RSS to nationally campaign against social discrimination


OPAL: To set-right its stand on reservations after the BJP’s Bihar debacle, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will launch a nation-wide campaign for social harmony against untouchability and other caste bias in January-February next year. The campaign could stretch to April in some parts of the country.
Sources in the organisation said that RSS top brass is concerned about fall-out of Bihar elections, especially anxious that popular leaders of BJP could not appropriately explain the right message behind RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement on reservations.
Senior RSS leaders felt that while BJP leaders could not reach-out the true meaning of Bhagwat’s statement on review of reservation policy to the people, RJD supremo Laloo Yadav misinterpreted the same and used it to extract political mileage ahead of the polls.
RSS workers said the campaign is being undertaken as part of birth centenary celebrations of the organisation’s third `sarsangchalak’ Madhukar Dattaraya Deoras and the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of BR Ambedkar.
“Mohan Bhagwat said what has always been the RSS’ stand on reservations, that only a few privileged families should not perpetually get the advantage of reservations while there are millions of depraved persons of the same community who cease to get the benefits which should rightfully go to them,” said Anil Saumitra, senior RSS worker and former editor of Charuiveti magazine. In 1981 at the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha and in 1985 at the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal, the RSS passed the resolution of reaching reservation benefits to those who need it the most, Saumitra said.
Among RSS’ programmes that have been enlisted as part of the campaign in Madhya Pradesh (a state where BJP has been in power for three terms), are a series of meetings with socially downtrodden castes, celebration of Makar Sankranti with then and a yajna for social harmony.

All RSS `shakhas’ will become a meeting place for members of Dalit, deprived and backward communities on January 3. “RSS workers have been asked to bring maximum number of persons from the socially downtrodden communities to the `shakhas’,” said senior RSS worker Anil Saumitra. “It is not the oppressed Dalits and backwards but even RSS workers who will be addressed by seniors on social justice, equality and harmony.”
January 4 to 9, the speeches of social justice by Deoras and Ambedkar will be circulated. “Ambedkar’s speech on untouchability will be given major focus. Ambedkar had said that untouchability is an internal issue and should be dealt with in the country. It will not be tolerated if a foreign power wants to divide society over it,” Anil Saumitra explained.

On January 14, the RSS will celebrate Makar Sankranti (one of the six festivals observed by the organisation) with Dalits, and socially downtrodden castes. RSS workers will distribute and eat the traditional `til-laddu, gur and khichdi’ lunch as a symbol to eradicate social injustice and untouchability.
February 7 will witness a `samajik samrasta (social harmony) yajna’ in the cities. The RSS will call Dalits and all deprived castes to participate in the yajna. Apart from this, there will be a series of all caste social harmony meetings in which office-bearers of all communities including upper castes, backwards, Dalits will be called and addressed.
“Intellectuals of both upper castes and the socially deprived castes will be invited for combined intellectual orientation exchanges. Top RSS intellectuals like Rakesh Sinha might be be moderators for the meetings,” Anil Saumitra said. “Basically, the RSS wants that there should be no discrimination against any human in the temples, in water sources and in the crematoriums. Discrimination is what is dividing not just the Hindu community but is unhealthy for the nation.”

Source: The Times of India