NEW DELHI – Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat has been blasted by the Opposition parties for his controversial speech at the World Hindu Congress in Chicago, United States on Saturday.
Asserting that Hindus neither oppose anybody nor aspire to dominate, Bhagwat on Saturday said the community needs to unite to end its “centuries of sufferings”.
Speaking at the 2nd World Hindu Congress in Chicago, Bhagwat said: “Why are we suffering for 1000 years? We had everything but we forgot to practise values. We also forgot to work together. Hindu society has largest number of meritorious people in many sectors. But they never come together, stay together. Coming together of Hindus itself was a difficult task. Earlier, when our Swayamsevaks would try to organise people, they would say ‘a lion never walks in a group’, but even that lion or a Royal Bengal tiger who is the king of the jungle… if he is alone, wild dogs together can invade and destroy him…,” he said calling upon Hindus to unite.
Hindu-right RSS chief’s strong statements on the consolidation of Hindus have invited criticism.
Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar:
Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar said that the “dog” reference was for the “Opposition parties” in the country.
“I condemn this ‘mansikta’ (mentality) of Mohan Bhagwat that he has referred to Opposition parties in the country as dogs,” he said.
The Opposition Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) too slammed the RSS and said that its ideology was “anti-Hindu”.
Nationalist Congress Party:
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “The ideology of RSS and BJP is anti-Hindu and they only know how to do caste politics.”
“The day they stop dividing Hindus on the basis of caste, every Hindu and people from other religions as well will be lions,” Malik added.
Congress leader Sachin Sawant said, “RSS ideology is anti-Hindu. It is known for hatred towards other castes and religions. It is shameful of the RSS chief to describe any religion in this way.”
Attacking Bhagwat over his remarks, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the RSS was demeaning others.
“The RSS is trying to demean people by calling others dogs and assuming themselves as the tiger,” Owaisi said.
This has been the language of RSS and people will reject it, he added.
“So who are dogs and the lion? Indian Constitution defines everyone as humans & doesn’t treat them as dogs or lion. The problem with RSS is that they don’t believe in Indian constitution,” said Owaisi.
Third-time Lok Sabha MP from Hyderabad Owaisi continued: “They (RSS) have their weird ideas to demean people by calling others dogs and assuming themselves as the tiger. This has been the language of RSS from last 90 years and I am not surprised. People of India will reject such crass and crude language.”
Activists Shout Anti-RSS Slogans at World Hindu Congress
At the inaugural of the three-day World Hindu Congress on Friday, half a dozen activists stood up on chairs and shouted anti-fascists and anti-RSS slogans. At the time, RSS Chief Bhagwat was participating in a debate at the conference.
Several young activists from Chicago South Asians for Justice raised signs and called out, “RSS Turn Around, We don’t want you in Our Town,” and “Stop Hindu Fascism.” Some conference attendees erupted in a violent rage, spitting on the protesters, shoving them to the floor, and choking one of them. Two protesters were arrested and charged with trespass and disorderly conduct, while one conference attendee was charged with battery.
“We endured extremely violent and demeaning behavior from a bunch of self-righteous Hindutva fanatics who refuse to acknowledge their complicity in promoting and furthering fascism. Their response is indicative of their fascist mindset that brooks no dissent, and we refuse to allow it to be promulgated in our state without a fight,” said an activist who was a part of the protest.
The event has been deeply mired in controversy since the Alliance for Justice and Accountability, along with a wide range of Indian diaspora organizations have denounced it as an attempt to mainstream Hindu fascism in the United States. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard who had initially agreed to chair the three-day Congress severed all connections with the event.