The RSS on Monday said its chief Mohan Bhagwat had not compared the Indian Army with Sangh volunteers and his remarks on the matter were “misrepresented”.
Bhagwat’s remarks at an RSS workers meet in Bihar yesterday were made as a comparison between common people and Sangh volunteers (swayamsevaks) and were in “no way a comparison” with the Indian Army, RSS Akhil Bhartiya Prachaar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya said in a statement.
“Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat’s speech in Muzaffarpur (Bihar) is being misrepresented. Bhagwat had said that if situation arises and the Constitution permits, Indian Army would take six months to prepare the society whereas Sangh swayamsevaks can be trained in three days, as swayamsevaks practise discipline regularly,” according to the statement.
Bhagwat’s reported remarks that the RSS could “prepare” military personnel faster than the Army have drawn flak from the opposition parties, with Congress president Rahul Gandhi terming it an “insult” to every Indian and demanding an apology.
In Agartala, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, who had served in the RSS, said Bhagwat might have made the comments to highlight the organisation’s “tatparta” (state of readiness).
Madhav said that as an RSS volunteer himself, he knows that the organisation has huge respect for the Army for its valour and sacrifice.
“I don’t know what he exactly said…He would have said so to highlight the readiness of RSS volunteers. RSS volunteers are always willing to stand with the Army for the nation’s security,” he said.
Asked about Bhagwat’s comments at a press conference, BJP chief Amit Shah said he had heard of them only through social media and would react after getting to know what he had exactly said.
Shah also rejected the opposition’s criticism of the central and Jammu and Kashmir governments following a terror attack on an Army camp in Sunjwan in the state. He asserted that more terrorists were killed under this government’s tenure than any other during the same period of time.
Targeting Bhagwat for his remarks, the Congress president tweeted, “The RSS Chief’s speech is an insult to every Indian, because it disrespects those who have died for our nation. It is an insult to our flag because it insults every soldier who ever saluted it. Shame on you Mr Bhagwat, for disrespecting our martyrs and our Army. #ApologiseRSS.”