Making a complete U-turn from his previous statement that the quota system needed a review, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has said reservation should continue in the country as long as there was social discrimination and asserted that the Sangh was not in favour of scrapping it.
“RSS is of the firm opinion that there is no question of scrapping the reservation system. Reservation in the country should continue as long as social discrimination prevails in the Indian society,” Bhagwat said while delivering a lecture on ‘social assimilation’.
Incidentally, Bhagwat’s earlier remarks on seeking review of the reservation policy just before the Bihar Assembly polls had stirred a controversy, with many seeing it as one of the main reasons for BJP’s debacle in the state elections.
On ‘social assimilation’, the RSS chief said the beginning should be from self and extended to the immediate family, extended family and the society.
“This should be done by respecting the diversity in the society, but following the values and philosophy behind the spirit of Hinduism,” he said.
Elaborating the concept of ‘social harmony and integrity’, Bhagwat said, “No religion, sect, social reformer or saint supported discrimination between human beings. Equality has been the essence at the origin of every sect, which was later divided into castes and sects by us. Discrimination also was born out of behaviour of the people.”
Bhagwat, however, stressed on the need to end the discrimination and reject traditions that were redundant.
“In the name of tradition, this discrimination should not be allowed to continue further. The feelings of those who have suffered for thousands of years must be understood. Some sections of the society tolerated the discrimination and injustice for a long period,” he opined.
“Now, we should also learn to understand and tolerate for some years and bring about the desired change by our own behaviour. Traditions should be tested on modern scientific parameters, and those which fail the tests must be rejected,” he further said.
Unfortunately, these traditions have not been tested for thousands of years and are being followed blindly, because of which the values have deteriorated, Bhagwat said.
He also spoke about the thoughts of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on social discrimination and equality and appealed to the people to study it in depth and understand his teachings.