Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at an event on Sunday defended the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from charges of spreading communalism in the country. He called it an organisation that worked selflessly and called for a debate on who is communal and who is a nationalist. Claiming that RSS worked with the cooperation of society, the CM said, “But when it works in any slum or backward area, wanting to generate nationalist sentiments and respect for the motherland in every citizen, then finger is raised against it and it is said that it spreads communalism. Is it not the best time to hold a debate on nationalism?… who is communal and who is nationalist in the country… Should a difference between nationalism and communalism not be there?”
He was speaking at the “Hindu Vijyotsav”, organised by VHP, where he was the chief guest. The event marked the victory of Raja Suheldeo over Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masood in 1088. Praising Suheldeo and other Hindu rulers, the CM took exception to those who “associated” with certain Muslim kings.
“The nation respects (former president late) APJ Abdul Kalam and martyr Hamid. But at the same time we have to decide whether there should be space for those who are trying to associate themselves with Ghaznavi, Gauri, Babar and Aurangzeb,” he said. Adityanath further added that after Independence, those who divided society under the appeasement policy by creating vote banks, called themselves
“Is desh ke bahusankhyak samaj ko gaali dete hain.. itihas ke mahapurushon ka apmaan karte hain..bharat ke itihas ko tod-marod kar prastut karte hain… (They insult the majority… insult the greats of history… they present a version of India’s history that they have distorted…),” CM said. But at the same time, he said, they call those who support the unity of the country “communal”. “Thus, it is necessary to take forward this kind of discussion (on communalism and nationalism),” CM said, adding that the government was ready at every level for such a debate.
Adityanath also said information about great personalities like Suheldeo were deliberately removed from history, and wrong comments were made about Maharana Pratap, Gurugovind Singh, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Guru Teg Bahadur. “There is need to expose those people, who have manipulated history,” he further said.
The CM announced that his government would include personalities like Raja Suheldeo, Jhalkari Bai, Lakhan Pasi and others who have contributed to “nation building” would be included in school syllabus from next academic session. He recalled the government’s recent decision regarding scrapping of holidays on birth and death anniversaries of personalities and instead encouraging schools to hold special programmes on them.
He also said that, as per VHP’s demand, statues of Suheldeo should be placed in Shrawasti and Bahraich and a memorial too would be built. He also agreed to other demands such as renaming Sainik School in Lucknow after Suheldeo, redevelopment of Balaar Surya Mandir in Bahraich and restoration of Surya Kund. VHP leaders claimed a majaar of Salar Masood was built there after demolishing a sun temple.