'As A Political Leader...': RSS Says Rahul Gandhi Should Speak 'More Responsibly'
"Those who converted India into a jail have no right to comment on democracy in the country," RSS General Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said in an apparent dig at Congress.
Samalkha (Haryana): Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) General Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale on Tuesday (March 14, 2023) said that Rahul Gandhi should speak more responsibly and see the reality of the Sangh's acceptance in the society, after the Congress leader repeatedly targeted the organisation in his speeches. Asked about Gandhi's recent remarks against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Hosabale said he must be doing this for his "political agenda" but RSS does not work in the political field and he has no competition with the Sangh.
"As a political party leader, he should speak more responsibly and see the reality" of Sangh's expansion and acceptance in society, Hosabale said at a press conference on the last day of RSS's 'Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha' here.
Responding to questions on Gandhi's remarks in the UK, the RSS leader said, "Those who converted India into a jail have no right to comment on democracy in the country."
"Thousands of people including me were put behind the bars during Emergency. They (Congress) are yet to apologise for this. The country will ask them if they have a moral right to talk about democracy," he said.
If there is no democracy in the country, how are elections being held and Parliament functioning in the country, he asked.
"His party also won in one or two elections," Hosabale pointed out.
Speaking in UK recently, Gandhi had alleged that the structures of Indian democracy are under ?brutal attack? and BJP and RSS have captured almost all institutions. He has often accused the Sangh of fanning hate and creating divisions in society.
The RSS leader said the national education policy was framed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi regime after getting feedback from the grassroots levels including panchayats "unlike under the Congress-led UPA regime when policies were framed by the National Advisory Committee".
"People of the country and world are watching. They all know what is the truth. Perhaps he also knows," he said, adding time will give the Congress leader a befitting reply.
RSS agrees with Centre's view on same-sex marriage
Hosabale also said that the RSS agrees with the Centre's view on same-sex marriage, adding that a marriage can take place only between two people from opposite genders.
"According to Hindu philosophy, marriage is a 'Sanskara'. It is neither an instrument for an engagement nor a contract. Married couples fulfil the ideals of Grihastha Ashram. It is there for millions of years," he said, adding, "living together is a different thing."
The Centre has recently opposed in the Supreme Court a batch of pleas seeking legal validation of same-sex marriage, saying it would cause complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws and accepted societal values.
In an affidavit before the Supreme Court, the government submitted that despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage to be recognised under the laws of the country.
Hosabale said marriage is a "sacred ritual" between a man and a woman.
"This is because the purpose of marriage is the larger interest of society and not carnal pleasure," he added.
On the question of the Sangh's outreach to Muslims, Hosabale said RSS leaders are meeting Muslim intellectuals and their spiritual leaders at their invitation only.
"Sangh is not reaching out to them. It is responding to positive steps from their side... There is no problem in meeting and having tea," he added.
In September last year, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat visited a mosque and a madrassa in Delhi and held discussions with the All India Muslim Imam Organisation (AIIO) leaders - which was seen as part of Sangh's outreach to the minority community.