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‘Reservations should continue as long as..’: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

‘Reservations should continue as long as..’: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat

Nagpur: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday said reservations should continue as long as inequality persists in the society.

He told an event in Nagpur that the 'Akhand Bharat' or undivided India will become a reality before today's youngsters become old, as those who separated from India in 1947 are now feeling that they made a mistake.

Bhagwat's statement on reservations came at a time when the Maratha community's agitation for a quota has once again intensified.

"We kept our own fellow human beings behind in the social system. We did not care for them, and it continued for 2000 years. Until we provide them equality, some special remedies have to be there, and reservations is one of them. Hence, reservations have to continue till there is such discrimination. We at the RSS give all support to the reservations provided in the Constitution," he said.

Discrimination exists in society even though we may not see it, he noted.

Reservations are about "giving respect" and not just about ensuring financial or political equality, the RSS chief further said.

If the sections of society which faced discrimination suffered for 2000 years, "why cannot we (those who did not face discrimination) accept some trouble for 200 more years," he added.

Replying to a question by a student, Mohan Bhagwat said he cannot tell exactly when the Akhand Bharat will come into existence.

"But if you go on working for it, you will see it materialise before you get old. Because the conditions are becoming such that those who separated from India feel that they made a mistake. They feel that we should have been India again. They think that for becoming India they need to erase the lines on the map. But it is not so. Being India is accepting the nature ("swabhav") of India," the RSS chief said.

To a question about the claims that the RSS did not hoist the national flag at its headquarters in Mahal area here from 1950 till 2002, Bhagwat said, "Every year on August 15 and January 26 we hoist the national flag, wherever we are. There is flag-hoisting at both our campuses in Mahal and Reshimbagh in Nagpur. People should not ask this question to us." He then recalled an incident during the Congress's Tejpur convention near Jalgaon in 1933 when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the national flag on an 80-feet pole.

The flag got stuck midway in front of a crowd of about 10,000, but a youth came forward, climbed the pole and freed it, he said.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru asked the youth to be present at the convention the next day for felicitation, but it did not happen because some people told him that the youth attended an RSS 'shakha' (daily assembly), Bhagwat claimed.

When (RSS founder) Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar learnt this, he visited the youth's house and praised him, the RSS chief said.

The youth's name was Kishan Singh Rajput, he added.

"The RSS has been associated with the honour of the national flag from the very first time it faced a problem. We also hoist the national flag on these two days (August 15 and January 26)....But whether it is hoisted or not, when it comes to the honour of the national flag, our swayamsevak (RSS volunteer) has been in the forefront and ready to give his life," Bhagwat said.

PTI with superficial edits

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