The Karnataka government’s decision to allow Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to hold training camps on the premises of State-run residential schools in some districts has been met with opposition. This comes after a speech by RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar found its way into school textbook in Karnataka, stoking controversy.
Following a recommendation by Kota Srinivasa Poojary, Minister for Social Welfare and Backward Classes Welfare, Karnataka Residential Educational Institutions Society (KREIS), a government-run body, has given permission to an organisation affiliated to RSS to conduct training camps in Morarji Desai Residential School in Kolar and Uttara Kannada districts “without disturbing students.”
While a camp at Kalli, Shirasi taluk, Uttara Kannada district, began in October 7 and will end on October 15, a camp will be conducted at Kootandlahalli village, Mulbagal taluk, Kolar district, from October 9 to 17.
The note from KREIS says that “boys and youth” can join the training programme which will involve physical activities, personality development programmes, yoga and initiatives to promote nationalist thought. In a separate note circulated in Kolar, RSS, district division, said the participants should come with complete ‘Ganavesha’ (the RSS uniform) along with ‘danda’ (staff) for this training camp.
SFI threatens protest
Student’s Federation of India (SFI) and other progressive organizations have expressed opposition to using government residential school premises for RSS training. They have threatened to protest in front of the Morarji Desai Residential School, Kootandlahalli village, on Sunday.
Vasudeva Reddy, State Secretary of SFI, told The Hindu, “They are using residential schools, particularly where SC, ST and OBC students are studying, for RSS activities. We have already complained to the Deputy Commissioner of Kolar district about this. The government should immediately cancel this.”