CPM attacks RSS men, leave them seriously injured

Amid the violence going on in Kerala between the CPM and RSS, a group of CPM activists allegedly attacked three activists of the RSS in Kerala’s Kozhikode. They have been admitted to the Government Medical College and doctors there say one of them has been gravely injured.

The three injured men identified as Sudheesh, Bineesh and Rahul are all in their early twenties. Police revealed that while the RSS activists were on their way home, they were ambushed by CPM workers. The police told NDTV that local political rivalry triggered the assault.

On Thursday, two BJP workers were left wounded after a country-made bomb was hurled at the RSS office in Kozhikode’s Nadapuram. Almost within an hour, the CPM office was set ablaze. As incidents of clashes involving CPM and BJP are on the rise in Kerala, it can be linked to RSSS leader Kundan Chandravat’s preposterous announcement of offering a bounty of Rs 1 crore bounty for beheading Kerala Chief Minister Pinari Vijayan.

While BJP has blamed poor law-and-order in the state, the CPM has said such incidents of violence are the brainchild of the RSS.

News Source: NDTV, DNA

Image Source: PTI

RSS expels Kundan Chandravat for announcing 1 crore bounty on Kerala CM

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member Kundan Chandravat has been expelled from the right-wing organisation, following his provocative statement at a protest in Ujjain. On Thursday, Chandravat created an uproar after he announced a 1 crore bounty on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “If anyone gets me the head of Vijayan, I will give him my property, which is worth around 1 crore,” said Chandravat.

Chandravat called up the meeting to protest the alleged killing of RSS and BJP workers in Kerala at the hands of CPM people. However, after facing the criticism, he withdrew the statement and expressed his regret on the whole issue.

RSS has expressed its disagreement with Chandravat, and has stated that it does not support any violent practice. It also urged the people to not consider the statement of one member as the view of the Sangh.

However, Pinarayi Vijayan has not paid much heed to this threat. He said “RSS has beheaded many earlier, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t walk free. I don’t take such comments to face value.”

Chandrawat’s comment came a day after RSS, BJP and many other right wing organisations exhibited their displeasure against the CPI(M) led LDF government in Kerala, holding it accountable for the killing of several party members.

Sources: NDTV, Firtspost

RSS expels Kundan Chandravat for announcing 1 crore bounty on Kerala CM

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member Kundan Chandravat has been expelled from the right-wing organisation, following his provocative statement at a protest in Ujjain. On Thursday, Chandravat created an uproar after he announced a 1 crore bounty on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.”If anyone gets me the head of Vijayan, I will give him my property, which is worth around 1 crore,” said Chandravat.

Chandravat called up the meeting to protest the alleged killing of RSS and BJP workers in Kerala at the hands of CPM people. However, after facing the criticism, he withdrew the statement and expressed his regret on the whole issue.

RSS has expressed its disagreement with Chandravat, and has stated that it does not support any violent practice. It also urged the people to not consider the statement of one member as the view of the Sangh.

However, Pinarayi Vijayan has not paid much heed to this threat. He said “RSS has beheaded many earlier, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t walk free. I don’t take such comments to face value.”

Chandrawat’s comment came a day after RSS, BJP and many other right wing organisations exhibited their displeasure against the CPI(M) led LDF government in Kerala, holding it accountable for the killing of several party members.

News Source: NDTV, Firstpost 

Image Source: PTI

Goa RSS Chief reinstates himself after eviction.

Declaring the Goa unit of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh autonomous, Subhash Velingkar, RSS Head of Goa, on Thursday reinstated himself after being removed from the post on August 31. The eviction happened as a result of his anti-BJP stand whereby he intends to float his own political party to contest against BJP. A promoter of regional languages, he locked horns with the party over medium of instruction in schools.  He also accused BJP bigwigs, Manohar Parrikar and Nitin Gadkari of playing major roles in his eviction. Around 400 RSS workers resigned one day after to protest the sacking of their senior leader.

