At a time when the BJP is losing its momentum in West Bengal, the party’s ideological mentor RSS has seen an increase in the number of people attending its special training camps, the only way to become a trained Sangh member.
The Vishes Pratamvarsha Sangha Sikha Varga (21-day first year education and training camp) organised in the northern and southern parts of the state attracted 647 participants this year, whereas the figure for 2014 was around 250.
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is currently organising similar camps in different parts of the state.
After the first year’s training, aspirants will attend second-year classes in Odhisa and the final third year’s training will be held at Nagpur in Maharashtra, the headquarters of the RSS.
Explaining the reasons for the increase in participants, RSS leaders in the state pointed to alleged atrocities against Hindus in the state.
“We did not expect such a huge jump in numbers. The reason behind the phenomenon in West Bengal is atrocities against Hindus, which are happening every day,” said Jishnu Basu, the RSS general secretary for south Bengal.
“For instance on May 4, three SC/ST Hindus were murdered in Kaliagunj, Nadia, and over 20 houses burnt. Till date, no government relief has reached the victims’ families as many in the villages have taken shelter in a local temple. The culprits have not been arrested.”
Basu said the Hindus of West Bengal had realised that “nobody” is helping them. “That is why they are joining the RSS,” he added.
This year’s 21-day residential camp is being organised at Tantiberia in Howrah district, Siliguri, Farakka and Kasimbazar in Murshidabad.
Students are being trained in Bankura while people from different professions are taking part in camps at other locations. People of all age groups are participating in the camps, leaders said.
Second year camps are being held in Odhisa, where 80 people from West Bengal are participating.
According to the RSS, the first year training camp is the only way to become a full fledged member of the organisation. The camp includes classes in mental, spiritual and physical training.
Participants wake up at 4 am to join prayers. This is followed by classes in physical training classes, martial arts, ‘pranayam’, and special unarmed combat techniques called ‘nijuddho’.
There are also classes on social, religious and national subjects. Participants take part in a special RSS parade and are also trained in playing musical instruments, homeopathy and advanced unarmed combat.
After evening prayers, interactive discussions are held on state and national issues.