Mohan Bhagwat's comment on army triggers backlash despite RSS clarification

Mohan Bhagwat's comment on army triggers backlash despite RSS clarification

The row over Mohan Bhagwat's remark on the Army escalated on Monday with the Congress demanding an apology from the RSS chief while terming his statement as "insulting" to the forces.

By: || Updated: 12 Feb 2018 10:11 PM

Bhagwat had on Sunday said the RSS has the ability to prepare an army to fight for the country within three days, which the Army would do in 6-7 months. Photo: File (PTI)

NEW DELHI: The row over Mohan Bhagwat's remark on the Army escalated on Monday with the Congress demanding an apology from the RSS chief while terming his statement as "insulting" to the forces.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi charged Bhagwat with "disrespecting" the Army and those who laid down their lives for the country, saying his remarks insulted every Indian.

"The RSS chief's speech is an insult to every Indian, because it disrespects those who have died for our nation. It is an insult to our flag because it insults every soldier who ever saluted it. Shame on you Mr Bhagwat, for disrespecting our martyrs and our Army. #ApologiseRSS," Rahul tweeted.

Bhagwat had on Sunday said the RSS has the ability to prepare an army to fight for the country within three days, which the Army would do in 6-7 months.

However, the RSS on Monday said Bhagwat's remarks had been "misinterpreted" but the Opposition has sought an apology from him.



Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma found the RSS chief's comments as "sad and disturbing".

He asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clarify whether he approved the idea of a "private militia" guarding India's frontiers.

"The RSS chief should apologise to the country and the armed forces as he has put a question mark on the capability and bravery of the Indian Army," Sharma said.

Congress Communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala said the RSS had insulted the valour of the Army and all Indians rejected their "DNA of division".

"Let all Indians remember - they vilified Gandhi, they slandered Nehru, they slammed Patel, they attacked Ambedkar," he tweeted.

The RSS did not allow women into their shakhas, he said.

"They didn't fly the tricolour for 52 years... Now, Sangh insults Army's valour. We Indians reject your DNA of division," he said.

CPI-M leader and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Bhagwat's comments on the Indian Army were "in poor taste, against Constitutional propriety".

"His statement exposes RSS' hidden agenda to float parallel militias to wreak havoc, crush national unity. Parallel army is talking about what we have always warned against. Hindu terror," the CPI-M leader said.

RSS chief spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya had said Bhagwat's statement had been "misrepresented".

"Bhagwat ji had said that if the situation arises and the Constitution permits, Indian Army would take 6 months to prepare society whereas Sangh swayamsevaks can be trained in 3 days, as swayamsevaks practise discipline regularly," he said.

"This was (in) no way a comparison between the Indian army and the Sangh swayamsevaks but it was a comparison between general society and swayamsevaks," he said in a statement.

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