Due to the mass resignation movement, Subhash Velingkar declared the Sangh defunct and declared that although it will continue to report to the Nagpur Headquarters of RSS, it is no longer a part of the Konkan Prant but it is a prant itself. Condemning this stand, RSS Spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said that no unit of RSS has the power to disassociate itself from the prant without the permission of the Kendra. He further added that the Goa unit will continue to stay a part of Konkan Prant. New members of the Goa unit will be declared shortly.

400 members decide to quit RSS following Velingkar’s removal

The sacking of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Subhash Velingkar has sparked outrage among the members of the organization. About 400 volunteers of RSS have announced their resignation, expressing displeasure over Velingkar’s sudden removal as the organization’s chief.

The mass resignation was an outcome of the six-hour meeting that was held following the body chief’s exit in Panaji, Goa. “All office bearers from the district units, sub district units and Shakhas with hundreds of others have decided to quit from RSS, until Velingkar Sir is reinstated” said south district official of RSS Ramdas Saraf.

The top officials of RSS and BJP including Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar have been accused of removing Velingkar. In the past Velingkar has been critical of BJP’s mode of language in the state claiming that it promotes English over regional language. Recently he participated in a protest waving black flags at BJP president Amit Shah when he visited the state and has also threatened to head a new party to defeat them. And therefore it has been speculated that all these issues have led to his removal.

The current Chief Minister of Goa Laxmikant Parsekar has declined to comment on this whole issue and has termed it as an internal matter between RSS and Manohar Parrikar.

Sources: NDTV India today

The RSS story: Uniform changed, but mindset?

A 90-year-old tradition has become history. To remain in “sync” with the recent time, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has created new headlines, and this time, trying to change its outlook. With the thought that “shorts” were unattractive and refrained young men from joining the party, the Sanghs have announced for a sartorial change from its symbolic shorts to trousers. Bidding goodbye to its khaki shorts, which have been a trademark for the Sangh for nine decades, the members are up and ready to don new uniform – brown trousers. But, does changing uniform change the orthodoxy that prevails within? With the track record of creating controversies that could well become an unwanted archive, RSS aims to make some “change” by making its short pants long. The unnecessary debates that crop up from the party members, germinating from age old belief; this new attire does not give any credit to the party.

Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, whom the Minister of Culture describes as a “dedicated follower of Rastriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) since childhood” at the moment, is the finest example. His comments only prove that he has taken his “childhood” lessons very seriously.

The minister has advised foreign female tourists in India to not wear short skirts. Trying to justify his statement he said “the suggestion was made with regard to visits to religious places.” Well, this is what should change – the attitude. In the madness of making remarks, our ministers often state controversial and erroneous statements leading to a chaos.

The RSS senior officials are of the view that if members replace khaki shorts with trousers, it will be able to “attract” young members, thus trying to sound inclusive. But what the RSS missed out was, “Indian Culture” has evolved and progressed over the years, unlike the party, which is trying to distant itself from progressive rational.

The change in decision has its root in debate and discussion for a long time, and the only good thing about it is, individuals stitching the uniform back in Rajasthan, has got an opportunity to earn.

This is not the first time that the RSS is bringing an alternation in their uniform. Since its inception, the dress code has changed quite a few times, only the beliefs and the approach remained unchanged. Going back to the comment, it was not his first, and nor was he the first one. Trying to define the “Indian Culture”,  ministers of his like have more often than not, questioned the culture of the said party altogether, which no change of uniform can prevent.

Suresh Josi, senior RSS functionary believes, although the party has been bringing in changes, there was more scope for modifications, and hence this decision was taken. Well, he is right, there is an ocean of scope for improvement, but to realise it, one needs to change his own thinking and outlook, and not just “uniform.”

ABVP – The self-appointed custodian of ‘nationalism’

A day after India celebrated 70 years of being an independent nation, the Indian chapter of the NGO Amnesty International was slapped with sedition charges by Bengaluru Police for merely organizing a panel discussion in the city.  The event “Broken Families,” organized by columnist Aakar Patel-chaired NGO, aimed to initiate a discussion about and amongst the Kashmiri people who have lost members of their families to alleged killings by the armed forces in the region.

