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Those talking about eradicating Sanatan Dharma should understand its definition first: Vaidya

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STATE TIMES NEWS

Pune: Those talking about finishing off Sanatan Dharma should first understand the meaning of the term, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s joint general secretary Manmohan Vaidya said on Saturday.
Speaking at a press conference at the end of the RSS’s three-day coordination meeting here, Vaidya also advocated exclusive use of the name Bharat' (against both India and Bharat) asno other country has two names.’
Recently, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Udhayanidhi Stalin triggered a huge controversy by saying that Sanatan Dharma should be eradicated. A Raja, another DMK leader, likened Sanatan Dharma to diseases.
Asked about the row, Vaidya said, “Some people are talking about finishing off Sanatan Dharma, but do these people know the real meaning of all these words? They should understand the definition of Sanatan Dharma before using such words.
“The meaning of Sanatan is eternal, which is the base of India’s spiritual lifestyle and which is internally holistic. Because of this, India’s personality has got its shape,” the senior RSS functionary said.
Brushing aside the comments of DMK leaders as “political”, he said several people through the course of history tried to finish off Sanatan Dharma, but failed.
In India, everyone has the freedom to choose his or her mode of worship, and therefore the country has always had “spiritual democracy”, the RSS leader added.
Asked for his view on the India versus Bharat' debate, Vaidya said the name Bharat has a "civilizational value". "There is no other country which has two names, and that is why Bharat should be called Bharat," he said. Speaking about the RSS conclave, Vaidya said a wide range of topics were discussed by 250 representatives from 36 RSS-affiliated outfits. The topics included women's empowerment, 'swadeshi', functioning and expansion of the RSS, the environment, family values and social harmony, he said. Asked if Manipur, which has been engulfed in sectarian violence since the beginning of May, was discussed, he said the situation there was worrisome and some participants informed about the happenings. "In this situation, it is the government which has to take decisions. Sangh volunteers are in touch with both Maitei and Kuki community members and the Sangh's service work for both the communities is going on," he said. On the issue of reservations, he said society denied educational opportunities and respect to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and these communities should be given reservations based on the Constitution to take them along. All efforts should be made to end social disparity, Vaidya added. The other quota demands are political, hence no discussion took place on them at the conclave, he said. Notably, Maharashtra recently saw a fresh agitation for a quota for the Maratha community. Asked about the RSS's assessment of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA's rule in the country since 2014, he said even a British newspaper like Sunday Guardian had published an editorial on May 18, 2014, stating that the "day may well go down in history as (comparable to) the day when Britain left India." The 2014 Lok Sabha election results were declared on May 16 and for the first time after 1984 a single party (BJP) managed to garner a majority in the Lower House. "So, if you see, after 2014 India is standing up on its cultural identity slowly. India's foreign, defence and education policies witnessed major changes. The world is also sensing these changes," he said. To set right what happened in the last several years would take 25-30 years but everyone now feels that everything is going in the right direction, Vaidya added. On the Ram temple at Ayodhya, he said the outfits concerned with its construction informed at the conclave that any date after Makar Sankranti will be decided forpran pratishtha’ or installation of the idol.
It was also resolved that RSS-inspired organizations will make special efforts to increase the participation of women in all fields, Vaidya said.
Family is the smallest unit in social life as per Indian philosophy and the role of women in a family is the most prominent one. Therefore, women should play a leading role in every field of society, the RSS leader said.
The increasing activism of women in society is commendable, he said, adding that the meeting elaborately discussed the topic to ensure women’s participation in the centenary year of the RSS.
As many as 411 conferences will be organized across the country. The RSS so far has organized 73 such conferences in 12 states and more than 1.23 lakh women took part in them, he said.
On the expansion of the RSS, Vaidya said the number of `shakhas’ (local RSS branches/assemblies) is constantly increasing. In 2020, before COVID-19 pandemic, shakhas used to be held at 38,913 places, while the number has gone up to 42,613 in 2023, he said.

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