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In this Idea Exchange, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat speaks about the RSS's relevance in modern times, its relationship with the BJP and swadeshi in the age of globalisation. This session was moderated by Loksatta Executive Editor Girish Kuber
Girish Kuber: In the changing, modern world, what relevance does the RSS hold? How do you view problems such as the recent violence in Assam or the long-standing Kashmir dispute?
Mohan Bhagwat: In 1925, Dr K B Hedgewar started the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and finally in December 1939, the Sangh's style of functioning was defined. A country's future does not depend on its leaders, political parties, government or establishments. It depends on the quality and merit of the society and the extent to which it is organised. For a society to organise itself and progress, people have to come together on the basic principle of 'self'. Even while learning from different people and cultures, the individual should realise his own nature and create a vision for society. While doing so, if merit has to be brought into society, the mind, heart and body must work together. The Sangh's functioning has been based on these principles.
As far as the violence in Assam or Kashmir is concerned, such incidents never happen in any other country that achieved independence 65 years ago. This happens not only because we have ended up making enemies on all sides of the border, but also because the common man in this country is still not completely aware about his freedom and independence. The absence of national and personal integrity reflects in various parts of our country today.
Girish Kuber: Unlike the Left, the RSS has never entered active politics. Would it have been better to not have tried to hide the Sangh's political leanings and the political ambitions of some of its members?
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