In a first of its kind initiative, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is planning to release its vision of 'Future of Bharat: An RSS Perspective'. In a series of lectures organised at the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi from 17-19 September, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will address around 1,000 individuals (primarily those who are not connected to RSS and are leaders in various walks of life).
On the first two days, Bhagwat is expected to address key issues of national importance and on the third day he will hold a Q&A session with the audience. Questions have been raised over the timing of the event but RSS has officially said it is not to drump up support ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections instead authorities have said that the event will see several representatives from all political parties.
The RSS has more than 60,000 daily shakhas and there are more than three dozen organisations which are run by RSS volunteers. RSS-inspired organisations like Ekal Foundation are running more than 65,000 single teacher schools covering remote areas. Orgainsations like Vidya Bharati and Samarth Shiksha Samiti have more than 3 million children attending schools daily, which is run by them. The RSS-inspired organistions are running around 1.70 lakh social welfare projects across India. RSS has proved to be an organisation which has served the society well and has a strong influence on the populace.
The exercise, at some level, would be an attempt by the RSS to soften its so-called image of a conservative organisation which seeks a Hindu Rashtra. There are two tenets of the RSS ideology and the idea is to take it to the people.
The first tenet is that the RSS only inspires and prepares the swayamsevaks (volunteers) who go out and work to transform the society without any recognition. The RSS believes that society transforms itself.
The second tenet is that the Indian society has broadly two categories — the first one has those who have connected with the RSS and are playing a part in the social transformation process and the second category has those who haven't done it yet but would ultimately be doing it. The RSS, therefore, does not look at anyone as its opponent.
RSS is known to invite even those who have been strong critics of the organisation. Most recent example was former president Pranab Mukherjee at the Nagpur event.
The author is the CEO of Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra and author of 'Know About RSS'. The views expressed are personal.
Updated Date: Sep 11, 2018 12:28:30 IST