RSS women’s wing focuses on gender-specific roles to uphold family values

While training the young girls to combat, the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti also teaches them the importance of 'upholding the family values'.

Written by Radhika Iyengar | Updated: June 14, 2017 2:27 pm
RSS, RSS girls, RSS women, gender, politics women, indian politics, far-right women, far right girls Rashtriya Sevika Samiti girls exhibit their lathi-wielding skills. Source: Express Photo/Radhika Iyengar

Over fifty school-going adolescent girls, armed with laathis, swords and knives, with a saffron ribbon tied around their wrists, brandished their weapon-wielding skills in the open courtyard of GLT Saraswati Bal Mandir school in New Delhi on Sunday. Dressed in crisp pink-bordered, white salwaar-kameez and white canvas shoes, they appeared confident and ready for combat.

This was the culmination of a 15-day training camp, which began on May 27, organized by the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, the right-wing RSS women’s wing, which trained the girls to fight while also instilling moral values in them. During the performance, the girls exhibited yoga aasanas and later huddled to form pyramids, where they cried in unison, “Bharat maata ki jai!” (Long live India!)

“This is the goal of the sanstha,” said Rashtriya Sevika Samiti’s Uttar Shetra Karyavahika, Chandrakantha, who was the chief guest at the event. “We teach the girls to be fully empowered and equipped – that is, physically, mentally and spiritually strong, so that a girl is capable of protecting herself and is able to guard her country, its traditions, its sanskriti and its languages. The Samiti instills pride for the nation in her.”

While training the young girls to combat, the Samiti also teaches them the importance of upholding the family values. Wearing a pink-bordered white saree, with her hair pulled back neatly in a bun, the 70-year-old, Chandrakantha said that at the end of the day, a woman was responsible for keeping the family together as a tight unit. “Jo bachiyan hain, unko yasasvi kis prakar banana hai, parivar ko kaise rakhna hai – jo kammi dikhti hai parivaron ke andar, jo parivar tooth rahein hain humare — usko jordhne ki kala yeh rashtriya sevika samiti sikhati hai.” (Rashtriya Sevika Samiti trains the girls the skillful art of uniting and keeping the family together. How to be victorious, how to maintain peace in families which are weak or broken – this is what is taught).

Rashtriya Sevika Samiti girls exhibit their sword-wielding skills. Source: Express Photo/Radhika Iyengar

The Samiti informs the girls that becoming good mothers is important, since it is the woman who is responsible for sculpting the nature of her child. “Maata nirmata bhaviti hai, ma chahe toh nar se Narayan bana sakti hai, ma chahe toh vidhwansak bana sakti hai.” (A mother is the ultimate creator. If she wants, she can bring up her child to be a saint or a destroyer).

Speaking to the indianexpress.com, she added that there should be specific gender-defined roles which should be practiced in society. “Purush ka hai bahar ka kaam karna, dhann ka kaam karna – paurush uska gunn hai. Stritiya, matritav ka gunn hai. Uss gunn ko aurat ko kabhi nahin bhoolna chahiye.” (A man’s job is to make money – masculinity is his quality, whereas a woman’s quality is motherhood. She should never forget that).

RSS, Rashtriya Sevika Samiti Rashtriya Sevika Samiti camp chief guest, Chandrakantha (second from left). Source: Express photo/Radhika Iyengar

The true embodiment of motherhood, she said, was Maratha king Shivaji’s mother, Jijabai Shahaji Bhosale. “Unhone Shivaji ka nirmaan uss samay kiya jab, apne aap ko koi Hindu kahi hi nahin sakta tha. Uss samay Jija maa ne Shivaji ko taiyaar kiya, jisne apni buddhi aur chaturai se, Hindu samrajaya ki sthapana ki.” (She brought up Shivaji at a time when no one could call himself a Hindu. At that time, she trained Shivaji in such a way, that he used his intelligence to establish the Hindu empire).

