Demonstrators raising slogans at the Ghazipur border protest site in New Delhi. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
Demonstrators raising slogans at the Ghazipur border protest site in New Delhi. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

Farmers’ protest: RSS starts outreach programme in Punjab

At meetings with local leaders, Sangh functionaries have underlined the need to differentiate between the pro-farmer groups and individuals and organisations known to support the Khalistan movement
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 09:24 AM IST

Concerned by the possibility of a pro-secession movement gaining ground in Punjab and the fear of hostility between Hindus and Sikhs, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has mobilised its cadre to carry out outreach programmes in the border state. The outreach is aimed at dispelling “misunderstandings” about the farm laws and to impress upon the need to insulate the ongoing farmers’ stir from pro-secession groups, said functionaries aware of the details.

A section of farmers from Punjab have been demanding the three new farm laws be repealed, though the agitation has also been joined by farmers’ groups from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, where influential Jat Khaps have also lent their support to the agitation. The Sangh, however, is worried by the agitation being used to stoke the pro-Khalistan sentiment.

Also Read | Will soon visit Gujarat to mobilise support for farmers’ protest: Rakesh Tikait

“There are some farmers who have been led to believe that because of the new laws they will lose ownership of their land or the government is withdrawing minimum support price for their crops. While there are some genuine concerns that the government is ready to discuss, a misinformation campaign was deliberately carried out. The agitation has now been taken over by vested interests, who are not worried about the farmers, but are driven by other motives,” said a senior functionary, requesting anonymity.

At meetings with local leaders, Sangh functionaries have underlined the need to differentiate between the pro-farmer groups and individuals and organisations known to support the Khalistan movement. “Punjab lived through tumultuous times in the 1980s when terrorists killed thousands of innocent people. Nobody wants those days to return,” said the functionary quoted above.

The Sangh also sees a “pattern” in how agitations are used to create hostility between communities. “When the Citizenship Amendment Act was formed, a misinformation campaign began that it would lead to Muslim citizens losing their citizenship. Similarly, famers from Punjab are being used to drive the agenda of anti-national forces,” said the functionary.

The outreach, however, is not easy. At least two incidents of violent attacks at Shakhas were reported in February in Punjab’s Baltana. Many functionaries have had to face angry responses, especially in rural areas, said a second functionary.

“There are some organisations that have, over the years, created doubts about the Sangh. Sometimes this takes a violent turn and we have lost people too, but we are confident of overcoming this,” said the second functionary.

Though he did not name names, the second functionary was referring to the friction between the Akal Takht, which serves as the five seats of Sikh religious authority, and the Sangh that has not abated over the years. The Takht accuses the RSS of trying to subsume the Sikh identity with that of the Hindus, even as the Sangh has denied the charge. They object to the Sangh identifying Sikhs as Hindus.

The Takht has also accused the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat—an offshoot of the Sangh formed in 1986 with the intent of building ties between Sikhs and the Hindus in the aftermath of the 1984 riots—of colluding with the RSS to gain control over the Sikh religious bodies.

The Sangh’s latest outreach to build bridges between communities is a throwback to the 1980s when the third RSS chief Balasaheb Deoras had asked for full-time volunteers drawn from each state to be deputed to Punjab.

The ongoing agitation and the consequent disruption of shakhas in the state have also led to concern that the functionaries could be sitting ducks for physical attacks. Asked whether the Sangh has requested for security at the shakhas and its offices, the second functionary said the issue will be discussed with the authorities.

“The authorities are aware of the threat perception to the Sangh functionaries. Over the years there have been several attacks; since 2014 at least five senior functionaries have been killed. But the Sangh has continued its work. Even after the bloody attack of 1989, our work did not stop,” said the second functionary.

In 1989, terrorists attacked a shakha in Moga killing 27 Swayamsevaks or volunteers; the death toll rose to over 40 after the injured succumbed.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
External affairs minister S Jaishankar. (HT archive)(HT_PRINT)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar. (HT archive)(HT_PRINT)

Jaishankar talks to Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, reviews disengagement on LAC

By Rezaul H Laskar | Edited by Sohini Sarkar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 10:04 PM IST
  • This was the first formal contact between Jaishankar and Wang since they met on the margins of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Moscow on September 10 last year, and it came days after India and China pulled back frontline troops from strategic heights around Pangong Lake.
Close
File photo: Amazon Prime Video's content chief Aparna Purohit.(Twitter/@aparna1502)
File photo: Amazon Prime Video's content chief Aparna Purohit.(Twitter/@aparna1502)

Tandav row: HC denies anticipatory bail to Amazon Prime Video's commercial head

By JItendra Sarin
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 09:51 PM IST
  • Aparna Purohit was accused of the inappropriate depiction of UP police personnel, Hindu deities and adverse portrayal of a character playing the PM.
Close
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman at an event in Ahmedabad on Thursday.(ANI Photo)
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman at an event in Ahmedabad on Thursday.(ANI Photo)

When will petrol and diesel prices be reduced? 'It's a dharam sankat', says FM

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 09:56 PM IST
Earlier in the day, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das had said there is a need for coordinated action between the Centre and state governments to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel prices.
Close
Commercial markets across the country will remain closed as over 40,000 traders' associations are taking part in the Bharat Bandh.(HT Photo)
Commercial markets across the country will remain closed as over 40,000 traders' associations are taking part in the Bharat Bandh.(HT Photo)

Bharat Bandh: What services are likely to be affected, what not

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 09:03 PM IST
Road transport services across the country could be affected due to the Bharat Bandh.
Close
Coimbatore: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses public meeting in Coimbatore. (PTI)
Coimbatore: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses public meeting in Coimbatore. (PTI)

