The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has registered a rapid growth in the country in the last three years, according to Manmohan Vaidya, Prachar Pramukh of the organisation who was in Kolkata on Monday.
“Our acceptance on the national level is increasing despite all the negative campaigns from all sides. While in 2012, the average daily request online all over the country to get enrolment as Swayamsevak was 1000, the number rose to 2500 in 2013 and it jumped to 9,000 in 2014, till the last count. The new entrants are in the age group of 20-40, coming from various walks of life,” Vaidya on Monday said in an informal media conference at RSS state headquarters at Keshav Bhavan in Kolkata.
RSS has now 43,000 shakhas all over the country with 14 lakh swayamsevaks and 3,000 pracharaks. It has 35 frontal organisations working in different fields.
West Bengal too, which has now 1,500 shakhas, is witnessing a phenomenal growth in the number of Swayamsevaks, according to Sangh officials. This year while just in South Bengal region 7,500 people have shown their interest to enrol themselves through internet, about 10,300 people gathered at various programmes of the organisation and got themselves enrolled as Swayamsevaks. “Just yesterday at a programme at Keshav Bhavan itself 68 persons, mostly young, professionals as well as students, turned up to get themselves acquainted with the ideals and works of the RSS,” Jishnu Bose, Prachar Pramukh, south Bengal region, told Indian Express.
On the question of attacks and harassment of RSS cadre in the state both by Trinamool Congress supporters and the police, Vaidya said RSS was not scared of such attacks. “It shows that while we have grown stronger our opposition is losing ground. Hence the attacks,” Vaidya further said.
The organisation has filed court cases in Baruipore court in South 24 Parganas districts against two cases of vandalism of its shakhas by the police.
However the opposition CPIM finds a pattern in the rise in RSS ranks. “In all over South Asia we witness the rise of right-wing extremism, the RSS in India, the Jamaat in Bangladesh, etc. They exploit the sentiments of the people and swell. For example the RSS exploits the sentimenmts of Hindus on the issue of cow-slaughter and Ram Mandir. And it is BJP which is creating conditions conducive for its growth. The two are helping each other in their growth agenda,’ Md Selim, CPIM MP from Raigunj, told Indian Express.
The Congress too attributes the growth of RSS to the change of government at Centre. “Now it their government, their prime minister, so it will be their numbers which will grow, not ours,” Shakeel Ahmed, AICC member, told Indian Express.