Interview with Sri. Ram Madhav

via HK Correspondent published on June 11, 2006

Sri. Ram Madhav was born in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, and joined the Sangh as a bala swayamsevak, from the time that he was about five or six years of age. He is a pracharak ( full time functionary ) with the RSS and former spokesperson of the organization. He represents the younger generation of sangh workers who is ready to take on the p-secular media by giving unbiased views and opinions of the sangh. He has training in Political Science from Mysore University, and he has also moved rapidly up the hierarchy of the RSS from the district to the regional to the state level, before becoming a national office-bearer and national spokesman in 2002. Mr. Madhav has a distinguished intellectual background as well, having authored 12 books in Telugu and contributed articles to several magazines and newspapers in English as well as Telugu. He is currently the director on a board running a chain of educational institutions in Hyderabad; they include those with Engineering degrees, MBAs, and other degree colleges.

1. RSS and its sister organizations are the only Nationalist group in Bharat promoting Cultural nationalism and RSS work hard to preserve national integrity, safety and security of Bharat. Hundreds of selfless Swayam Sevaks work tirelessly all over Bharat to provide social services, education and medical services. Yet, Sangh is pictured in the media, especially Indian English Media as Communalists, and divisive.

There certainly exists a gap in the reality and image of the RSS. Media and certain political and ideological groups are mainly responsible for the creation of a wrong perception about it. It doesn’t need any special mention here that the campaign against the Sangh is carried out mainly by the Left and pseudo-Secular groups that do not have any love for our country, its culture, traditions and values. The RSS has become their enemy because it comes in their way of turning India into a Communist vassal or capitalist slave of some world powers. With its deep commitment for nationalism, patriotism and values, the RSS is naturally seen by them as an enemy and a threat.

However, it also should be borne in mind that despite this campaign of calumny the organisation grew from strength to strength. Two things made it possible. One, countless dedicated activists that the Sangh has created in all walks of life. Their lives have mirrored the ideals of the Sangh thus dispelling the wrong impressions sought to be created by the adversaries. Second, Sangh has created its own parallel media to carry its message far and wide. Today, Sangh-run bulletins and magazines in all languages have reach that is bigger than the reach of the mainstream media in the country. In fact it is a matter of great heart-burn for many in the media that Sangh has grown from strength to strength despite their efforts.

2. What plans RSS has to project a positive image and counter media manipulation? Does RSS have any plans to start its own print and electronic media in English and in regional languages?

We do understand the influence of the media on public mind. That is why Sangh has introduced Prachar Vibhag in 1994 and Pravakta in 2000. It is through these institutions that the Sangh is trying to carry its message to the media and through it to the masses.

There are several publishing houses run by Swayamsevaks in various languages in the country that produce voluminous literature about the Sangh. These publications help people in understanding the Sangh correctly.

Our Swayamsevaks have turned their attention to media as a profession also leading to starting of several media schools by them in the country and large-scale entry into media. Fruits of these efforts will be seen soon.

3. Would you agree that because of media’s misinterpretation the image of Sangh has been affected and that it has led to create confusion among swayamsevaks & Sangh sympathizers across India & other part of the world?

That there has been a systematic misrepresentation is a well-known fact. But the Swayamsevaks, by and large, tried to steer clear of any confusion, as they are aware of both the Sangh as well as the media well. The Swayamsevaks depend on the known Sangh sources for authentic information rather than believing in what media says.

4. Has the relevance of the RSS in modern Bharat diminished after its parivar organizations have moved into politics?

Only the BJP has some Swayamsevaks working in it. No other parivar organisation has anything to do with politics. The relevance of the RSS is not in the context of its parivar organisations, it is in the context of Bharat’s civilisational identity and thus it never diminishes.

5. Hindus in India and abroad have immense potential. Hindutva has meaning, influence and power in shaping the world. How can we tap Hindu potential while we celebrate centenary of Guruji and spread his message all over the world?

Occasions like the Birth Centenary are meant precisely for that purpose only. The Sangh does not use such occasions merely for promoting personality cult. The main activities designed for the Birth Centenary include mobilising Hindus at the Mandal level through massive Hindu Sammelans, bringing together caste and religious leaders with a view to mitigate caste differences and promote social harmony etc. Making these programmes a success is the best way of rekindling Hindutva in the country.

5. Do RSS and VHP have any effective plan for the construction of Hindu Temples in Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi?

Out of several thousand temples destroyed by the Islamist zealots in the past, the Hindu society has demanded restoration of the sanctity of these three places. Both the RSS and VHP have spearheaded the Hindu demand for them. Presently a movement is on for the restoration of the Ram Janma Bhoomi at Ayodhya. The experience of the settlement of the Ayodhya issue should pave way for better understanding between the contending parties and help in restoration of the other two temples too.

6. BJP is in power in Gujarat, Rajastan, Madhya Pradesh and Chatisghat. Do RSS has any objectives and strategies to change the direction of education, and social policies in these states?  Do Sangh Parivar and BJP have any strategy to create a  Hindu vote Bank to capture power at the center?

Through BJP several Swayamsevaks have been actively pursuing the nationalist agenda in the states ruled by it. They are looking into all the issues mentioned in the question.

More than creating vote banks what is important is to awaken, enlighten and politically empower Hindus so that this country can continue to cherish its Hindu character and celebrate its diversity and catholicity.

7. Hindu temples generate cores of rupees. The government control the funds and misuse it for nefarious purposes. Are Sangh Parivar and other Hindu organizations have any plans to force the state and central government to stop government control of Hindu Temples?

