The RSS said Mohan Bhagwat had made no comparisons between the Indian army and the Sangh's swayamsevaks at all.
New Delhi: As Congress president Rahul Gandhi lashed out this morning at Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat for a speech on Sunday, the RSS said Mr Bhagwat's comments have been misrepresented. The row is over Mr Bhagwat telling his organisation's workers in Bihar yesterday that RSS workers can be trained in three days to defend the country's borders if the need arose.
"Shame on you Mr Bhagwat, for disrespecting our martyrs and our Army," Rahul Gandhi tweeted this morning, using the hashtag #ApologiseRSS. He alleged that the RSS chief's speech on Sunday 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."
While speaking in Bihar's Muzaffarpur on Sunday, Mr Bhagwat said, "Ours is not a military organisation. But we have discipline like the military. If the country needs it and the Constitution permits...it takes six or seven months to prepare an army...swayamsewaks, if asked, can do it in three days... this is what we are capable of."
While critics pointed out that Mr Bhagwat made his comments even as the army was engaged in a massive operation in Jammu and Kashmir to flush out terrorists who sneaked into a military camp and killed five soldiers and a civilian, injuring 11, the RSS said Mr Bhagwat had made no comparisons between the Indian army and the Sangh's swayamsevaks at all.
"Bhagwat ji had said that if situation arises and the Constitution permits, Indian army would take 6 months to prepare the society whereas Sangh swayamsevaks can be trained in 3 days, as Swayamsevaks practise discipline regularly," said the RSS' Manmohan Vaidya in a statement.
Dr Vaidya said it was "a comparison between general society and swayamsevaks. Both are to be trained by the Indian Army only."
The RSS also attached a video of Mr Bhagwat's speech with its short statement.