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RSS and Netaji have same goal of making India great: Mohan Bhagwat

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KOLKATA, Jan 23 (PTI): RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday said the goals of his right-wing organisation and that of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose are similar – making India a great nation.

His comment comes amid the criticism that the ideologies of the RSS and the freedom fighter were not the same.

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Lauding Netaji’s contribution to India’s freedom struggle, Bhagwat urged everyone to imbibe the qualities and teachings of Bose and work towards making the country a “vishwa guru” (world leader).

“We remember Netaji not only because we are grateful to him for his valuable contributions towards the freedom struggle but also to ensure that we imbibe his qualities. His dream of India, which he wanted to build, is still not fulfilled. We have to work to achieve it,” he said.

Situations and paths might differ, but the destination remains the same, Bhagwat said while addressing a mega RSS event – ‘Netaji Loho Pronam’ – at Shahid Minar Ground here.

Critics pointed out that Netaji believed in secularism which is “against the ‘Hindutva’ ideology of the RSS”.

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“Subhas babu (Netaji) was first associated with the Congress and followed its path of ‘satygraha’, and ‘andolon’, but when he realised that this was not enough and there was a need for freedom struggle, he worked towards it. Paths differ, but the goals are the same,” he said.

The RSS chief also said, “We have Subhasbabu’s ideals in front of us to follow. The goals he had are our goals too… Netaji had said India is a smaller version of the world and the country has to provide relief to the world. We all have to work towards it,”

Underlining that achieving the goal is essential, he said, “there can be different paths, and these are described as ‘isms’ (ideologies), which might differ but what is important is the goal.”

He noted that “Netaji’s legacy has remained alive” in the hearts of millions of Indians even though “no substantial efforts were made to keep it alive” after the independence.

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Bhagwat said it was freedom fighters’ selfless life, struggle and penance that continued to inspire people.

“Netaji sacrificed his life for the country. He never let selfishness get the best of him. He was highly educated and could have lived a luxurious life. But he chose exile and dedicated his life to the country.

His life and ideals are before us. He believed in working as one rather than promoting one’s own self,” he said.

Claiming that the “country did not do justice” to Bose and his sacrifices, the RSS chief said Netaji, too, faced criticism for following the path he chose for the country’s freedom but “that did not deter him from following his vision”.

Netaji also aimed at making the country great and a place in the global order; Bhagwat said, adding that the “RSS also has a similar aim”.

“Netaji had said that the solution to world problems lies in solving the problems within the country. To do that, we have to get rid of certain bad habits. Bose also said the day India lost its independence, the country left behind the idea of working as one and stressed on personal interests. We only think about ourselves; this attitude is wrong,” the RSS chief mentioned.

Just like Netaji, RSS also preaches the idea of “nation-building through man-making”.

“We are neither fighting for popularity nor are we going to fight elections. We are man-made who are imbibed with the ideals of patriotism, discipline and sacrifice,” Bhagwat added.

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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