By Brahmananda Reddy
A workshop was held in Hyderabad on October 10, 2004 for strengthe-ning the bonds between all sections of Hindus. After the conclusion of the workshop, a public meeting was held at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in the evening.
Dr P.T.Chandramouli, RSS Bhagyanagar Vibhag Sangha-chalak, presided over the function.
Retired principal secretary of Andhra Pradesh, Shri C.Arjuna Rao, attended as the chief guest. Member of Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Caste Commission, Shri T.V. Narayana also addressed the gathering. The main speaker was Shri Sureshrao Joshi, RSS Sahasarkaryavah.
Shri Arjun Rao said that in 1977, ?when I was Collector of Nellore district, I was asked to proceed to Krishna district which was devastated by the killer cyclone. By the time I reached there I found RSS Karyakartas under the leadership of Shri Bhagayya and Shri Dattatreya already engaged in relief operations. There were some government personnel also who were engaged in the relief operations, but they were not willing to remove the dead bodies which had putrefied. I consulted the RSS leaders and they readily took to removal of stinking bodies.The bodies belonged to various castes including Harijans but without any discrimination, the RSS volunteers removed the bodies and cremated them. For the first time I saw the RSS volunteers working like scavengers.
?Later, when I was in Visakhapatnam, the Sarada River was in spate and had submerged a Harijan villiage. Even I found it unbearable to enter the Harijan village as the skins of animals emanated foul smell and even though I belong to the Harijan caste.But I found RSS volunteers entering the village without any inhibitions and carry on relief activities.The RSS planned to build a new village in a higher place under the name of Sriramnagar colony. For bhoomi pooja and inauguration of the colony, Shri Balasaheb Deoras, the then Sarsanghchalak of RSS, was present. I sat by the side of Shri Deoras at lunch and told him that RSS should unite all the castes in Hindu society or at least they should promote tolerance between the different castes.
Shri T.V. Narayana said that caste was a powerful force and ?Dr Ambedkar had said the same in his book Annihilation of the Caste. There are different sections even in the so-called lower castes. Even the Dalits who say they are followers of Dr Ambedkar, have discarded some of his teachings which are not acceptable to them. I met some of the Dalits who resent even calling themselves as Hindus. Unless the educated Hindus do not explain Vedas and Shastras in a progressive manner, the Dalits will not have much respect for Hinduism. Some Dalits have developed a vested interest in reservation policy and they do not want to strive to stand up on their own legs with pride and respect. This atittude must change. The RSS with love and respect can change their outlook.?
(Samachar Bharati, Andhra Pradesh)