As the sun set, a tired lot of girls settled down in the courtyard to listen to Chandrakantha, who narrated to them the history of the Samiti and the leadership qualities of Laxmibai Kelkar, who founded the organization in 1936. When the evening came to an end, the girls stood up to sing Vande Mataram, their palms pressed together and heads bowed in deference. Soon after, the unified group broke and scrambled across the courtyard to meet their friends and families who had attended the event. Many dispersed later to get platefuls of prasaad (halwa and mathi) and sherbet.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. S
    subhash patil
    Jun 14, 2017 at 2:43 pm
    It is Rashtra Sevika Samiti and not Rashtriy.. This is not women wing of RSS, but an independent organisation.
    Reply
    1. J
      Jitendra joshi
      Jun 13, 2017 at 2:28 pm
      Excellent RSS keep it up. Him mil me Hindu Rashtra ka Norman Karange Bands Mataram!!
      Reply
      1. B
        blackpower
        Jun 13, 2017 at 10:44 am
        Do Women in Gujarat Get Justice? – Gujarat’s Abysmally Low Conviction Rates in Crime Against Women
        Reply
        1. B
          blackpower
          Jun 13, 2017 at 10:44 am
          Dowry Deaths – Conviction Rate is 0.0! Lowest in the country. National Average is 31.9. Assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty – Conviction rate is 1.6! Lowest in the country. National Average is 23.5. Rape – Conviction Rate is 15.3. Ranks 20th in 28 states. National Average is 23.1 Cruelty by Husband or his relatives – Conviction rate is 3.5. Ranks 22nd in 25 states. Data Missing for 3 states. National Average is 14.8. Kidnapping Abduction of Women – Conviction Rate is 6.5. Ranks 20th in 28 states. National Average is 20.4. Insult to the modesty of Woman – Conviction rate is 20.0. Ranks 17th in 23 states. Data Missing for 5 states. National Average is 36.9.
          Reply
          1. B
            blackpower
            Jun 13, 2017 at 10:45 am
            Cruelty by Husband or his relatives – 6658 cases – Ranks 6th in 28 states. Kidnapping Abduction of Women – 1527 cases – Ranks 8th in 28 states. Insult to the modesty of Woman – 93 cases – Ranks 13th in 28 states Assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty –745 cases – Ranks 14th in 28 states. Dowry Deaths – 21 cases – Ranks 20th in 28 states. Rape – 473 cases – Ranks 19th in 28 states.
            Reply
          2. B
            blackpower
            Jun 13, 2017 at 10:40 am
            When the RSS head honcho - the great celibate as we are given to believe! - preaches that hindoo women must breed more and more children it is a matter of concern. india's population is bursting at the seams and instsead of slowing down this growth, he wants more numbers! the global population is 8 billion plus and along with dependency on fossil fuels it is exacerbating global warming. since these are not found in the RSS bibles of veda purana manucode, such concepts are anathematic to the RSS in spite of all the facts, evidences available for all to see. typical saffronite mindset - logic reason facts evidence statistics are all thrown out of the window and supplanted with manucode veda purana et al
            Reply
            1. S
              Sujatha Selvam
              Jun 13, 2017 at 12:45 pm
              Those days have gone my friend, when Indian parents used to have several children. Today every parent is very much conscious and take due care in family planning. Even for a second child they think thousand times. Parents today are well informed and organized, they want their children to be happy, educated and well settled. They prefer small family of one or two child only. RSS or any other religious organization cannot dictate terms how many children a parent should have or not. There are no takers if you ask the parents to produce more children.
              Reply
            2. B
              blackpower
              Jun 13, 2017 at 10:32 am
              lest we all forget the greaet hindutva sage Asaram bapu and his numerous r pes and orgies with minors
              Reply
              1. B
                blackpower
                Jun 13, 2017 at 10:28 am
                After the saffronisation of gujarat wef 2002, the ratio in gujarat has dropped from to 918 per 1000 men (2011). it was 920 in 2001. 15 years of hindutva rule has not been able to halt this decrease. If we look at the conditions in the saffron citadel, i.e. the experimental laboratory of Gujarat, the recent statistics will further go to show that women are not a part of Modi’s so called developmental agenda. While most of the states in the country has an upward trend in dea with India’s abysmal male-female ratios, Gujarat is one of the three India states besides Bihar and Jammu Kashmir which has a downward trend. Gujarat has one of the lowest conviction rates in crime against women even though the rate of crime has increased year after year.
                Reply
                1. B
                  blackpower
                  Jun 13, 2017 at 10:19 am
                  Feminists and “women-libbers” are scorned as family-wreckers, bothered only about their individual interests and not that of the community at large. According to KR Malkani, a prominent member of the RSS and BJP’s ex-vice-president, “[the RSS] would consider women's libber's as the worst enemies of womankind.”130 Mridula Sinha, President of the Women’s Wing of the BJP (the BJP Mahila Morcha) elaborates this position further in her remarks: We in the Bharatiya Janata Party are opposed to women's liberation because it is against men. It is led by a handful of intellectual women in the cities who have no understanding of the common people's ideology and aspirations ... We tell women to be more adjusting, because they will have nowhere to go if they leave there husbands.
                  Reply
                  1. B
                    blackpower
                    Jun 13, 2017 at 10:20 am
                    Ms. Sinha also holds that if a man beats his wife, it is often the woman who is to blame for provoking him that most problems in marriages arise because women fail to adjust to their new families that woman should not work after marriage and that the giving and taking of dowry, practices against which progressive women’s organizations have been organizing for decades, are perfectly acceptable.
                    Reply
                  2. B
                    blackpower
                    Jun 13, 2017 at 10:17 am
                    s: truthofgujarat /rss-want-women-become-baby-making-machines/ this is the real agenda of the RSS - they want servile and subservient women to wash the feet of bozos like bhagwat! IS THIS THE INDIA THAT YOU WANT? IS THIS THE INDIAN WOMEN THAT YOU WANT THEM TO BE? let bhagwat go to the UN and give a speech there! he will become the laughing stock of the world!
                    Reply
                    1. B
                      blackpower
                      Jun 13, 2017 at 10:19 am
                      The same Mr Bhagwat who is getting his feet washed by women, has gone on record by saying that: “Rapes are rare in “Bharat” (rural India) but occur frequently in India. You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang-rape or crimes.”
                      Reply
                    2. Load More Comments