RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat will attend a function organised by the Hindu Swamaysevak Sangh, an affiliate that works overseas to propagate the right wing organisation’s views amongst the diaspora, in the United Kingdom in July.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh sources confirmed that Bhagwat, who has made several trips overseas in the past, will be attending a two-day mahashivir (grand camp) organised by the HSS on July 30-31.
“Bhagwat ji was invited by the HSS, which has been working there for years. It will be the largest gathering of Hindus in the UK that he will address,” a Sangh functionary said.
The HSS that is operating in the UK since 1968 has been under the scanner of the British government in the past.
In February 2015, the UK launched a probe into the activities of the HSS, after a “disturbing” footage showed a teacher on camera making anti- Muslim and Christian remarks at a camp organised by it.
In 2004, Awaaz: South Asia Watch Limited (ASAW)—a London-based watchgroup—submitted a report to the British parliament alleging that millions of pounds collected as charity for victims of the Gujarat quake and the Orissa super-cyclone were used to fund Sangh organisations in India.
Both the allegations were dismissed by Sangh functionaries, who clarified that the HSS only works with the diaspora on cultural issues, allowing people to retain ties with India through social programmes.
While Sangh functionaries were tight-lipped about Bhagwat’s engagements, there are reports that he would be meeting eminent personalities including business leaders from a cross-section while in the UK.
“The Sangh has divided its overseas work into five zones - Europe, Americas, Africa, Australia and Eastern countries - where our pracharaks work with the diaspora. The Sangh appoints sampark adhikaris for each of these zones, who are invited to travel abroad to address gatherings and attend camps. In the past, Bhagwatji had visited the US,” a senior functionary said.
Regular shakhas are held in over 30 countries by the HSS, but plans to expand the activities of the Sangh have been in the works after its protege the Bhartiya Janata Party wrested power in 2014.