The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been quietly undertaking a massive membership drive at prestigious educational institutes, including Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) and National Law Institute University (NLIU), for the last one month in Bhopal.
It also plans to hold regular 'shakhas' at the MANIT premises after the membership gets a boost there. "In November, RSS workers had approached us. I formed a Facebook page and uploaded an online form for those who want to join the RSS," MANIT student Ashutosh Pratap said.
Pratap claimed that he received positive response from 30 students in a month’s time. "A meeting will be held for new members at Sangh office in January. But if the number of members swell, a ‘shakha’ will be held at the MANIT premises with permission from the director," he added.
Shaka is a gathering of RSS members held in a ground either in the morning or in the evening hours.
NLIU student Aditya Vijay Singh claimed six students have shown interest in the RSS’s activities. Pratap and Singh are coordinating the Sangh’s membership drive in the two institutes.
The RSS membership drive may be used by the opposition parties to target the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh.
When contacted, RSS vibhag pracharak, Madhya Bharat, Rajmohan said the drive was launched to spread awareness about the Sangh among the students. "We have started the campaign last month in the national institutes so that students could understand the RSS. Students from MANIT and NLIU have shown interest. We will hold a counselling session where we will also ask them about their interests so that they can participate in our activities. In future, we will hold 'Shakha' on the campus of these institutes too," he said.
But MANIT director Appu Kuttan claimed that he was not aware of any such activity on the institute’s campus. "If students participate in such activities, I can't do anything because it is a personal matter but I will not allow any such activity in our institute. This can disturb the discipline of our institute," he said.