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|| Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ||

What we are today is a function of our environment through our past. Our parents, teachers, relatives, neighbours are our key influencers. One such influencer in my life and in the life of millions in this country is Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the RSS. This organization established in 1925 has a very interesting history. Established with a aim of nation building, the initiative had no trace of fundamentalism in it. Started with a clear cut nationalistic view, and on time tested values of ‘simple living-high thinking’, the organization spread like a wild fire. Then happened, what was destined to, for an organization that was all-inclusive, had no political representation or was based on non-sensational issues (like religion, cast or region).

What RSS is today (or is perceived to be) is certainly not what it was (or is) meant to be. I, as an individual, strongly believe in the RSS, its motives, its structure and its values. I feel being a part of the Sangha and consider myself a Swayamsevak. I attended shakha regularly for 10 years till I was in 10th standard. Education and logistical constraints made me irregular, and yours truly being a pivotal point of the shakha in my village, the shakha in Savoi-Verem gradually died. I later actively worked for ABVP (the so-called student wing of the RSS). Later as I ceased to be a student (academically, not philosophically) my active participation stopped. I no longer attend a shakha, yet I am a Swayamsevak. I feel a part of the RSS. And when one believes in an organization, a system, a set of values, one has the right to say what’s right & wrong for the system. I may be wrong, immature, short sighted or simply stupid but in this post I attempt to answer the question ‘What ails the Sangha?’

Did it start with the BJP? Or did it start with the BJP coming to power? Or with the 1993 Mumbai riots? Or did the Babari demolition start it? I don’t know. What a majority of India once considered as a sane and constructive minded organization, was slowly being perceived as a group of Hindu fundamentalists and fanatics. All the commitment and work that the Sangha put in through the Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram and numerous such initiatives, was wiped away in no time. Thousands of swayamsevaks rushed to the effected villages during floods and earthquakes in Latur or Bhuj. No swayamsevak got and media attention (why?), the effort, the good deeds, the helping hands were proclaimed to be of the individual. The Sangh was given no credit. The system, the organizational effort behind all these contributions has been systematically neglected. What happened in Mumbai in 1992 is totally condemnable. Godhra is the work of monsters. But this is not accounted to individuals , this is what the RSS does. Hell no!!!

I think RSS should stop interefering in matters of BJP. No comments about BJP whould be made by individuals on behalf of the Sangha. The perception of a political, religious, castist bondage associated with the RSS needs to be abolished. There may be many such thoughts going on in many minds.

It is time now. People who believe in the ideology of RSS, or people who think that the RSS ideology comes closest to theirs, start coming together. If there needs to be a shift in the modus-operandi of the Sangha, it should be now. The basic concepts of Hinduism, the social work of the RSS being seen in the light of conversion, the ‘they are coming to rule you’ image needs to be overhauled. I, as a swayamsevak, deny any such allegation. If proved, I will fight against such a motive of the Sangha. If any other Swayamsevak is trying to hijack/misrepresent the ideology of the entire organization, I shall object to it. Because I still feel, I belong here…


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