Cover Story: Expand, Entrench and Enrich
Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, Nagpur, 13-15 March, 2015
Intro: Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha of the RSS held at Nagpur has acquired unprecedented media galore because of perceived political overtones. The real outcome of the churning of this process is not only political but national. If we carefully analyse the annual statement given by Sarkaryavah Bhaiyaji Joshi, resolutions adopted by the Pratinidhi Sabha, reports presented by sister organisations and the course of action suggested by Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat in his concluding guidance to the swayamsevaks, the message is loud and clear: as acceptance of national view towards life is growing, expand organisationally and entrench socially to enrich the nation.
“Success in our mission is not far off lest we continue to work in the direction we have set for ourselves for the coming ten years. There is most favourable atmosphere in the country for our work and we need to increase our pace. We must cover the geographical area of the country,” said RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat.
The Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat has active units in 198 districts of 36 Prants. Last year more than 200 seminars and workshops were organised in 20 Prants to educate the consumers. Vital information was gathered through 300 RTIs on different topics for the benefits of the consumers. Special campaigns are conducted using social media to educate the consumers. Tamil Nadu unit fought a case in the Madras High Court and exposed the discrepancies in Aadhar Cards. Equally, the Railways charge illegally the super fast fare from the passengers even without actually providing that facility. Now, after the intervention of the Grahak Panchayat this surcharge has been removed from some of the trains.
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad
With the increase of 10 lakh new members the total membership of the ABVP is 3,27,924 today. It shows the effective presence of ABVP in the educational institutions. The Parishad has work at 1,150 places in 31 Prants. There are units in 7,126 colleges. Now the ABVP is going to start an effective campaign against addiction and pollution. The campaign has already begun and will be strengthened in the coming years. Think India conferences will be organised in various cities. A national conference of the students getting Ayurveda education will be organised in Kerala from April 8 to 12, 2015.
Formed on June 20, 2008, Saksham has units in 37 Prants, as per the RSS planning. A total of 110 projects are conducted at 52 places. After the RSS and Saksham jointly conducted an awareness campaign in Delhi last year the eye donation just doubled in Delhi. During that campaign more than 50,000 people pledged for eye donation. The notable event organised by Saksham in association with the Government of India was that 1,092 differently abled people were donated limbs, laptops, tricycles, hearing aids, etc on November 30, 2014. This material was worth Rs one crore. Similar functions are to be organised in Katihar (Bihar) on April 14, 2015, at Parman under Narsinghpur District of Madhya Pradesh on April 19 and on May 10 in Alwar, Rajasthan. Some other camps will also be organised this year. If any differently abled person, having certificate of disability, wants help he can contact Saksham.
Sanskrit Bharati has regular work at 1,508 places. Apart from it the workers have contact at 2,845 places where any of the activity is organised in a year. There are 274 Bal Kendras where activities like sports, yoga, Subhashit, story, acting, dance, etc. is taught to the children. About 5,500 children attend such Kendras regularly. Sanskrit Bharati also has work in the US, England, Mascot, Abudhabi, Dubai, Australia. Last year a total of 2,635 Sanskrti Sambhashan Varg were organised all over the country. Some follow-up activities are also conducted for the people who learnt Sanskrit in such camps.
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh
During the last one year a total of 147 new unions have got affiliated with the BMS. The membership increased to 64,454. Three Mahasanghs were also constituted. Last year a prominent initiative that the BMS has taken is to ‘Move to the Villages’. Work on this front has begun in many states and workers are being trained for it in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal. Another important initiative is to engage 15 crore retired persons into social activities. Work on this front has begun in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. Some exclusive unions have been registered in some states under of Sewa Nivratta Evam Varishtha Nagrik Sangh. Retired people from government services, banks, insurance and public sector are to be mobilised under this initiative.
Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal
Started in 1969 with a view to awaken patriotism and nationalism, Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal has work in 220 districts of 22 states. Many activities were organised for expansion of the work in research, training, awareness and publishing. The work in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Jharkhand was revived. Union HRD Minister Smt Smriti Irani attended the national workshop on restructuring of the education policy for women security in Amritsar on September 16, 2014. An international workshop was organised in Jaipur from January 17-18.
Akhil Bharatiya Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh
During the last one year the Mahasangh focused more on the participation of women in the organisation activities. As an initiative the women were granted responsibilities at every level and they were allowed to work freely within the organisation. For this special conferences and training camps were also organised all over the country. The women workers of various affiliated organisations also organised various activities for this objective. In one such women conference organised in Vaishali district of Bihar, over 1,000 women teachers were present. Next year, the second phase of Eternal Values of Life awareness campaign is to be conducted.
