Source: News Bharati English08 Sep 2016 16:15:30

Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi, Sept 8: Pooh-poohing the reported move of the Left Front government in Kerala to ban RSS shakha, the RSS, and BJP on Wednesday dared the P Vijayan government to implement the ban on RSS shakhas in temple premises saying that they did not care about any such restrictions.

“If they want to ban us, let them. If they want to fire at us, let them do it. We do not care about their ban”, the New Indian Express quoted RSS Kerala Prant Karyawah P Gopalan Kutty Master as saying.

Meanwhile, according to News X report the Kerala government is soon going to issue an order to ban the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) shakha physical activities and learning lessons in temples under Devaswom Board. The order will prevent weapons and physical training on the temple premises. The state temple affairs ministry approached the law ministry to bring the law into effect.

“We have received complaints that RSS workers are using temple premises for weapons training and storing arms. The government can’t allow this anymore,” said state temple affairs minister Kadakampally Surendran.

Kerala has the largest number of shakhas across the country.

Gopalan Kutty Master said that RSS workers or people granting land for conducting RSS Sakha activities were Indian citizens, who enjoyed constitutional and human rights. “We are Indian citizens. We have the constitutional right to live here,” he added.

The government plans to enforce a total ban on RSS Sakha, even on private property, using Section 73 of the Kerala Police Act, 2011, which states, ‘No person shall permit any person having no permit [...] to use any building or premises owned or possessed by him for conducting physical training.’

The ‘training’ here has been defined as one ‘which involves method of exercises regarding an attack or self-defence to the public or any person or persons.’

The section also allows any police officer, not below the rank of sub-inspector, free entry to the place where such training is conducted to ensure it is conducted in accordance with the Act and Rules.

Former BJP State President V Muralidharan pointed out that the Act’s provisions that such physical training was acceptable if ‘conducted by an educational institution owned or controlled by the government or affiliated to any university in the state as part of its curriculum or course of study, or by a club or gymnasium recognized by the Kerala Sports Council’, did not apply to RSS, as its functions in daily shakha were different.

“Will they ban people gathering at a particular place to sing songs or conduct quiz competitions?

Will the government ban such activities?” he wondered.

He said RSS had been banned several times in the past. “Such a ban would be impractical for the government, as it will not be able to manage the jails if people decided to get arrested and not avail bails,” he said.

“During Emergency, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had tried unsuccessfully to ban activities of RSS. The CPI(M)’s plan to weaken Sangh activities won’t succeed in Kerala,” said BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan, also a former RSS pracharak.