RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday said that politicians resorted to shamshan and qabristan because they practised the politics to stay in power and did not care for the welfare of the people.
Bhagwat was speaking at the concluding day of the Sangh’s three-day outreach event in Delhi. According to a report by IANS, while answering a question on the polarisation of politics, the RSS chief said, “If this happens then what JP (Jayaprakash Narayan), (Mahatma) Gandhi had expected… Then this question will not arise. Shamshan-Qabristan, saffron terror all these issues will not come up. These crop up when politics is practised for power and not for welfare of people.”
Bhagwat also spoke on a range of other issues including the difference between Hinduism and Hindutva and why he favoured the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya at the earliest.
However, his comments on Shamshan-Qabristan have become a dominating theme of social media conversations with many terming it as a direct attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi, while campaigning for his party in last year’s assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh had come under considerable attack for using the Shamshan-Qabristan analogy to polarise votes.
Speaking at a rally in Fatehpur on 20 February, Modi had said, “If a Qabristan is built in a village, then a Shamshan should also be built. If there is electricity during Ramzan, it must also be available during Diwali, there should be no discrimination.”
No sooner did Bhagwat speak about Shamshan-Qabristan, social media users and journalists began to criticise the glaring contradiction on the politics of polarisation by the BJP and its ideological mentor, the RSS.
Twitter user Yash wrote, “He’s trolling Modi & Shah.” Another user Kapil Anand wrote, “I hope bhakts (supporters of Modi) are reading this.” One user, Chacha Jhootley wrote, “How did Mohan Bhagwat and Modi ji become Times Now and Mirror Now (of Indian politics)?” “Why he’s showing anger against BJP ? Something is really wrong in between RSS and Modi-Shah,” commented user Jay.
The Lok Sabha elections are scheduled next year when Modi will be seeking re-election. Many analysts believe by publicly contradicting Modi, the RSS boss is desperately trying to control the damage, caused by the four years of Modi rule in India, where the politics of hate has made the general atmosphere quite vicious.
The BJP under Modi and Shah have often been blamed for promoting the politics of polarisation to hide their poor governance after their failure to deliver on promises made during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.