After anti-graft campaigns by social activist Anna Hazare and yoga guru Baba Ramdev, the RSS – the ideological mentor of the BJP – has also decided to mobilise people on issues like corruption, security and hunger.
As part of its plan, the Sangh flagged off an all-India padyatra (march on foot) on August 9 – the anniversary of the Quit India Movement of 1942 – from Kanyakumari. The yatra will cover 15000 km in five years.
The idea of choosing the Quit India Movement’s anniversary: “the British had to quit India within five years after launching the movement; corruption and terrorism will also have to quit the country after the yatra”.
RSS volunteers, however, claim the yatra will have social rather than political implications, though it is expected to help gain support for the BJP’s poll efforts.
The yatra, which will cover 10 km a day, will move through villages and continue right into the next Lok Sabha polls, an occasion when the BJP will try to dislodge the UPA which is facing corruption charges.
“Former all India seva pramukh of the RSS and pracharak Sitaram Kedilaya will cover the entire distance of 15,000 km. He will start yatra from Kanyakumari and end in Kanyakumari,” said an RSS functionary. “In each village, RSS volunteers will accompany him.”
Asked about the political impact of the yatra, a Sangh functionary said: “This is a yatra to integrate society, tell people they are on family and spread a strong message against corruption, terrorism and poverty among the rural youth.”