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At RSS Conclave; 'Idea of Bharat' vs 'Eurocentric Concept of India'

All the 40 Sangh affiliates participated in the annual meet held every year to coordinate working agenda of various RSS organs.

Sumit Pande | News18.com

Updated:September 4, 2017, 4:07 PM IST
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At RSS Conclave; 'Idea of Bharat' vs 'Eurocentric Concept of India'
Representative image of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

New Delhi: The current ideological discourse on ‘the idea of Bharat’ versus the classical Euro centric ‘concept of India’ came in for some detailed discussion at a three-day RSS conclave at Vrindavan last weekend.

All the 40 Sangh affiliates participated in the annual meet held every year to coordinate working agenda of various RSS organs. BJP was represented by party President Amit Shah and General Secretary Ram Lal.

After BJP’s ascension to power at the Centre, the ideological battle for the mind space between the RSS and the liberal Left has intensified manifesting itself on many occasions — from JNU controversy to award wapsi.

“For instance, Jawaharlal Nehru University represents the Euro centric idea of India and Banaras Hindu University represents the idea of Bharat,” a senior delegate who participated in the deliberations told News18.

The discussions on the subject were part of the larger debate on developments in the “vaicharik or intellectual field”.

RSS has in the last two years made a concerted effort to entrench itself in academic and cultural space once considered to be the domain of the Left. “Pragya Pravah”, an organisation set up by Sangh ideologues Dattipant Thegdi which was lying dormant for many years, was revived. Seh Prachar Pramukh and senior pracharak J Nandkumar was shifted to Delhi from Bhopal and asked to take charge.

Linked intrinsically to this debate is the economic model which India should pursue for sustained development — the indigenous model vs the western one.

The former found support from a large section of the delegates with some citing examples to illustrate how India could insulate itself against last two global meltdowns.

“The family system in India and savings by common Indian household helped us to stave off the crisis,” said another delegate who was present in the meeting.

These are interesting observations in the context of Reserve Bank of India’s admission that almost 99% of the money has returned to the banking system post demonetisation,

The economic challenges thus before the nation, RSS feels, are two fold — agrarian distress and employment generation.

Parts of country in the last six months have witnessed riots over sharp drop in farm produce. BJP in its manifesto for 2014 general elections had promised better crop prices to farmers and jobs to the unemployed. Underscoring these issues, perhaps the RSS in its own understated style reminded of the promises made as the party prepares for the next general elections in 2019.

“Small and medium scale industries need impetus. They need support and that may also help create extra jobs,” said an RSS leader.

Interestingly, the Sangh affiliate which mobilise small and medium scale industries — the Laghu Udyog Bhart (LUB) — had spoken about the hardships being faced by its support base at the time of demonetisation. They raised the issue with the government, but were asked to exercise a little patience.

LUB is now holding its annual general meeting in Delhi later this week to discuss issues related to credit availability and the new tax regime.

There were suggestions that government needs to work out a model to link agriculture, small scale industries and employment generation.

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| Edited by: Ananya Chakraborty
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