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The Hindu
The Hindu
Ishita Mishra

Without Valmiki, world would not have known Ram: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

“Without Valmiki, the world would not have known Ram”, said Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat during a Valmiki Jayanti programme in Kanpur on Sunday. As part of the Sangh’s strategic outreach to Dalits under its social inclusion programme, Mr. Bhagwat said the RSS was with all those who worshipped and preached Valmiki. “ Poori Takat Se Aapke Sath Khade Rahenge,” he added.

Addressing the public gathering, the RSS chief urged the audiences — mostly from the SC community — to keep friendship with Swayamsevaks, attend ‘Shakha’ and have continuous dialogue with the Sangh.

“If we remain united and work together for the upliftment of the nation, there will be a day when Valmiki Jayanti will be celebrated internationally and this occasion will get place in world organisations,” said Mr. Bhagwat.

Clear message

Mr. Bhagwat’s speech was a clear message for the community that the RSS considers all of them as ‘Hindus’. His annual ‘Vijayadasami’ speech also had a special message for Dalits that ‘temple-water-cremation’ should be same for all and people should stop fighting on ‘who will ride horse in weddings’.

To mention, there are instances from across the country where upper caste communities have objected to Dalits riding horse in weddings.

Days after Vijayadasami, the RSS chief in an event in Nagpur said ‘varna and caste’ were things of past.

The chief of the RSS’s women’s wing, Sevika Samiti, Venkatramaiah Shanta Kumari, popularly known as Shanta Akka, also hailed Valmiki during an event in Delhi on Sunday.

“Valmiki introduced us with Ram. If Ram would not have been with us, we would not have known the way of living. So, the credit goes to him,” she added.  

Jagat Mohan, who has been working with the RSS’s ‘ samajik samrasta’ (social inclusion) programme for over a decade, maintained that the Sangh’s outreach to the SC community or with any other community was nothing new.

“The Sangh has always been in touch with different communities in India. It’s just that in today’s social media world, things reach to people in a different way. But the RSS has a very clear stand on issues like untouchability and caste prejudice. We believe all this must stop,” he added.

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