To spread “nationalism”, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has decided to organise several programmes on Hindu religious festivals to urge people to take the pledge of “patriotism”. As part of the initiative, the RSS’ Paschim Prant unit has started a campaign — “Ek Kanwar, Rashtra Ke Naam”. Under this, the RSS volunteers are taking out a Kanwar Yatra from Haridwar, from where they would collect water from Ganga, to be offered to temples of lord Shiva in western UP districts. On their way from Haridwar, the volunteers are distributing T-shirts along with the “Tiranga (The Tricolour)” to other kanwariyas and locals.
These T-shirts display messages like — “Bharat Mata ki Jai,” “Mera Bharat Mera Kartavya”, “Ek Kanwar, Rashtra ke naam”. Pictures of “Bharat Mata” are also printed on the T-shirts. Several lakh pilgrims visit Haridwar, Rishikesh and Gangotri during the Hindu holy month of Shravan to fetch Ganga water. As per the officials, pilgrims from nearly 350 places of western UP had gone to these three places in Uttarakhand in the ongoing Shravan month and were now returning to the temples here.
“We offer these T-shirts to pilgrims at price ranging between Rs 60 to Rs 100. We also give them Tricolour with request to carry it while walking back to their home towns with Kanwar. The objective of the programme is to develop patriotism among the people as just like the “bhakti” they have for lord Shiva,” said Ajay Mittal, RSS’s Paschim Prant Prachar Pramukh. RSS volunteers too wear these T-shirts while taking out Kanwar Yatra holding the Tricolour.
In districts of Paschim regional unit, RSS volunteeers have put up photographs of “Bharat Mata” at the rest houses, which are temporarily put up to offer refreshments to kanwariyas. Mittal said, “We are requesting kanwariyas to pray to lord Shiva while offering holy water to make India “Vishwa Guru” and eradicate evils like casteism and inequality from the society.”
He also said that similar campaigns would be run in future too with same objective. For example, in the upcoming Navratris, Tricolour and such T-shirts would be distributed among the “bhakts” visiting temples, “Ratri Jagran” and Dussehra fairs.