Q&A: Manmohan Vaidya, the Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh of RSS 'Conspiracy exists to malign the image of RSS' Gyan Varma / New Delhi February 20, 2011, 0:24 IST
Manmohan Vaidya, the Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh of RSS, tells Gyan Varma that the investigative agencies are working under political pressure to defame the RSS
A senior member of the RSS, Indresh Kumar, has been named in the charge-sheet in the Ajmer blast case but he has not been made an accused. The Central Bureau of Investigation has also questioned him. Why do you think his name is coming up in all these cases?
Even after the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has openly said it will cooperate in investigations, names of senior RSS members are being taken by the media and some political leaders even before the investigations are complete. This is not fair. Though Indresh Kumar has not been made an accused in any case, the investigating agencies are asking about his link. The reasons they would know best.
Much before the Ajmer blast charge-sheet was submitted, a news channel showed a CD (in July 2010) claiming to have investigation details linking Indresh Kumar with terrorist acts. We think there is a deliberate attempt to malign him and the RSS. The selective leakage of investigation details to selected media smells of a conspiracy against the RSS. This is not just an investigation, there is something more to it.
Why is the RSS averse to the word ‘saffron terror’? The word jehad has also been associated with terrorist activities by the same government.
Jehadi terrorism is a global phenomenon and the world is facing its heat. All the affected countries are now talking of mutual cooperation and coordination to fight against it. The people who are involved in these activities claim they are doing it in the name of jehad and jehad is supported by Islamic theology. There is no such philosophy in Hinduism that supports violence of any kind. The colour saffron is associated with our national and cultural identity. It is also part of our national flag. The saints and sanyasis of various religious orders in India wear saffron robes as a symbol of renunciation and are equally revered by people of all sects. Therefore, to use the term ‘saffron terror’ is absurd, baseless and completely wrong because no Hindu philosophy supports it. A few sporadic reactionary terror attempts have no similarity with jehadi terrorism.
You have often said there is a bigger conspiracy to defame the RSS and its members by making these allegations. Please explain who is behind these allegations?
The RSS has already said it will cooperate in investigations. But even before an investigation is complete, statements are made against the RSS. This hints at a conspiracy against the RSS to malign its image.
Maharashtra’s ATS has intercepts of conversations of Colonel Purohit and Dayanand Pandey, the main accused in the Malegaon blast, telling that they had hatched a plot to kill Mohan Bhagwat, then Sarkaryavah of RSS and Indresh Kumar. They were heard spewing venom against the RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad in their conversations, which are in the custody of the police. The Maharashtra ATS has also revealed these conversations in the Malegaon blast charge-sheet. To say Sangh functionaries are involved in some terror acts with them is completely baseless and wrong.
No statements should be made until investigations are completed, charges framed and proved in court. Yet statements are being made and selective leakage of investigation information is being done to some sections of the media, compelling anybody to believe there is a conspiracy against the RSS.
The report of military intelligence published in a newspaper recently categorically said Colonel Purohit and Dayanand Pandey were involved in forming Abhinav Bharat and that they had also tried to contact and influence some workers of the RSS and the VHP to get involved in carrying out some terror acts. We want to know who is the brain behind all these attempts. In the letter of the Sarkaryavah of the RSS to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he has said Colonel Purohit tried to increase proximity with the RSS on the basis of his position and pro-Hindu views and tried to create divisions among the RSS cadre and like-minded organisations. We want to know why a serving military officer of his rank would do it? It seems there is a deeper conspiracy and that is why the RSS has demanded an independent inquiry to investigate this.
The RSS has often been accused of being a closed and secretive organisation. But now we see the Sarsanghchalak taking part in street protests and public functions more. Is it also part of the strategy to open up the RSS?
The RSS works in open fields and anybody can participate in its activities. To call this organisation ‘closed and secretive’ is laughable. We regularly have interaction with various people of our society. People of diverse thoughts and ideas are contacted and invited to participate in our programmes. How can it be closed or secretive? The RSS is involved in the work of character building and organising the entire society. We believe this work is a silent one. But being silent doesn’t mean it is secretive. Yet whenever there is a need or false allegations against the RSS, we are compelled to come out to protest or to clarify.
Do you believe investigating agencies are not doing their job properly and are instead getting into political conspiracies and a witch hunt to defame the RSS?
It seems either the investigating agencies are not doing a fair job or they are not being allowed to carry out unbiased, fair and free investigations. Otherwise, the confidential confession of Swami Aseemanand would not have been leaked selectively to the media. The investigating agencies do not have evidence against the RSS but a Congress party general secretary was seen repeatedly saying he has evidence. We want to know why did the investigating agency give him evidence? How does he have the evidence? If he has it, then he should give it to the investigating agencies. Such statements suggest the investigating agencies are not being allowed to investigate impartially and properly.
This is the not the first time fingers are being pointed at the RSS. It has happened in the past too. Why do you think the RSS is under attack again?
History shows that whenever the ruling Congress party or the government has been in trouble, they have sharpened their attack on the RSS by making false and baseless allegations which could never be proved. At present, the Union government is surrounded by allegations of corruption, bad governance and its failure to curb a particular type of terrorism. The government is not taking decisive action against corruption and terrorism. That is the only reason the Union government is making these allegations to deflect people’s attention.
The RSS has for the first time written to the Prime Minister and also sought an appointment with him. If you believe there is a political conspiracy against the RSS, then what makes you think these meetings will help?
Should we not expect just action from our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh? It is his responsibility as the PM to see that investigations are carried out fairly. There is ample evidence with the police that there was a plan to attack and kill senior members of the RSS. Yet the Maharashtra Police deposed in the High Court that they have taken a conscious decision not to investigate this further. How can the government allow the police not to investigate? It is a very serious issue. We expect that the Prime Minister should rise above political issues and differences and should work in favour of national interest.