TAKING one more step to reaffirm its pro-Dalit credentials, the RSS has told its volunteers across the country to adopt at least one family of the community, intermingle with their family members, dine with them and work to bring them in the mainstream of society.
While the Sangh has been trying to contain the damage from RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s remarks suggesting a rethink on the quota system, the RSS claims this programme is part of a campaign to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of its third sarsanghchalak, the late Madhukar Dattatraya Deoras.
The Sangh’s Awadh Prant Sah Prachar Pramukh, Diwakar Awasthi, said their volunteers would adopt a Dalit family each, develop and maintain cordial relations with them, meet the family regularly, dine with them and invite the Dalit family home. The volunteers have been told to also introduce the Dalit family to their own community to establish social equality, as well as to the Sangh ideology.
The Sangh’s Nagpur headquarters announced the campaign on December 11, the birth anniversary of Deoras. The campaign will continue till December 11 next year when some states including Uttar Pradesh, which has a strong Dalit vote, go in for Assembly polls.
Deoras had served as RSS sarsanghchalak from 1973 to 1993. RSS office-bearers claim Deoras strove against the practice of untouchability and aimed to bring Dalits on a par with other sections of society.
The RSS has published a speech of Deoras that he had delivered against untouchability. Volunteers are being given copies of that speech to tell them about the “motive behind the campaign”.
Underlining the scale of the plans, an RSS office-bearer said the Sangh holds 52,000 shakhas across the country at present. Shakhas in urban areas have been asked to adopt a slum and start interaction with the Dalits there. In rural areas, district units of the RSS will adopt Dalit-dominated villages.