RSS needs overhauling
By Abhishek Pandey
Rastriya Swaymasevak Sangh (RSS) has shuffled its major players ahead of Lok Sabha elections. Mohan Madhukar Bhagwat has been appointed the sixth ‘Sarsanghchalak’, the highest rank in hierarchal structure of RSS. He is stepping in the shoes of Kuppahalli Sitaramayya Sudarshan, who resigned citing health reasons. Is it the sign of a ‘real’ change?
If you ‘google’ RSS then you get the first result, ‘Really simple syndication’ (RSS). RSS is used for feeding you updates from the different websites, blogs or whatever, you subscribe. It is different from Rastriya Swayma Sevak Sangh (RSS). This organisation is not simple syndication of thoughts and ideology. It is bit complicated and has not updated his ideology since its inception.
The chief is new now. Mr. Bhagwat, at the age of 59, is the youngest RSS chief after Guru Golwalkar. Bhagwat, who was the general secretary – Sarkaryavah - since 2000, is a veterinary doctor by profession. A KB hedgewar look-like Bhagwat, joined the RSS as pracharak in 1975. Since then he is serving sangh parivar on different posts. In the recent reshuffle in the Sangh Parivar, Suresh Joshi became the new – Sarkaryavah - general secretary of RSS.
RSS is known for many reasons. It is known for supporting ‘Hindu cause’. It supports ideology of Akhanad Bharat. It is known for its demand of ‘Hindu Rashtra’. Sangh parivar has extended its supports in many relief camps during draughts, floods, cyclones, earthquakes and other natural calamities in India. It is also known for its chain of educational institutes in India, called Saraswati Shishu Mandir. These schools are providing quality education. Two schools run by RSS – BNSD Shiksha Niketan and Pt. Deendayal Upadhaya Vidayala- in Kanpur hog almost 60% and more space in the merit list of UP board.
Sangh is also known for morning and evening Shakhas in many cities of India. RSS has a huge network of shakhas which amount more than 50,000 branches across the nation. A daily gathering of all Swayamsevaks (volunteers) in a predefined area at a common meeting place for one hour is called a Shakha. The daily morning or evening ‘Shakha’ of RSS is not visible in many cities these days. Localities used to join the RSS volunteers in yoga, games and other physical activities. These Shakhas seem to be on the verge of extinct. Now, these Shakhas are hardly seen in many parts of the country. Despite increasing number of Shakhas every year, numbers of attendants are declining. This issues has been worrying RSS pracharks and had been one of the main issues in many conclaves. In the wake of this trend, Sangh Parivar has started IT shakahs to attract the youths in the organisation.
Despite the efforts, stark picture of the reality is different. RSS has weakened as an organization in last few decades. RSS’s clout is also not visible in the politics. Though, Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) is its political wing. RSS endorses BJP but sometimes, there is a visible ideological spat between both institutions. Jan Sangh which later became BJP was formed as a political wing of the RSS. Article 4 of the RSS constitution states that the RSS `had no politics and is devoted purely to social work'. Though, NDA regime (1998-2004) has seen hiccup in BJP-RSS relations because RSS tried to dictate its terms. And many sangh pracharaks like Narendra Modi and LK Advani has come into active politics.
RSS is losing its voice because of the inactivity of its members or inactivity of the organisation in public-welfare related works. Sangh Parivar comes in the news when there is a conflict in southern states between its workers and communists. It came in the news when there was a conflict in Kandhmal. RSS comes on front pages when its leaders make controversial comments on increasing Muslim population or something against a community. The Akhila Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal (ABKM) releases the organisation’s ‘controversial’ resolutions on important issues. In recent times, ABKM released resolitions on Islamic terrorism, conversions, minority appeasement, education with national ethos, dignity of women, Bangladeshi migrants and on Amaranth Movement. These resolutions have created a stir in the country. More often then not, RSS comes in the media for their infamous activities or inflammatory statements.
Sangh Parivar lovers may be thinking that new maestro would bring a change in the organization. They should hope because optimism is necessary for any development. But the reality should not be forgotten. RSS has been banned in India thrice but ban was lifted every time after few moths or years. It was banned after Gandhi ji’s assassination because it was believed that Nathu Ram Godese was its member. Second time during emergence, it was banned and lifted when Janta Dal came to the power. Third time, organization was banned in India after Babri mosque demolition and again ban was lifted after few months.
RSS, which was formed as the organisation of volunteers, is unable to attract the people –especially youth- to join the organisation. RSS claim to have more than 50,000 shakhas across the nation, where volunteers gather on a routine basis. This is a huge chain of organized people. RSS can help the government of India with such a large network to aware the people about the different public welfare programs. But, first it has to strengthen itself. They should help all the Hindus - since they consider that everyone living in India is a Hindu - without any discrimination. This would be a great service to the nation by a ‘nationalist’ organization.
We expect from the new chief, Mohan Bhagwat, of an 84 old ideological organization that he would ask the RSS members to respect the all three colors of the national flag, not only saffron in true meaning. RSS must forget its final goal of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ because we can not survive as a theocratic nation in a globalised world. India is a melting pot of different cultures, religions, race and languages. RSS must not forget that ‘United we stand and divided we fall’.
Tags: RSS , BJP
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