CHICAGO: Amid a concerted onslaught on the Rashtraiya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has exhorted the Hindu community to unite and underlined that the world is in dire need of the wisdom of Hinduism, which is underpinned by the ethos of ‘sumantrite suvikrante’ (‘Think Collectively, Act Valiantly’)
In a stirring speech in English, peppered with Sanskrit couplets and allusions to Hindu epic Mahabaharata, at the second World Hindu Congress (WHC), Mr Bhagwat underscored the imperative need for unity among the Hindu community and stressed that the lack of unity had inflicted suffering on Hindus for thousands of years.
“Only our opponents know about this. Many of our own people don’t know about it. Why are we suffering for thousand years? We had everything and we knew everything. We forgot to practise what we knew. We also forgot to work together,” he told a 2,500- strong audience in downtown Chicago,
The RSS chief leveraged The second WHC, which coincides with the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s speech at the Parliament of World Religions in 1893 in Chicago, to make defining statements about the Hindu philosophy days after Rahul Gandhi accused the RSS of destroying the idea of a liberal, pluralistic India. Mr Bhagwat’s speech was not political, but more of an overarching oration on the enduring importance of Hindu values in a world riven by crises and divisions. The invocation of oneness of Hindus resonated through his 40-minute speech.
“In initial days of our work, when our karkyakartas (workers) used to talk to the Hindus about organising them, they used to say ‘sher kabhi jhund mein nahi chalta’ (a lion never walks in a group). But even that lion or a royal Bengal tiger who is the king of the jungle, if he is alone, wild dogs can invade and destroy him.”
“Coming together of the Hindus is in itself a difficult thing,” he said.
In an oblique reference to a critique of RSS as a divisive and polarising fore, Mr Bhagwat underscored open-ness of Hinduism and its intrinsic genius to absorb differences. “Hindus don’t live to oppose anybody. We even allow the pests to live. There are people who may oppose us. You have to tackle them without harming them,” he said.
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