Media reports suggest tension during the discussion which included senior journalist Seema Mustafa, president of Bengaluru Kashmiri Pandits’ Association RK Mattoo, and mother of Shahzad Khan – who was killed in the Machil encounter in 2010. A day after the indoor panel discussion, Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarti Parishad (ABVP), the student ideologue of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), took to the streets and protested the “anti-national” event organized by Amnesty, and filed a complaint with the Bengaluru Police, demanding they arrest the organizers for “threatening the security of the nation by organizing riotous event.” The city police file an FIR, promising swift action. The ABVP are still protesting, in front of various city colleges, and Amnesty will remain closed indefinitely, for now.

Rewind the calendar to the first week of August. Over 300 students, led by ABVP leader at Puducherry University staged a protest in front of the Student Welfare Dean’s office to ban the distribution of student-run magazine ‘Wider Stand,’ by burning copies of the same. The government-run institution succumbed to pressure from the Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, and over 3000 copies of the magazines were kept in a sealed room. Angered by the restriction imposed on free speech, the Student Federation of India (SFI), along with the student council of Puducherry University staged a protest walk. 300-odd mob of ABVP activists allegedly attacked the protest walk. Some copies of the magazine were distributed as a sign of rebellion, but action against the ABVP activists? None were taken.

These two events are not just two standalones in the ABVP series. The right-wing student group has played a central role, influencing the storyline in many such episodes. From the suicide of Dalit-scholar Rohit Vemula, the disruption of the screening of TISS documentary ‘Caste on Menu’, voicing their concern to derecognize the Ambedkar Study Group in IIT-Madras, branding journalist Siddharth Varadarajan as a “Naxalite” and threatening violence if he was allowed to enter the Allahabad University, to the infamous Jawaharlal Nehru University row – the student saffron outfit has been the face of these controversies, instigating and intensifying them either directly or indirectly.

It was not until after the Bharatiya Janata Party assumed power in 2014, that the ABVP gained its position as an assertive student body, calling shots and setting agenda in universities across the country. As the self-appointed defender of the Narendra Modi government, the ABVP is the first to identify and brand “anti-nationals,” in one context or the other, and has been instrumental in restraining freedom of speech and expression in any form, if it challenged the ideologies of the parent body RSS.

Set up in 1949 to challenge the Leftist ideologies, today with over thirty-three lakh students, the ABVP is the largest student wing in India. The Sangh’s strategic approach has ensured that the body remains one of the very few that is politically backed, and has its wings spread across the academically-rich institutes of the country.

While ABVP started projecting itself as an assertive body after Modi took charge as the Prime Minister, the group has often been accused of resorting to violent practices to send across their messages. Experiences drawn from past incidents such as the assault of Professor Sabharwal in Ujjain show that filing a case against the ABVP does not work. Professor Sabharwal, the Vice Chancellor of the University was beaten up by the ABVP leaders after he appealed to the students to rasie funds for the flood hit victims.

Incidentally, reports suggest that the student body is the richest in India, with money flowing to the organisation not only through RSS-backed fund raisers but also directly in the form of donations. With the kind of money and muscle power that the ABVP yields, it is imperative that they play a crucial role in the decision making process of the respective universities and setting the agenda for discourse in the nation.

While one might expect a typical student group to raise and discuss issues pertaining to quality of education, and student amenities, the ABVP leaders “loses no opportunity to raise issues related to terrorism, illegal immigration from Bangladesh, national security, Chinese intrusion, ‘love jehad’, live-in relationships,” reads a Outlook report.

The organisation was successful in convincing the Delhi University to drop A.K. Ramanujam’s 300 Ramayanas from its B.A. text last year, and took to the streets of Jammu to protest the “imposition” of Urdu as a requirement for the appointment of tasildars in the state.  Is the student wing, in the name of ideology curbing exchange of ideas? Does

The ABVP is no longer just another student organsiation. They have not only started dictating terms about educational discourse, but have also started curbing the freedom of thought and expression, and this  ably backed by the ‘democratically’ elected government. With the university elections around the corner, especially the high profile Delhi University Student Union election slated to be held in September, one cannot help but wonder how threatening a stronger ABVP would be.