The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the entire society will continue to work to remove all the obstacles coming in the way of the nation’s resurgence. The narrative about the country should change as we march ahead in this Amrit Kaal, and answers to questions pertaining to India should emanate from India only,” said RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Dattatreya Hosabale ji on March 14, 2023, at the conclusion of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) of the RSS. The ABPS was held at Samalkha in Panipat district of Haryana from March 12-14.
“Distorted history should be replaced with correct history, so that the countrymen can take pride in their heritage. Art, literature and other expressions of creativity should reflect contemporaneity,” he said.
The ABPS passed an important resolution in view of the RSS’s future endeavours towards national regeneration, and reviewed the annual report. This resolution will provide direction to the society as India marches ahead confidently during the ongoing Amrit Kaal and as the RSS approaches its centenary in 2025. At a time when India is taking bold steps on the path to global leadership, citizens need to be vigilant of those looking to impede Bharat’s progress.
In addition to the resolution, three important statements were issued, one each on completion of the 200th birth anniversary of Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati, the 350th year of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and the 2550th year of Nirvana of Mahavir Swami.
The centenary year of the RSS starts from Vijayadashami in 2025, but the ABPS did not firm up any plan of action for the landmark event. The Sabha chalked out a strategy to expand the Sangh’s footprint, and ramp up its quality of service activity. The Swayamsevaks of Shakhas will study the social realities of villages and settlements, and work towards addressing their problems by involving the local communities. Such experiments and endeavours are already being made, and were discussed in the ABPS meeting, said Shri Hosabale, who is fondly addressed as Datta ji by Swayamsevaks.
ABPS chalked out a strategy to expand the Sangh’s footprint, and ramp up its quality of service activity. The Swayamsevaks of Shakhas will study the social realities of villages and settlements, and work towards addressing their problems
In the coming months, the RSS will aim to focus on five dimensions of social transformation. These five dimensions include social harmony, family values, ecological conservation, swadeshi (Bharatiya) conduct, and civic duty. In this regard, the Sarkaryavah emphasised that the aim of this action plan is to strengthen the voice against discrimination in the society and make constant efforts for harmony. In response to a question, he made it clear that untouchability is a disgrace to the society, and that the RSS is committed to eradicating it.
The RSS remains concerned about the prevailing population imbalance, an issue that has found mention in the Supreme Court also. Former chief election commissioner T.N. Seshan, and Mahatma Gandhi had also talked about this, Shri Hosabale said while replying to questions from journalists.
Arogya Bharti has been working for holistic health since 20 years now. It conducts regular activities in about 500 districts. From service to research work; urban, rural, tribal; taking all medicos and non-medicos along, work is now being done in 24 different subjects.
In the last one year, 7,353 Arogya Mitras were trained at 2,400 places in 164 districts. 16,803 people regularly practice yoga at 1065 places in 277 districts. In 1,259 schools of 254 districts, 95,002 students were made aware about health care. 22,129 medicinal plants were planted at 851 places in 197 districts. Different types of programs were organised by Arogya Bharti at 494 places in 49 districts, touching the lives of 8,946 persons. Its impact in North-East is noteworthy, where it has proved to be an effective tool of social transformation also.
Bharat Vikas Parishad
Bharat Vikas Parishad is running 13 centers across the country for the assistance of the divyangs (specially-abled). A total of 3,11,969 prosthetic limbs have been distributed to divyangs so far, along with equipment and employment assistance.
Bharat Vikas Parishad is also working for the welfare of forest dwellers – with projects to make them self-reliant, such as toilet construction, embroidery-stitching centers, computer training centers, library, medical van, solar plant, drinking water and other vocational training centers. The Parishad is doing exemplary work in the northeastern states, especially for women.
Under the Mahila Evam Bal Vikas initiative, artificial limbs were distributed to divyang daughters, and jaggery plus gram to pregnant women. 26,757 people benefitted from activities like making eco-friendly idols, LED skirting, earthen lamps, rakhi etc,
Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh
BMS is working in 9 regions in 714 districts of 31 prants. Committees have been formed in about 550 districts.
In the last one year, BMS’ work has increased among scheme workers (Anganwadi, Asha, Mid-day Meal), agricultural rural labourers, contract labourers, other labourers, fisheries, domestic workers and workers in private transport (rural and urban) unorganised sector.
In 2022, protests were conducted on national, state, district and industry levels on various issues in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
In a joint effort of BMS and Delhi University, a seminar related to wage law was conducted.
L20: The G20 summit in 2023 is being held under the chairmanship of India. Being the organisation with largest number of members in the country, the Government of India has given the chairmanship of L20 to BMS. The first important meeting of L20 is scheduled on March 18-20, 2023 in Amritsar. The second meeting is scheduled on June 20-23, 2023, in Patna.
Deendayal Shodh Sansthan
Deendayal Shodh Sansthan (Deendayal Research Institute) is the leading organisation of the country engaged in evolving new paradigms towards holistic development. In the 55 years of its establishment, the institute has touched upon all aspects of life in more than 750 villages in four districts of the country on the foundation of ‘Integral Humanism’. With this intervention, positive social and economic changes have been seen in these villages. DRI has expanded its area of work across the country. The aim is to gather indigenous, traditional knowledge from across the country and to create, on its basis, an indigenous narrative on various issues.
The institute organised 8 big events in different parts of the country on the theme.