Formed on November 2, 2002, the prime focus of Arogya Bharati activities is in rural areas and inaccessible areas of the country. It has very influential work in all north-eastern states, where it has proved to an effective tool of social transformation also. Today Arogya Bharati has 2,025 projects at 1,291 places of the country. Workshops were organised at 44 places in 38 districts focusing on healthy life style. The workshops organised in Mumbai, Bhopal, Pune and Jabalpur were hugely appreciated. Work is also going on in collecting suggestions from the concerned people to bring a change in the health policy of the country. A Yoga Olympiad of the yoga centres of Kerala was attended by 15,000 people from 9 districts. The Arogya Mitra scheme of Arogya Bharati has been a huge success.
Rashtriya Sewa Bharati
Established in 2003, Rashtriya Sewa Bharati has more than 700 voluntary organisations with it. Total projects and programmes of the affiliates and associates are more than 1,40,000. Last year Prant Sewa Sangams were organised at many places across the country. The major event for this year is Second Rashtriya Sewa Sangam being organised in Delhi from April 4 to 6.
Kreeda Bharati has units in 40 Prants. Former Cricketer Chetan Chauhan is its national president. Apart from various other sports activities Veer Jijamata Puraskar were granted to the mothers of 28 sportspersons in Meerut. A seminar will be organised in Delhi on April 19 on the topic ‘What should be the our National Sports Policy’. Arjun Awardees have been invited for this seminar.
Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram
Prajna Pravah has work at 190 places in 27 Prants. There is active work in 80 universities. Prant training camps were organised in Gujarat, Chittor, Dakshin Bangal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala and Chhattisgarh. National seminars have been planned for the next year in Ernakulam (April 4-5), Patna (April 11-12), Varanasi (May 2-3) and Jaipur (July/August). Various aspects of Integral Humanism will be discussed in these seminars.
Sahakar Bharati has work in 400 districts of 29 states. It has active contact with more than ten thousand organisations. Now 15 cells have been created in the organisation to make the work more effective. A good number of Chartered Accountants are coming into the fold of the Bharati. A Lecture was organised in Nashik where RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi was also present. More than 300 CAs attended the function.
Bharatiya Stree Shakti
Fighting for the women cause since 1988, Stree Shakti has units in Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Delhi, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. Family counselling centres, pre-martial counselling, SHGs, Dattak Palak Yojna, help desk for needy women and crèche for children in family court, counselling in government stay homes for girls, reading room, awareness programmes for adolescents, are also run by it.
Sarsanghachalak further stressed on strengthening family institutions and social harmony as they are the two major instruments of expanding the circle of Hindu thoughts and actions. He said that those converted from the Hindu society are willing to come back to their ancestral fold. They should be welcomed with open hands and hearts. He cautioned the swayamsevaks against the mirage of popularity and exhorted them not to compromise with the truth. Our job is to bring the society back on rails if it is drifting away.
RSS Mission in Action
Efforts for Social harmony through Saaptahik Milan : Gram Osanda of Dapoli Tehsil in Ratnagiri district of Kokan prant always faced acute problem of drinking water. The villagers of this village with their collective efforts made a plan to solve this problem. For this purpose donations were collected from all the families in the village. It was revealed that 16 families were ostracised from the village. The weekly meetings of the vyavasaayi swayamsevaks (working & professionals) were already being conducted since past one and half years in the village. All the swayamsevaks strived hard towards social harmony by discussing and conversing with people in every basti and every community. There was a discussion on this serious issue in the village meeting (Gram Sabha). Efforts began to unite the 16 ostracised families honourably with the other families of the village. 4 months of ceaseless efforts saw positive atmosphere setting in. The result was that the villagers themselves wrote a letter to the village head informing him that the problem has been solved. Today all the families live happily together. All have praised the efforts of the swayamsevaks.
On similar lines, Sarkaryavah Bhaiyaji Joshi said, “Today we are experiencing an encouraging response all over the nation. The faith of the people in Sangh activities and the concept of Hindutva is increasing. Naturally this is a favourable time for the expansion of our work also. If everything is diligently planned now, then we would experience better results in the near future. Let us move ahead with resolution and determination establishing the impact of our thinking in all walks of life and present the creative power of our society to the world.”
