No attack on Pandits, RSS chief meant ‘Scholar’, Sunil Ambekar clarifies

A news agency later clarified that the error occurred because of wrong translation of Bhagwat’s statement as he was speaking in Marathi.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 06 February, 2023 2:43 pm IST

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s Sunil Ambekar clarified on Monday that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comments on casteism were taken out of context.

Bhagwat on Sunday said that we need to shun caste-based discrimination, as the illusion of caste superiority created by some scholars is misleading us. He made the statement at an event commemorating the 647th birth anniversary of Sant Shiromani Ravidas in Mumbai. However, his comments were misinterpreted as an attack on pandits or Brahmins, who have been the traditional interpreters of the Shastras.

A news agency later clarified that the error occurred because of wrong translation of Bhagwat’s statement as he was speaking in Marathi.

He(Mohan Bhagwat)was at the Sant Ravidas Jayanti event. He mentioned ‘Pandit’, meaning ‘Vidvaan’ (scholars)…Some Pandits speak of caste-based divides on basis of Shaastras, it’s a lie. It’s his exact statement..,” RSS leader Sunil Ambekar clarifies RSS chief’s statement

Addressing the event, Bhagwat said, “The truth is God. Whatever the name, ability and honour, everybody is the same and there are no differences. What some scholars say on the basis of Shastras is a lie.”

“We are misled by the illusion of caste superiority and this illusion has to be set aside,” he added.

Mohan Bhagwat said that conscience and consciousness are all the same in the country, and only the opinions are different.

The RSS chief also said Sant Ravidas has a stature greater than Tulsidas, Kabir and Surdas, which is why he is considered Sant Shiromani.

He invoked Sant Ravidas to say that religion is not just about fulfilling one’s own desire.

“Do your work, and do it according to your religion. Unite the society and work for its progress, as that is what religion is about. It is because of such thoughts and high ideals that many big names became disciples of Sant Ravidas,” the RSS chief said.

Bhagwat added that Saint Ravidas gave four mantras to the society — truth, compassion, inner purity and continuous hard work and effort.

“Pay attention to all that is happening around you but don’t leave your religion under any circumstances. While the manner of conveying the religious messages are different, the messages, themselves, are one and the same. One should practice their religion without malice for other faiths,” he added.

Sant Ravidas was an Indian mystic poet-saint of the Bhakti movement during the 15th to 16th century CE. Venerated as a guru (teacher) in the modern regions of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana, he was a poet, social reformer and spiritual figure.

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