Photographs: Suni Malhotra/Reuters
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on Tuesday said its response to the Ayodhya title suit verdict will be within 'law and Constitution' and indicated that further legal options can be availed of if the ruling is not upto its expectation.
"Of course, the aspirations of the Hindu society are that there should be a temple at Ram Janmabhoomi. Our response to the verdict will be according to those wishes. We will try to ensure that Ram temple is constructed there," RSS chief Mohan Bahgwat said.
'Within the limits of law, Constitution'
Photographs: Suni Malhotra/Reuters
"We can react to the verdict only after it comes...further legal options will also be available," the RSS Sarsanghachalak said, hinting that any party involved in the case can move the Supreme Court if the Allahabad high court verdict does not come in its favour.
To repeated queries on apprehensions about law and order problems after the ruling comes on September 24, he, however, maintained that the RSS' response to the verdict will be "within the limits of law, Constitution and democratic way."
'We don't see it as a Hindu-Muslim dispute'
Photographs: Pawan Kumar/Reuters
"Hamare taraf se koi jhanjhat nahi hoga (there will be no trouble from our side)," Bhagwat told reporters after the interaction at the Indian Women's Press Corps.
"We don't want any type of divide in society; we don't see it as a Hindu-Muslim dispute but an issue of respect of our national values. In fact, if the temple is built there, it will help in integration of the society," he said.
'The Ram Mandir movement has helped the BJP'
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters
Asked if they are ready to enter into a dialogue with the Babri Masjid Action Committee on the issue, he said the RSS is holding a dialogue with religious leaders to lessen the divide in society, but any talks on the temple issue will be in the domain of the committee of the sants undertaking the temple movement.
On whether the RSS is disappointed with the Bharatiya Janata Party's attitude to the issue, he said, "The Ram Mandir movement has helped the BJP. However, we do not look for help from anyone to run our movement".
The term 'saffron terrorism' is improper
On the situation in Kashmir and the question of autonomy, he said, "We do not like words like azaadi or autonomy. We do not understand the need for talking to separatists. We feel Kashmir should be totally integrated to India."
He felt the government's stand and policies should have been based on this viewpoint rather than treating the region in a different way. At the same time, he said there is need to create trust among the people in Kashmir. Asked about the issue of 'saffron terrorism', the RSS chief termed the word as 'improper'.
'Koi chaal to nahi chali ja rahi hai'
"There were some individual sporadic and small incidents. They should be investigated and those guilty should be punished." Bhagwat said. Even if somebody linked to the RSS is found guilty, he can be prosecuted, said Bhagwat, adding that the RSS or Hinduism does not sanction violence.
He said if such incidents are projected in a big way or such words are used, it smacks of politics. "Phir yeh soch aati hai ki koi politics toh nahi khela ja raha hai, koi chaal to nahi chali ja rahi hai (It evokes questions like whether it is part of a political strategy).
'Hindu aur aatankwad na jamnewali jodi hai'
Photographs: B Mathur / Reuters
"What message do you want to give to the outside world by using such words? Like some people call Pakistan a rogue nation, do you want India also to be called like that? There should be a sense of responsibility in these matters," Bhagwat said.
"Saffron aur aatankwad (and terrorism), Hindu aur aatankwad na jamnewali jodi hai (Hindu and terrorism do not gel)," he said.
To a question about organisations like Abhinav Bharat and Ram Sene, he said, "We don't know much about them".
'Ram is an example of our national identity'
Asked why the RSS insists on building a temple at the Ayodhya site, he claimed, "Because there was a Ram temple there which was demolished to destroy the morale of our society. Ram is an example of our national identity".
On caste census, he said the RSS had objections to including it in the census but now a decision has been taken to hold it separately.
"The government needs figures for planning schemes. We do not have any problem if the census is done for planning purposes but it should not be for politics," he said.
RSS chief speaks on ties with the BJP
Asked about Brahmin domination in RSS's upper echelons, he said the situation may change in some years but the Sangh will allow it to happen in the natural course rather than forcing it.
To a question on women not having a place in the Sangh's main organisational structure, he said a decision was taken in 1930s that the RSS and the women's wing will work without interfering into each other's affairs.
On the issue of women's reservation too, it should be kept in mind on how to empower women without causing a divide in the society, he said.
On the RSS's influence on the BJP, he maintained that only discussions (salah-mashkara) were held on issues and dismissed projections by the media that BJP chief Nitin Gadkari was a candidate 'hand-picked' by him