‘True sevak is never arrogant… in polls, decorum was not kept’: Mohan Bhagwat

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‘True sevak is never arrogant… in polls, decorum was not kept’: Mohan Bhagwat
Nagpur: In his first public remarks on the outcome of the elections in which the BJP fell short of a majority in Lok Sabha, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said that a true sevak (one who serves the people) does not have “ahankar” (arrogance) and works without causing any hurt to others. Referring to the bitter poll campaign, he said “decorum was not maintained”.

Addressing a gathering of RSS leaders and workers following the culmination of Karyakarta Vikas Varg – a periodic training programme for RSS workers – at Nagpur on the day the new BJP-led coalition held its first Cabinet meeting, Bhagwat also underlined the importance of building consensus.

He also reiterated the Sangh’s concern over continuing violence in Manipur and asked who was going to pay attention to the problem on the ground. He said it had to be dealt with on priority.

“Jo vastavik sevak hai, jisko vastavik sevak kaha ja sakta hai, woh maryada se chalta hai… Uss maryada ka paalan karke jo chalta hai woh karm karta hai lekin karmon mein lipt nahi hota. Usme ahankar nahin aata ki maine kiya. Aur wahi sevak kehlane ka adhikari rehta hai (A true sevak maintains decorum while working… The one who maintains decorum does his work, but remains unattached. There is no arrogance that I did this. Only such a person has the right to be called a sevak),” he said.

The RSS chief made these remarks at a time when the BJP and Sangh have held discussions post the poll results and a new coalition government is taking charge at the Centre. He said elections should be viewed as a competition, and not war.

“The kind of things that were said, the way the two sides castigated each other (during the elections)… the way no one cared about social divisions being created because of what was being done… and for no reason the Sangh was dragged into this… untruths were spread with the use of technology. Is this the way knowledge should be used? How will the country operate like this?” he said.

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On the Opposition, Bhagwat said, “I do not call it Virodhi Paksh, I call it Pratipaksh. Pratipaksh virodhi nahi hai (The Opposition is not an opponent). It is revealing a side and that must be deliberated upon. If we understand that this is how we must operate, then we must be cognisant of the decorum required in contesting elections. That decorum was not maintained.”

He said elections are integral to democracy and since there are two sides, there is a competition.

“Because of it, there is a tendency to leave the other behind and it should be like that. But even there, decorum is important. One should not use untruths. People have been elected, they will sit in Parliament and run the country through consensus. Consensus is our tradition,” he said. According to Bhagwat, there will never be 100% alignment of thoughts and ideas.

“But when society decides that we have to walk together despite our differences, then a consensus is built. Parliament has two sides so that both sides can be heard. Every coin has two sides. If one side brings an idea, then the other side has to reveal the other perspective,” he said, adding “We have to free ourselves of the rhetorical excesses of the polls and think about the future.”

Manipur is still burning

On the surge in violence in Manipur, Bhagwat said, “Everywhere there is social disharmony. This is not good. For the past one year, Manipur has been awaiting peace. It was peaceful for the past one decade. It appeared that the gun culture of yore was gone. But the gun culture that took shape suddenly, or was created, Manipur is still burning. Who is going to pay attention to it? It is a duty to deal with it on priority.”

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