Muslim leaders have complimented RSS relief work, thanked Bhagwat for his stand: Hosabale

New Delhi, May 6 (PTI) Muslims are part and parcel of India and Sangh volunteers helped them during the lockdown without any discrimination, which was complimented by various Muslim community leaders, RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said on Wednesday.

Hosabale, who was interacting online with foreign media, rejected as 'baseless and far from reality' the perception about the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) being 'anti-Muslim'. He said Sangh was in touch with Muslim leaders and “helped the people from the community across the country including at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi” during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Shaheen Bagh was the centre of a prolonged protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which critics have alleged was aimed at targeting the Muslim community.

Hosabale also echoed RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks made in an apparent reference to the Tablighi Jamaat row that an entire community cannot be held responsible for the mistake of few.

“Many Muslim community leaders have written to Bhagwatji welcoming his stand and thanking him,” Hosabale claimed.

There has been criticism from activists in Gulf and other countries over allegations that members of Muslim community were facing harassment after a number of people who had attended a Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi tested positive for coronavirus. India has rejected it as propaganda by vested interests.

'RSS as an organisation has been in touch wit Muslim community leaders. They are part and parcel of this nation. The service done by RSS workers during the lockdown is a testimony of Hindu society, which looks at all communities including Muslims as their brothers,” Hosabale said.

As a result, Muslim community leaders have also complimented the Sangh's relief work, he said.

“All benefits provided by the state are reaching them. They are being taken care of by the country. They have all freedom in India. They have been recognised and have received many awards,” he said.

He also mentioned that many Muslim children also study at the schools run by the Sangh.

In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, he said Sangh volunteers have been doing relief work and playing a role of support system to government agencies in distributing masks, sanitisers and safety equipment, and sensitising the communities about the virus.

Talking about the economy in the post-COVID19 world, Hosabale said it is prudent that India develops an indigenous economic model centred on Swadeshi and makes the country self reliant by using local resources and workforce.

“The materialist world view imposed on the entire world can push us to newer cycles of economic depression and environmental degradation. In such a scenario, it is prudent that we develop a new model based on self-reliance and Swadeshi,” he said.

He also talked about the need for a new lifestyle which is less materialistic and more nature-friendly .

When asked whether the source of coronavirus should be investigated, he said it is not for social organisations like RSS but for international community to look into the matter.

“Hopefully a detailed inquiry will be conducted. It will be in the interest of humanity that it is probed and we know what is the reason and origin. It is not to pinpoint somebody as culprit,” he said.

The RSS leader said India has been exemplary in its fight against the deadly virus. PTI JTR RT