RSS backs Vajpayee's remark on missionaries
Ajit Sahi in New Delhi Brushing aside attacks from the opposition, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on Tuesday defended Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for saying that Christian missionaries were involved in conversion of Hindus.
The RSS dismissed criticism by opposition parties and Christian groups that Vajpayee's statement would encourage communal attacks on the minority group, and said the prime minister had only been brutally frank. "The prime minister has spoken the truth about the conversion work of the missionaries," RSS spokesman M G Vaidya told Indo-Asian News Service.
The RSS backing assumes significance in view of the sharp opposition criticism in Parliament on Monday of Vajpayee's statement, which was made on Saturday while releasing a book on RSS leader Lakshman Madhav Inamdar.While extolling the virtues of the RSS for bringing Indians together, Vajpayee had chided the media for ignoring the killing of four RSS workers by insurgents in Tripura.
He said that the media would have given far greater publicity had the attacks been on missionaries. Opposition leaders charged Vajpayee with making a communally sensitive statement.
The RSS leader, however, denied that Vajpayee's remarks clubbed all missionaries, sincere or otherwise."It is wrong to say that the prime minister has tarred every missionary with the same brush. There are some missionaries who are doing sincere work, and they need not worry about the impact of his statement," Vaidya said.The RSS leader said the opposition reaction was aimed at wooing the votes of minorities during elections.