The three-day annual meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS), the RSS’S top policy-formulation and decision-making arm, began in Gwalior on Friday and is set to discuss the Sabarimala temple issue and pass a resolution against the Kerala government.
Top RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya told the media: “The Sabarimala Temple issue is related to age-old dharmic traditions. The Kerala government is committing excesses against Hindu devotees in the garb of implementing the Supreme Court’s decision. A resolution will be passed on this issue.”
Vaidya said the meet will also discuss challenges for the family system in contemporary India. He said, “The RSS will work in the society according to the Bharatiya philosophy, that believes in extending oneself from ‘I’ to ‘us’.”
The Sangh has earlier stated that the meeting will not discuss electoral politics, even though it comes weeks before the election.
The ABPS meet, involving 1,400 RSS functionaries from across the country, is being held at Saraswati Shishu Mandir Kedardham, Gwalior. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and sarkaryavah Bhaiyaji Joshi, among other top leaders, are taking part in it.
Asked about the Narendra Modi government’s performance, Vaidya said there will be no such discussion on that either. He said BJP president Amit Shah will take part in the meeting and present report of his organisation — the BJP.
In the wake of protests across Kerala against the Supreme Court ruling that allowed women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala shrine, the RSS, in a statement issued in October 2018, had said, “…it is an issue of a local temple tradition and faith, to which sentiments of millions of devotees, including women, are attached.
These sentiments cannot be ignored while considering the judgment.”
Slower rise in number of daily shakhas
The annual report of the RSS, released at the meeting today, indicates that the rate of increase in Sangh’s daily shakhas in 2018-19 was slow when seen against 2017-18. According to the annual report, March 2019 recorded 59,266 total daily shakhas, organised at 37,011 places in different parts of the country. It reports that the number of daily shakhas in March 2018 were 58,967, organised at 37,190 places.
This means an increase of 299 daily shakhas in the last one year, held at 179 fewer places.
RSS’s annual report of 2017-18, released in that year’s annual meeting of ABPS, recorded a higher rate of increase in daily shakahas over 2016-17. The March 2017 report stated that 57,165 daily shakhas were held at 36,729 places. Seen against 58,967 shakhas in March 2018, it meant an increase of 1,802 daily shakhas between March 2017 and March 2018.