Know why opposition attacking DD, Centre for airing RSS chief’s Vijaydashmi address live

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National broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) has landed in a controversy after it aired Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat's customary Dussehra rally at its headquarters in Nagpur live for the first time, on Friday.

Why RSS chief's speech has sparked a controversy?

  • The right-wing, volunteer Hindu nationalist organisation was formed on Vijay Dashmi in 1925 in Nagpur.
  • Doordarshan has never broadcast any of the RSS's rallies or Vijaydashmi address in the past.
  • The RSS has been holding this traditional rally ever since the organization came into existence but it was never aired live, even during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

Doordarshan defends its action

Meanwhile, the DoorDarshan Director General Archana Dutta defended the coverage by saying "speech was covered like any other news".

  •  "The speech was like any other news story so we covered it," Dutta was quoted by news channels as saying.

What all Mohan Bhagwat said?

  • The RSS chief in his customary address to his RSS workers praised the Narendra Modi government and said it is moving in the right direction.
  • Bhagwat came out in fulsome praise of the Modi government for initiatives on national security, economy and international relations in a short period of six months.
  •  "A new ray of hope has entered in the hearts of the people. The entire country was feeling proud of the visit and the subsequent talks with the US government," he said, adding, the world needs India.
  • He also lauded the efforts of the Centre and volunteers of the RSS for undertaking rescue works in Jammu and Kashmir which has recently witnessed worst-ever floods.

PM too praises RSS chief's address

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi also hailed Bhagwat's speech and said the issues of social reform he raised are "very relevant" today.
  • "Mohan Bhagwat ji talked about important national issues in his speech. The issues of social reform that he raised are very relevant today," Modi tweeted.
  • Modi also gave an online link of the summary of Bhagwat's address. He congratulated all RSS workers on the organisation's foundation day.

Opposition gets a fodder to attack Centre

  • The opposition Congress and other political parties reacted sharply to the Doordarshan's move of broadcasting Bhagwat's speech live and also questioned the timing of broadcast.
  • They are also demanding an explanation from the new government over the same.
  • "Influence over media channels is worrying. We don't accept RSS record as above all aspirations," former UPA minister, Salman Khurshid, told a news channel.
  • Rashid Alvi, the Congress spokesperson said, "DD cannot be made RSS mouthpiece."
  • CPI also attacked the government over Doordarshan's live telecast of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's Vijaydashmi address saying it was the misuse of the public broadcaster for saffron propaganda.
  • CPI MP D Raja said the government, specifically the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, should give an explanation to the people for allowing DD to be the mouthpiece for the RSS.
  • He said it was "a disquieting and distressing trend that the country's secular and democratic values were undermined by the government action."
  •  "This is a misuse of the public broadcaster for saffron propaganda. The national public broadcaster has no business to telecast live the speech of the chief of an organisation like the RSS.RSS used the public broadcaster to propagate its Hindutva ideology", the CPI(M) said.

UPA did the same in during its rule

  • Well, the Congress may be attacking the government on this issue but has done the same when its UPA government was in power, a few months back.
  • In the appeal telecast on various TV channels as well as AIR, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, during the Lok Sabha poll, had said that the current election was a fight to protect "the very heart and soul of India" from those who want to divide the people of this country.
  • Without naming either Narendra Modi or BJP in her telecast, Gandhi said, "We want unity. They want to impose uniformity. They say, 'Just believe in ME'".
  • The BJP had even complaint to the Election Commission calling it a violation of model code of conduct.

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