RSS claims rise in Shakha numbers, though marginally | delhi | Hindustan Times
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RSS claims rise in Shakha numbers, though marginally

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has arrested the progressive decline in the number of its Shakhas, if information revealed at the just-concluded annual meet of it highest decision-making body is to be believed.

delhi Updated: Mar 16, 2011 00:18 IST
Vikas Pathak

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has arrested the progressive decline in the number of its Shakhas, if information revealed at the just-concluded annual meet of it highest decision-making body is to be believed.

Sangh functionaries are claiming this to be a vindication that they have public support despite accusations of terror.

"At present, 39,908 Shakhas are active in 27,078 places all over Bharat (India)," RSS Sarkaryavaha Suresh (Bhaiyyaji) Joshi told Swayamsevaks at the Akhil Bharatiya Pratindhi Sabha meet at Puttur in Karnataka.

The corresponding numbers last year were 39,823 Shakhas in 27,089 places.

In other words, there is a slight increase in the number of Shakhas and a marginal decline in the number of places they are being held in.

The Sangh's annual report last year, however, had to admit a decline of 4,000 Shakhas from the 2009 figures: 43,905 Shakhas.

The number of places where Shakhas were held had also come down by close to 3000, i.e., from 30,015 to 27,089.

The 2009 figure, too, was a far cry from the figure of 51,000 in 2005-06.

While RSS does not maintain a membership register — thus making it tough to gauge the precise number of its volunteers — the Shakha figure is considered a fair indicator of whether the organisation's support is increasing or diminishing.

Politically, this also indicates the support base the BJP can count on outside its regular cadre, which is believed to be electorally crucial for it.

"False charges were made against RSS to wean people away from us. In our door-to-door campaign, 99% people said they had great faith in the RSS and that there was no need for us to give any clarification. The figures are a resounding slap in the face of the propaganda," claimed RSS Delhi media cell secretary Vagish Issar.