Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday said India needs to grow bigger than China in terms of shakti and vypati (power and scope), adding the world knows that country's expansionist designs.
Mr Bhagwat was speaking at the RSS's annual Vijayadashami rally, which this time was limited to an indoor event attended by 50 swayamsevaks (volunteers) due to COVID-19 guidelines.
The RSS chief said India needs to be militarily better prepared against China. Many countries are now standing up to China, he said.
"China was shocked at India's response to its intrusion. India needs to grow bigger in power and scope than China," he said. "China encroached on our borders amid the pandemic," he said, adding the world knows the expansionist nature of that country. He cited Taiwan and Vietnam as examples of the Chinese expansion plans.
Rising above China economically & strategically. Securing cooperative ties with our neighbours and at international relations is the only way to neutralise the expansionsit aspirations of China and our present policies seem to be charting those very horizons. #RSSVijayaDashamipic.twitter.com/YYntRzwokj- RSS (@RSSorg) October 25, 2020
"We intend to be friendly with all. This is our nature. But mistaking our benevolence for weakness and attempts to disintegrate or weaken us by sheer brute force is unacceptable. Our detractors must know this by now," he said.
Mr Bhagwat said the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) is not against any particular religious community, adding "some people misled our Muslim brothers" claiming it was aimed at restricting their population.
Before the issue could be discussed further, the focus shifted on coronavirus, he said. "The communal flare in minds of a few people stayed in their minds only. Coronavirus overshadowed all other topics," he added.
"We need not fear coronavirus, but should be alert and cautious. We cannot stop living. Coronavirus is spreading but fatalities are less. Due to the pandemic, we have started learning the importance of hygiene, cleanliness, environment, family values all over again," he said.
"Coronavirus has given rise to challenges of unemployment. Many lost jobs and labourers are now returning to cities. But the jobs may not be there. The challenge is to create employment opportunities in different places," he said.
Mr Bhagwat said before the pandemic, several issues which were in the public discourse took a backseat.
"Article 370 was abrogated, the country accepted the Supreme Court verdict on Ram temple with patience and understanding," he said.
"There was opposition to CAA claiming it was being used to check the Muslim population in the country. In fact, no Indian citizen was threatened due to CAA. Before any step could be taken to resolve the issue, the coronavirus pandemic happened," he said.