V Bhaigaihji is new Sahsarkaryavah
The newly appointed Sahsarkaryavah Shri V Bhaigaih hails from Medak district of present Telangana State. He graduated from Nizam College of Hyderabad. He came in contact of the Sangh during his student days. After his graduation he became a ‘Pracharak’ and dedicated his life for the nation. He was Vibhag Pracharak of Vishakapatnam during 1971-75, Prant Shareerik Pramukh and Vijaywada Vibhag Pracharak during 1975-80, Prant Bauddhik Pramukh between 1980 and 1990, later became the Andhra Pranth Sah Prant Pracharak and during 1991-2000 he served as Purva Andhra Prant Pracharak.
The place where people gather with common feelings and common resolve soon acquires the status of a holy place or teerth in Indian tradition. And if that place is special then it becomes the most holy teerth or Punyateerth. Nagpur has acquired the same status in modern Indian social milieu. Famous as “Sangh Gangotri” the source of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) the city of Nagpur hosted this year’s Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) of the RSS from March 13-15, 2015. Different streams emerging out of this common source and influencing different sectors of Indian social life had gathered to participate in this three-day historical congregation that was held from March 13 to 15 at
Dr Hedgewar Smriti Premises, Reshambag, Nagpur.
Bhaiyaji Joshi re-elected as Sarkaryavah
Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi is unanimously re-elected as Sarkaryawah for the third consecutive time. During the election process Bihar Kshetra Sanghachalak Shri Siddhinath Singh proposed the name of Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi for the post and Rajasthan Kshetra Sanghachalak Dr Bhagwati Prakash, Dakshin-Madhya Kshetra Karyavah Shri Ramkrishna Rao and Paschim Kshetra Karyavah Shri Sunil Mehata supported it. There was only one nomination for the key post of RSS and therefore Bhaiyaji Joshi was elected unanimously as RSS Sarkaryavah. He was elected Sarkaryavah in 2009 for the first time. Then in 2012 he was re-elected. Uthar Kshetra Sanghachalak Dr Bajaranglal Gupta was the election officer as per the constitution of the RSS.
All India Executive Committee
Sarsanghachalak – Shri Mohan Rao Bhagwat
Members Central Executive Council:
As per the RSS constitution holding such annual congregation is mandatory on its part but it is not held as mere ritual. The ABPS has carved out its significant place in the RSS working style. This meeting accomplishes four-fold agenda. It reviews, evaluates, deliberates, and gets direction for the future on its multifarious activities. The meeting was held in the Vyas Sabhagriha, a magnificent auditorium constructed sans obstructing pillars. The full-sized portraits of the RSS founder Dr Hedgewar and his successor MS Golwalkar “Guruji” gave the feeling of their actual presence in the meeting for guiding the participants. The slogan behind the dais attracted everybody’s attention igniting in their hearts the objective and mission of the RSS. The slogan read:
‘‘कर्ममय जीवन रचे हम, विश्व का कल्याण हो
चिर पुरातन राष्ट्र का, फिर से नया निर्माण हो‘‘
The Pratinidhi Sabha began with Bharatmata Pujan by Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat and Sarkaryavah Bhaiyaji Joshi in presence of hundreds of press photographers and live media men. Sarkaryavah Bhaiyaji Joshi welcomed all the delegates coming from all over the country. This meeting preceded with the meeting of RSS national executive in October 2014. Tributes were paid to those great souls who left for heavenly abode. They included stalwarts from social, cultural, political fields and from the Sangh also. Amnogst them were cartoonist RK Lakshman, Rajindre Puri, K Balachandran, D Rama Nayudu, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Ravi Chopra, Deven Varma, Murli Deora, Vinod Mehta, Chakradhar, Com Govind Pansare, Dr Vasant Gowarikar, Justice Krishna Iyer, from the fields of culture, arts, politics and literature; and T V Deshmukh, Narayanbhai B handari, Shridhar Acharya, Tarun Kumar, Narendra Singh from RSS. In addition to these tributes were also paid to some other individuals and those who perished in the natural calamities or war.
Welcoming the International Yoga Day
The proclamation by the 69th General Assembly of United Nations to observe June 21st of every year as the International Yoga Day gives countless cheers and immense pride to all the Bharatiyas, people of Bhartiya origin and millions of Yoga practioners across the globe. It becomes all the more delighting that the proposal for an International Yoga Day moved by the Honourable Prime Minister of Bharat in his UNGA speech on 27th September, 2014 received an unprecedented response. Nepal supported it immediately and 175 member states co-sponsored the resolution which was adopted within a short span of less than three months on 11th December, 2014, by consensus without vote.
