Help all without discrimination, work towards becoming self-reliant country: Bhagwat on coronavirus crisis

Nagpur, Apr 26 (PTI) With the country fighting the coronavirus pandemic, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday said a community cannot be held responsible for the mistakes of few as he exhorted all to help the affected people without any discrimination and cautioned against forces inimical to India's interests taking advantage of the situation.

His remarks come in the backdrop of incidents involving Tablighi Jamaat members after it centre in Delhi emerged as a major coronavirus hotspot and apprehensions about religious profiling.

In his first online address to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers from here, Bhagwat also advocated 'Swadeshi' model of economics for the post COVID-19 period to make the country self-reliant.

The RSS chief slammed the recent lynching of two sadhus in Palghar, Maharashtra and questioned why the police failed to prevent the incident.

'If someone does something wrong out of fear or anger, we should not hold the entire group responsible or make distance from the entire community,” he said in remarks seen as a reference to recent incidents involving Tablighi Jamaat members.

Emphasising on the need to help others with patience in this time of crisis and shun any feeling of fear or anger, Bhagwat said there are some with anti-India mindset who are raising doubts and provoking people against the instructions of the lockdown to battle COVID-19.

At times even politics comes in between, but “we should not react and continue to do our relief work by helping everyone as all 130 crore Indians are children of mother India and are our own,” Bhagwat said and asked the Sangh workers to stay positive and play a constructive role.

In the aftermath of this crisis, Bhagwat said, a new phase of rebuilding the nation will be started, and 'we have have to come up with our new model of development which makes us self-reliant'.

Pitching for Swadeshi model in days ahead, Bhagwat urged the people to maximise the use of indigenous goods and try to live without using imported items.

To ride over the current situation and meet future challenges, Bhagwat said politics that thinks about the nation first, an education system that provides ‘samskar’ (values) and the best possible behaviour of the citizens themselves are essential.

Family values, cleanliness, environmental concerns and organic farming will be the new horizons in the post COVID-19 world where not only the government and administration but even the society will have to make special efforts, he said.

Expressing anguish over the Palghar incident, Bhagwat said it was the responsibility of the administration to maintain law and order.

'Sanyasis (saints) who pray for the well-being of humanity were brutally killed in Palghar. What was the police doing? Such an incident should not have happened,' he said.

He said the RSS with join other outfits in paying tributes to the two sadhus on April 28.

The two sadhus and their driver were lynched on April 16 while they were on their way to a funeral in neighbouring Silvassa Underlining that RSS is active during lockdown in the shape of relief activities, the Sangh chief said, 'We should continue the relief work till the battle against this pandemic ends'.

He said the entire world has been witnessing how RSS workers are contributing, but “we are not doing this relief work for fame, we are doing it as our duty.” Bhagwat said India handled this pandemic effectively as government and people responded proactively to the crisis. PTI JTR RT