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HomeIndiaRSS sees conspiracy behind controversy over Mohan Bhagwat meeting German ambassador

RSS sees conspiracy behind controversy over Mohan Bhagwat meeting German ambassador

Functionaries say diplomats calling on the RSS chief is nothing new, but the controversy is being fuelled by a section of Left-leaning intellectuals.

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New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has taken serious note of the controversy that erupted after the meeting between its sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat and Germany’s Ambassador to India, Walter J. Lindner. The Sangh sees it as part of a distinct pattern — a concerted attempt to malign it globally.

Senior RSS functionaries said the organisation is aware that immediately after the Lok Sabha poll results, stories and articles started appearing in the international media against the RSS. Even simple criminal incidents were given a twist, conveying the impression that because the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had returned to power, minorities were being targeted by militant Hindu groups.

RSS functionaries also feel that most of these articles were written by a select group of journalists-cum-activists who are known for their anti-RSS stand. Because of their lopsided opinion, these journalists-cum-activists were discarded in the Indian media, but they were immediately “rehabilitated” in the foreign media and have now started using those platforms to malign the image of India under Narendra Modi.

The recent controversy over the German ambassador’s meeting with the RSS chief is also seen as part of this larger design to use the foreign media to run a campaign against anyone who tries to connect with the RSS. First a few stories appeared, then, a campaign was built on social media, and now, there are online petitions against the ambassador.

The RSS feels that this is part of a well-orchestrated campaign run by a section of Left-leaning intellectuals, as the organisation has been engaging with senior foreign diplomats for several decades now, and there has never been a controversy over such meetings.

Also read: Sanskrit a casualty of 3-language formula, make it compulsory till Class 8: RSS-affiliate

Past meetings with diplomats & distinguished individuals

Those who have access to the RSS headquarters would know that over the last couple of decades, there have been visits by several senior diplomats from foreign countries to meet and engage with RSS functionaries. One of the key reasons that they want to meet RSS functionaries is their curiosity about the organisation’s economic approach, since it is considered the ideological mentor of the ruling party at the Centre and in almost 15 states.

There is also the fact that the RSS has a presence in more than 50 countries across the world, in most of whom it is run under the name of ‘Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh’. In India, the RSS has a ‘Vishwa Vibhag’ (department of world affairs) which looks after the overseas activities of the organisation.

A large number of professionals and accomplished people from all over the world are associated with the RSS. A number of West-based academicians, who have been influenced by the ideology of Hindutva, are also part of this global mosaic of the RSS.

Thus, engaging with diplomats and accomplished persons from all over the world is nothing new for the RSS. Distinguished individuals like former President of India Pranab Mukherjee and former Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata are among those who have visited the RSS headquarters in Nagpur and met the sarsanghchalak there.

In September 2018, people from all walks of life, including the who’s who of the diplomatic corps, met Bhagwat at New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhavan during his lecture series.

The writer is CEO of Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra, and author of the book ‘Know About RSS’.

Also read: Why RSS has chosen to remind Modi-Shah of its key role in BJP’s big election wins


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