Akhil Bharatiya Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh
During the last year, the Mahasangh focused on the participation of women in organisational activities. On August 1, 2022 the Mahasangh organised events to honour the families of freedom fighters in schools across the country. It also organised women conferences at different levels in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat.
In relation to the National Education Policy (NEP), online and offline lectures, special meetings, workshops and seminars were organised throughout the year to raise awareness. Detailed facts and suggestions were also presented to the Education Minister regarding the implementation of the NEP.
Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat
In the last one year, Grahak Panchayat has gone online. People can now become members through mobile application also. This had got a positive feedback from the rural areas. The total membership has reached close to 1300.
Compared to last year, there has been a increase in the participation of women in the organisational activities. A book written by Dattopant Thengadi ‘Consumer- Sovereign Without Sovergnity’ was translated in Hindi.
Grahak Panchayat has demanded the Government to have a legal control on online games and OTT platform to save the youth from its ill effects. According to data, there are 607 million smartphone users in India and of these, 400 million are under 35 years of age. There has been a 21 per cent increase in the number of suicides due to stress by online games and platforms.
Kreeda Bharati was founded in the year 1992 with a vision to build a “FIT INDIA – HIT INDIA”. Kreeda Bharati envisages participation and development of all Indians by promoting traditional sports along with established sports. In the last one year, 100 events of ‘Surya Namaskar’ were organised at 100 places in 56 districts where a total of 17,76,626 people participated.
The Sarkaryavah affirmed that the RSS’s idea of Hindu Rashtra envisions a cultural nation, different from the concept of ‘State’ with geo-political boundaries. When seen from this perspective, there is no doubt that Bharat is a Hindu Rashtra.
On the question of Rahul Gandhi’s criticism of the RSS and his statement about democracy being in danger in India, Shri Hosabale advised that a senior parliamentarian like him should talk more responsibly. Moreover, those who did not even apologize for imposing Emergency in the country have no moral right to talk about democracy, he said.
On the question of same-sex marriage, he asserted that the Sangh is of the firm belief that marriage is a sacred ritual that takes place between a man and a woman. This is because the purpose of marriage is the larger interest of the society, and not carnal pleasure.
Bharat’s economy is growing at a rapid pace, its influence and profile is rising in the strategic and diplomatic spheres. At this juncture, the entire society needs to come together and work for achieving all-round development. There are several forces, both in Bharat and abroad, that want to stop Bharat from moving forward on this path. But, unitedly and with the spirit of ‘Swa’, we shall render these forces ineffective, and ensure Bharat’s rejuvenation and resurgence, said Shri Hosabale.
Earlier, on March 12, RSS Sah-Sarkaryavah Dr Manmohan Vaidya ji while speaking to the media said, “RSS will complete 100 years of its formation in 2025. Currently, the RSS is working directly at 71,355 places and striving for social transformation. Over the next one year, it aims to expand its direct presence and service activity to about one lakh places across the nation. The Sangh’s work and influence saw a big boost after the Covid pandemic struck in 2020. In 2020, as many as 62,491 Shakhas were held across 38,913 places, Saptahik Milan (weekly gatherings) at 20,303 places, and Maasik Mandali (monthly meetings) at 8,732 places. In 2023, all these numbers have seen a significant increase. Currently, 68,651 Shakhas are being organised at 42,613 places, Saptahik Milan at 26,877 places, and Maasik Mandali at 10,412 places.”
Expanding the RSS’s work
From the Sangh’s perspective, there are 911 Zilas (districts) in the nation, out of which the RSS is working directly and actively in 901 Zilas. Similarly, the RSS holds Shakhas in 88 per cent of the 6,663 Khands, and 26,498 of the 59,326 Mandals. As many as 1,300 additional Shatabdi Vistaraks, besides the regular Pracharaks and Vistaraks, have set out on a two-year mission to expand the RSS’s work and activities during its centenary year, Dr Vaidya said.
The Swayamsevaks’ dedication is such that they spread RSS’s service activities by taking time out of their daily work and contributing to social change even if it entails spending money from their own pocket. The RSS’s Shakhas are centres for character development. Individuals who attend Shakhas imbibe great values, and later play a critical role in social transformation by awakening nationalist thoughts and taking the society along, Dr Vaidya added.
Enthusiasm among youth for the RSS
The RSS has been able to sharpen its appeal in the society, and now more and more people are getting drawn to it, Shri Vaidya said. People are searching for the RSS and seeking to join the nationalist organization through the digital medium. Between 2017 and 2022, the RSS received a whopping 7,25,000 applications to join. Importantly, most of these applicants were aged 20 to 35 years, looking to join the RSS with the aim to serve the society.
The country’s youth are displaying a keen interest in the RSS’s daily Shakhas as well. Of the total, 60 per cent are Vidyarthi Shakhas (student shakhas). In the last one year, 121,137 youth have received the Sangh’s Prathmik Shikshan (primary training). Over the next one year, the RSS aims to hold 109 Shikshan Vargs (training camps), with 20,000 Swayamsevaks likely to participate, he said.
Elaborating on the Sangh Shikshan (training), Dr. Vaidya said that Swayamsevaks in the age group of 15-40 years participate in the Pratham Varsh Shikshan (first-year training), those in the 17-40 years attend the Dwitiya Varsh (second year), and the Tritiya Varsh (third year) is meant for those aged between 25 years and 40 years. The RSS organises special training camps for Swayamsevaks aged above 40 years.
Notably, more than 1,400 Pratinidhis and Karyakartas from 34 organisations working in various walks of life from all states across the nation participated in the ABPS this year.