After declaring two days ago that the caste system was irrelevant in the 21st century, Rashtriya Swayamsevak assured Sangh sarsanghchalak (chief) Mohan Bhagwat Sunday that his organization (RSS) would fully support and support all those who worshiped Maharishi Valmiki.
Addressing a program organized by the Valmiki Samaj at Nanarao Park in Kanpur to celebrate Valmiki Jayanti, he said: “Without Maharishi Vamiki, the world would not have known Shri Ram. He should be glorified in the entire Hindu community.”
He appealed to the public to attend shakhas and befriend RSS staff. “Then I am sure that after 10 or 30 years there will be one Valmiki Jayanti that will be celebrated all over the world. It will be given space in the world organizations,” Bhagwat said.
The Valmiki community, he said, was still very weak and lagging behind. “It has to come out. Provisions are included in the Constitution. The king (government) is responsible for the execution of the law. Nevertheless, if there is no apnapan (sense of belonging), it will not benefit those for whom it is intended,” he said.
The RSS chief said Dr (Bhimrao) Ambedkar has made provisions in the constitution for the upliftment of the Scheduled Caste communities. “He (Dr. Ambedkar) had said the Dalits would be with everyone now. But amenities alone are not enough; the mindset has to change and an awareness has to be created,” Bhagwat said.
Quoting Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar during the speech, he said: “Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar had said that a system has been created and those who were called untouchables will be given the right to equality. But this alone will not work; hearts must be transformed (mann badalna parega). dr. Saheb (Ambedkar) had said that the system provided political and economic independence… but that will only make sense and become a reality when there is social freedom.”
“…hence, in 1925 another Dr. Saheb (Dr. KB Hedgewar, founder of RSS) came from Nagpur and started to work on developing that sentiment (bhaav) of social harmony (samajik samrasta) and belonging, said Bhagwat.
The RSS chief said he had attended several Valmiki Samaj programs in the past, but this was his first time participating in a Valmiki Jayanti program. RSS volunteers from 21 district units of Kanpur region participated in the pad sanchalan (foot march) program at Company Bagh crossing point in the city.
The Valmiki Samaj in Uttar Pradesh mainly consists of people from the Scheduled Caste (SC) community. The SCs have long been a strong voting base for the Maywati-led Bahujan Samaj party.