On Monday the Congress demanded that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat apologise to the country for his remarks on the armed forces and asked prime minister Narendra Modi to clarify whether he approves of a “private militia” to guard the nation’s frontiers.
Addressing the workers at the Zila school ground in Muzaffarpur on Sunday, RSS chief said, “It may take Indian Army six-seven months to get battle-ready, but in need, RSS can prepare an army within three days”.
In a scathing tweet, Gandhi demanded an apology from RSS after Bhagwat questioned “preparedness of Indian Army to fight enemies at the border”.
“Shame on you Mr Bhagwat, for disrespecting our martyrs and our Army,” read his tweet.
Using hashtag “#ApologizeRSS”, the Gandhi scion further tweeted, “The RSS chief’s speech is an insult to every Indian, because it disrespects those who have died for our nation. It is an insult to our flag because it insults every soldier who ever saluted it.”
Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma termed Bhagat’s statement as “sad and disturbing” and said nations which have allowed private militias and military outfits independent of the country’s armed forces to fight for it have come to grief and have paid a heavy price.
He cited examples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Congo, and said India cannot allow such a development.
“The RSS chief’s statement is a direct insult to the Indian armed forces by claiming that in the eventuality of a battle to be fought, the RSS can mobilise itself in three days while the Indian Army will take six to seven months,” Sharma said.
“The RSS chief should apologise to the country and the armed forces, as he has put a question mark on the capability and bravery of the Indian Army. Such statements and thoughts weaken the morale of our armed forces,” he said.
Soon after Rahul Gandhi’s comment on Twitter, minister Kiren Rijiju came out in support of Mohan Bhagwat.
“Indian Army is our pride. In an emergency situation(not congress emergency) every Indian must volunteer to stand with Defence Forces. Bhagwat ji only said it takes 6-7 months for a person to be a trained soldier & if Constitution permits RSS cadres has the ability to contribute,” Rijiju wrote.
Indian Army is our pride. In emergency situation(not congress emergency) every Indian must volunteer to stand with Defence Forces. Bhagwat ji only said it takes 6-7 months for a person to be a trained soldier & if Constitution permits RSS cadres has the ability to contribute.
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) February 12, 2018