Nangia/Associated PressRashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Chief Mohan Bhagwat addresses the media in New Delhi, in this Sept

. 30, 2010 file photo. Mohan Bhagwat usually reserves his remarks for his cadres in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, or R.S.S., the right-wing Hindu group based in Nagpur. But on Thursday the group’s leader found himself in New Delhi addressing an unlikely audience – some 30 international journalists. Mr. Bhagwat, often a taciturn figure, was affable and composed as he parried questions on the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindutva movement and the prime ministerial designs of Gujarat’s chief minister, Narendra Modi. He did not make any news, nor divulge any secrets about his organization’s relationship with the B.J.P. Instead, the news was that he agreed to speak at all. To some political observers, Mr. Bhagwat’s uncharacteristic appearance was a deliberate act of signaling as political parties are beginning to position for the run-up to the general elections in 2014. “The R.S.S. is worried, but it is trying to say ‘All is well. We will be back in control in two years,’ ” said Shiv Visvanathan, a sociologist. Mr. Visvanathan, who has watched the group’s activities for several years, said the organization is facing a crisis, as it has lost control over the B.J.P. and its leaders, most notably Mr. Modi. “It knows that the Congress is in disarray,” he said. “But it can’t do anything because it has a party that is as badly behaved and anarchic.” Peppered with questions from foreign journalists, Mr. Bhagwat repeatedly denied that his organization had any link to political groups, including the B.J.P., or politicians. The goals of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, he said, include the building of character and the imparting of values. He emphasized that his organization’s influence comes from its network of members in tens of thousands of Indian villages. The group offers Hindu values training and

runs some 130,000 public service projects in health care, education, rural development and

” . Visvanathan. “In fact. Asked how the organization was helping the B.S.S. the R.S. Mr. The guiding principle of the R.J. Modi were a part of the organization before they entered politics.S. I’m least interested in current politics. an accusation Mr. Advani and Mr.S.S.” said Mr. Extremism is not saffron or green or red.” Mr. leaders like L. Bhagwat dismissed as the handiwork of his enemies.S.S.P.P.J. has long taken and that has been long dismissed by political analysts and rival parties. is Hindutva. a term Mr.S. Modi. Senior R. are now trying to “use ideology as an instrument of ambition. “There is no question of control on the B.” Mr. “Hinduism means nonviolence. It is a stance the R. in electoral planning. ”The R..J.S. Bhagwat.” Founded in 1925 as a social and intellectual movement. But scores of its members are career politicians. is not a political party. the sociologist.K. with many having used the organization as a launch pad to enter mainstream electoral politics. – which traditionally is more seen than heard – has now realized it must adapt to regain relevance. Bhagwat said he had no influence on the party’s choice of a prime ministerial candidate and dodged questions about whether he would endorse Mr. Addressing the issue of “saffron terror. Bhagwat defined as a path of truth and nonviolence but that has come to be associated with right-wing Hindu nationalism.J.” he said. not parties.P. said that the R. leaders have been blamed for spreading an anti-Muslim sentiment in the country.P. B.S.disaster relief.S. swadeshi lingo” while leaders of the B. imparts help to policies. Bhagwat said. He said the group continues to speak an “archaic.

S. . during which he threw his organization’s support behind all anti-corruption movements.” On Thursday.” Mr.S. for example. “They need to stop being custodians of ideology. including those led by Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare. He also said that India needed to be tougher in its dialogue with Pakistan and expressed skepticism about Pakistan’s sincerity. With ethnic strife engulfing India’s northeastern state of Assam.He said that the controversial Mr. had repackaged himself from a “hard core R. pracharak” into a political figure now trying to broaden his appeal by writing books about climate change. he said the authorities needed to stop Bangladeshi migrants from illegally entering India. Mr. “and become agents of change. Modi. Visvanathan said. Bhagwat also addressed a range of questions.