'A person of the stature of the RSS Sarsanghachalak would like to stick to changing social mores and social traditions and uniting society, which is much more important than politics.'
Pro-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh thinker Ratan Sharda -- author of Secrets of RSS: Demystifying The Sangh (external link) -- speaks to Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore about the Shiv Sena's proposal that RSS Sarsangchalak Mohan Bhagwat be elected India's next President.
Dr Bhagwat said on Wednesday morning that he is not in the presidential race.
RSS Chief Spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya, when called upon for the RSS' official position on the proposal, refused to comment on the issue.
"The RSS will not comment because nobody will consider it worth commenting upon," Sharda points out.
How do you look at the Shiv Sena's proposal that RSS Sarsanghasanchalak Mohan Bhagwat be considered as the next President of India?
It is a cheap publicity stunt to show the people they are more Hindu (nationalists) than the BJP or others.
It is a cheap way of gaining some mileage in the press.
The Sarsanghachalak is a very highly respected post and he will not get into day-to-day political activity or go for any big post.
Would you say that the post of RSS Sarsanghachalak is bigger than the President of India?
I will not say that, but the role of Sarsanghachalak as defined by the RSS is something very different.
His objectives in life are different. He is totally dedicated to the organisation and unity of society and the RSS.
There is no way I will say that it is superior to the President, but then the President is a Constitutional post.
An organisationally dedicated person will never get into this (politics) that I am very sure about even without asking him (Dr Bhagwat).
We in the RSS know that such a post will never be taken up by a person holding a very important post in the RSS because their roles and objectives are different.
Could you explain briefly why the RSS Sarsanghachalak cannot become the President or cannot take any Constitutional post?
I am not saying he can't; he definitely can.
My gut feeling is an RSS chief will not go for such a post of governance because the RSS basically believes that society's growth and development does not depend only by getting involved in politics.
And that the goal of society's growth and development is very important for people belonging to the RSS.
They will never take a post just for getting name; they have a different way of looking at politics; they just can't take a post because it is very respected and Constitutional.
This is my personal take and not as a member of the RSS, but as an Indian citizen.
And the RSS is not commenting on it...
The RSS will not comment on it because nobody will consider it worth commenting upon.
Such petty publicists need not be responded to.
And honestly, this is just a publicity stunt and the RSS should not respond to it.
This is a cheap publicity gimmick on which the RSS will not comment.
As an individual, I can say that because of a different way of looking at the country and different way of looking at issues that concerns this nation, a person of the stature of the Sarsanghachalak would like to stick to changing social mores and social traditions and uniting society which is much more important than doing politics.
Politicians do have their role in society and the nation, but there are much bigger tasks in a democratic society which only people can do.
That is the kind of thinking we have, but definitely this doesn't deserve any official RSS comment.
IMAGE: RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters