Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat says Nationalism implies ‘Nazism’.
Many media outlets including The Hindu, The Wire, Hindustan Times, NDTV, Dainik Jagran, and Times Of India reported that the RSS chief is distancing the RSS from nationalism as it implies Hitler’s Nazism. As per media reports, RSS chief made this remark while addressing an RSS event in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi.
The report published by ‘The Quint’ can be viewed here.
However, ‘The Quint’ later corrected their report, an archived version of their initial report can be viewed here.
Notably, The Quint through its fact-checking arm namely ‘WebQoof’ is itself a renowned Fact-checking agency.
The report published by ‘The Hindu’ can be viewed here.
However, ‘The Hindu’ later corrected their report, an archived version of their initial report can be viewed here.
The report published by ‘The Wire’ can be viewed here. The news outlet also took it to Twitter to report the remarks made by Mohan Bhagwat.
Mohan Bhagwat publicly urged RSS members and followers to avoid using the term ‘nationalism’ – stating that it has connotations of “Hitler and Nazism”.
He said to use ‘national’, ‘nationality’, ‘nation’ instead. https://t.co/7x2EEeNwE3
— The Wire (@thewire_in) February 21, 2020
The report published by the ‘Hindustan Times’ can be viewed here.
However, ‘Hindustan Times’ later corrected their report, an archived version of their initial report can be viewed here.
The report published by ‘NDTV’ can be viewed here.
However, ‘NDTV’ later corrected their report, an archived version of their initial report can be viewed here.
The report published by ‘Dainik Jagaran’ can be viewed here.
The report published by ‘Economic Times’ can be viewed here.
However, ‘Economic Times’ later corrected their report, an archived version of their initial report can be viewed here.
‘The Indian Express’ also made a tweet to report the same.
— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) February 21, 2020
News outlet DNA also made one such tweet.
‘Nationalism’ equated with Hitler, Nazi ideology these days: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwathttps://t.co/Mm5FnE4JNC
— DNA (@dna) February 20, 2020
The tweet made by news outlet Moneycontrol can be viewed below.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat said that the use of the word “nationalism” should be avoided as people relate it to Adolph Hitler’s Nazism and fascismhttps://t.co/47KaRQ47W8
— moneycontrol (@moneycontrolcom) February 20, 2020
The tweet made by news outlet The Telegraph can be viewed below.
The word “nationalism” can lend itself to different interpretations and be equated with “Nazism” and “fascism” by some, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat saidhttps://t.co/IZ4fjK030K
— The Telegraph (@ttindia) February 21, 2020
The tweet made by the media outlet News18 can be viewed below.
“It’s okay to say nation, national and nationality but not nationalism. Because it means (alludes to) Hitler, Nazism and Fascism (in England),” the RSS chief said. https://t.co/cZtd360kDr
— News18.com (@news18dotcom) February 20, 2020
The tweet made by news outlet Catch News can be viewed below.
— Catch News (@CatchNews) February 20, 2020
The tweet made by news outlet The Statesman can be viewed below.
‘Nationalism means Hitler, Nazism, Fascism’, says RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat
— The Statesman (@TheStatesmanLtd) February 20, 2020
The tweet made by media outlet News Nation can be viewed below.
— News Nation (@NewsNationTV) February 20, 2020
The tweet made by media outlet Zee News can be viewed below.
— Zee News (@ZeeNews) February 20, 2020
The tweet made by media outlet Republic can be viewed below.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat opposes ‘nationalism’, suggests using alternative terms https://t.co/rfUHHqTPZ9
— Republic (@republic) February 20, 2020
We found a similarity that most of these reports were a syndicated feed from ANI. The tweet made by ANI reads, “#WATCH Ranchi: RSS chief recounts his conversation with an RSS worker in UK where he said “…’nationalism’ shabd ka upyog mat kijiye. Nation kahenge chalega,national kahenge chalega,nationality kahenge chalgea,nationalism mat kaho. Nationalism ka matlab hota hai Hitler,naziwaad.”
#WATCH Ranchi: RSS chief recounts his conversation with an RSS worker in UK where he said “…’nationalism’ shabd ka upyog mat kijiye. Nation kahenge chalega,national kahenge chalega,nationality kahenge chalgea,nationalism mat kaho. Nationalism ka matlab hota hai Hitler,naziwaad. pic.twitter.com/qvibUE7mYt
— ANI (@ANI) February 20, 2020
We also found that several politicians and journalists took a jibe at Mohan Bhagwat on the basis of media reports.
For instance, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh made a tweet to target Mohan Bhagwat.
Word ‘nationalism’ can be likened to ‘Nazism’ by some: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat | India News – Times of India
If Mohan Bhagwat ji really believes in what he has said, why doesn’t he order ModiShah to withdraw CAA,NPR and NRC? https://t.co/wiHsey3UE6
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) February 21, 2020
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also took a jibe at Mohan Bhagwat through a tweet.
आदरणीय भागवत जी,
काश गाँधीजी का राष्ट्रवाद भाजपा व संघ परिवार समझ लेते तो राष्ट्र और राष्ट्रवाद से किनारा करने की नौबत नही आती।
दो बार मोदीजी ने राष्ट्रवाद की दुहाई दे सत्ता तो ले ली और अब राष्ट्रवाद से ही किनारा कर लिया।
सभी भारतवासी। pic.twitter.com/Sj4So7dizC
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) February 21, 2020
Journalist Faye Dsouza also took a jibe at Mohan Bhagwat by quoting a tweet. Notably, the fact-checking website ‘Boom’ recently launched a new initiative to focus on evidence without drama with Faye Dsouza.
What next? https://t.co/wzlNTxMIeV
— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) February 20, 2020
The tweet made by journalist and author Paranjoy Guha Thakurata can be viewed below.
Nationalism means Nazism, use terms like ‘nation, nationality’: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat | India News,The Indian Express https://t.co/9dp5dSUSN1
— ParanjoyGuhaThakurta (@paranjoygt) February 20, 2020
The tweet made by journalist Tavleen Singh Aroor can be viewed below.
Interesting comment by the RSS Chief https://t.co/nYA8R0hqNa
— Tavleen Singh Aroor (@Tavysingh) February 20, 2020
The tweet made by a Historian whose Twitter name reads ‘Yeti or Not, Here I Come’ can be viewed below.
Wouldn’t want a Nazi-influenced armed fascist group to imply Nazism. https://t.co/4p2Y3Fmjsl
— Yeti or Not, Here I Come (@gitagovinda) February 21, 2020
We first read media reports to know what Mohan Bhagwat exactly said. While reading the media reports, we found that most of the media reports are updated. We also found that Boom has called out media outlets for misquoting Bhagwat’s statement. As we noticed that the media reports are updated and are called out by Boom for misquoting the remarks made by the RSS chief, we decided to hear his speech instead of reading media reports.
We first checked RSS’s official YouTube channel but we learned that the event at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee University was not covered by its official channel except for a small 3 minutes 15 seconds long video of Bhagwat’s speech. However, an excerpt from his speech was given as a description of the 3 minutes 15 seconds long video uploaded by the official RSS channel. The description reads, “ भारत को अपने लिए बड़ा नहीं बनना है…….
भारत का भी यह स्वभाव रहा है कि भारत अपने लिए बड़ा नहीं बनता है. दुनिया में कई देश बड़े बने और पतित हो गए. आज भी बड़े देश हैं, जिनको आज महाशक्ति कहते हैं. लेकिन हम देखते हैं तो ये देश महाशक्ति बनकर करते क्या हैं? तो सारी दुनिया पर प्रभुत्व संपादन करते हैं, सारी दुनिया पर अपना शासन करते हैं, सारी दुनिया के साधनों का अपने लिए उपयोग करते हैं, सारी दुनिया पर राजनीतिक सत्ता अपनी चले, प्रत्यक्ष व अप्रत्यक्ष रूप से ऐसा प्रयास करते हैं, सारी दुनिया पर अपना ही रंग चढ़ाने का प्रयास करते हैं, ये सब चलता आया है और चल रहा है. और इसलिए दुनिया में एक बहुत बड़े भूभाग में विद्वान ऐसा सोचते हैं कि राष्ट्र का बड़ा होना दुनिया के लिए खतरनाक बात है. नेशनलिज्म, इस शब्द का आज दुनिया में अच्छा अर्थ नहीं है. कुछ वर्ष पूर्व संघ की योजना से यूके जाना हुआ तो वहां बुद्धिजीवियों से बात होनी थी. 40-50 चयनित लोगों से संघ के बारे में चर्चा होनी थी. तो वहां के अपने कार्यकर्ता ने कहा कि शब्दों के अर्थों के बारे में सावधान रहिए, अंग्रेजी आप की भाषा नहीं है और आपने अंग्रेजी में पुस्तक पढ़ी है उसके हिसाब से बोलेंगे. परन्तु यहां बातचीत में शब्दों के अर्थ भिन्न हो जाते हैं. इसलिए आप नेशनलिज्म शब्द का उपयोग मत कीजिए. आप नेशन कहेंगे चलेगा, नेशनल कहेंगे चलेगा, नेशनलिटी कहेंगे चलेगा, पर नेशनलिजम मत कहो. क्योंकि नेशनल्जिम का मतलब होता है हिटलर, नाजीवाद, फासीवाद. अब ऐसे ही यह शब्द वहां बदनाम हुआ है. लेकिन हम जानते हैं कि एक राष्ट्र के नाते भारत जब-जब बड़ा हुआ, तब-तब दुनिया का भला ही हुआ है. अभी गीत आपने सुना –
विश्व का हर देश जब, दिग्भ्रमित हो लड़खड़ाया
सत्य की पहचान करने, इस धरा के पास आया
भूमि यह हर दलित को पुचकारती,
हर पतित को उद्धारती, धन्य देश महान.
ऐसा हमारा धन्य महान देश भारत है. यह इसका स्वभाव है. और आज की दुनिया को भारत की आवश्यकता है.”
