RSS Reaches Out, But Opposition Boycotts: Which Way, Bharat?

Written By Kanchan Gupta | Mumbai | Published:

As part of its continuing effort to reach out to various sections of society and polity, the RSS is organising a three-day lecture series in Delhi starting September 17. Titled 'Future of Bharat: An RSS Perspective', the lectures, to be delivered by RSS Sarsanghachalak Mohanrao Bhagwat, are meant to present the Sangh's ideas to a diverse audience, presumably to seek responses and initiate a wider public debate.

The move follows former President Pranab Mukherjee visiting RSS headquarters in Nagpur and addressing the organisation's cadre. It was a hugely successful visit, widely reported and discussed.

It is not known whether leaders of political parties harshly critical of the RSS were formally invited. But the Congress, CPM, SP and others in the opposition ranks have disinvited themselves from the event. Which is not surprising.

If the purpose is to criticise RSS on the basis of imagined angst and manufactured grievance, it does not serve the interest of the usual suspects to attend the lectures, listen to what Bhagwat has said, and then critique it. They would rather wait for distorted mainstream media versions of Bhagwat said or fake news or social media memes to agitate and outrage.

There is a way out for the RSS. The lectures can be live broadcast on Youtube and placed in the public domain. A cadre-based organisation like the RSS can then take the message to the masses via social media.

The unreconstructed left-liberal can stay disinvited as well as disengaged from the massive debate that has India in a churn now: Which way, Bharat?