CALLING FOR a nationwide campaign on alleged violence against its volunteers and workers in Kerala — as also in West Bengal — the RSS has decided to enhance the “physical” strength of Sangh cadres in the southern state to resist “state-sponsored” attacks on RSS and BJP sympathisers. The decision is not meant to form a militant group but to make Sangh cadres capable of “resisting”, RSS spokesperson N Sadagopan said at the end of the three-day national council meet of RSS in Coimbatore on Tuesday. The Sangh also firmed up plans to get more support from urban areas, including youths and professionals by tweaking RSS shakha operations and changing “our physical exercise sessions…to accommodate them”, Sadagopan said.

To recruit more women in urban centres, the Sangh will implement these new decisions also in nearly 10,000 shakhas for volunteers of Rashtra Sevika Samiti, the RSS’s women’s wing. “Women will also be trained in urban shakhas,” a leader said. The meeting also called for a nationwide fund-raising drive to help “victim families” of hundreds of RSS and BJP cadres who suffered death, injuries and damage to their properties, allegedly in CPI(M)-led attacks. With an aim to spread RSS’s views among marginalised sections, the Sangh decided to take up the cause of “social equality” as one of its key agendas to accommodate Dalits and tribals. One of the 15 sessions over the three-day meet decided to start a nationwide estimation of untouchability practices still prevalent against Dalits — such as the double tumbler practice, denial of entry into temples, bar on access in public crematoriums and similar casteist practices.
Leaders at the national council observed that the major challenge for RSS in Tamil Nadu is its lack of popularity at the grassroots level in non-urban areas. “The RSS has better Influence in urban areas and places with Muslim-Hindu conflicts,” a leader said. “But strengthening a ground network in villages — like the Dravidian parties — will help us gain strength. We have decided to form at least 5,000 more shakhas in Tamil Nadu in the next one year,”.
In the wake of increasing murders and attacks on Hindu leaders in Tamil Nadu, RSS meet has also decided to form a special legal cell to handle murders cases of Hindu leaders. The RSS also plans to begin a nationwide training programme early next month to enroll more youths. “Each training camp will last for 20 days, and the camps will be completed before June 15,” an RSS leader said. Kerala is among states with a rigorous selection process for delegates for the programme, as it has one of the largest number of daily RSS shakhas. “When UP has only around 7,000 shakhas, Kerala has 4,630 daily shakhas — more than double the 2,124 shakhas in the much larger Tamil Nadu,” an RSS leader from Kerala said.