We then checked their official Twitter handle but we couldn’t get any information from their Twitter handle as well since the last tweet made by the handle was on 9th February 2020. We also checked Mohan Bhagwat’s own official Twitter handle but we learned that Bhagwat has not made any tweet to date. We then checked their official Facebook page and found the same 3 minutes 15 seconds long video along with the same description as of their YouTube video. We also learned that Mohan Bhagwat is not officially present on Facebook.
We then checked other Facebook pages for Mohan Bhagwat’s full speech and we found the whole speech on a page namely ‘विश्व संवाद केंद्र, झारखण्ड’. In two Facebook posts made by the page, we found the links of the YouTube videos where they have published Mohan Bhagwat’s full speech in two parts.
We found a Facebook Post where they have published the text version of Mohan Bhagwat’s speech at an RSS event in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi.
The text version of Bhagwat’s speech can be read below.
रांची , २० फरवरी : हिन्दू समाज को संगठित करने के अलावा राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ का कोई अन्य कार्य नही है। हिंदुत्व के भाव से ही राष्ट्रीय भावना को प्रबल करते हुए एक समतामूलक और शोषणरहित समाज की स्थापना ही, राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ का एकमात्र उद्देश्य है।
After reading the text version of Bhagwat’s speech, we watched the two videos on the YouTube channel of the said organization in which they have published Mohan Bhagwat’s full speech.
First part of Bhagwat’s speech at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee University, Ranchi:
Second part of Bhagwat’s speech at Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee University, Ranchi:
We then listened to both the parts of Bhagwat’s speech and we found that Bhagwat indeed talked about the implication of ‘Nationalism’ to ‘Nazism’ but he didn’t make this remark himself. RSS chief was referring to an RSS worker whom he met in the UK and the RSS worker made this remark which was quoted by Bhagwat at RSS event in Ranchi.
Here’s the transcript of Bhagwat’s speech where he made the remark which was misquoted by several media outlets.
Bhagwat while explaining why RSS and India need to develop more, Bhagwat categorically says, India and RSS doesn’t want to develop for itself.
At 3.14 seconds in the first part of the YouTube video, Bhagwat says, “Duniya me kai desh bade bane aur patit ho gaye. Aaj bhi bade desh hain, jinko aaj ka shabd hai ‘Mahashakti’. Lekin ab inko dekhte hain to ye desh mahashakti bankar karte kya hain to sari duniya par prabhutva sampadan karte hain, sari duniya ke sadhanon ko swayam ke liye upyog karte hain. Sari duniya par rajneetik satta apni chale pratyaksh ya apratyaksh, aisa prayas karte hain. Sari duniya par apna hi rang chadhane ka prayas karte hain, ye sab chalta aaya hai… Chal raha hai. Aur isliye duniya me ek bahut bade bhoo bhag me vidvan log aisa sochte hain ki rashtra bada hona duniya ke liye khataranak baat hai. ‘Nationalism’ is shabd ko aaj duniya me accha arth nahi hai. Kuchh varsh poorva Sangh ki yojana se Uk jana hua to wahan ke buddhijiviyon se baat honi thi… 40-50 chayanit logon se Sangh ke bare me charcha honi thi to wahan ke apne karyakarta ne kaha “shabdo ke artho ke bare me savdhan rahiye. Angreji aapki bhasha nahi hai aur aap apna pushtak me jo angreji padhi hai uske anusar bolenge parantu yahan baatcheet me shabdo ke arth bhinn ho jate hain… Isliye aap ‘Nationalism’ is shabd ka upyog mat kijiye… Aap nation kahenge chalega, national kahenge chalega, nationality kahenge chalega, nationalism mat kaho kyuki nationalism ka matlab hota hai ‘Hitler’, ‘Naziwaad’, ‘Fansiwaad’.” Ab aise ye shabd wahan badnam(banda) hua hai. Parantu hum jante hain ek rashtra ke naate Bharat jab-jab bada hua tab-tab duniya ka bhala hi hua hai.
After listening to his whole speech, we found that RSS chief in his speech says, “Many intellectuals in the world think that a developed nation is dangerous to the world. The word ‘Nationalism’ is not seen in a positive sense today because the countries that developed did nothing but invaded and ruled smaller nations. I went to attend an RSS event in UK where 40-50 people were selected to have a discussion on RSS’ activities, an RSS member there told me not to use the word ‘Nationalism’. He said, “Use nation, national or nationality as these words are seen in a good light but do not use ‘Nationalism’ because English is not our mother tongue and the meaning of ‘Nationalism’ is often alluded to ‘Hitler’, ‘Nazism’ and ‘Fascism’.” This is how ‘Nationalism’ is seen(defamed) there. But as we all know, whenever India grew, it only benefited the world.”
So from our fact check above, it is evident that the RSS chief was referring to intellectual’s views and an RSS worker’s statement when he said that nationalism implies Nazism hence we reached the conclusion that media outlets misquoted RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
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