Have not abandoned Ram temple issue: RSS

RSTV Bureau

RSS2RSS on Sunday said it has not abandoned its commitment to build a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya and sought speeding up of the case proceedings in the Supreme Court.

“We have not abandoned the issue of Ram temple. After the order of the High Court, which went in favour of Hindus, the matter is pending before the Supreme Court. The judiciary is important. The pace of proceedings in the Supreme Court is slow and that should be speeded up,” RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi said.

“We don’t feel there is a need for launching an agitation over the issue right now, we will see what happens later, but we have not abandoned the issue,” he said.

Joshi was addressing the customary press conference on the concluding day of the three-day brainstorming session of the ‘Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha’, the top decision and policy making body of the RSS.

Joshi, who was elected ‘Sarkaryavah’, the second in command in the influential right-wing organisation and ideological mentor of the ruling BJP, also strongly advocated citizenship for Indians fleeing countries like Pakistan and taking refuge.

“There is no other land for Hindus fleeing persecution in a foreign land. If mistreated and abused Hindus facing injustice in a foreign land arrive here, it is the responsibility of our society and the government to accept them. The government must consider their cases seriously,” he said.

Joshi said RSS was committed to protecting the ‘gau vansh’ and merely enacting laws to ban cow slaughter by some BJP-ruled states was not enough.

“The government must ensure that the law against cow slaughter is implemented effectively, just making laws is not sufficient,” he said.

Asked if RSS would intervene to rein in the fringe Hindutva elements affiliated to it which have been causing embarrassment to the Modi government by their controversial remarks and programmes like the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ campaign for reconversion, Joshi said, “We don’t think any serious question has arisen before the government because something has been said about Hindutva.”

Reiterating the Sangh’s stand that Hindutva was a way of life, Joshi said RSS has no issues with anybody adopting a particular form of worship, but when “the long standing values are compromised, society faces a threat.”

“Hindutva is a lifestyle. We have no issues with people adopting a particular way to worship, but when that lifestyle is compromised, the society faces a threat. Age old values and traditions of that way of life need to be preserved,” he said.

Asked about RSS’ view on the land Bill, he said the government had included several amendments to remove the contentious clauses.

“We understand the government has brought about several amendments to the earlier Bill to include suggestions made by those opposing it. There is no reason for us to say anything on it now,” he said.