Nagpur, 8 Oct 19, (UMMn): RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, speaking at the annual Dusshera event in Nagpur, described lynching as a "Western construct", and should not be used to defame the country.
"Branding some incidents of social violence as 'lynching' are actually meant to defame our country, Hindu society and create fear among some communities. Lynching is alien to Bharat and actually has its references elsewhere," said Bhagwat.
"Lynching itself is a Western construct. It is not the word from Indian ethos. Its origin is from a story in a separate religious text. Don't impose such terms on Indians," he claimed.
The Maharashtra unit of the Congress was swift to refute Bhagwat's comments, calling them a "lie" and accusing him of "spreading falsehood".
"It is as much a lie to say that RSS has nothing to do with lynchings as it is a lie to say that RSS is a cultural organisation, is anti-casteist, pro-reservation and respects the Constitution and tricolour," spokesperson Sachin Sawant said, adding, "Spreading falsehood is the ideology of the Sangh Parivar".
According to NDTV, mob killings and deaths from lynchings made headlines earlier this year with cases like 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari from Jharkhand, who was thrashed for hours and forced to chant "Jai Shri Ram".
The killings prompted 49 eminent personalities to write an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protest such incidents, which claimed the lives of Dalits, Muslims and other minorities.
"Dear Prime Minister... The lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately. We were shocked to learn from the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) reports that there have been no less than 840 instances of atrocities against Dalits in the year 2016, and a definite decline in the percentage of convictions," the letter, signed by actor Aparna Sen and historian Ramachandra Guha, among others, read, reported NDTV.