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RSS holding e-shakhas amid lockdown

While the basic format remains the same, except for sports, the participating swayamsevaks engage in discussing current issues for a period of 30 minutes.

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur | Updated: April 18, 2020 8:54:46 am
RSS meet in Telangana, RSS march in hyderabad, hyderabad news, indian express, rss rally in hyderabad today The actual physical shakhas will return after the lockdown goes. The RSS believes that the affection grows only when the people come together. (Representational)

WITH Covid-19 bringing daily shakha to halt, the RSS is making use of internet to organise e-shakhas that the organiaation claims are witnessing a big increase in the number of participants.

The RSS had suspended its daily morning, evening and late evening shakha (congregation of swayamsevaks) immediately after announcement of corona lockdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a video message, there RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, however, had told the swayamsevaks to keep up the contact by till situation returns to normal.

“So, we have started using internet to organize daily shakhas in the morning by using apps like zoom”, said Nagpur city RSS Chief Rajesh Loya. “Interestingly, we are witnessing impressive attendance in these e-shakhas with over 20-30 people participating from their homes. A normal shakha held on the ground in any locality would have 8-10 participants,” he added.

“While the basic format remains the same, except for sports, the participating swayamsevaks undertake about 30 minute discussion on current situation. These days the discussion is centered around various service projects they are undertaking for people stuck up due to lockdown,” Loya further said.

According to Loya, timings have been kept flexible as per general convenience. Prath shakha (morning congregation), which starts at 6:30 am when held on the ground now may start at 7:30 am. The participants may perform yoga or other exercises and do a combined prayer, instead of the routine lead and follow method where someone dictates and others repeat the lines.

This model, he said, has now been adopted country-wide. “but this is, by no means, is going to be a regular feature. The actual physical shakhas will return after the lockdown goes. The RSS believes that the affection grows only when the people come together. Togetherness is a sine qua none for RSS shakhas,” he said.

Loya also informed that in the Swavalambi nagar locality of the city, swayamsevaks are organising shakha by standing on their terraces doing the regular course like exercise, unfurling the flag and combined prayer.

Loya, however, said, “wherever possible, 3-4 swayamsevaks are coming together by observing social distancing and other corona related precautions to hold the shakha on the ground.

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