Bhagwat did not compare Sangh & army, says RSS


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The RSS came out with a statement saying news reports misrepresented its chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comments on the Indian Army and the RSS.

As Congress president Rahul Gandhi attacked the RSS chief, Sangh spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said Bhagwat’s address in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur is being represented incorrectly.

Bhagwat was quoted as saying that while the army would take "six months" to raise a force to fight a war, the RSS could do the same in a matter of "three days".

Vaidya said this is not what Bhagwat actually said.

"What Bhagwat actually said was that if a situation so arises, and if the Constitution allows it, the Indian Army would take six months to prepare the general population for war while the army could prepare [the RSS’] swayamsevaks in three days because the swayamsevaks are highly disciplined," he clarified.

"Bhagwat’s comparison was not with the army but between swayamsevaks and the general population," Vaidya said.

"Both [RSS’ swayamsevaks and the general population] would have to be prepared by the army itself," he added.

The RSS also attached a video of Bhagwat’s speech with its short statement.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, too, defended the RSS chief, saying Bhagwat had simply said that it "takes six to seven months for a person to be a trained soldier & if Constitution permits RSS cadres has [sic] the ability to contribute".

Rijiju, in his tweet, also hit out at the Congress. "In emergency situation (not Congress emergency) [sic] every Indian must volunteer to stand with Defence Forces," Rijiju said.

"Shame on you Mr Bhagwat, for disrespecting our martyrs and our army," Rahul Gandhi had tweeted on Monday morning, using the hashtag #ApologiseRSS.

He claimed that the RSS chief’s speech on Sunday 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."

Critics said Bhagwat made his comments even as the army was engaged in a massive operation in Jammu and Kashmir to flush out terrorists who sneaked into a military camp and killed five soldiers and a civilian and injured 11.

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