Source: News Bharati English02 Sep 2015 12:31:32

New Delhi, Sept. 2: The three-day ‘routine coordination meeting’ of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its major affiliate organizations beginning today at Madhanchal Bhavan in Vasant Kunj area of the national capital assumes significance as there is a strong possibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi participating in it.   

This meeting will be attended by important functionaries of various organizations drawing inspiration from and owing allegiance to RSS ideology like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), Swadeshi Jagarana Manch (SJM), Bharatiya Kisan Manch (BKS), Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, Vidya Bharati, Samskar Bharati, Vigyan Bharati, etc. and above all the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

This meeting assumes more significance in the present context because there is full-fledged BJP government at the Centre with staunch RSS swayamsevak Narendra Modi as its head and many ministers with active RSS background; the BJP ruling in a number of states, and secondly, Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohanrao Bhagwat will be present all through the meeting.

When RSS Prachar Pramukh Dr Manmohan Vaidya shared this information to the media persons at a press conference held at Deendayal Research Institute on Monday, it stirred the hornet’s nest giving rise to curiosity, speculations and imagination about the possible agenda of the meeting vis-à-vis participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is happening for the first time.

Going by the track record of Indian media and its approach towards RSS it was obvious that this information should enhance their interest and curiosity about the meeting. The country is currently facing issues like ‘high-packaged’ Bihar Assembly elections, reservation for Patels (Patidar) in Gujarat, One Rank One Pension (OROP), the controversy over release of religion-based census data and so on. The very fact that this coordination meeting is being held at this critical juncture itself is enough to arouse curiosity and give rise to more speculative stories.

For, the media always looked at RSS and its affiliate organizations from the political point of view. They always tried to gauge their impact in terms of vote count and electoral victories. The third Sarsanghchalak of RSS the late Balasaheb Devras often asked the media persons to evaluate the RSS work and its impact from a sociological point of view and not from the usual political that too from electoral politics. RSS is a socio-cultural organization and it should be assessed from that angle only, he would say. But the politically over-obsessed media hardly paid any heed to his words and continued its beaten course till this date and the process goes on.

The RSS started its work of organizing the Hindu society because it believed firmly that an organized Hindu society with strong civic character can alone make the future of this country which is traditionally known as Hindustan- the land of Hindus.

After the independence, to be precise, after the first ban on RSS in the aftermath of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in1948, many RSS activists felt the need to branch out in various fields of social life to spread the message of positive and all-inclusive Hindutva to organize and strengthen the Hindu society divided in castes, creeds, languages, sects, and provinces.

So, organizations like VHP to work amongst the religious personalities and weaker and neglected sections of the society was formed; the Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram began its humanitarian activities amongst the forest-dwellers to save them from the clutches of Christian missionaries; the BMS came in existence to work amongst the working class as an alternative to Communist ideology; the BKS started working amongst the farmers; Vidya Bharati devoted its energy to provide quality education rooted in the ethos and values of this land and the BJP the new avatar of earlier Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) continues to work in the field of politics. Today, the vast umbrella of these organizations extends to as many as 35-40 different fields of our society, politics included.

These organizations began expanding after the second ban during the 1975 emergency imposed by the Indira Gandhi government. It was RSS and RSS alone that gave a tough fight against the tyrannical rule of Indira Gandhi, aroused public opinion and re-established democracy in the country. Taking advantage of the favorable atmosphere then, these organizations assumed national status and stature soon calling for more coordinated and concerted efforts to fulfill their cherished objective of strong, powerful, vibrant, progressive India that would lead the world.

To achieve this objective, the system of holding such coordination meetings was introduced by the then RSS Chief Balasaheb Devras in the 1980s. Since then, prominent functionaries of these organizations would meet initially once a year, and as the need arose, twice a year, to share, discuss, deliberate information, issues and share experiences confronted during their tours and meetings with people from different walks of life. This sharing of information helped in planning strategies for various organizations.

As usually presumed, this meeting does not devote much of its time to discuss the political issues or the affairs within the BJP. In the timetable of the meeting, the BJP too gets equal time as that of other organizations, according to those who attended such meetings.

As Dr Vaidya said, these meetings discuss the various issues but do not arrive at any decision or pass any resolution.

Working in coordination is in tune with the Indian tradition and ethos. Coordination has been the core principle of Hindu tradition since the hoary past. From individual to family to village to higher levels, coordination has been the core ethos. So, there is nothing new with the RSS holding such meetings to streamline their functioning and make it more effective and impressive tool to achieve its goal.

However, the media is more speculating on the presence of BJP members and particularly the Prime Minister in this meeting and spreading speculative stories to the amusement of those who are well conversant with the functioning of RSS and its affiliate organizations. There is no doubt that with the BJP ruling at the centre and in many states, such brainstorming sessions are necessary, but to infer that these meetings would have a specific political agenda would be too much of stretching the imagination.

The RSS is also attracting youth towards its activities. According to Dr Vaidya, in 2014, 80,000 youths attended the primary training classes nationwide. Their number swelled to 1.15 lakh in 2015. This phenomenal growth also calls for taking its cognizance.

The meeting may take cognizance of the ongoing OROP agitation, the Patel reservation stir in Gujarat, and such other issues during its three-day enclave to be attended by 95 members of the affiliate organizations, 25 members of the RSS and the RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohanrao Bahgwat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the meeting ‘as per his convenience’, Dr Vaidya stated.

Dr Vaidya however, made it very clear that this meeting would not review the functioning of the BJP government putting at rest the speculations raised in section of media. Neither any resolutions would be adopted, he clarified. The meeting, which has been expanded as compared to earlier meetings, will definitely discuss the various incidents and issues concerning the Indian society, the RSS Prachar Pramukh said.