Thursday, Oct 03, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
The RSS chief, S. Sudarshan, said in New Delhi today that the goal was attainable once the "videshi" path of development was replaced by a "swadeshi" development path. Commending Mahatma Gandhi's stress on swadeshi, he said that the Mahatma's big mistake was in "making Nehru Prime Minister'' for he was opposed to the idea of swadeshi and had set India on the "videshi" path of development.
He said the economic model put in place by Nehru had resulted in the enriching of 20 crore Indians at the expense of the remaining 80 crores. The IMF, the World Bank and the WTO, which "represent Western interests'', were seeking to do just this on behalf of 20 per cent of the world's population by exploiting the "80 per cent who live in developing countries''. Mr. Sudarshan was speaking at a meeting organised by the RSS.
Acknowledging the anniversary of the Mahatma's birth, Mr. Sudarshan said the Mahatma's other big mistake was in seeking the support of Muslims in the Congress's fight against the British. He said that it was this cultivation of Muslim support that had resulted in Partition.
He said the RSS was "dear" to Mahatma Gandhi and that in fact, it had been set up in response to a comment attributed to him: "An average Muslim is a bully, and average Hindu a coward. As long as there are cowards there will be bullies.'' He claimed that this was the inspiration for the RSS's work to "make a Hindu society'' which was brave and strong. He said the RSS was created as the organisation for "national awakening", thus fulfilling the dreams of national leaders including Vivekananda, Aurobindo and Ambedkar.
In a speech, which touched upon all the RSS's favourite themes, Mr. Sudarshan spoke of the religious conversion "by the Christians and Muslims''. He said Muslims and Christians used money from abroad to "entice'' converts and that no conversions were voluntary.
He claimed that the Indonesian Muslims ``accepted Rama as their ancestor'' and the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as their "granths'' (holy books).
He wondered why the Muslims in India could not do the same.
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