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Chinese or desi? RSS cadre foxed

“The cadres who got the rakhis on the occasion weren’t aware of the difference between Chinese and Indian made rakhis.”

lucknow Updated: Aug 08, 2017 15:00 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Raksha Bandhan is among the six major festivals that the Sangh celebrates.
Raksha Bandhan is among the six major festivals that the Sangh celebrates.

Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) veterans were surprised when they saw their cadres had got ‘China made’ rakhis for Raksha Bandhan despite the Sangh’s ‘no-Chinese-rakhi’ campaign.

This situation came to the fore when the leaders visited a slum locality in Lucknow to celebrate the festival among Dalits as part of the organisation’s larger aim to unite the Hindus by bridging the caste divide.

The Sangh leaders quickly got the Chinese rakhis replaced with swadeshi ones and explained the difference to the cadre.

Raksha Bandhan is among the six major festivals that the Sangh celebrates. The ‘no-Chinese-rakhi’ campaign was timed amid an increasingly bitter New Delhi-Beijing standoff over Doklam, which is under China’s control but claimed by Bhutan. This, Sangh leaders say, prompted them to think of ways to weaken the Chinese financially.

But, the mix-up in the presence of Sangh veterans Indresh Kumar and Mahirajdhwaj on Sunday evening showed that the saffron cadres hadn’t quite understood how to distinguish between the foreign version and the ‘desi.’

“The cadres who got the rakhis on the occasion weren’t aware of the difference between Chinese and Indian made rakhis,” an RSS source told HT.

“Unlike flashy, well-cut rakhis that are sold at attractive rates, the Indian version is mostly a simple thread,” a Sangh leader said, admitting that several rakhi-sellers may have just been as confused as their own cadre were.

Despite the embarrassment, the RSS isn’t quite worried as it seeks to iron out deficiencies ahead of other festivals – Janmashtami, Ganesh Utsav, Navratri and Diwali. By then, they expect the ‘no-Chinese’ campaign to gain momentum.

“We will continue to build public opinion against China,” Mahirajdhwaj said, explaining the campaign was receiving encouraging feedback.

Addressing a function in the state capital, RSS leader Indresh Kumar said, “China is a demon. The present government at the centre has successfully exposed the nefarious designs of both China and Pakistan before the international community.”

Later, in Varanasi, he said: “Our sisters have thrown a challenge to China by boycotting rakhis made in China. They made rakhis and tied them to their brothers. Everyone should boycott Chinese goods and use indigenous items.”

Sangh’s Rashtriya Ekta Mission will continue to up the ante against Chinese goods. The Muslim Rashtriya Manch, an RSS backed body, will build public opinion against Pakistan. Bhola Nath, who is associated with RSS’s Swadeshi Jagran Manch, told HT that a massive rally will be organised at Delhi’s Ramlila ground in October. During the rally, the Modi government will be urged to opt out of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).