Office Secretary Vikas Telang presented the report of the 2014 ABPS held at Bangaluru on 7-9 March. The report was approved by the ABPS delegates with chanting of ‘OM’.
The Sarkaryavah presented the report of previous year’s activities and achievements to the delegates. The report contains growth of Sangh work during the year, details of tour programmes of Sarsanghachalak and Sarkaryavah; special programmes and projects conducted in different provinces, efforts made to attain qualitative improvement besides making a meaningful comment on the present scenario and future direction to the delegates.
Primary Education in Mother Language
Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha is fully supportive of study of various languages including foreign languages but it is its considered opinion that for natural learning and to enrich cultural moorings, the education, particularly elementary education should be in mother language or in state languages recognised in our Constitution.
Three years ago in 2012 the ABPS meeting held at Nagpur deliberated and decided upon the growth and expansion of Sangh work. According to that determination in the last three years there has been significant growth of Sangh work. The number of shakhas increased from 5,161 places to 10,413. At present there are 51,330 shakhas at 33,222 places; 12,847 weekly gatherings; and 9,008 Sangh Mandali aggregating to a total of 73,185 centres all over the country.
It may be mentioned that this figure includes 6,077 shakhas mainly for youths thus blasting the myth that youths are not attracted to RSS ideology in the present era of careerism. The Sangh work is going on at 55,010 places in the country and this is certainly encouraging signal.
Yoga is more suitable for busy and stressful modern people as it settles people with more aggressive movements.”
There, having the mind actively focused upon a single point, with thought and sense activity controlled, Sitting on a seat, one should practice yoga for purification of the self. With an aligned body, head, and neck-keeping these steady, without movement; Focusing the vision toward the tip of one’s nose without looking about in any direction.
Yoga has become a universal language of spiritual exercise in the United States, crossing many lines of religion and cultures. Everyday millions of people practice yoga to improve their health and overall well-being. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to take part in PALA.”
Mother tongue is the right medium for social or mass education, learning of English is necessary for mastering Western science and technology, Sanskrit leads one into the depths of our vast store of classics.
Language is the true vehicle of self-expression. Man can freely express his thought in his mother-tongue. Mother tongue as the medium of instruction for the child's education.
Mother tongue medium school is the noblest activity any one can and must do in India.
Years of research have shown that children who begin their education in their mother tongue make a better start, and continue to perform better, than those for whom school starts with a new language.
Training has a special place in RSS schemes of working as it ensures continuity in working style. The ‘Karyakarta’ is developed in Sangh doctrine as he undergoes the first, second and third year training at the Sangh Shiksha Varg (SSV). In the last year 59 Sangh Shiksha Varga were held for First year in which 15,332 swayamsevaks participated. In Second year SSVs were held at 61 places where 3,531 swayamsevaks participated and the Third Year SSV was held at Nagpur where 709. Thus the total number of participants was 19,572. Besides, 80,409 swayamsevaks attended the Prathamik Shiksha Vargs taking the total of trained swayamsevaks to 99,981.
Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat met many a prominent persons in the social life including Chief of the Mangalyan scheme Annadurai, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, Acharya Mahashramanji, Bhante Rahul Bodhi, Puri Maharaja Ganapatiji, Swami Dayanand Saraswati and others.
Various programmes are organised to inculcate patriotic sanskars amongst the swayamsevaks. In the battle-history of India the victory of Indian forces over Pakistanis in 1971 Bangladesh war was remarkable. The Pakistani army under General Niyazi with his 93,000 soldiers surrendered on December 16, 1971 to the Indian Army. This day is celebrated as “Victory Day”. To keep the memory of that day alive, the Sangh shakhas organise “Prahar Yagya” on that day. This year 3.37 lakh swayamsevaks participated in this ‘yagya’ and registered 15.80 core ‘prahars’. Over 90 per cent of these participants were below the age of 45 years. The number of those swayamsevaks who took out over 1000 ‘prahars’ was also remarkable. All the shakshas conduct various physical exercises such as yogasana etc. regularly.
Apart from these physical exercises the efforts are made to build the intellectual capacity of the swayamsevaks through various programmes. This year the very basics of ‘Rashtriya’, ‘Swayamsevak’, and ‘Sangh’ were discussed for the benefit of the swayamsevaks.
