion are part of Bharat and they obtain all respect even outside because they are part of Bharat.
When asked how Muslims and Christians be brought into mainstream culture, Dr Bhagwat said that we don’t need to ‘bring’ them into mainstream, it’s just that we don’t let them go out of it. Bharat is full of examples like Raskhan who was devoted to Krishna but remained Muslim in his way to worship. He also gave example of Shivaji and Pratap who had Muslims in various important positions in their army. As per Dr Bhagwat, time to time extremists try to take Muslims and Christians out to mainstream by fanning hatred. People of these communities will not go away from mainstream who love the country and its culture. He said Muslims are most comfortable and peaceful in Bharat as compared to even Muslim countries like Middle east.
In Hindu culture we do not discriminate people based on the way they worship and that’s why Muslims were not asked to leave Bharat even after religion-based partition. People from Muslim and Christian communities believe in this Hindu culture and they love Bharat. He said he has met many such people in various parts of Bharat.
On place of Dharma in education
He quipped that there should always be Dharma and not Adharma. For Dr Bhagwat, Dharma is not religion and doesn’t refer to way of worship. He said Dharma means duty. Children should know first few chapters of constitution to understand the Civic Duty outlined in constitution. This Duty is Dharma. All should work together in developing Bharat in way that it doesn’t harm any other country. This is also what is in our ‘Sanatana Dharma’. It should be taught in Schools, in family and in society both. Teachers should also teach it not just in classroom but by their own conduct. The new educational policy is a good step towards this direction. However educational policy by government alone will not be enough. Society as a whole should progress in this direction.
Wrapping up the interview he praised the social awareness of Indians in the wake of Corona crisis. He said that first time after independence Bharat has risen as one society in helping affected people. This is positive news in the time of crisis, and it gives hope that Bharat will keep progressing in right path in future.