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RSS' Ambition to Make Foray Into Films And Theatre Takes Wings

By: Sumit Pande

CNN-News18

Last Updated: August 22, 2016, 21:18 IST

Representative Image (Picture courtesy: Getty images)

Representative Image (Picture courtesy: Getty images)

There has also been a reluctant admission within the RSS that the Left-liberals despite attrition in their electoral capital still reserve enough ammunition in the repertoire to strike back.

New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS' ambition to break the glass ceiling with a leap into the field of art, cinema and theatre will take wings at a ‘mega-nukkad natak’ festival being organised in the Delhi University next month.


Beginning 20th of September, the ‘Udaan-Utsav’ spread over three days will be a first and a unique attempt of its kind by the saffron brigade to enter a sphere of public communication over which the Liberal-Left has held sway for long.


The event is being organised by one Udaan - acronym for Unfolding Drama and Acts to Awaken Nation - which claims to be working in the field of arts and culture to ‘promote the spirit of nationalism among the youth’.

It is an RSS brainchild which it has consciously attempted to keep loosely decoupled from its core organization - perhaps to lend it an apolitical tinge as it - by its own admission - attempts to use acts and drama to ‘inculcate the feeling of patriotism in one and all’.

The grand jury for the Delhi event comprise of Bollywood script writer and director Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi better known for playing the lead role in tele-serial Chanakya. The other two jury members are filmmaker Sudipto Sen and Scriptwriter Advaita Kala.

While winners will get cash awards, selected participants have been promised a chance to attend a workshop by eminent personalities at the National School of Drama September-end.


At a later stage, promising candidates may also get an opportunity to intern with well-established film and theatre personalities. The aim is to nurture a separate and ‘nationalist’ cast in all forms of arts.

"There are people using films and art for the Balkanisation of India”; says an RSS leader closely associated with the exercise.

"Ultimate freedom does not mean anarchy. One view is: art’s for the sake of arts. The other is that art is for the emancipation of the human being"; he adds making an oblique referenced to Shahid Kapoor starrer Haider, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet set amidst insurgency torn Kashmir.

Udaan is being seen to be a part of RSS's larger attempt to dominate discourse in all forms of mass communication.


There was a certain admission in the RSS that it was not able to effectively defend itself in the throes of the intolerance debate which raged in the run-up to the Bihar elections last year.

This was soon followed by protests in campuses against slapping of sedition charges against JNU students and controversy surrounding suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad Central University.

There has also been a reluctant admission within the RSS that the Left-liberals despite attrition in their electoral capital still reserve enough ammunition in the repertoire to strike back.


The seeds of this program in particular were sown at the national meeting of prant-pracharaks at Bithoor near Kanpur last month. This was followed by a couple of meetings in Delhi to tie loose ends before making the first foray - an Udaan or a flight into the world of art and films.
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first published:August 22, 2016, 21:13 IST
last updated:August 22, 2016, 21:18 IST