On Sunday, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat addressed the RSS's annual Vijayadashami rally, which this time was limited to an indoor event attended by 50 swayamsevaks (volunteers) due to COVID-19 guidelines.
RSS marks Vijaydashmi as one of its biggest events when the RSS chief addresses the RSS workers on a number of issues concerning politics, society, national security and family values.
Here are 5 key takeaways from Bhagwat's Dussehra address:
India-China border tension
Bhagwat said India needs to be militarily better prepared against China. Many countries are now standing up to China, he said. Bhagwat added that China was shocked at Indias response to its intrusion. India needs to grow bigger in power and scope than China, he said.
He also claimed that "China encroached on our borders amid the pandemic." He added the world knows the expansionist nature of that country. He cited Taiwan and Vietnam as examples of the Chinese expansion plans.
"We intend to be friendly with all. This is our nature. But mistaking our benevolence for weakness and attempts to disintegrate or weaken us by sheer brute force is unacceptable. Our detractors must know this by now," he said.
Citizenship Amendment Act
Bhagwat said the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) is not against any particular religious community, adding "some people misled our Muslim brothers" claiming it was aimed at restricting their population.
"The CAA does not oppose any particular religious community. But those who wanted to oppose this new law misled our Muslim brothers by propagating a false notion that it was aimed at restricting the Muslim population," Bhagwat said.
"Using the CAA, Opportunists unleashed organised violence in the name of protests. Even before something could be thought out, coronavirus pandemic crept in. In this background, the efforts by rioters and opportunists to reignite the conflict still continue."
Before the issue could be discussed further, the focus shifted on coronavirus, he said. "The communal flare in minds of a few people stayed in their minds only. Coronavirus overshadowed all other topics," he added.
Bhagwat urged people that we need to be alert and cautious now. "We need not fear coronavirus, but should be alert and cautious. We cannot stop living. Coronavirus is spreading but fatalities are less. Due to the pandemic, we have started learning the importance of hygiene, cleanliness, environment, family values all over again," he said.
"Coronavirus has given rise to challenges of unemployment. Many lost jobs and labourers are now returning to cities. But the jobs may not be there. The challenge is to create employment opportunities in different places," he said.
The RSS chief said that maintaining distance with their own family members, the corona warriors, risking their lives, embraced the death-scare posed by the virus and bravely stood at the frontline in this war round the clock. "Government officials, medical practitioners practising different forms of medicine, police officers, municipality workers and cleaners displayed an extraordinary sense of responsibility by dedicatedly serving the infected patients," he said.
He said, "Bharat stood strong in the face of corona and dealt with the calamity effectively. Our governing and administrative agencies promptly sprung up in action cautioning citizens, creating emergency task forces and efficiently implemented control measures."
Bhagwat on Sunday said that the organisation acknowledges the country as Hindu and Hindutva as the essence of this country's selfhood.
"When Sangh says Hindusthan is Hindu Rashtra it does not have any political or power centred concept in its mind. Hindutva is the essence of this Rashtra's 'swa'(self-hood). We are plainly acknowledging the selfhood of the country as Hindu," Bhagwat said in his address.
"The 'swa' or 'self' in 'Swadeshi' refers to the same Hindutva. That spirit or 'swa' should be the compass directing our intellectual brainstorming and plans of action," he added.
Bhagwat said that the 'Hindutva' word is applicable to all the 1.3 billion people of the country.
Bhagwat said that some groups are trying to spread hatred and aggression in sections of society by "creating insecurity among them, stating that diversity will be finished if they identify themselves as "Hindu".
Ayodhya Bhoomi Pujan, Article 370
Bhagwat on Sunday listed various "noteworthy incidents" that took place in the last one year.
"Many noteworthy incidents occurred in the last one year. Before last year's Dussehra function Article 370 became ineffective following due parliamentary procedures. Bhoomipujan for grand Ram Mandir was performed on August 5, 2020, based on Supreme Court's unambiguous judgment on November 9, 2019. During the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ram temple, we witnessed the patience and sensibility of all Indians during these events. The lawful passage of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) also took place," Bhagwat said