Friday, 3 October 2014

Doordarshan telecasts RSS chief’s speech live, stirs controversy

NEW DELHI: In a fresh controversy, national broadcaster Doordarshan on Friday telecast the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's Vijayadashami speech live from Nagpur.

Condemning DD's decision to broadcast RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's speech live, political parties attacked the Narendra Modi government for "misusing" the public broadcaster.


READ ALSO: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat under attack for 'Hindus' comments


The live telecast came in for sharp criticism from the opposition with Congress spokesman Sandeep Dikshit saying it is a "dangerous tradition" as RSS is a controversial religious and political organization.


Attacking the government a senior Congress leader said that, "It's influence over the media is worrying." "DD is run by public money. So how is government using it to broadcast RSS chief's speech? Very unfortunate," said Rashid Alvi of the Congress.


Left parties also slammed DD's decision to broadcast Bhagwat's speech.


"The RSS uses the occasion to propagate its Hindutva ideology. The national public broadcaster has no business to telecast live the speech of the chief of an organization like the RSS," the CPM politburo said in a statement.


"Such an action shows how the public broadcaster is being misused by the Modi government," the party said, while condemning Doordarshan's decision to telecast live Bhagwat's speech on the occasion of Vijayadashami.


The CPI also condemned the live telecast, saying it was a misuse of the public broadcaster for saffron propaganda.


CPI national secretary D Raja said the government, specifically the information and broadcasting ministry, should give an explanation to the people for allowing DD to be the mouthpiece for the RSS.


He said it was "a disquieting and distressing trend that the country's secular and democratic values were undermined by the government action."


Historian and commentator Ramchandra Guha said this "naked state majoritarianism" must be resisted. "This (showing it live) is a dangerous misuse of the state machinery. The RSS is a sectarian Hindu body. Next, imams in mosques and priests in churches may ask that DD covers their speeches live," he said.




Meanwhile Doordarshan chose to defend its programming decision.

Bhagwat praises Modi government


RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday came out in fulsome praise of the Modi government for initiatives on national security, economy and international relations in a short period of six months.


In his customary Dussehra address to RSS workers at Reshmbagh ground, which was shown live on Doordarshan for the first time, he said, positive signs are emanating that give people the hope that India is emerging stronger on the international stage.


READ ALSO: In a first, RSS chief's Vijayadashami speech telecast live on Doordarshan


He said people should give some more time to the government for expedition and efficient execution of its policies.


Unless the last person in the country feels satisfied with welfare initiatives, security and safety, the government cannot complete its task, Bhagwat said.


"We don't have a magic wand to change but the government seems committed," he during the address.


Bhagwat said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to the US has sent positive signals and has ushered a new enthusiasm among people of the country.


"A new ray of hope has entered in the hearts of the people. The entire country was feeling proud of the visit and the subsequent talks with the US government," he said, adding, the world needs India.


He also lauded the efforts of the Centre and volunteers of the RSS for undertaking rescue works in J&K which has recently witnessed worst-ever floods.


While paying homage to those killed in the floods, Bhagwat said, "Our sympathies are with the families."


The swiftness, efficiency and open-heartedness of the central government that has provided relief to the affected people, deserves appreciation, he said.

The Sangh patriarch today did not touch on issues like religious conversion, corruption, Naxalism, India-China relations, inflation, elections (in reference to Maharashtra and Haryana polls to be held this month).


Speaking on global terrorism, Bhagwat blamed the selfish interest of western countries for procuring oil in West Asia for rise in terror activities of the Islamic State (IS).


"Self-centred collective greed gives rise to exploitation, suppression, violence and fanaticism. The basis of selfish interest by the western countries is fully responsible for a new incarnation of terror and fundamentalism that emerged in West Asia in the name of ISIS which is terrorizing the world," Bhagwat said.


There is no doubt that most countries and religious groups of the world are unitedly fighting against the menace, he said at the annual RSS event which this year marks the 90th year of its existence.


The right-wing, volunteer Hindu nationalist organization was formed on Vijayadashami in 1925 in Nagpur.


(With inputs from PTI)

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