The RSS is hosting “Akhand Bharat Smruti Divas” on its premises on August 14, after refraining from being identified with the occasion all these years despite being explicit about its dream of ‘Akhand Bharat’.
Although, the RSS isn’t positioning itself as the organiser, a press note for the programme was issued by the Vishva Samvad Kendra, the communications wing of the RSS, and the main speaker will be Indresh Kumar, RSS executive committee member and convener of Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), an RSS-inspired front.
The programme will be held in the huge Maharshi Vyas Sabhagruha on the RSS premises of Smruti Mandir in Reshimbag locality of the city. The Smruti Mandir is the regular venue for all major annual functions of the RSS, including the Dussehra programme.
The press note names Yuva Ayam as the organiser of the programme.
“Although the Sindhi community attached to the RSS, as also the Hindu mahasabha have been organising Akhand Bharat programmes all over the country, the RSS had always refrained from hosting such a programme despite the dream of Akhand Bharat being so dear to their heart. This is the first time ever they are hosting the programme on their premises. This is clearly against the backdrop of Jammu and Kashmir separatist violence,” said RSS follower and researcher Dilip Deodhar.
Sudhir Pathak, in charge of the Nagpur Vishva Samvad Kendra and former editor of pro-RSS daily Tarun Bharat said, “The programme hasn’t been organised by the RSS although the youths who are organising it have RSS affiliation. And it’s true that this is the first time the programme is being held on RSS premises.”
An RSS statement said, “Although RSS did indirectly encourage such programmes through its different fronts like the ABVP, it took enough care not to be seen as directly participating in it. It would have meant the RSS disregards the country’s hard earned Independence.”
Journalist-activist Shyam Pandharipande, who was associated with the RSS as a student before parting ways to join broad-based social movements, said, “Although the RSS has never organised the Akhand Bharat programme itself, its position on Independence Day is well known. Late Bhaurao Devras, a revered RSS leader and brother of Late Sarsanghchalak Balasahed Devras, would often say in his intellectual discourses to the Swayamsevaks that Pakistan is not a settled fact, Akhand Bharat is. Though it didn’t explicitly observe August 14 as Akhand Bharat divas, some of the fronts launched by its followers had been organising it and it is also well known that the RSS never included Independence Day in its list of prominent annual programmes. The RSS followers always argued that since its Swayamsevaks had been participating in I-day programmes in their respective organisations of employment, there was no need for a separate RSS programme. It is only in the recent years that it has started hoisting the National Tricolour on its premises on the day.”
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Pandharipande added about the National Anthem also, the RSS would always say that it was written to welcome King George V and always respected saffron flag the most instead of the National Flag.
*Indresh to hoist flag at Madarsa
RSS national executive member Indresh Kumar would hoist the National Tricolour at a Bohra community madarsa in the Binakimangalwari area of the city on August 15. The programme is being organised under the aegis of Muslim Rashtriya Manch of which Indresh Kumar is convener. “This is the first time that the flag hoisting programme is being held at a madarsa in the city. Earlier, Indreshji has done it in many madarsas in other parts of the country, including one at Deoband,” said Virag Pachpor, MRM co-convener. “We want to give a strong message that Muslims also are nationalists and madarsa are centres of nationalistic education. Indreshji is a very tall leader and we are happy to hoist the national flag at his hands,” said Mohammad Farooq, Maharashtra unit convener of MRM.