The BJP has won historic numbers.
What is your reaction?
This was a great victory of Indian democracy. The sizeable increase in voting percentage throughout the nation shows the enthusiasm of the people for change. The people of India have rejected communal politics and the inefficient, corrupt and insensitive governance of the UPA, and have positively responded to the hope and promise given by Narendra Modi. This election also underlines a shift from the Nehruvian artificial construct of the nation, which led to communal politics, to a unifying cultural construct of the nation.
The RSS openly campaigned for change this time. How much of the victory can be attributed to it?
In 1977, RSS swayamsevaks participated in the election process to restore democracy in India, which was threatened by the Emergency declared by Indira Gandhi. This time, too, Sarsanghchalak Mohanrao Bhagwat, in his Dusshera speech, openly appealed for registering maximum voters and 100 percent voter turnout. The RSS appealed to the people to discard the communal and divisive politics of the UPA and vote for a nationalist, efficient and stable government. RSS swayamsevaks went door to door to create awareness. The emphasis was on rising above caste-based politics and voting for national issues of concern. Individuals and NGOs like the Art of Living Foundation and Patanjali Yog Sansthan also came forward to work for this awareness campaign. These collective efforts have given these results.
The BJP has made inroads in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the northeast.
Did the RSS put in extra efforts in states where the BJP did not have presence?
The RSS has a network of lakhs of swayamsevaks countrywide. They appealed to the people to think of national issues and not just about their castes or local issues. Though they did not carry any party symbol or party literature with them, the message was clear that the communal, divisive politics of the UPA should not be allowed to repeat.
What was the guidance given to the BJP by the RSS?
The BJP need not be guided by the RSS. It is a national party ruling effectively in many states and has stalwarts and mature leadership. At times, suggestions are given by the RSS when they are sought by swayamsevaks working in different area of social life.
Now that the party has won, what will be the role of the RSS?
The BJP has enough experienced leaders to chalk out the plan to deliver its promises. The real work of the RSS is organising the entire society. The RSS has been doing it relentlessly for more than 88 years.
Does the RSS have any expectations form the BJP government-such as, say, building the Ram temple?
The BJP has gone public with its manifesto, which is to be delivered if they are expected to deliver it.
And what will you caution the party against?
Interview of Shri Manmohan Vaidya, Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pamukh of RSS, By Vijaya Pushkarna Published in The Week, June 1