If there is one criminal law for all, there should also be a common civil law. A man must have only one wife at a time. Why should there be different divorce laws for men and women? Hindu rulers have always given freedom of worship. Neither during Shivaji’s rule, nor in Vijaynagar was a mosque ever demolished to build a temple.
More than 50 years ago when I was a college teacher, a Christian colleague asked me, “Vaidya, can I become a member of the RSS?” He was stunned when I said, “Yes, you needn’t leave your Bible. But you need to accept the validity of others’ faiths.” If the Christians accept this, then conversions will stop. Anyone who believes in the right to dissent is a Hindu. That’s why we call it a Hindu nation.
‘In its 84-year existence, the RSS has not once had reason to bring disciplinary action against anyone. We believe in persuasion, not force’
We are a Hindu country, with one value system and one culture. The entire society should be organised on this basis. This is the goal of the RSS — politics, religion, forest dwellers, women, slum dwellers, workers, students, farmers, doctors, lawyers — we are organising them.
How is the RSS organising different sections of society?
The RSS doesn’t run movements. The only exceptions have been during the Emergency (1975-77) and then in 1982, against cow slaughter. Ours is not territorial nationalism, but natio – nalism based on a value system. Swami Vivekananda said a Hindu should build character. That is why the RSS has sent out its volunteers among all these sections of society. This is how [Atal Behari] Vajpayee was sent out to start a political party. We have influenced sant-mahatmas so that they now work in dalit areas. People come to us for advice, and we advise them. Once a decision is taken, everyone, including the most senior, follow it. No food is separately made for the Sarsanghchalak. Dr Hedgewar taught us to sit in one line and eat. We didn’t hold bitter speeches against untouchability. We just ended it. There are no castes in the RSS.