The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief, Mohan Bhagwat, expressed that societal discrimination remains a persistent challenge, warranting the continuation of reservation policies until true equality prevails. He articulated these views during an event in Nagpur. Bhagwat also touched upon the idea of ‘Akhand Bharat’ or an undivided India, suggesting that this vision could become a reality sooner than anticipated, as those who separated from India in 1947 are beginning to acknowledge their mistake.
Significantly, Bhagwat’s remarks on reservations coincided with the Maratha community’s intensified agitation for quota rights.
“We have left our fellow human beings behind in the social hierarchy for centuries. We have not taken adequate measures to rectify this injustice, and it has persisted for over 2,000 years. Until we achieve true equality, we must employ special measures such as reservations. Hence, reservations should persist as long as discrimination exists. At the RSS, we wholeheartedly support the reservation policies enshrined in the Constitution,” Bhagwat stated.
Bhagwat emphasized that discrimination endures in society, often concealed from plain sight.
He elaborated that reservations aim not only to secure financial or political equality but also to bestow respect upon marginalized communities.
“If sections of society have endured centuries of discrimination, is it not reasonable for us, who did not face such prejudice, to accept a measure of inconvenience for a mere 200 years?” he inquired.
Addressing the question of when ‘Akhand Bharat’ would become a reality, Bhagwat remarked that he couldn’t provide an exact timeline. However, he encouraged continued efforts towards this goal, predicting that conditions are evolving in such a way that those who once parted from India are now reconsidering their decision. He emphasized that being a part of India is fundamentally about embracing its essence and spirit.
Responding to inquiries about allegations that the RSS did not hoist the national flag at its headquarters in Mahal area, Nagpur, from 1950 to 2002, Bhagwat clarified that the RSS unfailingly raises the national flag on August 15 and January 26 every year, wherever they are located. He highlighted that flag-hoisting ceremonies take place at both RSS campuses in Mahal and Reshimbagh in Nagpur. Bhagwat also shared a historical incident involving Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s flag-hoisting during a Congress convention in 1933.
As the debate over reservations and the vision of ‘Akhand Bharat’ continues, Bhagwat’s statements resonate in the sociopolitical discourse.