'Corrupt, liars!' PM Modi attacks DMK-Congress combine in TN, Puducherry

By Divya Chandrababu, Chennai
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 09:02 PM IST
  • PM Modi was in the two-poll bound neighbouring regions to launch a slew of infrastructure projects meant to give his regional allies a fillip.
Close
V Narayanasamy-led Congress government lost power in Puducherry following a spate of resignations by party MLAs(HT File Photo)
V Narayanasamy-led Congress government lost power in Puducherry following a spate of resignations by party MLAs(HT File Photo)

News updates from HT: President's Rule imposed in Puducherry

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 08:52 PM IST
  • Here are today’s top news, analysis, and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Amazon Prime Video's content chief Aparna Purohit(Twitter/@aparna1502)
Amazon Prime Video's content chief Aparna Purohit(Twitter/@aparna1502)

'Tandav': Allahabad HC denies anticipatory bail to Amazon Prime's Aparna Purohit

Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 09:38 PM IST
The Uttar Pradesh Police had filed an FIR against the top Amazon Prime executive for promoting religious enmity through the controversial web series.
Close
Conservationists and officials conclude that the population of the wild boars has increased based on the increased sightings of the wild animal in central and north Kashmir since 2018.(Image via Twitter)
Conservationists and officials conclude that the population of the wild boars has increased based on the increased sightings of the wild animal in central and north Kashmir since 2018.(Image via Twitter)

Wild boars resurface in Kashmir valley after almost 30 years

By Ashiq Hussain
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 08:21 PM IST
The increased presence of the animal has caused panic among people, particularly farmers. The animal is also not accepted culturally in the Muslim majority region.
Close
The YSR Congress party is expected to win all the six MLC seats as it has numbers in its favour – 151 MLAs in the 175-member state assembly. (Photo@ysjagan)
The YSR Congress party is expected to win all the six MLC seats as it has numbers in its favour – 151 MLAs in the 175-member state assembly. (Photo@ysjagan)

For Andhra MLC polls, Jagan Reddy names sons of lawmakers who died of Covid

By Srinivasa Rao Apparasu, Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 08:04 PM IST
The Election Commission of India on Thursday issued notification for the elections to six MLC seats under the MLAs’ quota in Andhra Pradesh.
Close
INS noted that there is a huge distinction between editorial content from quality publications and fake news that is spreading on other information platforms.(Yahoo)(Yahoo)
INS noted that there is a huge distinction between editorial content from quality publications and fake news that is spreading on other information platforms.(Yahoo)(Yahoo)

Indian Newspaper Society writes to Google to pay for news

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 08:15 PM IST
President of INS, L Adimoolam, said in a letter addressed to Google India’s country manager Sanjay Gupta that Google should “pay for news generated by newspapers which employ thousands of journalists on the ground at considerable expense”, the body said in a statement.
Close
“Kerala government will request the Centre to provide more vaccines considering the Covid-19 situation in the state” said Pinarayi Vijayan(PTI PHOTO.)
“Kerala government will request the Centre to provide more vaccines considering the Covid-19 situation in the state” said Pinarayi Vijayan(PTI PHOTO.)

Kerala CM to write to Centre requesting more Covid-19 vaccines

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Ayshee Bhaduri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 07:44 PM IST
  • According to a press release by the ministry of health, Kerala has administered the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to 85.09 per cent of the beneficiaries.
Close
Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel(AP)
Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel(AP)

Nirav Modi extradition: Now for UK minister Priti Patel to sign off

PTI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 07:22 PM IST
The Home Secretary's order rarely goes against the court’s conclusions, as she has to consider only these very narrow bars to extradition which are unlikely to apply in Modi's case.
Close
V Narayanasamy resigned ahead of a floor test to prove his majority weeks before assembly elections are due in the Union Territory. (Agency File Phot)
V Narayanasamy resigned ahead of a floor test to prove his majority weeks before assembly elections are due in the Union Territory. (Agency File Phot)

President's Rule imposed in Puducherry, Assembly kept in suspended animation

Written by Prashasti Singh
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 08:41 PM IST
The Union Cabinet had approved the imposition of emergency on Wednesday.
Close
Journalists report the verdict to allow the extradition of Nirav Modi, outside Westminster Magistrates Court, in London, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Diamond tycoon Nirav Modi has lost his bid to avoid extradition from Britain to India to face allegations he was involved in a $1.8 billion bank fraud. District Judge Samuel Goozee ruled in London on Thursday that the jeweler has a case to answer before the Indian courts. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)(AP)
Journalists report the verdict to allow the extradition of Nirav Modi, outside Westminster Magistrates Court, in London, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Diamond tycoon Nirav Modi has lost his bid to avoid extradition from Britain to India to face allegations he was involved in a $1.8 billion bank fraud. District Judge Samuel Goozee ruled in London on Thursday that the jeweler has a case to answer before the Indian courts. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)(AP)

‘Personal agenda’: UK court on Markandey Katju’s testimony in Nirav Modi trial

By Neeraj Chauhan
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 06:43 PM IST
  • In his testimony, Katju had said in the court that India was in terrible economic collapse and the (ruling) BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) were trying to solve the problem but they did not know how to, so they found scapegoats and Nirav Modi is a scapegoat for causing financial crisis in India.
Close
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said over the last few months, forward guidance gained prominence in RBI's communication strategy for cooperative outcomes.(ANI/ File Photo)
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said over the last few months, forward guidance gained prominence in RBI's communication strategy for cooperative outcomes.(ANI/ File Photo)

RBI's asset purchases did not dilute its balance sheet: Governor Das

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 06:41 PM IST
In the wake of the pandemic, the RBI undertook several conventional and unconventional measures.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP