SRINAGAR: RSS Chief Dr Mohan Bhagwat, during his 4-day visit to Jammu, said the scrapping of Article 370 has triggered a “systemic change” in the region. He said the people now will have to bring about a “change in their mindset”.
Speaking to a specially invited audience in the Jammu University’s General Zorawar Singh Auditorium, Bhagwat said the change in Jammu and Kashmir was brought in accordance to the “ideals” of people who struggled against it. He made a special mention of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerji, who died in jail in Srinagar.
“We have seen that objective being achieved (with the removal of special status), and you people appear to be happy in your hearts,” Bhagwat said. “Just changing the system will not do, as people running the system also come from the same society. Aur jis prakar ka samaaj hai, uss prakar ke vyakti sarvatra rehtey hein (and the kind of society we have, similar kind of people exist everywhere).”
Bhagwat said the change in the system alone will not bring closure. “People too will need to bring a change in their mindset in accordance with the system they had desired,” he said. “We will keep on taking experience from the system and bringing about changes in it.’’
“Situation will change with the change in mindset,” the RSS Chief said. “We say – we have become one (the whole of India). But that the feel of emotional integration has yet to seep in here (Jammu and Kashmir). We will have to work on that. It will happen when the people will learn and decide to share. ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ feel has yet to be imbibed here. We can retain distinct identities yet within the framework of India – a nation-state, not beyond it.”
Without naming names, Dr Bhagwat dd say that what has happened has happened and there was no possibility of going back.
In the hour-long address, Bhagwat said Indian people despite belonging to different sections of society have “a common civilization and culture” and for the national interest and its unity people will have to sacrifice personnel interests”. Nothing, he insisted is above the nation. “We believed in oneness and one nation and nurtured the concept of Vasudev Kutambkam meaning entire world is a one family. We propagated this concept and philosophy for centuries together and it was only after the Western invaders came to India including Sikander the environment deteriorated in this country”, Bhagwat said. “Our oneness comes from the shared cultural heritage and not merely because of blood relationship.”
This was Dr Bhagwat’s first visit after the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was scrapped. He had series of interactions with the party members within and outside its Jammu office. He has suggested the Sangh members to open a network of shakhas across Jammu and Kashmir to inculcate patriotism.
Jammu has been a key landmark in the history of rightwing politics in India. Praja Parishad made the right-wing politics very popular in the region when it came into being in November 1947 when the Dogra rule ended. However, Dr Bhagwat’s visit came at a time when the right-wing was facing music in Jammu. The city observed a complete strike last month against the government decision-making. He had visited Jammu in 2017.