New Delhi: The RSS on Saturday said its leader Bhayyaji Joshi had not asked for any change in the national flag or anthem while deliberating on the difference between the state and the nation.
In a statement, RSS spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya sought to clarify remarks of Joshi, a RSS general secretary, in Mumbai on Friday pertaining to the national anthem "Jana Gana Mana" and the national song "Vande Mataram", which had evoked strong comments on the Twitter.
He noted Joshi had said that all people of the country should equally respect and adore both the national anthem and national flag.
"Bhayyaji Joshi, sarkaryavah of RSS was deliberating on the difference between Rajya (state) and Rashtra (nation)...Nowhere Bhayyaji has asked for any change in national flag or anthem," he said.
Vaidya quoted Joshi as saying: "In 1947, the Constituent Assembly had adopted the Tiranga (the tricolour) as our state flag and was subsequently retained as that of the Republic of India. It is mandatory that every citizen of Bharat should respect this symbol."
"The saffron flag has been revered by the people of Bharat since time immemorial as a symbol of our ancient culture. We revere both the Tiranga, which is our state flag, and the saffron flag, which is the symbol of our ancient culture."
"Similarly, while the Jana-Gana-Mana described the idea of Rajya (state), Vande Mataram denotes our cultural identity and our devotion to it. All of us should equally respect and adore both the national anthem and the national song."
RSS had also on its Twitter handle posted comments from Joshi's address. One of the tweets said that both the tricolour and the saffron flag were equally adorable.