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Three-day meet of RSS top body from Thursday

A week after the brutal killing of a Hindu tailor Kanhaiyalal for his support for comments against Prophet Mohammed, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh will hold a critical three-day annual meeting of all of its pranth pracharaks and senior leaders in Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan.

BJP national organisation secretary BL Santhosh is also expected to take part in the meeting starting Thursday, that will see the participation of top RSS leaders including sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat and Sarkayavah Dattatreya Hosabale.

The meeting is essentially of pranth pracharaks across the country and their subordinate functionaries. The RSS divides the country into 11 kshetras (zones) and 45 pranths, and senior functionaries from across the country are expected to attend the meeting. A senior functionary said organisational affairs will be discussed in the meeting, the duties of the pranth pracharaks who are key in taking the sangh parivar’s agenda to the ground and also the best practices adopted by different units. There were 105 sangh shiksha vargas (training camps) in the country this year after they were stalled for two years due to Covid-19.

Recently, the prachar pramukh (communications head) of the RSS Sunil Ambekar had called for more research and investigation into the acts of islamic fundamentalism, and had opined that provocation, in no way, was responsible for the radicalism to grow. It was a mindset, a belief system that feeds into separatism driving such acts, he had said. A senior functionary of the RSS said all sangh parivar affiliates are being told to step up action against “radicalism.”

“Dialogue is as important to us as diplomacy and democratic ways to ensure radicalism is nipped in the bud. While senior leaders of the RSS have been looking at ways to

educated, moderate Muslims to speak against fundamentalism, our other outfits such as VHP and Adhivakta parishad are actively looking into this,” a senior functionary said. It is important to note that prominent Muslim bodies have condemned the brutal attack and called for the strictest punishement for the accused.

The RSS will turn 100 years old in 2025 and planning for the celebration is also expected to be part of the RSS’ meeting. “In some States we have done away with the use of flex banners and plastic, and are using cloth banners and paper bags. As an experiment of social harmony this year in Rajasthan camps, we got food packets from different communities and served them to our members. To conserve water, we used sand and ancient techniques to wash dishes. Discussion of how such practices can be amplified will also be part of such meetings as environment awareness has emerged as a key area for the Sangh’s intervention. As an example, we will also look at how Swayamsevaks responded to Assam floods and what more can be done,” another functionary said.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat who arrived in Rajasthan on Saturday will also spend the next five days meeting representatives from different organisations in the State that goes to polls next year. With 17 months to go for elections in Congress-run Rajasthan, the BJP has been highlighting the communal incidents that have taken place in the State in the last five years. On Sunday, Bhagwat reached Jaipur by train and was received by senior RSS leaders of the state. He met Acharya Mahashraman of Terapanth Sangh in Churu and also met people in Banswara and Jaipur.

Bhagwat’s visit to Rajasthan also comes at a time the Muslim Rashtriya Manch that is mentored by senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar along with seers has been holding events to pay tributes to Kanhaiyalal. On Sunday, a similar event was held in Banswara to talk about the dangers of islamic fundamentalism. Some top RSS leaders have also initiated a dialogue with Muslim academics on the need to promote an Indian version of Islam.

A Hindu man, Kanhaiya Lal, was beheaded by two men, Mohammed Riyaz and Ghouse in broad daylight on June 28. The Udaipur murder was recorded on camera and its video has gone viral on social media.The four accused in the case have been sent to National Investigation Agency custody till July 12.

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