The Prachar Vibhag of the RSS is relatively new in the field but slowly making its impact on the media world. Maharshi Narad Jayanti programmes were organised at 118 places where 3,401 journalists participated. Semi-nars were conducted for column writers in which 355 people participated. The ‘Jagarana Patrikas’ have a reach of 2.27 lakh villages in the country.
Some noteworthy programmes held last year includes 1,000 years of coronation of Rajendra Chola. This year was celebrated in Tamiul Nadu with massive route marches indicating the favourable attitude of masses. However, the administration tried to block the route march in spite green signal by the court. The swayamsevaks got the popular support and organised route marches at the district places. The administration arrested 35,000 people and swayamsevaks for violating the ban orders!
The weekly Milan programme in Agond Village in Dapoli taluk of Ratnagiri District of Konkan province, the youths successfully convinced the villagers to lift the boycott of 16 families ensuring a harmonious life in the village. A camp of 42,870 swayamsevaks was held at Aurangabad. These swayamsevaks came from Devgiri Province i.e. Marathwada region of Maharashtra. Food for these participants was collected from 20,000 families.
In Gujarat, the Karyakarta Shivir, college students’ camps in Malva, Braj, and Uttarakhand regions were some of the prominent programmes of the last year. The massive presence of youths in these camps indicates the growing curiosity and urge of the youths to join RSS. In South West Bengal 10,300 new youths participated in the ‘Sangh Parichay Varg’ for the first time.
While commenting on the political scenario the annual report says, “in the Lok Sabha elections of May 2014 the people of Bharat have shown their political maturity. In this election people have voted for a stable government. This is the first time that the society has expressed its faith by bringing to power a political party inspired by Bharatiya thought and ideology. The report also indicates that there is a natural expectation that with the cooperation of the policy makers, thinkers and experts and with balanced thinking, time consistent plans should be made and implemented.
Along with the fulfilment of desires and aspirations of the common man, the country expects national security, self respect, sovereignty from the newly formed government. The report lauds the efforts of the government on the issues of Swachata Abhiyan (Cleanliness Campaign), Ganga Suraksha (Protection of Ganga). The Sarkaryavah in his report said that the aggrieved anti-national forces are making an issue of unnecessary things and trying to pollute the atmosphere of the country. The people of Bharat should remain aware in this context. All nationalist forces should join hands to take the initiative in this direction.
Along with the RSS work, organisations working in various walks of life also presented their reports. The ABPS, Vidya Bharati, Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal, ABVP, Shaikshik Mahasangh, Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas, are some of the organisations working in the field of education. They presented their annual report. Vidya Bharati has undertaken an ambitious project of e-learning at Hardwar.
Similarly, on the economic front Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Sahkar Bharati, Grahak Panchayat, and Laghu Udyog Bharati submitted their reports. One village in Jhalawad district of Rajasthan has adopted the organic life style. The VHP is celebrating its golden jubilee this year. The report of World Hindu Congress, Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, Rashtra Sevika Samiti was presented.
With the inspiration of RSS, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh is also active in several countries where swayamsevaks have gone for education, service and business. The Vishwa Vibhag presented its report which stated that the HSS is active in 39 countries with 712 shakhas. The International Centre for Cultural Studies set up to bring closer those following their ancient traditions and cultures held its annual conference in Mysuru in 2015.
Sewa is the most important activity of Sangh. Today the number of such sewa activities conducted by RSS swayamsevaks is 1,52,388. Of these 81,278 educational, 22,741 healthcare, 26,388 social, 21,981 vocational activities are conducted. There has been increase of 13,721 sewa activities in the last year alone. Rashtriya Sewa Bharati, National Medicos Organisa-tion, Arogya Bharati, Saksham, Deendayal Shodh Sansthan have a major role in these activities.
Among the intellectuals and opinion makers the Sangh activities are conducted by Pragya Prawah, Sahitya Parishad, Sanskar Bharati, Vigyan Bharati, Itahas Sankalan Yojana, Adhivakta Parisahd etc. Their reporting also gave a new insight to the delegates.The BJP delegates also presented their report card. National BJP President Amit Shah was personally present in the meeting accompanied by the organising secretary Ram Lal.
Sarkaryavah impressed upon the delegates to undertake programmes to popularise international yoga day by organising various programmes in the shakha locality on June 21. Besides, he also exhorted them to work for social harmony in their respective areas.With the precious words of wisdom for the coming years focus and programmes by the Sarsanghachalak, concluded the three-day ‘Rashtra Yagya’ of the RSS.
—Virag Pachpore with inputs from VSK, Nagpur