Subh Kirti & Shantesh Kumar Singh
The RSS has been a torchbearer of Indian civilization and a major contributor in the constructive agenda setting of this country. It has also played a pivotal role in dealing with the current COVID 19 crisis. India has surfaced as a world leader in the fight against COVID 19. This has been possible because of effective leadership at the union level, cooperative federalism and participation of a wide range of stakeholders from all walks of the society. However, above all this fight against COVID19 is seeing success because of the Indian way of life, its value system. The RSS is a mirror to the Indian value system, as discussed by Shri Sarsanghchalak on 26th April 2020, on the theme "Current situation and our role" on Sunday that marks Akshay Tritiya, an auspicious occasion in Hindu mythology.
A UNIQUE ADDRESS TO THE NATION
The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has once again played a pivotal role in this pandemic. RSS has delivered on its commitments to the nation by being a cohesive, culturally enabled and morally resilient organization. It has truly embedded the values of Nishkam Karma. The Sarsangchalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat took to the digital platform to address RSS Swayamsewaks’ as well as the people of India. His address was a unique opportunity not just because of being the first digital address by an RSS chief but because he successfully elaborated on the characteristics on which this huge organization is based on. His address to the nation can be analyzed by the trilogy of Courage Compassion and Contribution. He deliberated on how staying at home is not a natural phenomena for RSS workers and how they have contributed by changing methods but keeping the same selfless intent to serve the country. He emphasized that the work being done is not for publicity or egoist purposes but for internalizing the human consciousness and attaining perfect equilibrium between personal safety and social service. His message went deeper to dwell on the methods needed to reflect this balance in behavioral changes in the larger social, political and economic life of India and Indians. Resilience and fortitude found repeated inferences in his speech as he evoked that even in such challenging times, life goes on and so does the work of RSS. He further bifurcated life in seclusion and in the public sphere by deep-rooted cultural references of EKANT AND LOKANT, meaning that when one is alone it’s imperative to introspect, and when one is in public sphere benevolence is inevitable. His address was a message of world righteousness through self-righteousness, which shall be a long term motive of the people even beyond the pandemic.
He used two very impactful stories to put forth the urgency of these times and why it was necessary to postpone all works of the organization to focus on fighting the pandemic. He used a story of Tathagata's teachings to be published in China, and how helping those in needs was prioritized before the publication was done. This had a very subtle yet deep message that normal course of work will definitely resume but for the current scenario, we shall take it as an even more important task. He concluded this story by evoking that the final aim of RSS’s work is to free the world from its grief, and that is the rationale behind altering the priorities for the time being.
The message for the respect of the rule of law and abiding by the government directives was also mentioned in an intriguing manner by instilling confidence and right behaviour so to inspire those being touched by the works of the Sangh. He asked the swayamsevaks to be a living embodiment of serving the society while respecting the government guidelines. In the line of government’s directive, Shri Bhagwat made an appeal to people, "Stay at home to be safe from coronavirus,". The central message on the working methodology for people can be understood by the phrase “NO FEAR-NO GREED”. However, taking cognizance of The Tukde-Tukde gang and vested interests of anti-India forces he added the phrase “No Anger” to simplify what his organization stands for. He appealed to all that because of the misdeeds of a few, we shall not let a whole community become the target. He used another story to inspire people of India for never losing hope and keep the feeling of fraternity and oneness in these difficult times.
ANTODAYA IN SERVICE
Rooted in the cultural nationalist paradigm he explained that India has provided other countries with essential medicines and services without any expectations and greed. He took the concept of ANTODAYA and added pragmatism to it asking people to be conscious of the fact that those who are in real need of assistance get the services first.
It was a truly forward-looking speech in which Shri Bhagwat mentioned that new and better habits shall be taught to people and since we have already started practising these, it will be cardinal to make a lifestyle. He then, referred to Prime Minister Modi’s call for self-dependence and explained hoe this can become a reality. He used the famous VIDHUR NITI to explain how Indians shall practice doing away from the six Dosha’s and how promptness and not procrastination is the need of the hour. He emphasized that continues effort is needed and the fight against COVID 19 needs us to be patient.
Compassion was perhaps the most outstanding part of his speech, he emphasized that we shall not be reactionary towards those who cannot understand us and that animosity towards a particular community is not wise. "Don't get angry, don't get fired up. There are members of the 'Bharat tere tukde honge' gang and some politicians who are trying to instigate the public feelings. We can't support ill-will against the entire community for mistakes of few individuals," said Shri Bhagwat Ji. He passionately evoked that everyone is our brother and that we all shall work together. Further, he added that "All 130 crore Indians are our family, we are one". He gave significant time to the issue of the lynching of sadhus in Maharashtra and made it clear that the RSS is aware of the dangerous designs operating behind it. However, in the same breath, he also mentioned that hatred and violence are not the methods of his organization.
A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
The Sarsangchalak put forth a detailed guideline for the future. He mentioned that the chaos created by this pandemic will take time to settle. The role of RSS will be cardinal to reorganize society. In the aftermath of this covid19 crisis, a new phase of rebuilding the nation will be started, and "we have to come up with our new model of development which makes us self-reliant". To address the emerging economic crisis, he zealously advocated adopting the SWADESHI, SADBHAV AND SADACHAR. He made an appeal for Swadeshi model in days to come and urged the people to maximize the use of Swadeshi goods and try to live without using imported items.
He mentioned that Post-Covid India will still have to deal with social distancing for which methods like e classes, small groups will be some viable options. He encouraged swayamsevaks to give the society a new direction, where pious habits of respect for nature, efficient energy production and use, health and well being, ecological conservation etc are inherent to the sustained of life in Indian society. He directed people to engage in the task of nation-building through self-dependence and taking this crisis as an opportunity to make life-changing decisions. He suggested a model of scientific development through a traditional value system. The vision includes traditional wisdom, cultural learning’s to be the guiding light for scientific development focused on making India self-dependent. He cautioned that the healing process of nature is already visible, but when we return to normal life we shall respect our surroundings.
Such a comprehensive, deep-rooted and future-oriented message is only possible when disciple efforts are made. Nevertheless, there could not have been a more comprehensive speech to address the nation in such challenging times. It was uplifting, selfless, morally sound and pragmatically prudent speech, which shall be remembered for decades to come.