Milind Soman remembers his days at RSS shakha, says he’s ‘baffled’ by communal connotations
Model-actor-athlete Milind Soman was a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in his youth, he has revealed in his new memoir, Made in India.
A report in The Print quoted Milind’s book: “When I read today all the subversive, communal propaganda the media attributes to RSS shakhas, I am frankly baffled. My memories of what happened at our shakha between 6 and 7 p.m. each weekday evening are completely different—we marched about in our khaki shorts, did some yoga, worked out in a traditional outdoor gymnasium with no fancy equipment, sang songs and chanted Sanskrit verses that we did not understand the meanings of, played games and had a bunch of fun with our fellows.”
“Occasionally, we’d be taken on treks or overnight camping trips in the hills around Bombay, which we eagerly looked forward to and enjoyed very much. The whole thing was overseen by a team of mostly-well-meaning—if not always inspirational—adults, who truly believed they were helping raise good ‘civilian soldiers’— boys respectful of authority, well-behaved in the presence of adults and well-aware of the importance of physical fitness— who would put their efforts into nation-building when they grew up. A desi Scouts movement, if you will. As for the parents who registered their kids, most saw the shakha as just another way to keep their offspring in good shape and out of trouble,” he added.
Earlier, announcing the book, Milind shared an excerpt on Instagram and wrote, “The year 1995 was a very significant year for me in many, many ways. In January that year, my father died, leaving me with a bunch of mixed feelings to sort through, but not much grief. I had never had a great deal of affection for him, which is rather sad when you come to think of it, because he cared deeply for me in his own way. When he had moved out of home five years before he died, I remember feeling nothing but a huge sense of relief; as I sat by his prone form in the ambulance that was taking him to the hospital, I tried to muster up some warm emotion for him, but did not succeed. It was the end of an important and not always happy chapter in my life; fortunately for me, I was able to make my peace with it sooner rather than later. Right on the heels of my father’s passing came the music video. Yup, that video. The one that single-handedly propelled the singer—the pint-sized, sweet-faced, ‘baby doll’ Alisha Chinai—into the stratosphere of musical fame. And turned me from a supermodel into something way bigger—a star. (excerpt ‘Made in India - a memoir ). Now for a haircut !!! @ankita_earthy.”
Milind also shared a picture with wife Ankita as they celebrated Holi on Tuesday. “Happy Holi !! Celebrate the arrival of spring, the end of winter, the blossoming of love, play and laugh, forget and forgive, heal your world .. if you have been thinking of changing your life around, or doing better for yourself, NOW is the time! #betterhabits4betterlife #love,” he wrote in the caption.
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