Bhagwat to lead RSS outreach to expand base in God’s own country

  • Smriti Kak Ramachandran, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2016 00:20 IST
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will address students from professional colleges on September 24 and 25 to inspire them to take up jobs in India and give something in return to their country. (PTI file photo)

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) aims to expand its footprint in Kerala after helping its protégé — the BJP — get its first-ever MLA in the state assembly.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will address students from professional colleges on September 24 and 25 to inspire them to take up jobs in India and give something in return to their country. The two-day event named Jagriti will also see Bhagwat spread the Sangh’s message of ‘nationalism’ that has often been criticised by BJP’s political rivals.

Attempting to consolidate its gains, the ideological fount of the BJP plans to open shakhas or units in every village of the southern state, said RSS’ Kerala joint secretary M Radhakrishnan.

Kerala already has over 5,000 shakhas — the highest in the country — but now the RSS wants its ideology to percolate to every corner of the state that swings between the Congress and Left-led coalitions in polls.

More day schools run by its affiliate Vidya Bharti, and residential schools or Bal Ashrams will be opened for the underprivileged section, as the Sangh wants to introduce its ideology early to the students.

While it claims to be an apolitical outfit, the RSS is supporting the BJP for electoral politics. The decision to hold the party’s national council meet in Kerala was also influenced by the RSS view that the party should remain a part of the state’s political discourse.

The RSS machinery had helped the BJP increase its vote share to 14% in the assembly polls in May.

To change its uneasy equation with minorities, attempts are being made to encourage liberal Muslims and Christians to congregate with the Sangh. RSS leaders blame conversions by Christian missionaries and outreach by radical Islamic groups for the alleged radicalism.

BJP cadre has been instructed to highlight the scarcity of jobs and absence of industries, growing crime rate and disparity as failures of Left and Congress leadership.

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