Freeing Hindu temples from the clutches of the governments is one of the important issues on our agenda. Secular governments have no business to interfere in and control the religious affairs of Hindus. However a model has to be developed for de-governmentalisation of temples so that freeing them from the government should not lead to fresh problems. Some Hindu saints have developed a model for handing over temple managements to persons outside the government. However, the lure of the temple revenues is so intense that no government is willingly coming forward to such a reform. 

8. One of the problems Hindus are facing is lack of centralized religious organization and authority. Are Sangh Parivar is proposing a Hindu centralized religious organization of all Hindu religious institutions, and spiritual organizations?

Decentralisation and diversity are the hallmark of the Hindu religion. However at civilizational and cultural level there is an urgent need to bring Hindu institutions and sects under one umbrella. Efforts have been launched by well-meaning saints like Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswatiji of Coimbatore to create an Acharya Sabha and Dharma Samstha Pramukh Sabha which met with partial success. The VHP is also striving in hat direction through its Dharma Sansads.

9. RSS is fast growing in Kerala where Hindus are only 55 percent of the population. Christians and Muslims control the economy, education, political power, rural and urban lands and industry. What are the plans for BJP and RSS to capture political power in Kerala?

The RSS doesn’t think in terms of capturing political power. It concentrates its energies on uniting and socially empowering Hindus which it is doing in a commendable manner in Kerala.
10.Our enemies are cornering Bharat from the periphery. Kashmir is under the threat of Jihadi terrorists, Nagalnd is under the control of Christian rebels, Assam is flooded with illegal Bangladesh Muslims, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal are constantly under terrorist threats from Christian rebels financed and supported from abroad. How are we going to remind the government and the public on the dangers we face in the four corners of Bharat?

Failure of successive governments on the questions of our borders and a lackadaisical foreign policy are the reasons for this dismal picture. There is an urgent need to create public opinion on all these threats to our integrity that can act as a pressure on the political establishment.

11. Concealed communists and Christian/Muslim cliques and their fellow travellers become sponsors of front organizations in Bharat. They receive unlimited foreign fund and take an active part in influencing the attitudes of the public. What measures Sangh parivar is planned or has in effect in countering such front organizations?

Issues like this have to be tackled essentially by the governments. Unfortunately the political establishment in its blind pursuit of power turns a blind eye to all these evils. The question of foreign funding has been raised time and again by the RSS to mobilise public opinion.

12. Globalization is a gigantic deception to market discarded western goods in third world countries including Bharat. The western governments have created barriers for Bharat to export manufactured goods including textiles. There is a wide disparity exist between the west and Bharat in commerce and export. How are we going to influence the government and the public to support indigenous goods?

We are not opposed to globalisation per se. However we call for level playing field, which unfortunately eludes developing countries even to this day. In such a scenario while governments need to be ever alert in their negotiations at the global level, people have to adopt a proactive Swadeshi policy. Organisations inspired by the RSS like Swadeshi Jagran Manch have been working on both the fronts.

13. What are RSS plan for the centenary celebrations for Guruji in Bharat and Abroad?

The Centenary Celebrations have begun on 24 February 2006 with a massive function at Nagpur. The year-long celebrations will conclude on 18 February 2007 at Delhi. Central theme of the celebrations will be to promote social harmony – samajik samarasata – in our caste and religion-ridden society. Towards that end Hindu Sammelans and conclaves of caste leaders are being organised all over the country. Besides, seminars, competitions, service activities, programmes for college students etc are also being organised. Literature propounding RSS philosophy and Guruji’s ideas is also produced in various languages and being disseminated in large scale. 

14. Do you have any special message for Hindus settled abroad?

A massive Hindu awakening and empowerment is on in Bharat through the efforts of organisations like the RSS and also through the activities of countless saints, yogis and scholars. Every Hindu who is concerned about the welfare and well-being of his motherland Bharat, wherever he is, should support this regeneration movement that will ultimately rekindle the glory of our motherland and catapult it to the forefront of the comity of nations.

15. In the view of the recent attack at Nagpur, what is the Sangh’s view on a more stern action against terrorist and like minded organizations within our boundaries? Maybe even the revival of the POTA?

The Sangh, at the outset, compliments the Maharashtra Police personnel who were on duty at the Sangh Karyalay in Nagpur. Their alertness and courage had averted a major mishap. However the government can not, in its self-congratulating euphoria, overlook the fact that the terrorism is spreading like wild-fire in the country. Places like Nagapur which otherwise are known to be very peaceful have also become centres of Jihadi terror machine. Lives of ordinary citizens are under grave threat due to this spreading terrorism.

Terrorism is not a social or political issue, nor is it merely a law and order problem. Terrorism is a war on civilized societies and popular governments. It is necessary for the governments to have proper instruments and tools like POTA-like harsh laws to tackle this war. India doesn’t have a combat force to tackle terrorism. Many European and other western countries have ones. We should build and train an efficient force to tackle terrorism. Vote bank politics, pseudo-secular discourse and misguided NGO and media activism in the name of human rights etc are major crippling factors in our fight against terrorism.

The Sangh wants sterner laws, trained forces and a proactive – not just defensive – governmental action against terrorism.

16. Haindava keralam website has captured the attention of Kerala Hindus from around the world. Do you have any guidance for Haindava keralam?

Haindava Keralam is doing great service to the Kerala Hindus abroad. My best wishes to you. May your portal grow into Haindava Bharatam soon serving Hindus all over the world.

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