Monday, Sep 26, 2022
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Long On A Short Change

A slow change of viewpoints arrives with necessity in the RSS

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at a Sangh function in Bangalore Photo by AFP (From Outlook Issue 28 March 2016)

  • Situation: NDA-RSS relationship on the roll, some go so far as to say it’s at its best since the 2014 election victory.
  • Complication: Youth wing has been able to draw attention and grow in strength, but wooing Dalits has become vital.
  • Play-Out: Hence the sudden focus on Dr Ambedkar. The Nagaur conclave gave pride of place to the Constitution maker.

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Reports on the three-day conclave of the RSS in Nagaur in Rajasthan last week focused on the decision by the Sangh to give up khaki shorts from its 90-year-old uniform and go for ‘modern’ trousers. The deci­sion was newsworthy for more than one reason. The BJP-Sangh parivar is indeed upbeat that, after the JNU case, its youth organisation, the ABVP, has galvanised itself, rallying around the flag of nationalism. Perhaps dropping shorts might be a way of encouraging youth, who might find them risible, to join them. Alok Kumar, the Sangh’s Delhi head, scoffs at that. “It has nothing to do with attracting youth, who come to our shakhas anyway and will continue to do so,” he says.

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