The Congress termed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks on ‘lynching’ as "insensitive", and asked him to clarify whether he endorsed or condemned such killings of innocent men, women and children by mobs, reported PTI.
Bhagwat on Tuesday, 8 October, said that the term lynching is a “western construct” and should not be used in the Indian context “to defame the country.”
Addressing the Vijayadashmi function of the RSS at Reshimbagh ground in Maharashtra’s Nagpur city, he said the word ‘lynching’ does not originate from India but comes from a separate religious text, and such terms should not be imposed on Indians.
Bhagwat urged citizens to create harmony, and said everyone should live within the confines of law. "Swayamsevaks are brought up with that sanskar (values)," he said.
"Shocked at Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat's insensitive comment. The issue is not Europe or India, English or Hindi. The killing of innocent, hapless people by agitated mobs is unacceptable to humanity. Languages don't matter," said senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma.
Calling Bhagwat's statement "unfortunate", Sharma said that the RSS chief must come clean on the issue in national interest.
"I demand that you clarify in India's national interests and global perception, whether you endorse or condemn such killings of innocent men, women and children by mobs. Please come clean on this in India's interest," Sharma said.
‘Problems Will End When Bhagwat Starts Following His Message’
Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh took a jibe at Bhagwat, saying the lynchings and communal hatred will end the day RSS chief starts following his own message on harmony.
Asked by reporters about Bhagwat's call for harmony, Singh said, "All problems will end the day Mohan Bhagwat starts following his message of harmony, mob lynching and hatred will also end.”
"Our complaints will end the day (RSS) adopts the principles of love, harmony and the path of Mahatma Gandhi," Singh added.
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi too hit out at Bhagwat and said that Muslims, Dalits and even Hindus have been victims of incidents of mob lynching in the country.
"Are these incidents not mob lynching?" he asked.
The Hyderabad MP said that perpetrators of mob lynching were "sons" of Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. Referring to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in New Delhi after assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he said they were also incidents of mob lynching.
Owaisi was speaking at an election rally in support of AIMIM candidate Iqbal Pasha at the Kalyanrao Ghugre Stadium in central Maharashtra.
Referring to the 2002 Gujarat riots, Owaisi said they were also examples of mob lynching and occurred when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was chief minister of the state.
Owaisi also lashed out at Bhagwat's statement that the RSS is firm on its vision that "Bharat is a Hindu Rashtra". The AIMIM accused Bhagwat of having no faith in Indian democracy and ideals of chief Constitution-maker BR Ambedkar, who spoke about equality and justice.
‘Okay With Killing, but Have a Problem With the Term?’
Several social media users criticised the RSS chief for his apparent concern with just the term ‘lynching’ and not the actual act.
So Mohan Bhagwat does not like the term “lynching” but has no problem with hate killing?— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) October 8, 2019
Lynching is a "western— Prashant Kumar (@scribe_prashant) October 8, 2019
construct" & should not be used in Indian context to defame the country. Word 'lynching' doesn’t originate from Indian ethos but comes frm a separate religious text, it should not be imposed on us: Mohan Bhagwat
Okay with killing, problem with the “term”?
Lynching is nationalism, but condemning lynching is anti national?— AB (@AbhilashVinayak) October 8, 2019
Who will tell Bhagwat that this is not a case of semantics, but of hate?
How do these guys get away with all this? What has happened to human intelligence?
Twitter users had something to say about Bhagwat’s take on the country’s economic slowdown as well.
In his speech, the RSS chief said the slowing down of world economy has had an impact everywhere. "The government has taken initiatives to tide over the situation in the last one-and-a-half months. Our society is entrepreneurial and will overcome these challenges," he added.
‘Bhagwat Takes More Responsibility Than the Govt Itself’
Dr Mohanji Bhagwat called upon all stake holders to move ahead on our own 'Swa' centered way.— J Nandakumar (@kumarnandaj) October 8, 2019
To minimise the impact of other immediate crises and the ups and downs of the world economy on our financial system, we need to go to the basics and ponder. #RSSVijayaDashami
Mohan Bhagwat takes more responsibility for the economy than Modi & Finance ministry combined https://t.co/jakVwG0MFF— Asif ka Beer (@asifkabeer) October 8, 2019
(With inputs from PTI)
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